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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Heritage Trip to Poland 2019/5779: Day 2

Day two of the Heritage Trip to Poland began with a stop at ישיבת חכמי לובלין an old Yeshivah built in 1924. The Yeshivah only operated for a few years because the funds ran out. The Yeshivah was used by the Polish and then returned to the Jews. It was than renovated and is now used as a Shul hotel and museum.  This Yeshivah started the Daf Yomi movement and therefore Rabbi Lubner led us through a bit of that morning's daf.
Our next stop was Majdanek where we spent the majority of our day. We walked the entire camp witnessing the living conditions, gas chambers, crematorium and more. We completed our experience with a memorial of those shot and killed in the back section of the camp. We recited a Perek of Tehilim and said kaddish as we concluded our day at Majdanek.
The second half of the day consisted of a 3 hour bus ride allowing us to regroup and rest. Our final stop of the night was a gravesite. This wasn’t your ordinary cemetery. It was a memorial for both Polish citizens and Jews who were taken out of there towns nearby and shot in huge graves. We all took our time to reflect on ourselves as we read the letter our parents had composed for us. Silence filled the air and tears were streaming down everyone’s faces. Our night ended with a beautiful dinner and a session where we had the opportunity to express our thoughts and feelings.
~Michael Chattah, Class of 2019