These and Those

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


Posted on January 26, 2011 by Aviva P.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


A Reflection from the 2011 Pardes Heritage Seminar to Poland

In memory of my family and all those killed at Bełżec extermination camp

Belzec death camp

I walk
into the depths
of death,
by the abandoned bones
of my brothers and sisters.

Hate and fear
stifled their cries;
barren fields of rocks and concrete
trap their whispers,
but I can hear them
and I do not forget.

I climb
the stairs of redemption
where the echoes of my voice,
cut through the silence
and cast themselves
over frosted grass,
twisted metal,
and stone, cold and silent.

I am here!
I cry.
Do you see?

Tears may fall,
my voice may falter
I laugh at the faces
of your ghosts,
spit at your feet.

Do you really see?
A living testimony
to your ultimate failures.

You did not succeed.
You did not win.
I am here.

Belzec Death Camp

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. cc_logo_copy_OP