Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Memorials


from the website of Yad Vashem - Jerusalem, Israel

Holocaust Remembrance Day - Yom HaShoah

The Shoah spanned years with suffering and death spread throughout these years of terror. No one day stood out as representative of this destruction. The Zionists in Israel, many of whom had fought in the ghettos or as partisans, wanted to commemorate the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising - April 19, 1943. But this date on the Hebrew calendar was the 15th of Nisan - the beginning of Passover. Thus, the 27th of Nissan was chosen which falls beyond Passover but within the time span of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. On April 12, 1951, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) proclaimed Yom HaShoah U’Mered HaGetaot (Holocaust and Ghetto Revolt Remembrance Day) to be the 27th of Nisan. The name later became simplified to Yom HaShoah.

Cattle Car
- Memorial to the Deportees (1995) by Moshe Safdie (b. 1938) Wood and Metal

alt The Memorial to the Deportees was established at Yad Vashem ( as a monument to the millions of Jews herded onto cattle-cars and transported from all over Europe to the extermination camps. An original cattle-car, appropriated by the German Railway authorities and given to Yad Vashem by the Polish authorities, stands at the center of the memorial site. It stands on an iron track which juts out from the slopes of Yad Vashem into the Judean hillside. The cattle-car is perched on the edge of the severed track, paused on the brink of the abyss. Although symbolizing the journey towards annihilation and oblivion, facing as it does the hills of Jerusalem the memorial also conveys the hope and the gift of life of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, eternal capital of the Jewish people. (In a cattle car to the death camp-testimony of a survivor)

"Over 100 people were packed into our cattle car.. .it is impossible to describe the tragic situation in our airless, closed car. Everyone tried to push his way to a small air opening. I found a crack in one of the floorboards into which I pushed my nose to get a little air. The stench in the cattle car was unbearable. People were defecating in all four corners of the car... After some time, the train suddenly stopped. A guard entered the car. He had come to rob us. He took everything that had not been well hidden: money, watches, valuables... Water! We pleaded with railroad workers. We would pay them well... I paid 500 zlatys and received a cup of water-about half a liter. As I began to drink, a woman, whose child had fainted, attacked me. She was determined to make me leave her a little water. I did leave a bit of water at the bottom of the cup, and watched the child drink. The situation in the cattle car was deteriorating. The car was sweltering in the sun. The men lay half naked. Some of the women lay in their undergarments. People struggled to get some air, and some no longer moved... The train reached the camp. Many lay inert on the cattle car floor. Some were no longer alive."

Children's Memorial
– Yad Vashem Israel

alt This unique memorial, hollowed out from an underground cavern, is a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust. Memorial candles, a customary Jewish tradition to remember the dead, are reflected infinitely in a dark and somber space, creating the impression of millions of stars shining in the firmament. The names of murdered children, their ages and countries of origin can be heard in the background.

The children's names are taken from Pages of Testimony in the Hall of Names, Yad Vashem. The Children's Memorial was designed by architect Moshe Safdie and built with the generous donation of Abe and Edita Spiegel, whose son Uziel was murdered in Auschwitz at the age of two and a half.

The Hall of Remembrance
– Yad Vashem Israel

alt A solemn tent-like structure that allows visitors to pay their respects to the memories of the martyred dead. On the floor are the names of some of the Nazi murder sites throughout Europe, and in front of the memorial flame lies a crypt containing ashes of victims. Memorial ceremonies are held here.


Also, please visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, CA

and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.,

 The Survivors who came to Ben David

 The Number

 The Denial

 The Facts


Weekly Scripture Reading



June 24 / Sivan 30, 5777

Parashah: Korach - "Korah"

— Torah:
(Bamidbar) Numbers 16:1 – 18:32

— Haftarah:
1 Samuel 11:14 — 12:22

Just as in the rebellion of Korach when it was necessary for Yehovah to reveal those who were approved, so, too, in a congregation of believers it may be necessary for God to use the rebellion of some to reveal the true believers as the apostle Shaul encountered in the assembly at Corinth: "When you come together as a kehilla I hear there exist divisions among you, and partly I believe it. For it is necessary also for factions among you in order that those who are approved may become manifest among you"...

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