Miriam Leah Epstein Preil
musical neshama

Remembering, Saving — Six Million

Miriam Leah

There’s a familiar Talmudic saying, “Whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved the whole world!”  So too, the murdering of even one life is the same as killing whole future generations.  That number is inestimable, unfathomable.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is here.

Many stories are pouring forth, in memory of dear loved ones, the “six million” who were taken from us.  It isn’t just a number.  We will never know them all, but we must never forget a single one.  Each reminds us of who we are and where we came from, who and what we lost, individually and as a People.

Anguishing as it is for Holocaust survivors and their families to carry, and to share these personal histories with us, something which I can’t begin to know or comprehend, my heart wants to believe in some way that they are in fact “saving” lives, perhaps one person and one family at a time, by telling their stories.  We need to be there.  We need to listen.  Even if we don’t understand.  Who really does after all?!  We need to share.  Our children need to know.  The world needs to know.  The world that was changed forever.

It is Good.  In all the darkness and horror, it is good.  Those people who were annihilated, zk’l, in some ways “come alive” with every story, every experience, every saved fragment, photo or document, every memory, every nuance and remnant and small detail shared.  This way we have the slight chance of getting to know who we lost.  For they will then live on within us!  They are our family, our People, and they will always be our unifying family. They will never be forgotten because they are part of each of us.

As people around the world commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, may the lives of the six million, zk’l, be saved and treasured in their stories to be told and retold, in all generations.  For every life saved, as the Talmud teaches, a whole new world is possible!

May these remembrances serve as an aliya for their precious neshamas.


About the Author
Miriam Leah Epstein Preil grew up in the midwest, but her heart has always been in Israel! She began playing piano by ear when she was six years old, and by age seven was already studying piano seriously. Her musicality and passion for music were remarkable from an early age. She and the piano are inseparable! Music fills her life and home. Miriam Leah has composed pieces for piano, piano and voice, and many Niggunim. Her poetry is unique, each poem stands on its own yet becomes greater within her collection of poems. All universal. She utilizes her writing to engage people in thought, stir discussion, share insights, support causes, bring forth truths, educate, and inspire souls. She has taught Judaics and Jewish music extensively in Jewish Day schools for many years. Miriam Leah combines her love of music and creative writing with her devotion to Am Yisroel and Eretz Yisroel, through her writing of Divrei Torah and advocating for Jewish values and Israel.
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