OJC’s March of the Living, Day 5, The March
I am not taking the easy way out. Today was a day far more about images than words. And so I have chosen to share images with you. Images of a wet and dreary day at Auschwitz that evolved into a bright afternoon upon our entrance into Birkenau, the death camp that we filled today with life. Friends and families were reunited today in spirit and in person. Tears were shed for the horrors, and laughter was shared to protect us and to reaffirm life. A Torah scroll was completed at the end of the march in front of 12,000 people, and we sang Hatikvah firmly committed to our hope and faith in the future. Horrific reminders of death were balanced by personal encounters with resilience and courage. I hope the images below can provide a small measure of what we will carry in our minds and hearts forever.
Tomorrow morning we depart for Budapest. It will be a long bus ride through the hills of Slovakia. You will here from me again, God willing, on Wednesday. I leave you with a thought from Anne Frank that Rabbi Drill shared with me: A candle both defines and defies the darkness. If the soul is the lamp of God, then we too can both define and defy the darkness. And that is why we are here.
Am Yisrael Chai,
Rabbi Craig Scheff