Yom H'Shoa

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

Four years ago when I was on NFTY-EIE we visited Poland, and were able to see many of the places associated with the violent and systematic death of the Jewish people and so many others. We’ve all been taught to Never Forget. But anyone who has seen a concentration camp truly never could. When we arrived at Auschwitz-Berkenau we were each given a letter from our parents. My father had chaperoned a NFTY trip to Poland the summer before, and his words gave (and give) me a lot of comfort: “…But, somewhat to my surprise, I was very optimistic when I left Berkenau. Why? I think it was because of my traveling companions- a busload of young NFTY kids. I felt optimistic despite all the horrors, because I was surrounded by young Jews who were there precisely because of their commitment to, and concern for, Judaism.”

I’ll never forget what I saw on my journey in Poland. I’ll never forget the fear and sadness and horror. I also won’t forget the hope. Standing with other young Jews praying and singing in the places where hope had been afraid to exist for so long.

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