Today I was invited by my dear friend, Tamar, to a very special Chanukah party, of which I was super excited to go; but with only one hang up…it was in Yiddish.
Forgive me, but my Yiddish isn’t exactly up to par right now… in fact it’s non-existant! Focusing on Hebrew and Arabic just took up too much of my energy, so Yiddish was put on the back burner (well, to be honest it never made it to the stove at all).
Language barriers aside, I went and had a most wonderful time!
Sufganiyot, Lighting of the Chanukah Candles, Songs in Yiddish and Hebrew, a Special Yiddish Choir Performance, and even Israeli singer/actor Yoni Eilat to sing some songs…. all of it made the party enjoyable.
But what struck me the most as I sat and listened to these incredible men and women, was the strength within those four walls! These are Holocaust Survivors! These are Israeli Immigrants! These are Israel’s eyes and ears from the very beginning of this country! They are soldiers, fighters, prisoners, the exiled. They are sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas!
They have experienced incredible love and loss throughout their years… more than most of us can ever imagine! And here they are, all together, celebrating Chanukah in their native tongue, Yiddish.
During a reading from the time of the Holocaust in Germany, I glanced at the woman sitting across the table from me; and though I didn’t understand much of the story the man was telling, the moistness in her eyes and the expression on her face said it all… it was a precious moment I will not forget.
It might have only been 2 hours of singing, celebrating, and remembering for most of the people in that room; but for me it was probably the most meaningful Chanukah Party I have ever attended….
And I just couldn’t stop thinking, “Oh the stories within these walls….”
In honor of these men and women and the millions who suffered those terrible years during the Holocaust, We Can Never Forget! And we must continue Celebrating the life that we have!