Midreshet Lindenbaum
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Poland Trip 2018 - Thursday

We began our day in Zamosc, where we davened shacharit in one of the city’s old shuls. From there we went to Belzec, which has been converted into a giant visual memorial dedicated to those who perished there. After an emotional walk around the perimeter of the camp, we headed indoors to the museum where we learned about the camp’s history and the sadistic staffers who ran it. Next we visited the Yosefov Shul (now a library) and listened to a lecture about what psychologically enabled the Nazis to do what they did. Learning about the Milgram Study and Stanford Prison Experiment helped us gain a deeper understanding of the subject. From there, we walked to the site of a mass grave where we heard from Jacqueline about her friend Harry, whose entire community is buried in a similar mass grave. Afterwards, we enjoyed lunch by a beautiful nearby lake and had time for reflection and journaling. We then went to the Kever of Rav Elimelech of Lizansk, and learned about his life and legacy from Sasha, who researched him. We were also encouraged to write kvittels to leave at his grave. We endured a lot of time on the bus towards the end of the day, but Rav Brown’s movie choice of Fiddler on the Roof kept us in good spirits. At night, we visited a memorial for a family of righteous gentiles who risked and ultimately lost their lives trying to save Jews during the Holocaust. We ended the day with a post-dinner session about resistance movements such as the ones in Sobibor and Treblinka.
Jackie Tokayer