Tzemach Yehudah Richter
Tzemach Yehudah Richter

P.E.A.C.E.=Shalom-Episode Five-If Kristallnacht Took Place In Your Country – What Would You Do? Where Would You Go?


Of course, the above lines are from the 1939 movie – Gone With The Wind – to which Clark Gable responded to Vivien Leigh that he really did not care what happened to her. On November 9 and 10th the previous year in Germany,  the night of “Broken Glass” erupted with such furry, that it was clear the Nazi’s did not care what happened to the Jews as well. Jews had nowhere to run in many cases and so this marked the beginning of the Nazi’s Final Solution. And in reality, the world also did not care what happened to those Jews, many of whom perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Kristallnacht took place 81 years ago and the memories of this terrible event will never go away. That took place ten years before I was born in a completely different country that we never discussed much in our schools. The teachers briefly commented on it, as if to say that it could never happen in America so why bother.

So you may be asking, where is all of this information leading to? The answer is in the three key events that took place these past few weeks in America.

Event One took place in Dallas, Texas, the same city JFK was assassinated, on November 10, 2019, in a game between the Dallas Cowboys and Vikings. The hero of the game on the last play was Vikings Safety  Jayron Kearse, Jersey Number 27, who caught the missile “Hail Mary” pass from the Dallas quarterback to insure a Vikings victory.

Event Two was in the Vikings US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, against the Denver Broncos on the following Sunday. Again, on the last play of the game, the Bronco quarterback threw a bullet pass which was defended by Jayron Kearse, and that preserved another Viking win.

Event Three – On the following Sunday, November 24, the Vikings had no game scheduled. But instead, a fire broke out in  a former synagogue building in the small city of Breckenridge, Texas.  The town hasn’t been home to a Jewish community for decades. The former Temple Beth Israel building caught fire early Sunday morning and was totally destroyed. At 5:20 a.m. Sunday, the Breckenridge Fire Department was dispatched to the old Synagogue located at 302 North Parks Street The fire department arrived to heavy flames on the east end of building and flames shooting through the roof.

In 1929, the local newspaper reported that the presence of so many Jewish merchants was a sign of the town’s economic vitality, writing that “water and oil may not mix, but Jews and prosperity do. The presence of Jews in any and every community is a sign of hope and promise … Jews do not stay in dead towns.”

That last phrase, Jews do not stay in dead towns, is very meaningful, because it was written 90 years ago and still applies today.  And perhaps that explains why more and more Jews are realizing that Israel is their best option if they are planning on moving anywhere. Which, of course, I can vouch for.

Now let’s compare that synagogue fire with a similar one that took place in Duluth, Minnesota a few months earlier. But first an interesting piece of information I only recently discovered-

Bob Dylan’s Family Were Founding Members of the Duluth Shul That Was Destroyed Earlier This Year.

There was something I have always wondered. How the 8 Sefer Torah’s could have survived all the water and fire damage that resulted from the Shul’s destruction. And the following explanation confirms that it was indeed a miracle that those Torah Scrolls were saved and untouched.

Dylan’s childhood friend Louis Kemp, who published the book Dylan and Me said, “There were eight Torah scrolls down in the basement and the congregants told the firemen about them”.

“I heard that they broke down the doors and windows and saved all eight — that’s a miracle. Everything downstairs was water-soaked, but the scrolls and the Bima were undamaged.”

So now if I do a comparison of key facts and figures, you will see that it tells a very interesting story-

Point 1-

The name of the Shul is  Adas Israel Congregation Address: 302 E 3rd St, Duluth, MN

The former Temple Beth Israel in Breckenridge was located at 302 North Parks Street

Both Shul’s have the name Israel in common as well as the address number 302.

Point 2-

The number 27 on Jayron Kearse’s, football Jersey, is the same number of years between the time that both Shuls were established. The Texas Shul was established in 1929 and the Duluth Shul, in 1902, making a 27 year difference.

Point 3-

Kristallnacht” ended on November 10, the day of the Dallas-Minnesota game, and that day this year was one day after the Shabbat of Parshat Lech Lecha.

If we combine all of these factors into one story, I have come up with the following analysis-


Looking at Point 1

We see that there are two facts that match when comparing both Shuls. The name of Israel and the number 302.

I feel Israel here refers to the Jewish State, but what about the number 302?

I looked at various solutions to this puzzle and have come up with what I feel is a very important message. Again using Gematria, where we assign a numerical value to each Hebrew letter, as discussed previously, that number 302 takes on a very significant meaning.

The number 300 equals the Hebrew letter –Shin

The number 2 equals the Hebrew letter – Bet

So if we combine the two together, we have “Shin-Bet”. So now adding Israel, we have the phrase – Israel Shin-Bet. If you have been to Israel, or are aware of Israeli Security, you will immediately recognize what this phrase represents.

-But for those who don’t, the Israel Shin-Bet (a two-letter Hebrew abbreviation of “Security Service”), is Israel‘s internal security service. Its motto is “Magen veLo Yera’e” (מָגֵן וְלֹא יֵרָאֶה, lit. “Defender that shall not be seen” or “The unseen shield”).

Shin Bet has three main departments, one of which is the  Protective Security Department: responsible for protecting high-value individuals and locations in the country such as government officials, embassies, airports, and research facilities.

So the clear message we should take away from these two Shuls that burned down only months apart when considering the miracle the buildings had been standing for 90 and 120 years respectively seem to be as follows – the US should consider calling upon the Shin Bet to investigate certain Congresswomen due to the high security risk they pose, and the fact the Democratic Party is not interested in doing this job. By delaying to Investigate, the US runs the risk of a major terrorist attack which could happen any day based upon the 20 year rule I detailed in my previous Blog.


Point 2 –

The time span of 27 years between the establishment of each Shul is also interesting, because the number 27, when multiplied by 3 also equals 81, which is the number of years since Kristalnicht.

So each of these three points can represent an equal division of 27.

Point 3

Since the first of the three events begins on Kristallnacht, we must wonder what strong message G-d wants to convey . And perhaps that message is that events leading up to Kristallnacht in Germany clearly indicated that there was a real potential danger of a sudden enemy attack. But once Kristallnacht arrived there was no turning back and the slaughter of Jews began.

Those Jews, who wanted to get out, had a difficult time leaving.  And so that is perhaps the reason that the English date of Kristallnacht also fell close to Parshat Lech Lecha.


These events I describe above seem to indicate that we should be aware of what it felt like in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust began in earnest. And if we are aware of it, then we will know what action to take as conditions change.

Perhaps G-d’s ultimate goal is to get us all to realize that we are now blessed with a homeland to call our own. And when we all realize that, then the question about making Aliyah should be on everyone’s mind.


About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager /Fundamental And Technical Analyst. Wrote in-depth research on companies, markets, commodities for leading financial publications. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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