Also available at Vervante Books.
About “Buried Rivers”
In January 2005, on a German train, I was touched by spirits who had died in the Holocaust and who remained deeply troubled. A few weeks later, a spiritual advisor expressed it to me this way: “They can’t get over what happened. If you can answer one question for them, it will really help. The question is, ‘How can you still believe in basic goodness?’”
Decades earlier, I had met a Tibetan Buddhist teacher and begun to meditate. Though not particularly religious, my Jewish survivor parents felt I was betraying the heritage for which their families had been murdered. Thirty years later, these ghost-like spirits were approaching me for help. The challenge overwhelmed me at first, and then I had the idea of traveling to Poland, the Holocaust’s largest graveyard, where both my parents and their ancestors had lived for many generations. I had no way of knowing what doors would open through my willingness to take that leap and trust in the unknown.
Above: the only existing family photo of my mother (top right), my uncle (bottom right), their parents, and siblings before the war.
Click on a photo below to read an excerpt.
The story begins on a train in Germany, in January of 2005. Read the opening pages here.
Living in my mother’s home town in 2009, I find clues to my family’s past in an uncle’s unpublished memoir.
Read excerpts about visits to Auschwitz and the Bearing Witness Retreat I attended with Zen Peacemakers Bernie Glassman Sensei, Rabbi Ohad Ezrahi and others.
My memoir describes the research I did, not only on-line and in Polish archives housing physical documents, but also in hidden archives of the heart.
In one of the final chapters, interesting conversations and questions arise when I visit a Catholic hermitage near Kielce and befriend its junior priest.