A Precious Stone

1 year ago bbursk 0

 

As I sit here reflecting on Heritage Quest, I can’t help but feel that it feels like years since I was there, standing in Auschwitz when really, it was just weeks ago. I am taken back to those moments, standing at Auschwitz with my head in my hands, wondering how humanity could allow such things to happen.  My mind takes me on a journey, from tearing up at the gas chambers to dancing at the kotel. We went on an emotional rollercoaster that I will never forget.

I took a lot home with me—mentally, spiritually, and physically. But, aside from souvenirs, there was something else I brought home with me: a rock from the grounds of Auschwitz. Of all the things in the world, why would I choose to bring home a rock?

While in Auschwitz, our tour guide told us to take the rock home in order to constantly recall the emotions we felt while standing there. He said we should use it as a way to remember all of the amazing things Hashem does for us everyday.

A Precious Stone

 

What did I feel while I was standing there, holding the rock in my hands? I felt disappointed in society, anger, sadness, disgust and so on. On the other hand, while in Israel, I felt happiness, pride, joy. The sadness mixed with joy helped me realize how amazing it is that our nation is still alive and thriving to this very day.

Since the trip ended, I sometimes pick up the rock from Auschwitz and use it to reflect on all of the amazing things I have to thank Hashem for.  Although not everyone reading this had the opportunity to go on Heritage Quest this summer (but you will next year!), I think that this is something we can all do, no matter where we are. Find an object at home, something that helps you connect to powerful memories, that you can use to recall a time that you felt appreciation for everything you have in your life. Use it as a way to recall all of the amazing things Hashem gives you each and every day.  Hopefully this will allow you to grow with joy and happiness as it has done for me. May we merit the coming of Moshiach in our days!

A Precious Stone