Recently, the world observed International Holocaust Day. Straying from my usual format and inspired by one of the coverages in particular, I wanted to share the following video:
So much can be said. So many take-aways. The mere fact that Lily Ebert, a 97 year old Auschwitz survivor was able to team up with her 18 year old great grandson Dov to be able to tell her story through social media is astounding. She proves through her TikTok outreaches how one person can make a difference as she reaches millions to educate. Her essence is overflowing with those qualities that not only made her a survivor, but also, strengthened her voice to motivate others – perseverance, honesty, transparency, ability to endure hardship, willingness to try new things – the ability to love life and live fully.
Her great grandson initially had some knowledge of the holocaust and only knew some of her story. She had no knowledge of TikTok. Together, what a blessed gift to the world was created by this intergenerational partnership! What an unusual 18 year old who so honored his elder that he was able to recognize the importance of sharing his great grandmother’s story. What an evidence of how social media can be used for good. Sadly, however, as Dov mentions, haters and anti-Semites, unfortunately, also speak out on social media.
Perhaps it is this last point that resonates with us especially this week as we heard of the bomb threats at a number of Black universities at the beginning of Black History Month. Words are perhaps mankind’s most powerful weapon for it is these that can set in motion physical acts of violence and irrational thinking and behavior. Words of hate are silenced by words of hope and kindness. Each of us can make a difference. Each of our voices can reach millions. Each of us can eradicate hate if we try, word by word, sentence by sentence, person by person. Be encouraged, for we don’t have to have suffered as did Lily Ebert to bring the power of truth, justice, and love to others.
Just do it.