I was born in the United States, but because my grandfather is from Poland, I am also from Poland.
It is the place where the stories of my family have their roots. It is the place where I can trace the beginnings of my own love of music, and the place where my family’s history was ended, cut short when they were murdered in the Warsaw ghetto.
For me and my grandfather, music sustains us. And for my grandfather, it quite literally saved his life. When I hear my grandfather sing, I hear my history come alive, I see the family that I never knew, and I feel the connection to the traditions of a people someone tried to erase. By going on this journey and returning to Poland, with my grandfather and the family that he continued, I honor the past, and I sing for the future.
There are so many more things I want to tell you.
But for now, I encourage you to read my grandfather’s memoir: www.onevoicetwolives.com
and if you want to go back and revisit Poland with us, you can see my previous entries on this blog: #MyPolishWisnia
In Hebrew, when we celebrate, we often say “L’chayim” – “To Life.” Because we know that in the face of being denied the right to exist, the greatest act of defiance is to live.