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A Pluralistic Saturday Evening Service by Monica Less
Contains personal content
Play Imagine as they are walking in and hand them the candles with names as they walk in and light the candles ...
Welcome everyone to Don't Let the Lights Go Out. Tonight we are remembering the Holocaust but this service is different than any of the other ones you have been to. During this service we hope you gain a deeper understanding of what these Jews went through and understand the reason why we say never again so often. Tonight you will be presented with a series of scenarios that require you to make instantaneous decisions, some that will be harder than others. Please be honest when you are asked to voice your decision and do not change it in the middle of a scenario. Here is your first one.
A law gets passed that says all Jews must leave their homes within one week, it is publicized that any family that fails to comply will pay the price of jail or possibly even death. You have a choice do you leave your home of sixteen years? or risk a possibly fatal punishment? Take a few seconds to make your decision.
If you decided that your family would be able to stand up against the law please rise. To those who have risen your decision has cost you your life. After discovering the mezuzah on your front door, the police shot you and your family for disobeying the law. Please blow out your candle and sit down.
The Jews who obeyed the law by leaving town soon found out they left their homes only to be forced into a concentration camp. As a new prisoner you try to sleep on your thin hard bed but the people above you have been whispering all night making sleep impossible. You know that any ounce of sleep is vital to survival in these harsh conditions so do you politely tell the inmates to quiet down at the risk of a fight? or hold your tongue and soon fall asleep? Please take a moment to make your decision.
If you have chosen to tell the prisoners above you to quiet down please stand up. To all who stand unfortunately your decision has instigated a noisy fight. The Nazis burst into your room and shot all of you. This choice has cost you your life and please blow out your candle and sit down.
Your little brother has collapsed in the snow during a tortuous march to another death camp. Do you stay behind and care for your brother continue the march with him on your back? or do you continue on without him too scared of what will happen if you step out of line? Take a moment to make your decision.
If you decided to stay with your brother please rise. This choice has cost you and your brother your lives. The Nazis figured you both were too weak to be of any use and shot both of you on the spot. Please blow out your candle and take a seat.
A miracle has happened! You recieve word that an old friend, Frieda Adam, is looking for you. She has heard about the murderous acts commited in concentration camps and has come to help you escape. She is offering you a place in her family and is anxious to nurse you back to health. Although you are elated that you have not been forgotten but you have trouble believing that this message is true. How can you trust that compassion in humanity after you have seen countless atrocities? You have a choice you can escape the concentration camp and risk your life or stay in the concentration camp. Will you trust Freida and attempt to escape or stay on the safe side? Please take a moment to make you decision.
If you trusted Freida please stand. You may now be seated. Freida Adam lives in Munich Germany today. Between the years of 1938-1944 Freida kidnapped over 35 friends from concentration camps. It is important that as we remember the crimes commited against the Jews during the Holocaust we also recognize the numerous people who risked their lives to do good.
Little by little the Nazis used their power to strip us of our right to choose, our right to be free, our right to live. Everyday we make choices that seem insignificant yet there was a time when choices meant life or death, a time when choices meant you or your sister, a time when choices meant giving into the Nazis or standing up for what you believe in. This month is Holocaust Rememberance Month, a month where people all of the world are praying and remembering the same things even though we may be miles apart. Today we keep and remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and all other times when our lives were threated. Today we can use the knowledge of our past to keep others from being treated unjustly. Today we remember those who risked their lives in the past and those who risk their lives today to kindle our flame.
Today we think about Israel.
Today we know that a injustice of this magnitude can not and will not happen to the Jewish people again.
Today we have the blessing of having a country in the world who will always be a defender of civil liberties for Jews and all people in this world.
But today, there are people in this world who question Israels rights. Her right to defend. Her right to govern. Her right to exist.
We must remember that Israel is the sole nation in this world who will always kindle our flame. We can not allow this flame to burn out.
Moment of silence .....
Move into Havdallah ....
(Lift kiddush cup with wine) and say: “I will lift the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of God”. Then all join in singing the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן.
BA-RUCH A-TA A-DO-NAY E-LO-HAY-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM BO-RAY P'RI HA-GA-FEN.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
(After singing the blessing pass the kiddush cup around for everyone to take a sip; this is optional.)
Sing a niggun or a Hebrew song to again set the mood for the concluding Sabbath service.
Then someone holds the spice box up for all to see, and all join in singing the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים.
BA-RUCH A-TA A-DO-NAY E-LO-HAY-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM BO-RAY MEE-NAY V-SA-MEEM.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates diverse kinds of spices.
The spice box is passed around for everyone to smell.
If desired, sing a niggun or a Hebrew song to create the mood.
Then all join in singing the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ.
BA-RUCH A-TA A-DO-NAY E-LO-HAY-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM BO-RAY M-O-RAY HA-AYSH.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the lights of the fire.
All hands are raised to the light.
Sing a niggun or a Hebrew song to create the mood.
Invite all to join in singing the blessing and as they sing ask everyone present to cup their hands and hold them toward the flame of the candle so that their fingertips cast a shadow on the palm of their hands. In this way, the distinction between light and darkness is illustrated on their hand. We have been known to make shadow plays with our hands at our house.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֽדֶשׁ לְחוֹל, בֵּין אוֹר לְחֹֽשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל.
BA-RUCH A-TA A-DO-NAI E-LO-HAY-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM HA-MAV-DIL BAYN KO-DESH L'KHOL. BAYN OR L-CHO-SHEKH. BAYN YIS-RA-EL LA-A-MEEM, BAYN YOM HA-SH-VEE-EE L-SHAY-SHET Y-MAY HA-MA-A-SEH. BA-RUKH A-TA A-DO-NAI HA-MAV-DIL BAYN KO-DESH L'CHOL.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the world, who separates the holy from the mundane, light from darkness, Israel from the other peoples, the seventh day of rest from the six days of work. Blesed are You, Lord, who separates the holy from the mundane.
Sing a niggun or a Hebrew song and while singin, the Havdalah candle is now extinguished in the wine.
All join in singing Eliyahu HaNavi
אליהו הנביא, אליהו התשבי,
במהרה בימינו יבוא אלינו עם משיח בן דוד.
E-LEE-YA-HU HA-NA-VEE E-LEE-YA-HU HA-TISH-BEE.
E-LEE-YA-HU E-LEE-YA-HU E-LEE-YA-HU HA-GEE-LA-DEE.
BEE-M-HAY-RA V-YA-MAY-NU YA-VO AY-LAY-NU
EEM MA-SHEE-ACH BEN DA-VEED, EEM MA-SHEE-ACH BEN DA-VEED.
Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbaite, Elijah the Gileadite.
Soon, in our day, he will come to us with the messiah, son of David
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