Another update from the Buffalo MOMentum group in Israel! Thank you Lisa Balderman Rosenfeld and Rebecca Shaw for your thoughtful words!
Today we went to Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Memorial in Israel. As a first generation American on my father’s side and the grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors, it’s hard to capture with words the experience. My father was born in a displaced persons camp in Austria after the war to parents who were survivors. His father had a wife and five children murdered by the Nazis. Listening to our Israeli tour leader guide us through the museum and later to Har Hertzel, my biggest take away is that a Jew is a Jew. It does not matter your level of observance or even if you personally consider yourself non practicing, secular, or even a convert to the outside world. To people who are antisemetic, you are always seen as Jewish even if you try to hide from your own identity. We learned that the Israeli army is not only the army for the State of Israel, but the army to protect the entire Jewish People. Am Yisrael Chai.
Sometimes the hardest thing to say to someone we love is “I’m sorry”, or “I forgive you”, or “thank you”. For Momentum moms, the love for Israeli soldiers started before we even entered Israel, and expressing gratitude for their service was easy. We were asked to have our children write letters of thanks to the Israeli soldiers and we would hand deliver the letters and cards to them. When one Israeli soldier received three beautiful handmade cards, she glowed with joy, pride and love.
When you show unconditional love, miracles happen. It is said that the highest form of mitzvah is when the person who shared with someone else does not receive anything in return – no thank you, no name recognition, nothing. This is the kind of mitzvah that the Israeli soldiers do for Jews across the globe. And we, Buffalonians, are proud to say THANK YOU.