Illini Chabad ASB Berlin 2014 -
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Day 2.

For me that says enough. Two full days in Berlin, Germany. 

10003458_10103513249801050_1892511766_n.jpgI say that because from the moment we landed in the airport, Tegel, and got on the bus, I couldn't help myself from thinking, "this ground is soaked with the blood of millions of Jewish people." We lost out on so many levels. From the basic level of "these were Jewish souls that got killed for the simple fact that they were Jews." To the thought that,  "Out of those millions of people, what if one of them could have found a cure to one type of cancer? Perhaps helped people suffering from AIDS?" 

After spending a day re-living the history that is so palpable here in Berlin, I managed, to some extent, begin or organize my thoughts about this place. Until I stepped foot and experienced first-hand an actual concentration camp, the inhumane cruelty and experience remained an ideal, a concept, to me in my understanding. After spending 2+ hours being guided on a tour through the Sachsennhaussen Koncentrationlager an entirely new idea began to take hold in my mind. Instead of  vain attempts of trying to wrap my mind around the horror that took place in those years, I realized that there is a different message for me here. 

10155654_10103516061546290_827241487_n.jpgHow can an entire people turn to this? How can one of the most educated countries in the world take part in the most inhumane part of history? The only thing I can think of is that we are not dealing with "insane people". The people that perpetrated this, and the people that stood by and watched without getting involved were super normal, perhaps too normal. When human beings lose that which makes them human, and the values of their lives become dependent on where the stand on society's later -- that is when people can begin to turn into numbers. It is our responsibility as Jewish human beings on this planet to 1: realize what is our uniquely Jewish contribution to this world, and 2: how can we be a role model for humankind as a whole.

969486_10103516065303760_1593103854_n.jpgFor me, that is what stood out most. Going around the table at dinner, others shared how cleaning up a part of the Jewish cemetery what very moving. We were able to help people that perished and have no one left to keep their resting place in order. Nobody is going to thank us nor is anybody going to giving us any recognition for helping these people. But we know that we are part of a history that no matter where we currently live, we are all connected. Like the president of the Keren Hayisod (UJA in America) shared with us this morning, "It is up to each and every one of us Jewish people that are going to be the leaders of next generation to lead us in the right direction". If we will not lead, who will?

Good night from Berlin, at an hour waay too late, I hope that some of my experiences from today will somehow be transferred in this short write-up. I have been moved beyond and class or lecture could have ever done. I hope that my experience has been transferred on to this page to 1% of what I am feeling. 

P.S We visited the Berlin Museum of Jewish History today. Maybe I will write about that tomorrow morning, but for now - sleeppp


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