Sundays Remind Me of Tzvi
By Ofir Atias in memory of Tzvi
Today is a very special day in Israel- Holocaust Remembrance Day. We share our love and support with each and every survivor and remember those who perished in the war with the highest honor.
We wish to share with you this personal story from Ofir Atias and hope you will spread the message she wishes to promote.
"I'm ok, day by day"
That's the sentence I got to hear from Tzvi - every week. Every Sunday, for three years.
So who is Tzvi? Why am I telling this story today?
Tzvi is an Auschwitz survivor. We met completely by chance through the "Perah Lanitzol" project that some of us know from the army. This was going to be another quick encounter between a Holocaust survivor and an IDF soldier, but something about this meeting made me act - a small action that built a unique relationship and gave meaning to the people in our lives.
I made a spontaneous decision, I asked him for his number, and I promised him that every Sunday I would call to wish him a "Shavua Tov" (Good Week). He was surprised and excited by the attention and I was thrilled about the opportunity to get to know his generation, and the two of us couldn't even imagine what a close relationship this would turn out to be.
And so it went on - Every week. Every Sunday. "I'm ok, day by day".
"The more we talked, the more I realized how much I can learn from him."
I learned that in our busy schedules, we must maximize each day to its fullest, without becoming disappointed by the past, and without fearing the future. Just day by day. What a boost of motivation this gave me each time.
About eight months ago, while I was traveling abroad, Tzvi passed away at the age of 95. Even from this infinite distance, I could still imagine him saying, "I've been through hell, but I live in heaven surrounded by family and love".
So on this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day, I want to remind everyone how important that attention is, that can bloom between two complete strangers from different generations, and give their life story another true meaning.
I will end with a request: Pick someone and choose to wish them a good week every Sunday. You never know where it may take you!
As we begin to return to a more familiar and normal day-to-day life and may get swept up in the excitement of the world around us again, it is crucial that we take the time today to honor and remember our history as the Jewish nation.