Today is covered in grey. Just like that day I sat numb, frozen with the emptiness in my heart, on the steps of Auschwitz. For once, no tears came. Just that horrible aching emptiness.
But today it is a bit softer and tears have sat in my eyes most of the morning, mirroring the outside world, which is being steadily covered in rain. And rain is a blessing, according to the Talmud, which is given only by god. Rain cleanses and nourishes.
Rain makes me smile, even through my tears. As one of my favourite professors always told me, "Rain means god is happy."
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a subject that is never far from my mind because it made a home in my heart when I was much younger. My shelves have always been lined with books on the subject (currently I am reading "The Book Thief"); I studied it through history and religion courses and is the reason I hold a degree which includes those two areas; I traveled to Poland, Amsterdam, and Israel in '98 for the 50th anniversary of Israel's independence.
In '98 Holocaust Remembrance Day was spent in a Kibbutz in Israel with some of the most influential people in my life (including Professor Berger, my mother, and Frances). I was just 18. "Schindler's List" was playing on the telly. Frances read my palm and effectively opened my eyes (as she so often does) to the possibilities of me. And although "Schindler's List" is one of my favourite movies, seen tens of times prior, I haven't been able to watch it since that night.
Today, please, take a moment to remember to what ignorance, fear, and denying of human rights lead. Ask yourself, what is beautiful in this world to you? What keeps your heart beating and the air from freezing in your lungs?
Is it your family; love; freedom to choose your path?
These things are the same for every man, woman, and child, whether they are republican, democrat, green, libertarian, gay, straight, transgender, asexual, bisexual, no matter their color, no matter their education level, no matter their religion.
And no matter what combination of the above you happen to be, or I happen to be, we are all human. And that is beautiful.