Friday, June 21, 2013

How do you mend a broken chain

My post today is inspired by part of the JWRP itinerary which includes a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.  I remember when I walked through the museum.  It felt raw, and part of me felt like I was a piece of a broken chain.

My mother's parents left Lodz, Poland in the later 1930's as things were getting unstable.  They left their families behind and started a new life in Uruguay (and later moved to Israel).

My mother said that one uncle was sent away to Russia and survived the war.  He married a non Jew, and as far as she knew, no one ever heard from him again.  Everyone else died in the Shoah, the Holocaust.

My mom knows very little of her grandparents or even great grandparents.  We know that one was a Mikvah lady.  We know they were Orthodox Jews.  That pretty much sums it up.

It makes me sad that all their stories are gone.  I don't know how they lived or what happened to them.

My mom lost touch with her brother who may have some of this information.  I recently wrote in to Yad Vashem to see if there was any testimony on my relatives that died in the Shoah, but they didn't have any information either.  I feel like every route leads to an end with no answers.

Part of me feels that every mitzvah I do, is also for them.  In their memories, in their honour.  They died because they were Jews, and I will live and teach my son to love our Jewish spirituality, to find G-d-liness in himself and his neighbours.  And I hope in some way, that will mend the chain.

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