Yom Hashoa

Why George didn’t stand for the siren

Why George didn’t stand for the siren

One of the most important days In Israel is today: Yom HaShoah. The day we commemorate the Holocaust.

And one of the most terrible sounds in the whole world is the siren on Yom HaShoah. It’s the sound of every mother and daughter and father and son, every sister and brother and lover and friend screaming from that miserable maw of humanity, that sound mixed down into one keening wail.

But one of the most moving sites in the whole world is what happens in Israel during the siren on Yom HaShoah. The entire country grinds to a halt.

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Posted by Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A chest full of medals at Yad Vashem

A chest full of medals at Yad Vashem

Six survivors were honored to light memorial torches at Yad Vashem, Moshe Ha-Elion, Moshe Jakubowitz, Jeannine Sebbane-Bouhanna, Max Privler, Moshe Porat, and Elka Abramovitz. A child or grandchild assisted in lighting the flames. A video recalling the harrowing experience in the Shoah was shown for each survivor. The audience sitting in the bitter cold plaza was silent during each amazing story of survival.

While each story was riveting, the story and chest full of medal’s of Max Privler stood out. His Yad Vashem biography states, “Privler was born in 1931 in the village of Mikulichin in Poland (now Ukraine) to David and Malka, the second of four children. His family owned land, factories, shops, and even a school and a synagogue.

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Posted by Sharon Altshul in Essays
Even the Beggar Stood

Even the Beggar Stood

The Dearly Beloved and I went to Yerushalayim today to meet with friends.

As we made our way down Yafo Street, I realized that people were beginning to stand and aim their cameras at some point up the street. Being curious about what they were looking at, and completely having pushed the significance of the day out of mind, I stopped and looked at them. Suddenly, the moment they were anticipating came: the siren began its terrible-yet-comforting wail to mark the moment of silence in memory of our brave, broken, betrayed brethren.

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Posted by Ruti Eastman in Essays

Pausing to remember

Jerusalem eateries, normally bustling at this hour, all closed out of respect for Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Posted by Avi Mayer in Images
Only the cats moved

Only the cats moved

When the siren, sounding mournful, echoed through the Western Wall plaza, only the cats remained in motion running free. I was crossing towards the women’s section and had heard the chanting of a bar mitzvah boy, the laughter of children, and the pedantic tones of a plethora of tour guides before the siren.

When the siren ceased, the plaza at the Kotel kicked into gear. Tour guides waving flags, children laughing, and the return to prayer. The bar mitzvah continued until you could hear the joyful singing of praise for the young man. The women of the family peered over the mechitza laughing and clapping.

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Posted by Irene Rabinowitz in Essays
From Poland to the Western Wall

From Poland to the Western Wall

The night sky was purple when we landed in Ben Gurion airport, but I didn’t notice it.

I sat in the plane, and looked around, too disoriented to get up. Everything that remained somewhat unreal back in Poland crashed on me all at once. How could this plane, full of people pulling bags from overhead compartments and discussing their travel plans, exist after Auschwitz? How could people bear to joke and complain and talk about mundane nothings in a world that witnessed the last stand of the Warsaw Ghetto?

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Essays