The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto: Choosing a Life of Meaning Under the Specter of Death

Date: Dec 21, 2020 - Dec 21, 2020

Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Sponsor: Online Learning

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning

Living a Life of Meaning

The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto: Choosing a Life on Meaning Under the Specter of Death

Monday, December 21, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

In Vilna, “the Jerusalem of Lithuania,” a group of Jewish writers and intellectuals risked their lives to rescue Jewish books, manuscripts, and art from the Nazis. While working as slave laborers for a Nazi looting agency, they “stole” Jewish cultural treasures from their masters, smuggled them into the ghetto, and hid them in underground cellars and bunkers. The few members of this group who survived the war returned to Vilna after its liberation, and led an operation to retrieve the treasures.

The book smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto believed that culture and Jewish heritage were ultimate values, greater than their own life or death. They chose to engage in a life of meaning, even as their deportation and murder was imminent. This inspiring story of Jewish spiritual resistance can help us reflect on what ultimate values we might lay down our lives for today. 

With Dr. David FishmanProfessor of Jewish History, JTS.

Note: The Zoom link for this session will be in the confirmation email that you will receive after you register.

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