Only In Israel

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Holocaust Memorial Day


Today is Holocaust Memorial day in Israel. Unlike worldwide Holocaust memorial days which are usually on the Auschwitz liberation day, Israel's Holocaust memorial day is on the Jewish date of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
The Jewish state, founded by holocaust survivors dedicates this day to remembering the victims of the Nazi killing machine. The entire educational system is dealing with the subject tomorrow, and a siren is heard tomorrow at 10 AM in remembrance of the six million of the murdered Jews who died, because they weren't the right color.
I'm not going into petty politics on such a day, and no, I'm not going to use Holocaust Memorial Day to trash European countries on remaining "old Europe", and I have every day to do so. What I am going to do is tell you about my journey to Poland and the Czech Republic.
I, like many other Israeli high school kids were offered in the 11th grade to join a delegation from out school to Poland and Czech. I always wanted to go there. ALWAYS. Yes, the economic price was high, but we've dealt. And so, on October 24th, 2000 we left, in 2 AM, from our school yard to follow the steps of our ancestors. Throughout the journey we've been to Terezinshtat, Auschwitz, Burkenao, Majdanek, Treblinka, Flashov ghetto, and many more. The journey began with showing us the history of the vast Jewish community in Eastern Europe, from it's beginning to its terrible end. The journey to Poland is one of the best things to EVER happen in my life. It is a journey anyone should take, Jewish or not. I've never been more proud to be a Jew or an Israeli as I returned from Poland. Sabbath night prayer isn’t the same when done in Krakow in a renewed synagogue. It's just not the same. I admit. I came back different. When I came back, I kissed the earth in the airport. Literally. I got on my knees and kissed the floor. Because nothing and I do mean NOTHING can ever compare to what I've seen there. So on this day I should say, remember, remember, remember and NEVER let the holocaust be forgotten.

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