Eight years ago I visited Israel for a week together with my friend Carol and her family who were celebrating her son Ilan's bar mitzvah. It was my first trip to Israel in 12 years and I was thrilled to be here and drinking it all in.
Our first night here we strolled along Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, talking and laughing. At one point I found myself sitting next to Carol's father and he said, to noone in particular, and to all of us, "58 years ago today I was liberated from Matthausen. If someone would have told me then that I would be in Jerusalem almost 60 years later with my children and grandchildren celebrating the bar mitzvah of my grandson, I would have laughed hysterically".
I cannot imagine what it was like for Carol's father and so many men and women like him who picked themselves up, literally from the ashes, and moved to strange countries, built families and businesses and were able, in spite of it all to laugh and sing and show their children and grandchildren, and all of us what it means to be a Survivor.
Today I dedicate this post to Carol's father and all my friend's parents (much to many to recount here) who survived the Nazi horror and raised their daughters and sons, my friends, to be strong, proud Jews.
Today, I remember.