‘I’ve never been to the Western Wall at sundown on a Friday’

The 2010 Family Mission to Israel

The 2010 Family Mission to Israel

Friday, December 24

 By Delegate Sandy Rosenberg

Several compelling moments at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial, this morning and at the Western Wall this Sabbath eve.

Jews watching their synagogue burn on Kristallnacht. When the dome falls, the reaction reminds me of the towers falling on 9/11. Archives of the Warsaw ghetto were saved in milk jars. The Dead Sea scrolls were saved in vases. I knew Dr. Samuel Iwry, who authenticated the latter.

Jan Karski, a leader in the Polish underground, relates his meeting with FDR to inform him about the concentration camps. “We shall win this war,” Karski intones the President. “Justice shall prevail afterwards.”

Trees were planted at the museum to honor the righteous among the nations – non-Jews who resisted the Nazis and aided Jews. But there were too many and they’ve stopped planting trees. They are honored in another way.

The Nuremburg rallies remind me of the vile comparison that some right wingers made to the Obama acceptance speech in Denver.

***

I’ve never been to the Western Wall at sundown on a Friday when it’s been so crowded. In addition to observant Jews, there are countless tourists.

Our dinner is in a yeshiva overlooking the Wall. By 8:30 p.m., there are two people praying. The contrast is startling and moving.

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