Saturday, April 19, 2008
Passover The Jewish Holiday
Today, Jews all over the world are sitting down to a Seder Dinner to commerate the Jewish Holiday of Passover, Freedom from bondage in Egypt. My daughter just called me to wish me a happy Passover. She is going to a small, short (she said), children's seder at a friends home with her husband and two children. She asked me to look in my Hagddah (the book read from on Passover) to see if the "Butterfly Poem" was in it. Something she remembered from seders past when my grandparents were alive. Well she wouldn't have remembered those times but from her childhood at her grandparents table. I didn't find it in that book so I went on line and I did find it there and I wanted to share it. A poem written in a concentration camp during WWII. "The Butterfly" The last, the very last, So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow. Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing against a white stone.... Such, such a yellow Is carried lightly ’way up high. It went away I’m sure because it wished to kiss the world good-bye. For seven weeks I’ve lived in here, Penned up inside this ghetto. But I have found what I love here. The dandelions call to me And the white chestnut branches in the court. Only I never saw another butterfly. That butterfly was the last one. Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto. Pavel Friedman, April 6, 1942 Born in Prague on January 7, 1921. Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942. Died in Aushchwitz on September 29, 1944. “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942–1944. By Hana Volavkova (Editor) A total of 15,000 children under the age of fifteen passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp between the years 1942-44; less than 100 survived. In these poems and pictures drawn by the young inmates of Terezin, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their courage and optimism, their hopes and fears. May none of us ever have to experience, witness anything like this ever again.