If you ask anyone around the world what child they connect with the Holocaust era, Anne Frank is surely the response they would give. Over the last few years I’ve learned lots and re-read her famous diary, and I would like to share with you some of her observations about the world. For me, her diary is not just a description of the time between the years 1942-1945. Her diary is one way of many to help us understand suffering in our world.
Anne started writing her diary 71 years ago, when her family was hidden by another Dutch family. She began to write her diary -יוֹמָן- on December 6th, 1942. On the very first page of first the diary we read:
“אני מקווה שאוכל לגלות לך את כל מה שלא יכולתי לגלות עד עכשיו לאף אחד, ואני מקווה שאמצא בך ידיד נאמן ותומך.”
“I hope that I will be able to tell you all that I couldn’t say until now to anyone, and I hope to find you a loyal and supportive friend.”
Today, in an age where in a matter of seconds we post our current status on our Facebook page, fewer and fewer people tend to write diaries. Reading Anne’s words not only take us back through history, but we are also reminded that feelings and observations can be expressed more eloquently than through an emoticon.
Let’s take a look at some of her writings before she drifted off to sleep:
“ובערב, כאשר אני שוכבת במיטתי ומסיימת את תפילתי במילים: ”אני מודה לך על כל הטוב והחביב והיפה“ – צוהל לבי בקרבי. אני מהרהרת ב“טוב“ שבמחבואנו,
בבריאותי ובעצמי… ב”יפה“ שהוא העולם…. ואז אינני נותנת דעתי על כל הסבל, אלא על כל היופי שעוד נותר.”
“And at night, when I lie my bed and I end my prayer with the words “I thank you (God) over all the good, the pleasant
and the beauty”, my heart rejoices. I ponder all the “good” in our hiding place, in my health and myself…with the “beauty” that there’s in our world… and then I am not thinking about the suffering but about the beauty that was left.” (2/3/1944)
When Anne later compares herself to mother, she offers the advice that people should go out into the field, into nature, and to find happiness there. If people began thinking her liker her mother, she says, they would be lost, as her mother was always consumed by suffering and couldn’t even imagine happiness, as she said:
“והמאושר בעצמו ייתן אושר גם לאחרים. מי בעל גבורה ואמונה, לעולם לא יאבד בייסורים!”
“The one who is happy gives happiness to others. Anyone who has courage and faith won’t be lost by misery.”
What do you think about Anne’s way to combat suffering? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Have a nice week,
Hiding place-Machbo’- מַחְבּוֹא