May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Inspiration in Poland—Two Trips Led by Project Mesorah

As the industry leader in inspiring trips to Poland, Project Mesorah recently completed two individual groups within a two-week period. The first trip consisted of over 120 people from across the U.S., and a second private trip was with 20 members. The general trip was led by the noted Maggid Rav Paysach Krohn and Rav Shlomo Cynamon, Rav of Khal Bnei Torah Flatbush. The trips, inspiring beyond words, have become a trademark event of the noted organization Project Mesorah. Here is a letter shared by Reb Dovid Greenhouse who went along on the first trip. He described his feelings and summary.

“As we waited for our luggage at the baggage claim knowing that we had just landed in Poland, a chill went down my spine. Despite the fact that I was completely overtired I realized that we were actually standing in Poland only 70 years from the liberation. Our heritage and the heritage of Torah Jewry came from Poland and here I am standing in Poland once again. It became quite apparent that we would be starting a full day of visiting holy and memorable places and that the little sleep I caught on the plane would have to do for the time being. The buses were now packed and we started heading towards the last remaining shul in Warsaw, the Noizik shul. As I walked I was flabbergasted by the beauty of the shul and how it is literally the same shul that is in the picture that Project Mesorah’s Director R’ Ari Scharf passed around for all of us to see. The picture showed Jews standing in front of the shul before the war; my mind was blown. We then took a 15-minute drive to the remains of the Warsaw ghetto and cemetery where there are tens of thousands of kevarim. We davened by the Kevarim of Reb Chaim Brisker, the Netziv, the Chemdas Shlomo and many more.

R’ Ari called us over to one kever in particular and said, “Does anyone notice what is different about this Kever?” He continued, “This is not a real kever; it is a bunker made to look like a kever and children hid here at night to stay safe from the Nazis ym”s. Any child who fled through the sewers into the cemetery had a chance of survival because the Nazis refused to go in as they were afraid of diseases, so the children would hide in this bunker disguised as a grave at night because the Nazis ym”s would shoot randomly at anything who moved at night. We then got back on the buses and traveled to Ger to see the ohel of the Sefas Emes, Chidushei Harim, and visit the Ger Beis Medrash. Finally we arrived at our hotel in Lublin for the night, although we were too charged to sleep.

Bright and early the following morning we woke up for shacharis and breakfast before setting off on our second day of our “mission” to Poland. You can’t really understand unless you have been to Poland, but there are really a lot of mixed emotions being there. On the one hand there was the unspeakable horror which haunts us with every step. We also felt a feeling of gratitude to the Ribono Shel Olam for allowing us to be able to live as Jews and return to Poland. We returned to say Kaddish and sing our hearts out to Hakadosh Boruch Hu and thank him for the brachos He has given us. We arrived at the Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin and did Krias haTorah; shortly thereafter Rav Shlomo Cynamon started singing and before we knew it we were dancing around the bima with the Torah. After a truly inspirational and moving speech from Rav Paysach Krohn, Mr. Michael Landau gave a shiur on Daf Hayomi, lighting up the beis hamedrash once again. From the yeshiva we davened at the kevarim of the Maharshal, the Chozeh of Lublin. There is an eerie feeling in the air as we entered the Majdanek Camp. Seeing the gas chambers where so many lost their lives, brought streams of tears down our faces as we sang Ani Maamin. Our day ended in Lizensk where davened at the kever of the Noam Elimelech; we sang and danced and our voices were heard through the streets. Later that night we arrived in Krakow for the night.

That was only one-and-a-half days of the trip. Shabbos in Krakow, visiting the shul and Kever of the Rema, the kevarim of Sarah Schenirer, the Tosfos Yom Tov, the Megaleh Amukos, the Bach, and more—it was truly inspiring.

We left Poland as one unit, as one family. We felt proud that we were part of Project Mesorah, helping the future of klal Yisrael remain bright. Next trip, am bringing many of my friends as well. Thank you, Project Mesorah.

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