This past Kabbalat Shabbat our beloved Arlette Baker spoke to us about her experiences surviving the war, in particular, surviving the loss of her parents at age four.
Loss does not begin to describe the horror of imagining Arlette watching her parents taken away from their love-filled home in Paris, taken only because they were Jews. Eventually they were murdered at Auschwitz. For being Jews.
The industrialized murders of the Shoah are almost impossible to comprehend. As we heard Arlette speak to us, we were all overcome with sadness, hearts breaking at such a catastrophe happening – and it is truly beyond our capacity to imagine that one story told six million times plus over. How do we hold such loss in our hearts? How does hearing these stories – as personal and immediate or as distanced they may be move us into action?
We have several opportunities these coming weeks to honour those memories, to hear stories and stand for moments of connection with each other. Federation has sent out bulletins providing information about virtual ceremonies for Yom haShoah, Yom haZikaron and Yom haAtzmaut. We have included invitations this week in this newsletter. Please take time to attend if you are at all able. We cannot abandon the memory of our peoples, who suffered such unfathomable loss, to ever disappear from our ears and our mouths. We must speak their memory into our own.
Love to all,