Seventy years ago, on August 1, 1944, Anne Frank wrote the final entry in her diary.
Over the past week, I reread The Diary of a Young Girl. I slowly turned the pages, remembering when I was eleven years old and read her work for the first time. I stopped at a sentence that shook me to the core, forty-four years ago: “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
With the news coverage of the Mideast, I’ve been thinking about Israel and Palestine. I find myself wondering what would have happened if Anne Frank had been free to grow into the woman she was meant to become. Maybe she’d still be alive today. Maybe she would have written more astonishing books. Maybe she would have succeeded where nobody has been able to succeed so far – guiding Israelis and Palestinians to live comfortably as neighbors, with mutual tolerance.
I support Israel; I cannot support a terrorist organization like Hamas. However, I grieve equally for the Israeli and Palestinian children who have been injured, traumatized, orphaned, killed. As I think about this ongoing tragedy, I struggle to “defy and define the darkness.”
Then my thoughts turn toward “a single candle.” During this time of intensified turmoil, I will think of Anne Frank. If I get lost in hopelessness, I’ll remember a Jewish girl whose voice soared above the hatred and bloodshed of the Nazi Regime. I’ll turn to her young voice for guidance. I can light “a single candle” any time, any place, in my mind.
I’m lighting “a single candle” right now.
Novels by Amy Kaufman Burk
Hollywood High: Achieve The Honorable
Caroline Black, 15 years old, leaves her college prep academy for the local public high school, which opens her world. Written in reaction to witnessing gay students bullied in high school.
Caroline Black, a rookie psychology intern, goes through one year of training, working with her first patient – a young man who is stormy, seductive, complex and troubled. Written in support of healthy sex and sexuality, in support of lesbian and gay parents, and as a voice against the stigma of therapy.