A Bisl Torah

We Will Find a Way

Sinai Temple Religious School educator Elaine Seltzer shared the story of how her parents met:

Elaine’s mother and aunt were suffering in Auschwitz. Elaine’s mother was forever protecting her younger, more vulnerable sister and when her sister complained about the state of her shoes (they didn’t properly fit), she was determined to help. Proper fitting shoes were often the difference between life and death.

Elaine’s mother carefully went to the fence that separated the women’s and men’s camps. A high fence with electrical wiring on top to prevent any escapees. She called out to a young man and asked for his help. Seeing her, he couldn’t turn away. He agreed to help find this woman’s sister a pair of better fitting shoes.

For several days, Elaine’s mother would go back to the fence. The first pair of boots didn’t fit at all. The man vowed to find another a pair. He refused to let this caring woman down, especially in a place of perpetual fear and tragedy.

After receiving shoes that fit, Elaine’s mother told her sister, “I’m going to marry that man.” And yet, it was the man that managed to find this woman after the war, for he too was smitten with the woman that took such good care of her sister.

They married and now, their beloved daughter Elaine is the one that shares their story. As she spoke, I realized that Elaine’s testimony will soon be our direct link to the eye witness accounts of the Holocaust. We must encourage children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to speak, for they are our connection to the greatest horrors experienced by our people.

Recently, musical artist Matisyahu performed to raise awareness about an organization: If You Heard What I Heard. The organization documents grandchildren sharing the stories of their grandparents, all survivors of the Holocaust. Matisyahu brought on stage Holocaust survivors with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. With this visual and his songs of peace and courage ringing in our ears, it was clear: with our commitment to never forget, even through these pummeling times, we will find a way and rise again.

Shabbat Shalom

In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.

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