Carrying The Torch: Yom HaAtzmaut March of the Living Celebration
By Elana Heideman, MOTL Educator and and IFF Director.
What does it feel like to walk through Jerusalem, carrying with pride the same flags that we carried through Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek, Treblinka, Lodz, Warsaw, Tykocin, Lupochowa, Zamosc, Tarnow, Kielce?
Just days earlier we were walking on the blood-soaked earth, crying out in agony over the senseless murder of our brethren.
Copyright © Josh Broide
Just days ago, we were immersed in the echoes of a world destroyed, kept alive only by our willingness to learn and remember.
And now we are here, celebrating our return, celebrating our freedom, celebrating our history, celebrating ourselves.
The emotions evoked walking among the ashes of Auschwitz, Majdanek or Treblinka will never be replaced by any other human experience. We have emerged from the ashes and as we march toward the Western Wall in our Old City of Jerusalem, we carry with us the legacy of the victims and the survivors as well as that of King David, Solomon, the Cohanim, and the Jews of every century from then until now that prayed for a return to Tzion.
We have returned in their memory
We shall carry them with us forever.
Our collective identity unites us. Our honor dignifies. Our hope sustains us.
We stand together as part of a shared commitment not only to the past - to those who perished and those who survived - but as a personal commitment to help ensure a brighter, safer future for all.
As we celebrate Israel's independence, we recognize all that it took to get us her - all the lives lost, all the wars forced upon us, all the generations of prayer and dreams.
And yet we are able to see it become reality.
And so we march - Birkenau to Jerusalem, past to present, ancient and modern.
Copyright © Josh Broide, MOTL Boca Raton
May all the world march with us as we pass the torch from one generation to the next, and continue our singing - AM YISRAEL CHAI!
Join the celebration!
In the spirit of our shared mission, The Israel Forever Foundation is proud to welcome all March of the Living Virtual Citizens of Israel™ to carry on the legacy of those who perished in the Holocaust, to always stand proud and connected with our past and our future.