Its almost 1am in Krakow and as you just heard from Ariella and Alex, we just spent the day at Auschwitz and Birkinau. Both camps are incredibly large and each year, I find that there are always new area’s to visit.
One of those new places that we have never been to… was an area of Birkenau that is often locked and off limits to visitors. I am referring to the Women’s barracks and the Children’s Barracks. The women’s barracks were used as a holding area until space opened in the crowded gas chambers. Because they were already issued a death sentence, they had to live in the barracks with absolutely no food or water and often died due to starvation, even before they made it to the Gas chambers.
The second place was the children’s barracks, just imagine a large, dark wooden structure that was freezing cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer, and all it contained were wooden beds that 5 children had to share.
This was a place for little children who had been torn away from their parents upon arrival and had no one to turn to anymore. There was no mommy or daddy to run too when they were scared at night and no parents to help them when they were in pain. As we entered the fridged cold building we all reflected on the emotions we were feeling and then sang a song together.
At that moment it started to pour and we got up to Daven Mincha. You could hear and feel the children tears pouring down from heaven as they hit the roof.
There was no doubt in any of our minds that these children were comforted by the special prayers that were offered in their barracks – the Children’s Barracks.
I must tell you that the group of teenagers that are on our bus from WYHS, Donna Klein, and JSU clubs from local public and private high schools are a very special group.
I want to thank Rabbi Goldberg for his support of the March of the Living and also Dan Katz and the Executive Board and Board of Directors of Boca Raton Synagogue. I also want to thanks Simone for letting me go once again on this special trip and my mom and kids for helping while I’m away.
You – the members of Boca Raton Synagogue - should be very proud because for the second year in a row BRS is the only local synagogue in Palm Beach County to send a Rabbi to support the emotional and religious needs of the teenagers.
Finally, as we are about to leave in morning for the actual March of the Living – and walk arm in arm from Aushwitz to Birkenau - with 8,000 teenagers from around the world, I would just like to thank and acknowledge all of the survivors in our community for continuing to be a source of strength and inspiration to all of us and especially the youth.
We are here to make sure that there will be a bright Jewish Future.