Friends of Itamar

Leah's BlogLeah’s Blog – Holocaust Memorial Day

Leah’s Blog – Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day – to Be or not To Be

There is a beautiful shelf of rock here on Itamar that stands at the elevation of 866 meters above sea level. I’ve probably taken you to visit it when you come, so you know the feeling of it, almost reaching heaven. When the tribes of Israel entered from the Jordan River they made their way through here to stand on the two mountains I face now- the Blessing and the Curse. Up on this spot, with no distractions, I know why I live here, on this very center peg of the Land of Israel. Here you grasp your purpose and G-d’s intention. It used to be that the heart of Israel was the bone of contention for haters and skeptics. We held on. Now, it is clear – the view I see from here- from the river to the sea- THAT really is the upshot, not just this peg -but all of it. We held on. We’re holding on. The heart pumps excitedly now. We are in a historic moment.

I am a second generation Holocaust survivor. My father of blessed memory told us stories of miracles that happened to him, the lone survivor of a large successful family in Poland. A righteous gentile couple saved him on their farm as the Nazis would storm the property searching vigilantly for any Jew that might be hiding there. The floor boards creaked above his head as the sharp sounds of neat boots marched across the room. The dogs were sent into the forests to hunt Jews, but walked away whimpering when discovering my father. A pineapple like object was stuck and wouldn’t open in his hands, a dud grenade. My father taught me not only to believe in miracles but to believe in the value of lovingkindness. We learn this from the many righteous gentiles that fed, hid and loved on Jews in the Europe of the 1940’s.

Another thing I learned from my father was defiance, integrity and faith.

Yom Hashoah always comes before Yom Hazikarone (Memorial Day) and then Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day). Israel as a nation began with one person, Avraham. Avraham is described in one word as a man of Chesed (lovingkindness). The personal story of one man became a national story. My father taught me the value of Zionism and National Zionism. This is what sprouted from him as many years later I would sit in Achishena’s garden on a Moshav in the Jerusalem Corridor. Breathing in another spectacular view of the sun’s rays filtering through the trees of the forests all around, I asked Achishena if she knew who planted these woodlands? Giving me a blank look and a smile, I answered- “These forests were planted in the merit of the Righteous Gentiles. The trees all have names and we too have family in these trees. Your grandfather planted them when these hills were just a barren empty desolation. They are called:” The Forest of the Rigteous Gentile- Kesalon.

A ring of fire surrounds Israel now.

There are no righteous gentiles in Gaza.

There is no hostage being cared for in an attic there or under the floorboards.

Perhaps the most prominent feature of post modernism is that it is a most contradictory phenomenon – one that abuses and installs false as true and true as false. The OUTCOME- Today’s events.

The Jewish population is still lower than it was pre- holocaust. Without Israel- no Jew is safe.

Shabbat Shalom XOXOXO Thank you dear Friends of Itamar for always being there for us!  Blessings, Leah

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