A letter to my daughter who is part of a youth delegation to the extermination camps in Poland

Corona disrupted the entire mega-project of high school trips to Poland. This year, the Ministry of Education decided, too late, to agree to leave for Poland for a limited number of schools. The vast majority of them were not able to prepare logistically in the short time remaining until Easter. Of the 18 delegations that planned to leave, only two remained, one of them is the studio of Amit Givat Shmuel, where our daughter studies.

Besides being preoccupied with administration and the endless paperwork that had to be prepared for the trip, parents of the students were asked to attach a personal letter that would be delivered to them today. Sarah Tiktinsky Kleiner and I chose to publish our message. In the editor’s opinion, it is presented here, with minor changes from the original text, rather than the usual article on current affairs.

Dear Polly,
The land you tread on these days is saturated with the blood of your people, many of whom died in extermination camps. Among them is a large part of the Kleiner family.
Your roots are in a specific geometric place at various points on the map of Europe including: the small towns in Belarus where your maternal grandparents immigrated to Israel in 1903, right after the Chisinau massacre, when you are exposed to a growing wave of anti-Semitism in Europe and come to the right conclusions.

The city of Tykocin, which you have already visited at the time of reading this post. Your connection to her is clear from your family name. The mother’s family name that you carry as part of your name. Sosnowiec, which is too small to pass through, but is the birthplace of your paternal grandparents. and the extermination camp Auschwitz, which you will continue to reach. In that camp and other extermination camps, many family members lost their lives.

May the encounter with the fate of your people and your family, many faces you did not know, bearing the same blood affinity, the same genetic burden, the same founding partnership for events like the Exodus and the giving of the Torah – will ripen to deepen your Jewish identity.

René Descartes coined the term: “I think, I mean I exist.” We believe that in the correct coordination of intent, you can testify for yourself: I am a Jew, that is, I am a human being. Because this Judaism is from one leg: a recipe for human life as human beings. A recipe for a meaningful human life. It is possible to be a Jew living a meaningful life in exile. But the realization of Judaism and the extraction of its meaning exist only in the Land of Israel. Where the roots are normal. You inhale it with oxygen, drink it in water, and taste it with fruity flavours.

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Some people ask themselves how it is possible to walk in the desert for 40 years, when you are so close to home. Exile is evidence of the possibility of walking in the desert even for two thousand years. We needed a national awakening in Europe, in new nations compared to our people, so that our old people would also wake up. Contrary to popular belief, the Holocaust was not the event that led to the resurrection of the Jewish people in their country. The revival of the people began many years ago, when the idea of ​​nationalism spread and matured throughout Europe.

The Holocaust, despite its terrible power, was but a small blow to the people’s eternal wing. This is a difficult sentence to say. Behold, Pharaoh judged boys only. White Aramaic, Agag and Haman, who came from them, imposed on them all – but their advice was violated. Hitler condemned them all and almost succeeded, but failed in the endless chronology. It is she who stood with our fathers and us – delivered us from him. The Jewish people fell forever and got back on their feet. He was re-established in his ancestral land and still fights and struggles daily for his right to life as a people in his own country.

There are those who believe that in the modern world of the Internet and flights around the world, life as a people is less important. A language bridge can be built between all the people in the world. The new Tower of Babel will be built using advanced technology. So, in this utopian philosophical view, national origin is meaningless.
So here comes a new war in Europe and is spreading across the utopia. He reveals to us that the human race is divided into families on Earth.

Family, family and their own land. Time and time again they reveal to us that part of the meaning of human life is the desire to die for certain values, without which life has no meaning, i.e. a taste that is literally meaningless. The people of Ukraine are ready to die to live the life of freedom in their country and not be trampled under the Russian occupation, although they understand each other’s language very well.

Judaism also, which established the rule of “supervising the spirit rejecting the Sabbath”, established three values ​​that were defined as “to be killed and not to pass.” That is, the values ​​that determine the value of life, which are sublime except in three cases, in which the Jew is required to show his willingness to die: foreign labor, bloodshed, and incest.
To be a Jew is to be a person who chooses life in all but these three situations. In our Book of Life, we actually set out the rule that if there are no values ​​one must be willing to die for – there is no value to life as human beings at all. This is in fact permissible for humans from beasts. Does the animal have anything it can do to survive that it will choose to avoid?

As you stand over the mass grave pits of your people in Europe, you stand on the edge of an abyss that nearly covered the possibility of your birth. But you, Polly, bearing the name of your grandmother Paula, left Auschwitz – you were born in the land of your ancestors and also won the second name: witness, which means that we will stay with you forever to live in his land of Israel forever. Here forever (Paula-ad).

But in order to live in our country, we must believe in our right to live in it. We need to feel the importance of our Judaism. To be a people alone who dwells and Gentiles will not be taken into account – it is a burden. But it is ten times better than the scattering of one people among the nations. Shipping is better than flight. The burden of living as Jews, living as Jews and sharpening our national identity in our country is not easy. It is sometimes seen as an elitist concession to other peoples. But when we lower ourselves to a place with all peoples, a state for all its citizens – we soon find ourselves as a wandering people scattered in exile, and the end of exile is known.

The end of the exile with a journey from all the countries of the world to the Land of Israel, and on a journey from the Land of Israel to Poland. There, every Jewish boy and girl stands on the ruins of wonderful Jewish communities. Ashkenazi Jews and Eastern Jews. Germanic, Hungarian, Polish, Thessalonian, and Libyan Jews. It was the unity of destiny of all Jews, regardless of their ethnic origin.

Between the burden and the journey We as parents want you to feel like a proud Jew and a landowner in your ancestral land. This land on which we thrive and grow is the physical and spiritual foundation that also grows us. But we understand that one should not rest on laurels. The Jewish identity must be nurtured so that it is not lost in the light of the explosion of material and even cultural fauna in the Land of Israel.

Blood and sweat are not water. Our mission after the Holocaust is to work for the continued rehabilitation of the Jewish people, both physically and spiritually. Having children and raising them to be Jews related to their heritage, their people, and their country. We hope to increase the trip to Poland. That you will return to Israel with a deeper and broader understanding of your Judaism. Remember that Judaism is a recipe for humanity. That you will return to Israel in recognition that living in the light of Judaism assures you that you can say to yourself every morning

When you open your eyes and make sure that the spirit given to you is still within you: I am a Jew, that is, I am a human being.
We love you and wish you a Jewish gift: Shabbat Shalom.
my father and my mother

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