Dear Friends, 

The site was Auschwitz concentration camp.  I was standing next to a woman who had been a captive there as a teenager, and we were at the same spot where she had stood face to face with Joseph Mengele. He sent her in the direction of “life.” 

Many of the others who had traveled with her in an inhumane box car were sent the other direction, meaning that they were being sent directly to death.

This Monday night, April 28th at 6:30pm we will hold our annual Yom Ha-Shoah/Holocaust Remembrance service. We will be joined by Agnus Vertes, who grew up as a child in Budapest. As a “hidden child,” she was moved from place to place, and ultimately managed to endure and survive.

We owe it to all who survived, and all who perished to do more than “remember.”  We need to come together to assure the survivors, who lost so many loved ones, that as they approach the latter part of their lives,  that they and their families will be remembered and honored.  And we owe it to them to convey that we view them as much more than “victims.”  These are courageous people who found themselves the strength, vision and courage to go forth with life and to make something good and worthy of their lives.  

Abraham Shlonsky, the Israeli poet, wrote words that I trust will speak to all of us:

                                     “In the presence of eyes

                                      which witnessed the slaughter,

                                      which saw the oppression

                                      the heart could not bear,

                                      and as witness the heart

                                      that once taught compassion

                                      until the days came to pass

                                      that crushed human feeling,

                                      I have taken an Oath:To remember it all…..

Please be with us on Monday evening as we both remember, and affirm “never again.”

                 Shabbat Shalom    

 

              Rabbi David Greenberg