Israel - December 2005

Shalom from Israel December 2005

Nathaniel & I are here for a brief visit with our youngest son, Michael, his wife Rachel, and their 3 children, Gavriel, Dahlia and Yoav. And their 2 dogs and one cat – can’t forget them!

Although it is the rainy season here in Israel, a time when there needs to be much rain to sustain the crops during the long, hot and dry summer months, except for a passing shower or two, we have had glorious, beautiful, sunny and mild weather. For us, no complaints!

On one of our several visits up to Jerusalem we toured the new, large and incredible addition to the already huge and impressive Yad v’Shem, Israel’s national Holocaust Museum. It is both important and necessary to visit and re-visit this very special museum, to see the new exhibits, and reflect on the horrendous atrocities committed during the Holocaust, and to hope, pray and work towards the day when man will learn to live in peace with one another. 

The planners, historians, architects and designers did an out standing job of constructing this newest addition. “The new Holocaust Museum’s nine underground galleries tell the story of the Shoah (Holocaust) from the point of view of the Jews. The chronological and thematic narrative is punctuated by a look into the world of Jews who lived – and died – under the Nazis and their collaborators. The exhibits incorporate a wide variety of original artifacts, testimonies, photographs, documentation, art, multimedia, and video art.”

The exhibit walls are long and triangular in shape, and well laid out, with crystal clear videos recounting survivors’ stories, and with incredible archival films showing the degradation and finality to the lives of the 6 millions Jews murdered, among them 1 ½ million children.

As we come to the last long row of exhibits, we could not help but notice that the triangular walls that had given us the impression of being “hemmed-in,” a feeling that we all had in the “camps,” the walls suddenly curve outwards, and opened wide, to expose the beautiful and eternal city of Jerusalem. It was simply breathtaking and thrilling on the day of our visit, when the sun shone so brightly. I had to think and believe at that moment in time that our world was finally going in the right direction.

The week before coming to Israel we were in Florida, visiting our children living there, and I spoke in several schools, including Holy Name of Jesus School in Indialantic and the Melbourne Central Catholic High School.

Our son David and his wife Lisa, and their 4 children, Jordan Erica, Hunter, Ian and Kasey Rose, live in Vero Beach. There, I spoke in Jordan’s school, Beachland Elementary (Hunter & Ian are also students in this school). 

What is so interesting is that in Vero Beach I spoke in Jordan’s school, and in Israel, I spoke in Dahlia’s school, Ulpanat Noga, located in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

A different feeling overtakes me when speaking with a grandchild in the audience. I feel privileged to have survived, to have 3 wonderful children married to wonderful and caring spouses, nine beautiful grandchildren, and a mother, who with G-D’s help, will celebrate her 98th birthday on February 7, 2006.

The coming months will be busy ones for us, with much traveling around our beautiful United States. In early January we will be in Arizona, and later in the month, back in Illinois. 

Please check my schedule on the web site. Perhaps I will be in your area some time in the near future, and I would love to see you.

For those with access to PBS station, WTVP-47 in the Peoria, Illinois area, please watch the Ed Sutkowski Show on Friday night, December 30, at 8:00 PM, or again on Sunday, January 1, at 10:30 PM. 

This interview was taped in November. Many thanks to Ed Sutkowski, Linda Washkuhn and WTVP-47 for helping me pass the legacy of the Holocaust on to future generations.

I wish you and yours a happy Holiday Season, and a healthy & productive New Year of 2006, in a world of love and peace.

Marion (and Nathaniel, too)