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Anita Silverman Hirsch Z"l

Feelings and thoughts about the earthquake in Haiti

Thoughts about the earthquake in Haiti

As I watch the unfolding of the events in Haiti. I feel numb. I was not alive in 1945 but I think to myself this is what the coverage of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima would have been like, only much worse due to the tremendous pain caused by any burning flesh.

As much as nature’s cruelty is awesome, I am reminded that man’s can be worse. I was born after the second world war, but my parents survived the Nazi onslaught in Hungary, both the invading armies, German and Russian, and the Nazi drive to exterminate Jews and others deemed “inferior”, gypsies, the handicapped, democrats, communists, and all those who did not support their ideology which lasted over 10 years from 1933 - 1945. I have spent my life trying to understand how something like this could have actually been put into place by the likes of Eichmann, Hitler, and Goering, and the silent acquiescence of those who did not speak up to oppose them.

On Sunday the day after the earthquake I joined an internet gratitude site. Yesterday morning, they sent me a notice asking why I had not posted anything. As much as I wanted to, I was numb: and then as I left the house yesterday morning on my way to a rehearsal with my camera equipment (I am videotaping the process of the creation of a play about human rights initiated by a class of autistic boys and girls and jointly produced by them and several non-autistic boys and girls from the same school, and a group of boys and girls from Herzliyah High school in Montreal which is on exactly this same theme: connâitre l’histoire pour ne pas conter des histoires) the following words came to me:

Moda ani lefaneha, Melech Hai ve Kayam, shehehezarta bi nishmati behemlah, rabah emunateha (and my friend Miriam Ohevetel adds the word bi.)

I am grateful to You, Living and Ongoing Source of All, for restoring my breath,(my soul) to me this morning. How great is your compassion and courageous faith: and my friend Miriam adds the word “bi” Hebrew for “in me”.

This is the formula for the start of all morning Jewish prayer. And I felt the revival of my spirit, the sudden revival of hope that is so necessary especially in the darkest of times as recently pointed out by Rabbi Steinmetz in his talk on the parsha relating to the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt (Vaeerah)

I am still here and I can do good in this world.

Abigail Hirsch


AskAbigail Productions
Shalom Foundation for Healing in Community: Fondation Shalom pour la Guérison des communautés

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