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Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last Hardcover – November 1, 2011


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Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last + The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership + Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Tra edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140278631X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402786310
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rabbi Lau is one of the world's most revered and charismatic Jewish leaders. Lau was born in 1937 in Poland, the son of his town's last Chief Rabbi. He served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003. Currently, he is Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Chairman of Yad Vashem--Israel's official memorial organization to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. In 2005, Lau was awarded the Israel Prize (the country's highest honor) for his lifetime achievements and special contribution to society and the State of Israel.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
Great story of hope and survival.
Ann G. Jacobs
This is the second book translated into English By Rabbi Israel Meir Lau.
Aviva Levine
Just finished reading this amazing book.
Rochelle Rosen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Aviva Levine on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second book translated into English By Rabbi Israel Meir Lau. Rabbi Lau is an exceptional Rabbi, speaker, and religious leader in search of unity with the divine and with his fellow men. I cannot recommend enough "Practical Judaism" for those who want to learn the basics of our faith. His second book, Out of the depths, a reference to psalm 130 From the depths, relates the story of his life and is divided in two parts: the knife, the fire, and the wood, a reference to the akedah, and the ram's horn, a reference to the redemption and the coming of Moschiach. The book follows Lulek from his infancy and the time he was pulled out of the darkest moment and place on earth, the death camp of Buchenwald, to his emigration to / and education in Israel as an orphan to build a life of Torah, infused with divine light. Rabbi Lau says: G-d has tried me with suffering but he has not given me over to death. Why G-d chose to spare him (and his brother Naphtali) and not the rest of his family who perished in the holocaust? Rabbi Lau does not have an answer but he teaches us that everything is G-d's will, which we cannot really understand or question. However, the purpose of his book is to show that you can survive the worst ordeals and build on ashes by finding strength in entrusting your spirit into G-d's hands and in keeping the line of communication always open with Him through prayers. This book is in turn inspiring, moving, enthralling. I was saddened by the first part, the struggle to survive (which reminded me of The night by Elie Wiesel), but at the same time I felt peace in my heart. Rabbi Lau was not destroyed by his tragic life beginning and personal loss; instead he was grateful for what G-d gave him and came out as a refined man.Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roberta on February 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the youngest survivors of Buchenwald, Israel Meir Lau, against all odds, survived to live an extraordinary life to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel. As Chief Rabbi, he was respected worldwide and met many influential heads of state and important religious leaders (from the Rebbe Menachem Schneerson to two Popes). He chronicles his life in Buchenwald -- an eight year old child at the time of Liberation, as well as the aftermath of war including his time in a French orphan camp, his emigration to Palestine, his training as a young rabbinical student, and his life as chief Rabbi. What is particularly interesting are his accounts and recognition of all the people he meets along the way who help and influence him. The charismatic personality and spirit of Israel Meir Lau shine through on every page of this book. This is a moving and inspirational memoir that you won't be able to put down.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Donna Katz on May 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books about Holocaust survivors and inspite of their losses and the extreme cruel and unusual conditions, they seem to retain their dignity and believe that people are basically good. However, Rabbi Lau's story is the most amazing of all.
I have purchased several more copies of the book and given it as gifts. Everyone's reaction is the same as mine. I plan to reread it this summer and will continue to share it with others. I think this is among my all time favorite books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ingrid R. Briles on May 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I have been going through some personal struggles, and this book was just what I needed to read. In other books that I have read, the liberated people always look so sad and broken. This child was a picture of hope. I love that in the middle of suffering and death, he chose to remember the good people who helped him. I love that after the war, he chose to honor people like the family of the black American soldier who picked him up and showed him to the German people of the surrounding towns - and in doing so, shamed them. This is just a very moving and uplifting story that I recommend to anyone who needs a shot of hope!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Isaac H on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A more fitting subtitle would be: Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child Orphan of Buchenwald Who Laid Down The Rifle To Spread Light And Love!

This heart wrenching saga of the orphan featured on the cover, holding in addition to all of his lifelong possessions in a tiny little suitcase, a rifle presented to him by a kindhearted American soldier, to fulfill his 8 year old wish of exacting vengeance on the German beasts who decimated his entire world, along with his father and mother, who went on in life to exact a far greater and eternal revenge rebuilding his life and nation. His life's work spreading love, not hate, blazed light into the darkness of his past, illuminating the entire world. His accomplishments as a spiritual mentor, visiting the hurt and sick, comforting the bereaved, confronting endless terror with a message of hope and love is staggering.

This remarkable book, like it's author is multifaceted - there are so many diverse lessons to be learned from it! It is a tribute to the human spirit - a meteoric rise out of the ashes of the holocaust. It is something non-Jews cannot ever fathom; what is this network which enabled a orphan of both parents, reach the heights of the rabbinate, Chief Rabbi of Israel! It is also a tribute to his extraordinary teachers who sacrificed their lives for their ideals, in poverty and seeming squalor, with the conviction that they were raising a new generation. They were fully aware of the importance of education, with each child judged solely on his abilities. Here is a glowing testimony to the secret of Jewish survival, and its' true leaders.

Each and every survivor is his own hero, and the incredible commitment of the older brother to the murdered father should be a profound source of comfort to all parents.
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