Last night I lit my yellow candle in memory of Miss Bianca Leibowitz from Toplica in Serbia. She and I both visited Auschwitz. I survived at a different time from my visit, whilst she perished at the age of 4. I recited kaddish for her and wondered what became of her family. Should I have wondered, or was it a foregone conclusion. I looked up the name on Google and there were no Bianca Liebowitzs on record. She came and went with no others named after her on Google. I looked up my name and found a number – including me. We have just gone through the season of Exodus and I have been thinking a great deal about exoduses from the Holocaust era, as well as the current Ukranian exodus, which is in the forefront of my mind. The Scottish National Bard Rabbie Burns speaks of “ Man’s inhumanity to Man.” It has been used often since he wrote it and it shows we have learnt not a lot.
I cannot get Bianca Liebowitz out of my mind. The terror, the pain, the lonlines, the fear and the unknown come to mind and she did not make it. Rabbie Burns – not of the Jewish faith and not spelt the same way, has said it all and whilst the bard lives on in history, 6,000,000 perished in the Holocaust. We remember them and so we should, today and always. Bianca has been remembered, as have 32,000 others this year, through lighting a yellow candle. May we gain strength from our lives and plant the seeds accompanying the candles this year, so that the yellow candle campaign is not a one-day wonder but a generator of blooms for the season ahead.
Spring has sprung and I want to pluck two things out of the weekly bulletin which are us, as a community. The friendship club met up today and it is going to be a major source of Mosaic friendliness for all three parts of Mosaic once again. Please let old friendships be rekindled and may new friendships be kindled to increase the enjoyment of all.
Henry Altman’s Tuesday walks are brilliant and are so mind and people engaging. One can be any age to join the walk and just like the friendship club, rekindle old friendships and develop new ones. I can imagine that Henry in the coming weeks will be walking past Stanmore Hill shul, so all the walkers will know at first hand and sight what is happening on the site.