In this special extended episode for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), we hear from Rabbi Phillip Lazowski, who survived the Holocaust as a child. He shares experiences that shaped his vision and sense of purpose: amidst horror and loss, episodes of hope and humanity.
A note from Rabbi Deborah Waxman:
Thanks so much for listening to Hashivenu. I want to let you know that this episode is slightly different from most of our episodes. It’s a conversation with my childhood rabbi, Rabbi Phillip Lazowski, a really wonderful man. Rabbi Lazowski is a Holocaust survivor and this episode is to commemorate Yom Hasho’ah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. His story truly embodies resilience, and it’s a very hard story, full of loss and horror. So first, a warning that some of what he talks about is not appropriate for young children.
We made a decision here at Reconstructing Judaism not to cut his story short, so while most episodes of Hashivenu are about 25 minutes long, this is longer, about 43 minutes. This won’t be our habit, but we thought it appropriate for this episode.
I wanted to give you the heads up to listen especially for Mrs. Rabinowitz, the nurse who plays an incredibly important role in Rabbi Lazowski’s survival. She first appears around 7 minutes into the interview, but you’ll hear about her two more times, and it’s an amazing story. Rabbi Lazowski, Mrs. Rabinowitz and everyone he talks about demonstrate that we can, even in the most extreme circumstances, choose to act in ways that affirm life and connection and love. May this remembrance teach us.
Below: Rabbi Phillip Lazowski blessing (now rabbi) Deborah Waxman as she became bat mitzvah on November 17, 1979.
- Reconstructing Judaism
- 5 Rituals and Prayers for Yom HaShoah from Ritualwell
- Profile of Rabbi Lazowski - Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
- Rabbi Emeritus Phillip Lazowski (Beth Hillel Synagogue)
- Rabbi Philip Lazowski Says Sharing His Painful Holocaust Experiences Has Been Therapeutic; Also An Obligation, So The World Won't Forget - Hartford Courant
- Conversation with Rabbi Philip Lazowski - Jewish Ledger
- Amazon.com: Philip Lazowski: Books
- Rabbi Philip Lazowski blessing (now rabbi) Deborah Waxman as she became bat mitzvah on November 17, 1979.