Today, Israel marks Holocaust Day. Many words have been written about the Holocaust, and I want to write about missing graves. If you visit a Jewish cemetery, you might see a lot of gravestones with additional memorial plates.
I took this picture in the Chișinău (Kishinev) Jewish cemetery. Burial of the deceased is considered the final act of kindness a person can perform to the dead. Erecting a “reminder and a name” (Yad-va-Shem), i.e a gravestone, is an intrinsic part of the burial. The Hebrew term for this act of kindness is “Chesed shel emet” — the truthful kindness. Many people died during the Holocaust without a grave, without a gravestone, and without any sign of kindness around them. That is why, when the Holocaust survivors started passing away after the war, their relatives decided to perform this final act of kindness by adding names of those who did not have the fortune to have their own grave.
This is the gravestone of my grandmother’s sister Etl (Ester). The lower plate is a list of eleven relatives who never had a grave
Two years ago I visited Chișinău (Kishinev), the city in Moldova where I was born and where I grew up until the age of fifteen. Today I saw a post with photos from the ancient Chișinău Jewish cemetery and recalled that I too, took many pictures from that sad place. Less than half of the original cemetery survived to these days. The bigger part of it was demolished in the 1960s in favor of a park and a residential area. If you scroll through the pictures below, you will be able to see how they used tombstones to build the park walls.
Another notable feature of many Jewish cemeteries is memorial plates in memoriam of the relatives who don’t have their own graves — the relatives who were murdered over the course of the Jewish history.
Following is a list of useful tips for this kind of presentations.
When presenting, it is very important to see your audience. Thus, use two monitors. Use one monitor for screen sharing, and the other one to see the audience
Put the (Skype) window that shows your audience under the camera. This way you’ll look most natural on the other side of the teleconference.
Starting a presentation in Powerpoint or Keynote “kidnaps” all the displays. You will not be able to see the audience when that happens. I export the presentation to a PDF file and use Acrobat Reader in full-screen mode. The up- and down- buttons in my presentation remote control work with the Reader. The “make screen black” button doesn’t.
I open a “lightable view” of my presentation and put it next to the audience screen. It’s not as useful as seeing the presenter’s notes using a “real” presentation program, but it is good enough.
Stand up! Usually, we stand up when we present in front of live audience. For some reason, when presenting remotely, people tend to sit. A sitting person is less dynamic and looks less engaging. I have a standing desk which allows me to stand up and to raise the camera to my face level. If you can’t raise the camera, stay sitting. You don’t want your audience staring at your groin.
I’ve stumbled upon a nice post by Jackie Hadel where she shared some graffiti pictures from – Chișinău, the town I was born at. I left Chișinău in 1990 and first visited it in this March. I also took several graffiti pictures which I will share here. Chișinău is also known by its Russian name Kishinev.
This is a partially restored post-WWII writing that says “Kishinevers, give your all efforts to rebuild [your] native town”. Kishinev was ruined almost completely during the World War II. Right now, after the USSR collapse more than 25 years ago, the city still looks as if it needs to be restored.
Being a data scientist, I liked this graffiti for the maths. It’s the Pythagorean theorem, in case you missed it.
Swastika on a tombstone in the old Jewish cemetery. One of the saddest places I visited in this city.