Yesterday morning, I visited an old-age home for Holocaust survivors. There, I met Idit Yapo, an amazing woman of 104, clear and lucid. Idit fled Germany shortly after Hitler gained power, in 1934. I met 89-year-old Esther Nadiv, one of Mendele’s twins. She was reading a book, Golda Meir’s biography, and she told me, with a glint in her eye, she said: “I am so proud, so very proud to be a part of the State of Israel which is in constant development.”
I met Hanoch Mandelbaum, an 89-year-old survivor of Bergen-Belsen. Shortly after he came to Israel, as a young carpenter, he helped construct the desk upon which Ben Gurion signed the Declaration of Independence. That is MiSho’a liTkuma – from holocaust to resurrection.
And I met Elisheva Lehman, an 88 year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, who was a music teacher.
I asked Elisheva if she would play something for us and she did. She enthusiastically played “Am Yisrael Chai” and we all sung together. It was quite emotional.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Am Yisrael Chai [The nation of Israel lives]