Pearl Benisch: From Auschwitz to Jerusalem

Pearl Benisch: From Auschwitz to Jerusalem

In an article* that appeared about Holocaust survivor and author Pearl Benisch ob”m in Family First this week, a friend recalls asking for her perspective during a dark period of recent Israeli history.

This was Pearl Benisch’s powerful response:

“In November, 1943, I was taken to the gas chambers.

“It was a Friday night and we were about to go to our deaths. I thought that was the end.

“At the very last moment, a soldier appeared and said–‘There’s been some mistake.’ It wasn’t our turn to be gassed after all, and he sent us back to the barracks. Look–” and Pearl gestured to her granddaughter, a seminary student in Jerusalem, standing nearby–“Believe me!

“The inconceivable distance between where I was at that moment and where I stand today, alive and well, with a granddaughter who is studying in the holy city of Yerushalayim, is far greater than where we stand now and the imminent coming of Moshiach!”

As the Jewish people passes this week and next from the tears and mourning of Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron to the intense gratitude and national rejoicing of Yom Haatsmaut,** Pearl Benisch’s concluding words are the ones I will carry in my heart, “We must never give up on Jews, never give up on the Jewish people!”

*”24-Karat Emunah” by Esther Teichtal, Family First (April, 19, ’17)

**Yom HaShoah-Holocaust Memorial Day
Yom HaZikaron- Israeli Memorial Day for Fallen IDF Soldiers and Terror Victims
Yom Haatsmaut- Israeli Independence Day

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