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Life of Yeshiva Guys in Israel: From Whence the Inspiration

Life of Yeshiva Guys in Israel

A Pictorial, Vidorial, and Textorial Panorama of the Life of Yeshiva Guys in Eretz Yisroel (Israel). Join us as we discover Eretz Yisroel and all it has to offer Yeshiva Bochurim.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

From Whence the Inspiration

Yad Vashem.

I went the other day. I admit it. Yes, I know that Briskers love nothing more than hating on it.
Yes, I know that it is an edifice of and to pure apikorsus. But I also know that
every time I go, and I've been a few times, I find myself inspired anew.

Inspired, you ask, trying to figure that last as your re-read that sentence, your mind having expected a depressed there. But yes, Inspired. In the same way that Sem girls chap tremendous hisragshus from their semi-mandatory hospital visits to "do" bikur cholim. And walking out of Yad Vashem is like departing a hospital filled with dead people...only its so much more sad.

So whence comes the inspiration, you ask?

From one simple poem, easy to miss, towards the exit, right at the end of the Auschwitz set. It is painted on the wall, and it's a poem/paragraph that hits you in the face and goes BAM.

I don't recall the exact order it is presented in, but it's similar to this:

Amen. Auschwitz. Yehei. Belzec. Shemei. Bergen-Belsen. Rabbah. Chelmno. M'Varach. Thereseinstadt. L'Olam. Treblinka. U'Lolmai. Sobibor. Olmaya. Babi Yar.

I've attempted to track the author of this down, but couldn't find a precise origin for it. It seems to be in several more modern/non-frum siddurim as "The Holocaust Kaddish", but again, without a mekor.
So what's so amazing about that? A Kaddish tefillah, with the names of the camps intersposed between the words? What's so inspirational in a zecher, if you will, of all of the Yidden of the camps in one kaddish?

The answer is a fusion of a little of R' Avigdor Miller, the Satmar Rav, and what has since been established, more or less, as the Yiddishe "kuk" on WWII. And when viewed through this lens, the above liturgical lament becomes far more than a simple mass mourning.

It becomes the cry of faith expressed by Yidden the ages through. It metamorphoses into a validation of faith that we will continue articulate not despite our trials, but because of them.

Amen. Auschwitz
. We believe, with our hearts and souls, that You were there. Yehei. Treblinka. And that You made Your Name great there. Etc.

I can't think of a single paragraph that moving. Anywhere.

And that's why I become inspired every time I go.

So the next time you go, make sure you view it with the correct outlook; you'll end up being inspired, if not sad as well.

May His Name be blessed.

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