9 Adar 5778 / Saturday, February 24, 2018 | Torah Reading: Tetzaveh
 
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
 
   
    Create an account    |    Sign in
  
    My Account     Orders History     Help
 
 
  My Country:  
  United States   
 
   Language:  
  English   
 
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
 
   
Home Page Breslev Judaism Society Family Spirituality and Faith Torah Portion Holidays and Fast Days
   Purim     Pesach     Holocaust Day     Yom HaZikaron             
 
  More  
 
 
 
Holocaust Day  
 
HomeHolidays and Fast DaysHolocaust DayThe Pin Cushion
 
  Advanced Search
   Articles
 
   Search
 
            
 

The Pin Cushion    

The Pin Cushion



The little Polish girls grabbed my mother and turned her into a living pin cushion; she came home a bloody mess. That same night, she and her parents left Grodno…

 



Monday, April 24, 2017 is Holocaust Day this year in Israel

 
In the early summer of 1939, a mere two months before the Nazis invaded Poland, Kaila Burda said to her husband Gamaliel, “I’m at wit’s end. Chasia wants to go to the summer camp with her girlfriends from school. Why not send her?”
 
“Kaila, these are troubled times. When will you understand that we can’t stay here any longer. Chasia is the only Jewish child in her class. I’d prefer that she stays at home.”
 
“But she has nothing to do but draw. She sits at home and draws pictures all day long! She needs to be outdoors and play with other children.”
 
Gamaliel shrugged his shoulders, “It’s not safe, but have it your way…”
 
Chasia went to summer camp. When her first day was over, she was a bloody mess, escorted home by one of the sixth-grade teachers. “We can’t take responsibility for your daughter,” she said in Polish to the appalled Gamaliel and Kaila on their front doorstep. “She’s the only Jewish girl in our school, and the other little girls know it. They played a game of 'seamstress' and they made your daughter the pin cushion…”
 
After Kristallnacht in Germany, anti-Semitism in neighboring Poland was fast on the rise too.
 
Although Gamaliel had an exit visa since 1926, Kaila refused to leave her native Grodno and her beloved family. Gamaliel swore that he wasn’t waiting another 24 hours – he was living Poland with his 12-year old daughter, with or without his wife.
 
Gamaliel, Kaila, and their daughter Chasia left Poland on the last ship out, a few short weeks before the Nazi invasion.
 
* * *
 
By 1941, the Jews of Grodno were stuffed into the Grodno Ghetto. Those who survived the forced labor, disease, and starvation were transferred to Auschwitz and Treblinka in 1942 and wiped out in the gas chambers by 1943.
 
* * *
 
To this day, my mother – may Hashem grant her long and healthy days – has not fully recovered the trauma of having been a live pin cushion at twelve years old. Surely, this must have been a cruel and nightmarish site for my grandparents of blessed memory to see.
 
An onlooker with no emuna or historical perspective might have said on the spot, “How can G-d allow such a cruelty to happen?!”
 
Now, let’s add the historical perspective. All my mother’s family that stayed behind in Grodno was killed, either in the Polish Army, in the ghetto, or in Auschwitz and Treblinka. My mother and her parents arrived in America. She lived on to raise a family.
 
The living pin cushion forced my grandparents into action. Because of that living pin cushion, there are now three generations of Brodys living a Torah and emuna lifestyle in the Holy Land of Israel.
 
Looking at the whole picture, Hashem did everything for the ultimate best.
 
This is the lesson of Holocaust Week. For sure, no one can describe the pain or even fathom what the survivors went through. Yet, when Moshiach comes, there’s no doubt whatsoever that we’ll all learn how the Holocaust was a necessary step in the full redemption of our people, speedily and in our days.
 
Whether or not we understand what and why Hashem is doing a certain action for doesn’t alter the fact that the given action is for our ultimate benefit with no exceptions. Just as you don’t leave the stadium in the middle of the game, we can’t know the outcome of anything that Hashem does in the world without seeing what’s happening in proper historical perspective.
 
Until we see the full cycle of Hashem’s moves on the global chessboard, then we can’t possibly understand Hashem’s strategy.
 
Guess what – it’s not our task to understand neither Hashem’s strategy nor His rationale.
 
So what do we do to weather a crisis, especially something seemingly disastrous?
 
We strengthen ourselves in emuna, knowing that Hashem is doing everything for the best, even when He makes us into a human pin cushion.
 
May the cherished memories of the Holocaust martyrs never be forgotten, amen.   
 
 
(We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal, “Lazer Beams”)




New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Rabbi Lazer Brody
   Read more about Holocaust Day




Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version


 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
 
 
  
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:

   

 Related Articles Related Articles
 
 

 
Simchat Torah in Mehldorf               Good Morning Herr Mueller               What I Learned At Camp
 
 Simchat Torah in Mehldorf  Good Morning Herr Mueller  What I Learned At Camp


  4 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  1.
  Hashem sent me a clear message through your words.
Anonymous,4/21/2017 7:00:59 AM
     
 
  2.
  Aliyah
Lori4/28/2014 3:19:58 PM
     
 
  3.
  Yom HaShoah
joshua4/18/2012 6:35:25 PM
     
 
  4.
  This is a very moving article.
Jewishdragonfly4/24/2009 9:50:16 PM
     
 

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

 
 
  
In Honor of:    In Memory of:
   Ludmila bat Alexander
Our dear husband, father, and grandfather,Dale Edward ben Alton Edward
 
Like What You Read?
 
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
 
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
  
 
 
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
 
 
 
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 
 
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 Most talked about Most talked about
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Most read Most read
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Facebook Facebook
 
 
 
 Mailing List Mailing List
 
 
 
Subscribe Here:   
 
   
 

 
 



  
 
 
open toolbar