The Valley itself is a labyrinth of courtyards and walls, of openings and dead ends in which it is intended that visitors will sense some degree of insecurity, of being trapped in a frustrating maze which threatens to collapse upon them, of being caught in a place from which escape is difficult. At the same time, the open sky above and the surrounding flora express the continuity of life.
Some of the communities whose names are engraved in the Valley included hundreds of thousands of Jews; others only a few dozen. Some had been founded less than a century before, while others were ancient communities whose reputation was firmly anchored in Jewish tradition. By organizing themselves in communities, the Jews were able to maintain their uniqueness as a nation. The Jewish community enabled the Jews to safeguard their physical and cultural existence. By the end of the Holocaust, over a thousand years of Jewish communal life had come to an end.