These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Poland Trip: Noga’s Thoughts

Posted on February 17, 2010 by David Bogomolny

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Pardes alumna Noga Fisher & her husband Warren joined us on the 2010 Poland Trip. Here are her thoughts:

“It’s been a month since our trip. During our intense 5 days I felt numb much of the time. But since then I have been thawing, thinking and feeling, and the process is far from over.

I keep trying to come to grips with the SCALE of what happened. It’s unbelievable – hundreds of thousands, millions of people rounded up, moved, transported, trained, marched, shoved, shaved, gassed, shot, shoveled… I keep trying to get perspective on the numbers – half a million in the Warsaw ghetto, that’s my entire home town of Fort Worth, all crammed into an area the size of Efrat…700 gassed at a time, that’s nearly three times the number of kids in our daughter’s high school, gassed en masse in 10 minutes…simple Jews like Levi’s grandfather being transported, transported and transported again to 13 different camps…

I especially can’t make sense of the Hungarian experience – how could it be possible that an army could march into a country, round up and dispose of a country’s entire Jewish community in 7 weeks?

It’s surreal, it’s the definition of surreal.

There is one truly real thing I can tell you: the Shabbat after our return was the best I’ve ever had. Sitting in our beautiful living room in our loving community in Israel; sitting down to a Shabbat table loaded with the best of everything; looking at my beautiful teenage children sleeping on the sofa waiting for their beautiful friends to drop by; I just cried, thought what a gan eden we live in and how truly lucky we are.

Pardes trips to Poland are run in partnership with Heritage Seminars. The Claims Conference has provided trip scholarships for qualifying Pardes participants, as well as subsidies for program components directed at Jewish educators.