A Glimpse Of Our History
By Richard Friedman,
BJF-LJCC Executive Director
In those quiet moments, the ones that often fly right by us unless we consciously stop to absorb them, important truths can be found.
One came for me the other day. I was glancing at Facebook and noticed that a Facebook friend (who also is a good friend in real life) had “liked” something I had posted. I glanced at the friend’s picture — which is pretty much one’s Facebook signature — and thought for a moment.
I was at home, the new Jewish year had just begun, and the sun was shining brilliantly through the window where I was sitting. In the picture, this friend had a big smile on her face and was happily holding her grandchildren.
I had known this friend’s parents well. Now deceased, they both were Holocaust survivors with harrowing stories of bravery, miracles and God watching over them, that allowed them to survive. Now, their children, including my friend in the picture, are grandparents. Time has passed and this family is three generations removed from the Nazi death camps.
Though in this retelling my momentary reflections may seem somber, they really were — and are — upbeat. That Facebook picture, as much as any picture, captures the triumph of the Jewish people. We are here, despite the efforts of Hitler and his henchmen to annihilate us. This triumph is part of what every Jew should remember and celebrate as each new year begin.
In that Facebook picture, and in all of the children and grandchildren we’ve birthed since the Holocaust is a triumph — a continued affirmation of the indestructible nature of Judaism and the Jewish people, despite powerful efforts to destroy us.
All of this from a quick glimpse of a Facebook picture on a quiet sunlit morning: In the quietest and most fleeting of moments, important truths can be found.