Posts tagged Holocaust
Yom HaShoah #TorahForTheResistance: Humanization as Resistance

 

When I woke up election morning, I was struck by the awful irony it was the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Just 78 years earlier on the day America elected a right-wing populist to office, my grandfather Frank Shurman awoke to a world that was hiding in plain sight. Election day morning, 78 years later, many of us also woke to an America that had perhaps been more or less visible to each of us, depending on our privilege. Since Election Day I have been sitting with the images of resistance my grandfather’s story offers me as it continues to echo across time. The story he told about what happened 78 years earlier gave me an image of resistance I’ve carried with me most of my life. But recently I’ve discovered another story of resistance, one he didn’t tell me when he was alive.

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Descended From Trauma Enriched By Hope

The first person to toast my sister and her fiancé at their rehearsal dinner was a descendent of Mrs. Hamilton. She recalled her grandmother, a “righteous gentile” who had sponsored our grandfather and his family to immigrate to America in 1938. She described how delighted our grandparents would be to see our families gathered together for this celebratory moment. I wasn’t the only one moved to tears by the way she brought their memories into this rite of passage in our family.

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Telling Stories of Trauma for Healing and Compassion (Parshat Ki Tetzei, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

On the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, a group in Japan launched a project in which storytellers are training to retell the experiences of survivors. My grandfather participated in a similar project 20 years ago, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which sought to collect testimony from survivors before the experience of the Holocaust was lost to the world. My family’s participation in this project instilled in me the belief that these stories, though painful, should be actively remembered and repeated.

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