The End of the war in Poland - 1945 or 1988? Struggling for memory
When I was wandering around the Polin Museum in Warsaw, looking for inspiration. I started looking at the people surrounding the museum and the numerous monuments around, and started people-gazing. A large tourist groups was listening carefully to their speaking about the extraordinary history of the place, an Israeli youth movement was conducting a memorial ceremony at the large monument, but one image captured my attention:
Under the weeping willow, standing near a hidden small monument commemorating the Poles who assisted the Jewish community in WW2, was a young boy, pulling his mother’s skirt, demanding she explain and translate what was written there.
I was fascinated by the continuum, the inter-generation connection, the message of hope and continuation, It’s the young generation responsibility to pick up the torch that the older generation is passing on, telling the story.
It reminded me of a Hasidic tale about the Ba’al Shem Tov, who used to go into the forest, every time his flock needed help and prayer. He went to a specific place in the woods, lit a candle and prayed. After the Ba’al Shem Tov’s passing, his successor, the Maggid of Mezritch said, „I don’t know exactly where the Ba’al Shem Tov went, but I’ll simply act.” So he lit the candle in the forest and prayed. In the next generation, the disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch, RABBI Moshe Leib said, “I don’t even know how to do what is necessary, but I’ll just tell the story of what the Ba’al Shem Tov did, and God will help…..”