Call to Prayer (Day 2 from Cleansing Thoughts)
The cold reality of what I was about to witness was first seen in a sculpture called Adolescence Broken Off, which stood on the cavern cradling the Children's Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance. This memorial is for the 1.5 million children who perished during the Holocaust. The money to fund the sculpture was donated by the surviving parents of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy who was put to death in Auschwitz. The memorial consist of several square pillars standing in rows like children lined up for a portrait. The ashen color of the stone, standing so still, was hard enough to bear until I noticed that the top of the pillars was left uncut and unfinished, just as the lives of these children were cut off before they were given the chance to live them. When I first entered the Hall of Remembrance, my eyes met with portraits, suspended from the ceiling, of the innocent children; the silence was deafening, broken only by the reading of their names, ages, and place of birth. Next, we were told to place our hand on a rail, and as we inched our way forward, we were led into a darkened room covered from ceiling to floor with glass. In the center of the room was a pedestal arranged with candles. The flames reflecting from the glass appeared to be thousands of little starts reaching towards heaven. As we were led outside, not a word was spoken by anyone. many were crying; others just walked away silently with the cold reality they had just seen and heard etched on their faces.
This wasn't a place you just saw with your eyes, but with your heart. For me, it was a silent reality that was more devastating than I could have ever imagined. The images left in my mind and on my heart from that day would remain with me forever. To this day when I remember the tears still flow freely.
Over the years, the strength of the Jewish people has been seen as they continue to strive in overcoming this terrible tragedy. On the Day of Remembrance, a poem entitled "Unto Every Person There Is a Name" is read to perpetuate the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust as individuals. The opening stanza reads, "Unto every person there is a name, bestowed on him my God, and given to him by his parents." (The only name that appeared on the poem was Zelda)
Six million Jews died a tragic senseless death, of whom one and a half million were children, while the world, for the most part, remained silent. This day servers to remind those who will listen to never allow a human life to die in vain, for all must be remembered in the eyes of man and in the eyes of God.