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Orthodox Judaism/film - surviving the Holocaust

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Question
Hello,
  I just saw this film and I wonder if there is a feeling that Hitler and the Nazis were demon possessed or influenced by the devil?  The things they did were so inhuman that they seem inspired by the devil.  What do you think?

Answer
Hi Ben

Many people do believe that Hitler and his followers were possessed. The reality is that humans have always been capable of depraved behaviour. In Genesis, G-d says that the human inclination is "evil from birth". Our tradition also teaches that Man was created from the earth, yet was given a lofty soul. This teaches us that we can each choose to soar to the highest spiritual heights or make terrible decisions and fall to the lowest levels.

In other words, we choose our own reality and are all susceptible to evil. Humans are meant to constantly work on improving their character and becoming better people. If we don't, any of us could sink to the horrible behaviour of history's worst villains.

Kind regards,

Rabbi Shishler  

Orthodox Judaism

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Rabbi Ari Shishler

Expertise

I am a rabbi who loves teaching, through writing and speaking. In 1999, my wife and I started our own Chabad House and it's grown exponentially. I'm also the learning director at Chabad House of Johannesburg, a high school teacher and the father of young children. As you can imagine, I get to answer lots of questions every day. I'd be glad to answer your questions on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and practice.

Experience

I have been a practicing Orthodox rabbi since 1997 and have headed my own community since 1999. I teach Talmud at a religious high school in Johannesburg and give daily lectures to adults on Jewish practice, spiritualty, Chassidic philosophy and Kabbalah. I'm the campus rabbi at our two major universities in Johannesburg.

Organizations
Chabad-Lubavitch South African Rabbinical Association.

Publications
Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa. South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Jewish Online Magazine. www.chabad.org

Education/Credentials
After completing high scool, I spent six years studying in Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

Past/Present Clients
www.chabad.org www.askmoses.com ChaiFM (www.chaifm.com) Jewish Life magazine

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