Yesterday, in anticipation of Yom HaShoah, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies hosted child Holocaust survivor Rena Quint to tell her story. Her testimony is powerful. This meditation is based on her words, quoting her almost verbatim in the first and third stanzas. Here’s my six-prayer liturgy for Yom HaShoah.
Fathers and Mothers: A Holocaust Memory
Fathers are supposed to keep their promises
To their daughters.
My father promised that it would be okay.
He didn’t keep his promise.
Not one of them.
Not one of my family survived.
There were six extermination camps.
Six at the heart of evil.
What did my mother look like?
What did she smell like?
What color were her eyes?
What color was her hair?
Did she ever give me a kiss?
There were six million
Fathers and mothers.
Sons and daughters.
Bubbes and Zaydes.
And some of us survived.
Soon, we will be gone.
Will you keep your promise?
© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.
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