2 tragedies in one lifetime

At the I-ACT conference held Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during March 24-27, 2019, I had the honor of hearing Holocaust survivor Judah Samet speak. Samet shared how he survived the Bergen Belsen concentration camp by eating the lice on peoples’ heads. This was the dehumanizing tactic that Samet had to utilize to survive.

But, unlike many Holocaust survivors, Samet is a survivor of another tragedy for the Jewish people. He is a member of the “Tree of Life” synagogue and was minutes late to the deadliest massacre of the Jewish people in America. Samet had a direct view of the shooting from the safety of his car.

On November 23, I had the pleasure of attending a screening of “Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish dog,” hosted by the Standwithus Center for Combating Antisemitism. In this film, we experience the Holocaust through the eyes of Kaleb, a heroic german shepherd dog who belonged to a Jewish family and how he helped an eleven year-old Jewish boy survive the ordeal.

With Hanukkah approaching later this month, the miracle of how the Maccabees succeeded over their enemies, allows me the opportunity to concentrate on the miracles that Hashem creates for us day-by-day. They can be big ones such as surviving the Holocaust or oversleeping for a synagogue shooting or, they can be everyday ones that are as commonplace as waking up in the morning or having food on your dinner table.

Counting your blessings and recognizing Hashem’s miracles are some of the ways that can help us survive travesties. Therefore, whether it be the oil lasting 8 days, or finding a parking space in a busy lot, recognize the little miracles that Hashem creates for you everyday.

About the Author
Chloe Levian is a Jewish student leader at UCLA. She is the President of Bruins for Israel, the Campus Communications Coordinator for BIPAC, and on the Y&S Nazarian Israel Center Student Advisory Council. She is also the StandWithUs Alumni Network Liaison, a Hasbara Fellow, a Ronald S. Lauder Fellow, and a proud member of Iranian American Jews for Racial Justice. Chloe is passionate about Israel advocacy, combating antisemitism, and social justice.
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