Yom HaShoah, for me, a daughter of two Shoah survivors, is always.
Growing up in the shadow of this horrific chapter in our history, reliving the memories of its atrocities and never forgetting it are a part of who I am and what I am.
I am the young child in the Ghetto who is pushed to become a thief and steal a potato so that he can feed his starving younger sister.
I am the mother who is desperately trying to calm and silence her baby for fear of having their hiding place disclosed.
I am the teacher in the Ghetto who does all she can to educate the young children and make them understand that which no human mind can grasp, that which is inconceivable.
I am the Rabbi who tirelessly tries to explain to his desperate listeners that G-d is not ignoring them but merely temporarily hiding His face.
I am the partisan who lives in the forest, defiantly resisting and determined to overcome death.
I am the Kapo who was forced to make a difficult choice of either electing death or becoming a false god who would decree who by fire and who by water.
I am the doomed who was selected to be the one who removes the corpses from the gas chambers as I study the familiar faces painted with agony. I see their blank look and frozen eyes staring at me, begging me to live and tell and to Never Forget.
I am the daughter of an elderly sick mother who is desperately trying to ignite the spark of Hope in her dying soul.
I am the young woman who was part of the string quartet that was standing at the entrance to the crematoria, playing the scratched violin as we were dancing our brothers and sisters to the “End of Love.” *
I am a Jewish Yisraeli soldier who visited the Nazi death camps and promised all the innocent victims that their spilled blood will forever light my Life’s path and the path of our future Jewish generations.
I am all of them and many nameless more. I am them, not only one day a year, not only every single day of the year but every single day of my life as well.
* ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’ … came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt.” - Leonard Cohen