During our TSTI Mission to Israel this past December, a number of our teens participated in one of the most moving ceremonies. The group spent time in the Yad VaShem Museum and then made their way through the chilling Children’s Memorial. Dedicated to the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis, the darkened room is filled with the light of memorial candles “reflected infinitely in a dark and somber space.” As one walks through, the names of murdered children, along with their ages and countries of origin, can be softly heard filling the space. It is a stark reminder of the horrors of those dark days.
Shaken by the experience, the group emerged from the Children’s Memorial and we made our way to the bright new beautiful synagogue next to it. After taking some time to process the experience, we pointed out that while they heard the names and ages of some of the murdered children, each precious soul was much more than a name and an age. To better honor the lives lost, a number of our teens “twinned” with a child who perished in the Holocaust. They received a picture, biographical information and, if available, additional facts about their “twin.”
Our teens pledged to honor their twin by sharing their story and, in effect, “becoming their Kaddish.” (i.e., they would take on the responsibility to honor, remember, and mourn the child with whom they were paired.) As part of that commitment some of our TSTI teens have recorded videos about their twin. Please take a few moments to help them fulfill their pledge. Watch the videos, learn about these precious lost lives and help us keep their memories alive. That is truly what it means to ZACHOR… to remember.
I look forward to seeing you at the 46th Annual Remember & Tell SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service this Sunday. The Rally of Remembrance will take place at 3:15pm on our front lawn and the Remembrance Service will begin at 4pm in the sanctuary in the Bass Sanctuary Building.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen