Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Following My Daughter’s Journey

Miriam Klein Adelman

The halls are filled with the sounds of Torah of the rabbanim whose gravesites we will visit, the sounds of girls preparing themselves to visit the towns of great chassidic leaders and the desolate fields of the death camps, and the sight of students readying themselves to face whatever emotional and spiritual challenges lie in Poland. The above is an excerpt from an e-mail from my daughter before she left to Poland on a tour last week. On the itinerary was Auschwitz, Majdanek, and an array of cemeteries.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

train“Polandis a giant graveyard,” Avigayil said to me in a phone conversation while on her trip. “I feel like I’m walking on bones and blood.” And in an e-mail: “Polandis so scary. I’ve never felt so unsafe in my life and never wanted to be home so badly. Especially since I just watched Schindler’s List and I’m in the place where it all happened.”

She is 18, and my husband and I questioned if this was the right thing for her seminary to do. The seminary apparently feels very strongly about it. It’s mandatory for any student who attends. My mother-in-law, anAuschwitzsurvivor, was — I’m going to use the word “happy,” for want of a better one — that her grandaughter was going. Before the trip, she gave Avigayil her “number” and other specific details of her life in the camps, too gruesome to even contemplate.

I looked at the itinerary of their trip that was e-mailed me and cried for a half hour. All the names of the towns inPoland— the names that I grew up hearing about, even though I do not have a Polish background — jumped out at me. Krakow,Warsaw, Zamosc,Lublin,Kielce. Our heritage as Jews. Now it’s one mammoth cemetery. There is no — or very little — Jewish life there. Avigayil’s glad about that. She saysPolandis ugly.

What effect will this trip have on her, I wonder?

Her grandmother said to her before she left, “I just want you to know that everything you will see and hear when you go there is true.” 

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without