"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 2015

Today is the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nissan 5775, and that means that it is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2015.  I actually forgot what today was until I got to the main street of my college campus on my way to class, where there was a table set up by the Jewish fraternity, and students were reading out loud the names and ages of victims, and where they were killed, as part of a 24 hour vigil.  They offered me a big sticker (think bumper sticker size) that said "NEVER FORGET" with a picture of barbed wire over the words, and I took it and plastered it on my shirt because I didn't have anywhere else to put it.  I will wear it until I go to bed tonight, as my part of remembering.

As a Jew, I obviously have a connection to the Holocaust, but my personal connection goes even deeper than that.  There is a town in Poland called Wolbrum.  In Wolbrum, Poland, lived a family by the name of Dafner.  When I was at the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC a few years back, I looked up the Dafners in the records room.  There is just a short list--maybe fifteen or twenty of them--but they all come from Wolbrum and they were all my relatives.  None survived.  I also looked up my own last name (which I will not share over the internet for safety reasons).  In the Warsaw Ghetto alone, there were about three hundred people with my last name.  Obviously not all of them were related to me; however, I know some of them were.

Once when I was at one of these 24 hour vigils, I looked over the shoulder of the reader when s/he (it was a long time ago, and I don't remember who was reading) got to Dafner to see if I could catch names.  I only saw one: Ruth Dafner.  Here is my part of remembering the Holocaust: Ruth Dafner.  Ruth Dafner.  Ruth Dafner.

I thank God for America, where I am safe and free and majoring in Jewish studies.  Where I prayed in my room this morning and will pray again, publicly in the library, this afternoon.  Where I am writing a paper contrasting two Jewish philosophers, and reading a book by another.  Where I can peacefully and securely make my home.

Thank You, God.

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!