A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER KIM BEFORE SHE EMBARKS ON THE MARCH OF THE LIVING

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A Letter to My Daughter Kim before she embarks on the March of The Living…

Dearest Kim,

The March of the Living is an extraordinary, unforgettable experience.  With thousands  of Jewish people, from countries all around the world, you will share in a once in a lifetime experience when they march three kilometers from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built by the Nazis during World War II. The March commemorates Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. You with be there – along with over 8,000 participants who will be part of this historic event.

As one of the Marchers, you will retrace the steps of the March of Death, the actual route which countless numbers of our people were forced to take on their way to the gas chambers at Birkenau. You will experience Jewish history where it was made. This time, however, there will be a difference. It will be a March of the Living with thousands of Jewish youth, like yourself, marching shoulder to shoulder. You will take part in a memorial service at one of the gas chambers/crematoria, in Birkenau, which will close with the singing of Hatikvah, reaffirming Am Yisrael Chai – The Jewish People Live.

Kaddish is a Jewish Prayer to Remember the Dead and normally said by Men. In the absence of a Male Member of the Family ( there are only your brother Jonathan and I left) when you place the Three Jerusalem Stones with the Names of Three Branches of your Family that were Murdered in the Holocaust  say Kaddish out Loud . Say Kaddish for the Drues of Kraków and your Great Aunt Hadasaeah that died in Belzec extermination camp   and all the other  Drues cousins of Kraków that died in Belzec,Treblinska and Auschwitz .Over 280 Drues s of Kraków  relations died. There are no known survivors.. Say Kaddish  for the Drues of Majzugola near Vilna who died in the  Vaivara and Auschwitz Camp if they were not murdered first in the Forest of Paneriai   .There are no known survivors . Say Kaddish for the Shabelshok/Fialkov Families of Riga  who were murdered between 30th November and 8th December  in the Rumbula Forest near Riga with  25,000 thousand other Jews from Latvia. Say Kaddish for the sisters and brothers of your Great Grandmother Freda Shabelstok Baker who died in the Forrest of Rumbula . Say Kaddish for Sarah , Robert, Michael, David , Gregor , Rachel , Lazer, Leah and Fredrich , Freda and Rosa Shabelstok’s older sisters and brothers and all their children and even grandchildren  Not one survived. Over 350 members of the Shabelstok / Fialkov Families died in the misty Forest of Rumbula with  other Latvian Jews mainly from Riga and surrounding areas. Say Kaddish for all the Shabelstok/Fialkov/Drues cousins and relations …there must have  been hundreds and hundreds, , if not thousands and thousands, in the extended Shabelstok / Fialkov families .Four Shabeltok Siblings married four Fialkov Siblings. None are no  known survivors.

Say Kaddish in Tears and then Scream … “We Survived and Are Here Now Again -Never Ever Again” , אנחנו שרדנו ואנחנו כאן עכשיו – לעולם לא עוד יהיה שם שואה חוזרת

Those that Survived The Holocaust but did not experience it first hand:-

Shabelskok: Freda and her younger Rosa . Freda was in Uitenhague ,South Africa married to Chaim Baker  and Rosa, her younger sister  in Norway taken there by the Danish Resistance with most of the Danish Jews.They were the youngest of 11 siblings . All the siblings were married with kids .all the siblings and their families were murdered in the Forest of Rumbuka

Fialkov: Twin Brothers Manny ( Mordechai) and Jay ( Josef) in Cape Town,South Africa . They were the youngest of 10 siblings . None of their siblings or their families survived the Holocaust..

Drues: Samuel  ( your great grandfather) and Naomi in Cape Town, South Africa and William in Chicago, USA survived the Holocaust.. The children of Hadaseah who died in Belzec, joined Shomer Hazair,immigrated to Israel in 1932 and survived in Israel . They were Freda and Hashya who married the Kurman Brothers , Max , who was wounded twice in Palmach operations and Chaim who was a teacher for 43 years before retiring.

Mourn and then Celebrate the Shabelstok/ Fialkov / Drues Survival when you March from Birkenau to Auschwitz… you are their Symbol of Survival .

 

  

 

 

Love You To Bits

xxx

Dad

On the Origin of our surname 

Stephen Darori ( Drori) 

Before I Hebrewized my surname on the 6th September 1986 I was Stephen Ellis Drus…the son of Fay Baker Drus and Morrie Drus  z’l

Fay Baker Drus was the daughter of Freda Shabelstol Baker and Hymie ( Chaim Baker) one of the 3 founders of Betar in South Africa in 1931 and Jabotinskyt stayed at him when he visited the Eastern Cape, South Africa in the same year.

Morrie ( Morris ) Drus is the son of Samuel Drues and Sarah Kaplan Drues. . They were married in Poland and then in 1921 immigrated to Cape Town , South Africa. Drues became Drus.

 

The logic of the Hebrewaization of Drus ro Darori. Drus דרוס pronounced Darus is the Gerund of “Ledareis”.לדרס..” to be trodden on to be run over”…. could not live with that when I came on Aliyah from Cape town, South Africa and a letter change דרוס -> דרור which became דרורי the Biblical word for a Sparrow. Cage a Sparrow and it will die wrote Acad Ha’am so Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew Language  in his New  Hebrew dictionary gave Drori a new metaphorical meaning  of “Freedom and Liberty”. The “a’ was added for Branding Purposes . Darori ( Drori) is very approproiate… Kim , your great Aunt Professor Ethel Drus led the committee of 12 ( 9 Jews and Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Z.K. Mathews ) who drafted the Freedom Charter , the most important document of the African National Congress. Both your Grandparents and I were very active in the Progressive Party of Helen Susman and Harry Oppenheimer which has evolved into the Democratic Alliance, the Liberal Opposition to the ANC, 

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumbula_massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

http://www.jewishgen.org/forgottencamps/camps/auschwitzeng.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treblinka_extermination_camp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belzec_extermination_camp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilna_Ghetto#Liquidation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaddish

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Jerusalem Opens New Urban Park in Time for Tu Bishvat

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Across from the busy Pat Junction, a nature reserve and park is being developed. Meet the young volunteers who planted trees.
Tree planting for Tu Bishvat

Tree planting for Tu Bishvat

Across from the busy gas station at the corner of the Pat Intersection just before it turns into Begin Highway is a large patch of undeveloped land called Emek Hatzva’im, or Gazelle Valley. This month, work began to turn the area, also referred to as Pri-Har Valley, into a park with a soccer court and open space for the small herd of native gazelles to graze. A tough fight in the Jerusalem Municipality resulted in plans for new commercial area to be cancelled.

On Tuesday, a group of volunteers planted trees in anticipation of the holiday of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for the Trees which began Wednesday evening and will last until sunset Thursday.

Rotem Palti, a young national service volunteer from the north of Israel spoke to Arutz Sheva’s Israel National Radio about the land and his work.

Gazelle Valley Interview

To hear the interview in streaming audio click here.

“This is considered an urban nature park because it’s like an oasis within the city limits,” Palti explained. “There a lots of buildings, people, cars and noise and right here there’s a place where people can come and connect to nature and just forget about the troubles of the city for a bit. We need to preserve this place.

Among his jobs are planting and trimming trees, and making sure wild jackals don’t break through the fence and attack the gazelles. “Jackals are attracted to garbage and scraps of food that they can eat.” he explains.

He and his fellow young national service volunteers sit next to an old one story, one-room stone building, used as a storage facility, and play guitar during their break time as cars race past in the background.

Rabbi Shaul Judelman of JiVE! – Jerusalem Volunteers for the Environment, and the Teva Ivri (Hebrew Nature) organization was there as well, leading a group of volunteers in transforming a barren slope into a mini garden with diverse trees. The area was once owned by Kibbutz Ramat Rachel and used for apple groves. This month tractors began working to transform one third into children’s park areas, one third a nature center and one third to remain a wildlife preserve.

“We’re here to recreate the hillside that was damage due to construction,” he stated, as he set down a shovel. “We’re planting almond, Israeli pistachio, mastic trees, and pines. In a couple of years we’ll have a little forest.”

With the Holyland apartment complex looming in the background Rabbi Judelman described what the future neighborhood would look like.

“The vision for the future is we will recreate what would be the natural Jerusalem hills environment. The visitor’s center will be a welcoming place for kids,” he explained.

“This is a low income neighborhood and people don’t always have the money to take a long trip to a park. For 2,000 years we’ve prayed to return to Jerusalem, but in the past thirty years people have actually been leaving due to high rents, and small apartments. Studies have been done (which show) that proximity to parks and gardens indicates a higher quality of life. So the municipality of Jerusalem has been trying to increase funding for such projects,” he related.

Rabbi Judelman highlighted the desire for the park with an anecdote about riding the bus past Tzomet Pat Junction.

“I remember when there was a vote going on in the city as to whether this was going to be a commercial zone or a park and it was a hot Jerusalem July afternoon.

“I was on the 32 bus from the center of town at about 5:00 p.m. and everyone was hot and annoyed and we were anticipating going to war, and we got stopped at the red light in heavy traffic… And every single person’s head was turned to the right looking out the window and gazing at this green area. It encapsulated what this place means for the city.”

For the full interview plus Tu Bishvat music, download Arutz Sheva’s – Israel Beat by clicking here. For the Israel Beat archives click here.