Sunday, November 09, 2008

Erwin Schild - The Very Narrow Passage

I felt lazy yesterday. Accomplished almost nothing. Did a bit of email. Read a book. Did run 3 miles fast (by my standards). Sometimes it is good for me to have downtime.

Last night I attended a great bluegrass house party at Marnie Niemi's. Good live music. Old fashioned fun.

Today, I heard Erwin Schild speak. His story is captivating. He is an 88 year old Rabbi who survived a short stint at Dachau. He was an 18 year old in a Jewish Teachers' Seminary on November 9/1939 (Krisallnacht - Night of Broken Glass when most synagogues and many Jewish homes in Germany were ruined, burned and destroyed). The Nazis destroyed his school and took him prisoner.

He escaped from Dachau to Britain. Even that would be incredible but it did not end there. After a year and a half of freedom he was captured by the British and sent for internment in Canada as a "German" - which he was - a German Jew.

Rabbi Schild today preaches religious tolerance. He preaches the need for inter-religion relations as the way to protect everyone.

The Nazi's reigned by terror and surely any who objected to what was happening would be silenced. This was not a good excuse though for silence. I wonder if I would have had the courage to do the right thing in those circumstances. Hopefully I will never be tested.

It makes any challenge I have had in my life look like child's play.

Much of success in life is not about what happens to us, it is how we react to it. It is attitude. Schild has a great attitude that we all can learn from.

I bought a copy of his book "The Very Narrow Bridge - A Memoir of an Uncertain Passage". I look forward to reading it.


At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great recommendation. I'll look into it. Where did you see him speak?

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

At an Anglican church in Guelph. Like I said - he is big on interfaith.


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