As Long As I Have the Strength: The Autobiography of Rabbi Mika Weiss

Overview

This is the story of Rabbi Mika Weiss, who loved the human spirit and continuously risked his own life to save others. He wanted to become a Rabbi from his childhood despite the persecution of the Jews and university professors who continually insulted him. He became the youngest Rabbi in Hungary only to be thrust into the holocaust and its death camps. Here he rose above brutal torture to encourage his fellow Jews to stay alive. After liberation, he became the Chief Rabbi of Debrecen only to find himself again ...
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Overview

This is the story of Rabbi Mika Weiss, who loved the human spirit and continuously risked his own life to save others. He wanted to become a Rabbi from his childhood despite the persecution of the Jews and university professors who continually insulted him. He became the youngest Rabbi in Hungary only to be thrust into the holocaust and its death camps. Here he rose above brutal torture to encourage his fellow Jews to stay alive. After liberation, he became the Chief Rabbi of Debrecen only to find himself again struggling to save lives during the Communist era and Hungarian Revolution. Finally escaping Hungary, he went on to become Chief Rabbi of Finland where he discovered the magnificent history of the brave Finns. He finally moved his family to the US where he became a beloved Rabbi on both the East and West Coasts. This book is based on the Rabbi's prolific sense of detail for people and events and provides insight into the behavior of people during the worst crimes of the century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781434895295
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 4/10/2008
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Mika Weiss was born October 19, 1913 in Kiskunfelegyhaza, Hungary. His passion was to be a Rabbi. He first received a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Pazmany Peter University of Budapest in 1939. The school was full of anti-Semitic professors who ridiculed his faith. He bit through his lower lip so hard he forever bore the scar to avoid giving in to their taunts. He was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary in Budapest in 1941 but already received his first position as a Rabbi in Oroshaza, Hungary in 1939.

During May 1944 he was arrested by the Gestapo at gunpoint and deported to the Mauthausen extermination camp. He had numerous chances to flee but said, "What kind of man would I be if I forsake my own congregation?" He stayed alive despite brutal treatment.

He gave fellow prisoners the will to keep living when they were ready to give up. They promised to make him their Rabbi in Debrecen if they got out alive and kept their promise. He was liberated by the Patton Army and then served in Debrecen as the Chief Rabbi from 1946 to 1957.

When he returned from the camps he spoke harshly at risk to himself against those who stood idle while the Jews were taken away. He preached, "Cain, where did you put your brother Abel- His blood cries out from the earth!" He didn't forsake his fellow Jews under Stalin either. When the Jews were robbed of their homes and deported from Budapest to the countryside he helped bring them back safely.

With the Hungarian revolution on November 5, 1956 and the birth of his son Peter, he decided to leave anti-Semitism behind. With help from his friend the Arch Bishop of Hungary, he became Rabbi for the Helsinki Jewish Congregation in Finland. And served there until 1961. He became the Chief Rabbi of Finland by 1959.

With the Russians threatening Finland, he moved his family to the United States in 1962, quickly learning English. He became Rabbi of the Jewish Community Center in Flemington, New Jersey and later at Temple Mishkon Tephilo in Venice, California. Finally, he went on the become Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus at Temple B'nai Hayim in Sherman Oaks for 35 years. He also visited Los Angeles area hospitals, jails and worked with the LAPD from 1979. He drove hours to Wayside and LA County prisons; long after he should have to help the Jewish inmates.

Rabbi Mika M. Weiss passed away on the Sabbath, December 29, 2001 leaving a spirit and love for mankind that lives eternally.

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