Midreshet Lindenbaum
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Poland Trip 2018 - Friday-Shabbat

After a long, emotional week of learning about the history of the Holocaust and commemorating those who were lost in the tragedy, we prepared for a rest-filled Shabbat in Krakow. We started off our Friday morning by davening in the Dabrowa Tarnowska Synagogue, a synagogue that was not only beautiful, but provided a great deal of information about the Holocaust that was written in various displays inside the shul. Following breakfast, we headed to Zbilitovska Gura, where we visited three mass graves of both Jews and Poles and discussed our joint suffering. It’s also known as “The Children’s Forest” due to the 800 children from the orphanage in Tarnow that are buried there. As a change of pace, we then arrived at a Christian cemetery called the  Rakowicki Cemetery, where we honored the Jews who served in the British army in the fight against the Nazis. Everyone was assigned a soldier, and after reading about them we said Yizchor by their graves in their memory, followed by lighting a candle in their honor. Our last stop before Shabbat was the Rama shul, a popular shul in the middle of Kraków where Jewish life once thrived. Rav Yoni educated us about the Rama himself followed by visiting his grave in the Rama cemetery. In addition, we visited the graves of other prominent leaders of the Jewish community in Krakow such as the Megale Amukot, Tsofot Yom Tov, and the Bach, where we learned about their  significant contributions to Jewish life. We welcomed Shabbat with a spiritual Kabbalah Shabbat in which we prayed at the Izaak Synagogue, located in the heart of the Kazimish, which is the center of the old city of Krakow. It was heartwarming to hear and see the young generation of Am Yisroel reviving the synagogue with their prayers that our ancestors prayed in before the war. We then went back to the hotel for a delicious Shabbat meal accompanied by speeches, d’var torahs, and were surprised to receive letters from our very own parents (we love you!). We ended off the night with a meaningful ticsh where we sang our favorite zmirot as well as discussed the parasha. After returning to the Izaak Synongue Shabbat morning, we were lucky enough to hear a speech from Rabbi Baumel,  a shaliach from Eretz Yisrael who currently runs the JCC in Krakow on a mission to bring Jewish life back to Poland. Before lunch we toured the Kazimish and visited the Hoicha Shul, Kopa Shul, The Temple Synagogue and other important monuments, ultimately to get a feel of the dominant Jewish life that used to be there. After an enjoyable lunch and some free time, we walked to what was once the Ghetto - Padgoza, where we saw the original wall of the ghetto of Krakow and were educated about the ghettos establishment. We ended Shabbat with Seudat shlishit and a slow shira where we sang our hearts out and connected with one another. Motzaei Shabbat concluded with a brief Malava Malka at the hotel, which included fresh pizza as well as  an introduction for the following day, our last day of this impactful journey.
 
Nancy Ades