Friday, April 30, 2010


Today I am beginning a New York journey with 19 teens from the synagogue. We begin at Ellis Island.....written in the entrance hall....

My feet are tired.
How must their feet have felt?
It's very loud in here, it echoes with voices and feet, laughter and loudspeakers.
Can this even be a fraction of what the noise was like?
What a warm day...
I can't imagine shlepping through here wearing all my worldly possessions.
Many visitors speaking many languages. And audio tours in all their tongues.
What would it be like without the tour? Confusing, heart-wrenching, head-hurting, overwhelming...

I am filled with awe at the leap of faith - a new land, new opportunities, new hope. The unknown life, the dream of America. To never go back. To never again hear the voices of those left behind, or see their faces. To turn a resolute back on the past and squarely face an undiscovered future. To create a new life.

Daily I am blessed by the choices made by those who came before me.
I am grateful for their bravery and courage, their fortitude and strength.

Their memories HAVE become a blessing. May they continue to do so.

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Risa said...

My grandmother (for whom I'm named, so I never got to discuss it with her) came alone. I think it must have been really frightening. She left the Ukraine with her brother but he fell ill in England and they stayed there several weeks longer than planned. Then he went to Mexico to recuperate and she to Ellis Island. He didn't come with her because they were afraid he wouldn't pass the medical check-ups and would be sent back to Europe. So my grandmother arrived alone. I can only imagine the fear and tension.

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

i love all of the true and authentic connections and questions! i'm excited to hear what the kids are thinking, learning, feeling.