Leah’s Blog April 16 2015
There are years that Holocaust Memorial Day falls exactly on my birthday. Not this year, but I wonder, looking back, if this was any consolation to my parents who had each lived as small children in thriving regions of Europe, one in Germany, one in Poland- places full of people, of life, of schools filled with children, libraries, ballet halls, theatres synagogues and shops. It all came to ash, a black and white movie with just a yellow star, not for warmth of color, but a jaundiced yellow, the emblem of someone headed for death. “No Jews allowed!” signs were put everywhere, on all things familiar.
The homey place of my father’s parents, and grandparents and their great grandparents who lived there for ages dealing in livestock and cattle (and they even owned a general store) became foreign and cruel, cold and evil. My father had a sister, the aunt I never knew who had the “luck” of being a golden haired blonde blue eyed beauty. This didn’t help her or any of their ten siblings, parents, grandparents and most of their Jewish community in the town Nisko Poland located near an industrial city, Stolla VeVolla. They were all rounded up like the sheep they sold there and murdered.
My father was saved by a family of righteous gentiles, (the mother of the family is still alive today and is 106 years old.) This family risked their lives to save him as the Nazis would make their rounds searching for a hint of a surviving Jew anywhere- they wanted Europe Judenrein- clean of Jews and they meant it.
After the war the Jews that survived where ever they were had no place to go. England, the mother of culture and etiquette refused for Jews to settle in Israel, barring their entry and if caught were restrained, or incarcerated, in many cases put to death. Jews that returned to their properties found other people living there. It seemed hopeless. But something happened only a few years later. Something began to manifest on the soil of the Promised Land. Israel, a land herself widowed for many years, became as a bride and was reborn! Not long after becoming a state, Israel was attacked by new enemies but the smell of gunpowder this time was of our own army in our own Land.
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Next week we will celebrate Independence Day.
There are free democratic countries today whose government platforms demand “No Jews Allowed” signs be placed on the heart of Israel. All places familiar to us from the portion of the week , First and Temple periods, they want Judenrein. Chevron Shilo Itamar and much of Jerusalem has been designated for a JEWISH BUILDING FREEZE. They reach out an arm in friendship not to the Jews that live here but to literal terror organizations. They would like history to repeat itself. But we know better. As the yellow sun warms us here in Israel, polychrome glass and silver skyscrapers adorn our city streets, tangerines, peaches and apricots invite you to come and taste. Behold the grapevine sprouting out of the rock!
The words “Never Again” were engrained in me from the day I was born.
Here, where prophecy meets reality I feel safe and know the promised kept.
Chazak VeAmatz! Shabbat Shalom! Leah goldsmith