Leah’s Blog – Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day – DON’T REACT – ACT! April 17,2023
For children of holocaust survivors, every day is holocaust memorial day. You can’t put us into the same category because each one of us feels uniquely affected by it, each of us react differently. Seared into my memory is my father Z”L, a strong good looking man that took me with him on his lectures to different forums to give his eye witness testimony about being the sole survivor of his large vibrant family in Poland. From his position at the microphone I felt him springboard into action and influence. It did something to me even as a little girl in Brooklyn, I admired his guts. When he went to Israel to a large convention designated to find loved ones (which he did- the only other survivor of his town) he seemed to leave the black and white world that surrounded the ambience of his mission, he began feeling and projecting color. Gratitude poured out of him as he shared with us the sun and the beauty, the miracles he had in the land. Planting trees in the forests of the righteous gentiles in Kesalon: He declared the land had come to life. In those days there were Kodak still photos of everything you did, and we eagerly passed them around in wonder of seeing dad actually at the Kotel, planting trees and meeting even old friends. This evoked in me a profound impact that way surpassed saluting to the Israeli flag that stood in the auditorium of our school. My father projected a light that fascinated me and called me to come home.
Our interest in history usually streams from our position of now in time. We live our lives on a day to day basis, but cannot be cut off from the threads that tie us to the past. There was an occurrence- we interpret it- we can feel despair, anger, sorrow empathy or excitement, concern and many feelings at once-; these should all lead to our response. In the seat of the situation, the response to the holocaust is urgent. What is your vision for the future as you live now? What are the threads that tie you to the future? What are your dreams- your waking moment dreams for the future as you look back even now as you live in the present moment. My response, I inherited from inspiration. Suddenly the way my father’s life was viewed as the “old world” made me realize this place I was born into as much as I loved it and it held nostalgia good times and home like perception also became a black and white “old world” for me. For thousands of years we place the cup of Eliyahu on the table because we wait for him to be the precursor. We set up a seat for him because we know that these bones can live. Baruch Hashem we were born into the generation that straddles the holocaust and the redemption simultaneously. Today, holocaust memorial day, is a distinct day that arouses bleak sorrow and horror but not discouragement. We are wavering on the fence. Some seek to assimilate into the abyss thinking maybe they are safer there, identities embedded as holocaust second generation- that’s how they view their Judaism. Others (like me) lean towards rebirth. Our spirit can never assimilate because we are a distinct people and have a distinct land. There is a frame around our story and the picture in it is Eretz Yisrael. We were like dreamers. Our great love for the gift of returning home soothes our wounds as new life springs up here. Another road is paved, another playground put in for the children laughing in the sun. Seventy seven years have passed since the holocaust ended. We can see history as we make history here. Greater than life, the vineyards bud, the barren hills are now green with wheat.
If you too feel distress on this day- you can not only react- you can act. There is still so much more we need to do. Friends of Itamar https://touritamarsupportisrael.com/donate/ is focusing on developing and turning the heart of Israel into a safe secure and flourishing anchor for making true powerful colorful promises of restoration. Help us shine the light. Besorot tovot- Leah