I was very moved by the following brief speech my friend Tosia Szechter Schneider made at the “Unity Seder” at Atlanta’s leading reform Temple last month. It is really a poem as much as a speech, a poem about hope and memory. It is stunning to remember as we celebrate this feast of liberation, that there are people among us who in their own lifetime have actually gone from being slaves to being free. For more about Tosia, her life, and her remarkable memoir, see this foreword to her book, Someone Must Survive to Tell the World, available here.
Seder: From Tyranny to Freedom
Invited remarks delivered by Tosia Szechter Schneider at the “Seder of Unity” at The Temple, Atlanta 3/13/2018
In the days of old, a pillar of smoke led the way for Moses and the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery.
In our time, there were only the smokestacks of Auschwitz.
Unlike our ancestors, who fled their slavery with gold and silver, survivors were stripped of all their possesions, what was left were memories and scars, deep scars that never heal.
Jews lived in Poland for a thousand years.
The 16th century was The Golden Age of Polish Jewry. Poland was then refered to as:“Paradisus Judeorum,” a Jewish paradise. That paradise turned into a raging inferno in our time.
I grew up in a little town in eastern Poland, Horodenka. Continue reading