Rosh Hashana, literally translated as “Head of the Year”, is also referred to as the Day of Remembrance, when G-d conducts a yearly review of His creation.
My mother’s commandment – “Live, Remember, Tell the World” – propelled me onward to survive. There were endless opportunities for me to be killed or to just shrivel up and die. Her words guided me and gave me the will to struggle on. I was afraid to die, as that would mean violating my mother’s command. I was afraid to sit down, lest I not manage to get back up to continue. G-d chose me to be among the survivors, to “Live to Remember and to Tell the World.”
My mother’s command impels me to this very day. It accompanied me as I struggled to raise healthy and happy children and students, proudly and intensely committed to Jewish continuity.
My generation died as committed Jews. You have the opportunity to live as committed Jews, to learn and to teach Torah, to raise Jewish families.
Our heritage teaches us that students are akin to children. To all my children – former students and to all those who have heard me speak and/or read my book, “Live, Remember, Tell the World” – I urge you to raise proud Jewish children and to build and strengthen Jewish communities.
You too are being called to Choose Life!
May G-d’s blessing be with you in the coming year, 5766, as you run with the baton and proudly continue the chain of our golden heritage.
May you be inscribed in the Book of Life – and fill that life with meaningful Jewish continuity.
Please note: Rabbi Naftali Schiff from Aish Hatorah in London together with JRoots have produced a stirring 40 minute documentary about the miracle of my life and survival called “Choose Life“. You may view it at http://www.aish.com/h/9av/mm/Choose-Life-A-Documentary-about-Leah-Kaufman–.html?s=fab