Revelation is… survival at its best. I’m named after my grandmother’s younger sister who was destroyed by the Nazis alongside her elderly parents because they were Jews. I don’t even know if they were burned, shot or gassed. Much of my family suffered that horrific destiny. The few who survived that period of darkness have numbers tattooed on their arms and these are not cool decorative symbols.
My husband’s family suffered a different destiny – his Jewish mother grew up in Lebanon and was considered a vermon by her Arab Christian stepfather. Along with her sister, she was placed in a Christian convent and abused. Her Uncle Abud, a Jew living in Egypt, came to rescue her and her sister. He put them in the trunk of his car and drove over the border into Israel. They were raised on a kibbutz there and taught at a young age how to use a gun to protect themselves from Arab Muslims because they were Jews. Uncle Abud and his family were forced to flee from the Muslims of Egypt with only the clothes on their back because they were Jews.
And yet, here I am and many Jews like me with familiar histories such as this – having been kicked out of so many countries and persecuted and slaughtered for just being a Jew. Our grandparents and parents who could barely speak English and suffered these kind of traumas managed to raise their families in loving homes, working hard to support them. Like Viktor Frankl, they chose love, community, meaning and purpose to not only survive, but to thrive. Wow, what lessons can be learned.
26th day of the Jewish month of Teves – the month of Revelation