It is the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day and this is already the second year we light a Memorial Candle ('Ner Neshama') provided at my kids' school by 'Our 6 Million' / 'Shem ve Ner'. Each candle wrap with a brochures, that carries a name of a person who perished the holocaust. In a small ritual, we light the candle, and read about the person at the organization's web site. This year it is Rivka Weiss, a 16 years gymnasium student who perished in Auschwitz.
Speaking about re-inventing rituals, it is an extremely exciting memorial project. Within less than half a decade this simple homely ritual is spreading and widening over the country, wisely relying on the kids at school to be agents of this vision.
The candle we lit together tonight was a trigger for me, to tell my 10 years old son, that despite his great grandparents had dozens of siblings, nephews, and other relatives who died in the holocaust, we hardly know any details, My two grandmothers Survived Auschwitz, but they were the kind of women who never talked about the war. They immigrated to Israel, brought up my parents and uncles and aunts, but did not tell much about their relatives names, their ages when they died, what they did ...
My grandmother, Magda Scwartz, who is not with us anymore, used to light these silver Shabbat candlesticks in her new life in Israel.