Yad Vashem Israel Free Spirit

“After all this destruction my mind and heart decided I needed an answer before I could move on with my day, my trip, and my lifeI tuned in more carefully to what the tour guide was saying. Every word she carefully articulated registered with me. I could feel her passion for the subject flowing through my entire body. She said, “And this over here…this is what it was all for…this is the reason why our grandparents fought to survive.” I turned my head immediately from facing her towards a uniquely shaped balcony and lookout at the end of the hallway: vivacious green grass, beautiful blossoming trees, silent and multifaceted nature, loud and spirited schools, freshly built houses. A vibrant future lay right in front of my eyes. A Jewish nation now with a Jewish state. A home of refuge to escape worldly persecution and anti-Semitism. A unified nation together building a future despite internal differences. All of Jewish history flashing before my eyes. Being a Jew meant a dedication to the founding principles of Judaism even in the hardest of times. Being a Jew meant to never compromise our sacred heritage and values for generations to come. As Former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir once said, “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.” This specific lookout point—Jerusalem—was the dwelling for the Jew. This was the future of the Jew. This was my future.” – Rafael Anapolle, New Jersey

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