Honorable Mensch-ion

A Hero’s Legacy

I visited Poland three times during Rabbinical school, as I led teenagers on a journey to learn about the Shoah, the Holocaust.
On our first day in Warsaw, we would begin at Mila 18, the sight of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which began on April 19, 1943, on the first night of Passover. We would walk to the Umshlagplatz, the train station that would deport the Jews of the ghetto to the Treblinka death camp. We were taught that we were not experiencing the Shoah, but we were learning our history.

This week, we as a Sinai Temple community, a Los Angeles community, and the world, have lost a hero, in the passing of Sol Liber. Sol was not only a Freedom Fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto, but he was one of only a handful of people who survived Treblinka. As he reached the gates of hell, Sol Liber was chosen to return to Warsaw to clean up the ghetto. His journey went through Majdanek, Buchenwald, and several other work camps before he was liberated. Sol made his way to Paris, Canada, and eventually to Los Angeles, where he honed his trait of tailoring and finished his career in real estate.

This week is Shabbat Hagadol, the great Shabbat before Passover, where the prophet Malachi has a vision fot the day the Messiah will arrive. With Sol Liber’s passing, this Shabbat we are also left with three lessons that we can take to work toward that day that Malachi describes.

1. Set your own pace.
Sol was a man determined to survive and he set his pace in all that he did.

2. Love.
He was truly in love with his beshert, Bella, his children, grandchildren, and his great-grandchild. 

3. The will to live. Sol shared his own journey with so many young people throughout the years because he knew that the lessons he learned in his life could be valuable to their lives and could help repair the world. 

This Passover, as you sit down at your Seders, take a moment to remember the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but also take a moment to tell the story of a hero, Sol Liber, who we were blessed to call a friend. 

Please read Sol Liber’s story HERE.

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