Last night a friend and I watched a film about the Holocaust heroine, Hannah Senesh, who was - by complete fluke - caught and executed by the Hungarian Nazi regime in 1944:
Her story is so poignant, it almost doesn't bear thinking about. Here it is:
One of the most poignant stories of her life is how she wrote her famous poem: Blessed is the Match. The film relates how a great search was made for the scrap of paper on which the poem had been written, and was eventually found in the undergrowth. Here is the poem, along with others:
I think that Hannah's story is related to the death of her famous journalist father, when she was only six, and her subsequent relationship with her mother, who ends up, quite innocently, in the same prison as her.
Hers is a story of true love and compassion, married together with a steeliness and wisdom that is almost unaccountable in a person of 22.
But the previous night, I'd attended an indepth seminar on the lighting of the Shabbat candles: what this custom means, and how modern methods can be used to light the candles - a sign that Judaism doesn't sit still, but moves on and embraces modernity:
One person present said that he had watched Holocaust survivors light Shabbat candles, just to keep life going, when other things had fallen by the wayside.
Whilst writing this, I've just received an e-mail from the lovely person who came with me to the Cornerhouse Cinema to view the film. Not something to do alone:
But isn't it interesting that 'match' also implies marriage, something that Hannah aspired to, but - sadly - never found.