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      Blessings from Hebron
      by David Wilder
      Personal Reflections on Hebron, Eretz Yisrael, Friends, Family and anything else that comes to mind.
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      David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.

      For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.

      David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 35 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 15 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.

      Links to sites David recommends:
      www.davidwilder.net
      www.hebron.com (English)
      www.hebron.org.il (Hebrew)
      www.machpela.com
      www.ohrshlomo.org (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshalom.net (Hebrew)
      www.womeningreen.org
      www.zoa.org
      (others to be added)

      Nissan 23, 5768, 4/28/2008

      Will Jews Merit another Shema Yisrael at Chazon David?


      Good News! - At twelve midnight word was received that the 'authorities' decided to postpone the destruction of Chazon David due to the number of people present at the site, ready to physically protest the razing of the synagogue. Chazon David still stands!

      A number of years ago two Jews were killed the same day in Kiryat Arba. In the morning David Cohen, sitting in his car near the western gate leading out of Kiryat Arba to Hebron, was shot and killed by terrorists. Later that night the Kiryat Arba municipal council protested the opening of a checkpoint which had allowed the murder to occur. While gathering outside the Kiryat Arba fence, near the location of the recently opened checkpoint, terrorists opened fire on the group. Several people were hit. Councilman and longtime Kiryat Arba resident Hezzy Mualem was killed.

      In memory of the two men Kiryat Arba founded the Chazon David synagogue, on empty land between Kiryat Arba proper and the Givat Avot neighborhood, to the west. The synagogue was recognized by the government as an illegal 'hill-top settlement,' and a few years ago was destroyed a couple of days before Passover. Army tractors bulldozed the synagogue to the ground.

      However Kiryat Arba - Hebron residents refused to accept the decree and rebuilt the synagogue. A game of cat and mouse ensued. People would reconstruct the synagogue and every once in a while, in the middle of the night, it was destroyed.

      Last Rosh HaShana the Israeli left, together with local Arabs, decided to burn the synagogue down. However the plan became known to Sheikh Jabri, the leader of the largest Arab clan in Hebron, and he forbade the destruction.

      According to intelligence reports received by Hebron-Kiryat Arba residents, sometime tonight, or early tomorrow morning, the Israeli army is planning on perpetrating the act forbidden by a Muslim Arab Sheikh from Hebron. They are planning on destroying the synagogue again.

      Anyone able to get to Kiryat Arba in the next few hours is asked to do so and to assist in trying to stop this sacrilege.

      Earlier tonight I prayed evening prayers at the Chazon David Synagogue and photographed. Below are some of the photos of the synagogue as it is today. Will Chazon David merit another prayer service tomorrow? Will Jews again be able to recite Shema Yisrael at this holy site?


       



      Nissan 13, 5768, 4/18/2008

      Forty Years in the Desert



      The group of Jews who initiated and participated in that ‘Seder’ in Hebron in 1968 were the sparks that set the fire of the return of the Jewish people to themselves after two thousand years.
       

      On Saturday night we will participate in one of Judaism’s most ancient ceremonies, and certainly one of the year’s most treasured events. We sit around a table and conduct a Seder – the annual recitation of the story of Israel’s redemption from Egypt.

      Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, writes that that exodus had a two-fold purpose. On the one hand, it was a goal in and of itself, that being liberation from Egyptian bondage. However, he teaches that the exodus was also a means to an end,  that end being the reception of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and eventually, observance of that Torah in Eretz Yisrael.  The exodus as a stand-alone event was momentous, but its real significance came to pass only years and decades later.

      We are currently marking the sixtieth anniversary of Israeli independence. The Jewish people have made tremendous leaps and bounds over the past six decades. Who could have expected, in May of 1948, the power and prestige a Jewish state would command at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This is especially notable considering the fact that the Jewish people, coming out of a 2,000 year old exile, had to virtually recreate its national being from scratch, having been totally removed from exercises in sovereignty for two millennium. On top of this we can never forget that Israel was reborn from within the ashes of Auschwitz. Jews have prayed, day in and day out for thousands of years for not only a return to Zion, but also for Techiat HaMetim, the revival of the dead. Israeli independence is no less than revival of the dead.  For this, we rejoice and give thanks to the L-rd for have granted us this most magnanimous gift of national life.

      That’s the up side. The down side is all too well known. From the very beginning there was a concerted effort made to oppress the foundations of Jewish being. The founding fathers, or most of them, were not great fans of observant Judaism. The kidnapping and forced resettling of over 1,000 Yemenite children is perhaps the quintessential example of attempts to eradicate Judaism from the Jews.  Yet Ben Gurion was known to have answered, in reply to a question about Jewish legitimacy   to settle in Eretz Yisrael, that the source of Jewish rights to the Land is the Bible.


      The relationship between Israel’s leadership and our Land has been overtly problematic. Eretz Yisrael was almost viewed as a ‘card’ to be dealt at the proper time. This was explicitly felt both prior to and following the 1967 Six Day war, when Israeli leaders attempted to refrain from liberating Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and following their liberation, expressed a desire to abandon them at the first possible opportunity. So it was that Israeli paratroopers, having captured the Old City of Jerusalem and Judaism’s most sacred site, Temple Mount and the Kotel (The Western Wall) were told to prepare to leave only a short time after the victory.


      Yamit, Oslo, the Hebron accords, Gush Katif and the northern Shomron all speak for themselves. Other words are superfluous.


      Where does this leave us, after sixty years?

      In my humble opinion, the state of Israel isn’t really sixty years old. Yes, if we count from 1948, to 2008, the result is sixty. But in reality, we couldn’t really call ourselves a full-fledged sovereign entity while our heart was still in captivity. That heart being Jerusalem and Hebron. They go hand-in-hand, together. David began in Hebron for seven and a half years before moving up to Jerusalem. Hebron was lost in 1929; Jerusalem in 1948. Jerusalem was liberated on the 28th of Iyar and Hebron the following day. Hebron was chopped into two parts in January, 1997. Ehud Barak offered Arafat 90% of Jerusalem only a few years ago. The fates of these two eternal, holy cities are inextricably combined and cannot be separated. 


      Following the Six Day war former Jerusalem residents, expelled during the 1948 War of Independence were repatriated. Moshe Dayan, then Minister of Defense, refused to speak to former Hebron Jewish homeowners who had lost their property to Arab marauders following the 1929 riots and massacre, and subsequent final expulsion in the spring of 1936. Only in 1968, exactly forty years ago this Friday, did Jews return to the first Jewish city in Israel.


      As with many such stories, from close-up they seem almost ordinary. In reality, not only a physical reality, but also a metaphysical truth, such events are earthshaking, or perhaps better put,  ‘heaven-shaking. ‘ The return of a small group of Jews, that 1968 Passover in Hebron, with the guidance of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, with the participation of Rabbis Waldman, Druckman and Levinger, was the forerunner of a massive awakening, a returning to the heart of our land throughout Judea and Samaria. But this awakening too was not only a corporeal return to the land; rather, it was, primarily, a spiritual arousing, the voice of the Jewish people bursting through the ages, an almost primal expression of the faith buried so deep inside the souls of the Jewish people, who for centuries had cried out ‘next year in Jerusalem,’ whereby ‘Jerusalem’ was the keyword representing all our land, Eretz Yisrael. Without Jerusalem, without Shechem, without Hebron, we were as a body without a soul, a golem, whose bodily movements were predefined, perhaps classified as ‘natural.’ But the spirit, the inner essence, the heart, the soul, was missing. Only with the liberation of Jerusalem and Hebron and with them the rest of Judea and Samaria could we really and truly say, ‘we are back home – we have returned.’


      That Passover, forty years ago, was the breaking of the ice – the trailblazer, the results of which are the authentic rebirth, physically and spiritually, of the Jewish people. As Jews began returning to their physical roots, so too did they commence the return to their spiritual roots; the numbers of Jews who have ‘returned,’ who have come back to observant Judaism in the past 40 years is beyond numbers. And that homecoming, as such, began with, and was initiated by our return to our land, our return to our heart – to Jerusalem and Hebron. The group of Jews who initiated and participated in that ‘Seder’ in Hebron in 1968 might not have known it then, and maybe some of them are still unaware of it today, but they were the sparks that set the fire of the return of the Jewish people to themselves after two thousand years.

      Just as the exodus from Egypt had a double goal; one immediate and the other long-term, so too did our statehood in 1948 have a double agenda; one immediate – announcing before all the world, we, the Jewish people have not died out, we have escaped the bondage of galut, of exile, you have not been able to extinguish us; and also long-term – to bring the people back to all their land, to all their land and to all their heart and soul, physically and spiritually.


      So as we celebrate sixty years and forty years, we can conclude that really, only now, are we beginning. The Jewish people spent forty years in the desert before entering the Land, forty years fraught with problem and crises. Now, we too have finished forty years, also filled with unimaginable predicaments. And just as then, when we came into the land the problems didn’t come to a swift end, we too, today, may still face unbearable situations. But those aren’t the key. The key is, we are home, we are in Israel, we have returned to Hebron and to Jerusalem, we have rediscovered ourselves, we have been granted the Divine gift of life, we are here to stay.


      Happy Passover, Happy 60, Happy 40!
       ***********************************************************************
      |Passover Schedule
      We are gearing up for a joyous holiday season in Hebron this Passover. Please see our website at www.hebron.com for more information on Tuesday's Hebron Music Festival and our special holiday tour schedule. Bring your friends to celebrate Pesach in Hebron!



      Nissan 12, 5768, 4/17/2008

      Happy Passover-Pesach in Hebron-'Interesting' Articles



      To include this holy man, Rabbi Dov Lior, in a list which includes Nasrallah, is sacrilege. I can only suggest that perhaps some readers react.
      First, Happy Passover. If you're interested in coming to Hebron this Passover, see: http://tinyurl.com/3sq5jf for details.

      I'd like to draw your attention to several articles that you might find interesting:

      First: today the Washington Post, [http://tinyurl.com/47uect] printed an article by Mahmoud al-Zahar, the so-called foreign minister of Hamas in Gaza. Among other pearls, he writes, "Resistance remains our only option. Sixty-five years ago, the courageous Jews of the Warsaw ghetto rose in defense of their people. We Gazans, living in the world's largest open-air prison, can do no less." (As I'm writing, I'm listening to Shimon Peres speak in the Polish parliament)

      The Post, in an editorial response to this article [http://tinyurl.com/3kqksv] writes, "ON THE OPPOSITE page today we publish an article by the "foreign minister" of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahar, that drips with hatred for Israel, and with praise for former president Jimmy Carter. We believe Mr. Zahar's words are worth publishing because they provide some clarity about the group he helps to lead, a group that Mr. Carter contends is worthy of being included in the Middle East peace process...it is one thing to communicate pragmatically, and quite another to publicly and unconditionally grant recognition and political sanction to a leader or a group that advocates terrorism, mass murder or the extinction of another state. That is what Mr. Carter is doing by lending what is left of his prestige to an avowed terrorist such as Khaled Meshal -- or Mahmoud al-Zahar."

      A few days ago the Jerusalem Post printed an op-ed piece by M.J. Rosenberg [http://tinyurl.com/4h6raw], in which the author writes, among other lovelys, "Then there are places like Hebron in which the army is deployed to defend a tiny population of settler extremists prone to torment local Palestinian kids. Last time I was there I got to see a terrorized population facing incessant abuse from extremists. (One Israeli government official described the Hebron settlers last week as "the worst of the worst.") Not only that, young Israeli soldiers - hating every minute of their service in Hebron - are themselves continually abused by settlers who think the soldiers should be doing their bidding rather than protecting the local population from them."

      Dr. Robert M. Goldberg, in an article called "The Sordid Exercise" in The American Spectator [http://tinyurl.com/4qr4le] responds: "Indeed, Rosenberg has kinder things to say about Hamas, Stephen Walt, and John Mearsheimer than he does about his Jewish brethren. He calls Jewish settlers that have, with support of the government and often at the cost of their lives and the lives of their children, tamed a dangerous border, "the worst of the worst." (He claims young Israeli soldiers hate every minute of their service in Hebron. He should speak to my son who serves in the IDF and has nothing but good things to say about Hebron's residents.)"

      And I've saved the best for last. In a list of "The World's Worst Religious Leaders" in foreignpolicy.com [http://tinyurl.com/3vu6py], the magazine 'honors', in the same breath with Hassan Nasrallah, the righteous, 'gadol hador,' my Rabbi and teacher, Rav Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hebron-Kiryat Arba.

      Rabbi Lior is one of the most highly respected religious leaders in Israel. A brilliant scholar, his halachic rulings (Jewish law rulings), are known internationally. A student of Rav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, Rabbi Lior has taught Torah to thousands in the Kiryat Arba Nir Yeshiva and around Israel. He has worked for decades for the betterment of the Jewish people and has dedicated his life to Hebron and Jewish resettlement in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

      Rabbi Lior has never said, (as is claimed in the above article) that it is permissable under Jewish law to indiscriminately "kill Arabs" or that the commandant not to murder applies only to Jews. He has ruled that the armed forces, when facing attack by enemies who are taking cover in areas which include civilians, may and should respond appropriately, in a manner which will least endanger Israeli soldiers' lives, even if 'innocent civilians'' lives are endangered.

      It should also be noted that the photograph of Rabbi Lior that appears in the article was taken from the website of one Kawther Salam, an Arab 'journalist' presently living in Vienna. She 'covered' Hebron years ago, during the shooting attacks of the 2nd Intifada (the Oslo War), and has opened an anti-Hebron, anti-Israel website, filled with hate and lies. She identifies Israeli military officers as 'military / IDF terrorists.' It is interesting to note that Foreignpolicy.com utilizes such a website for source material for their articles. (She can be emailed at: kawther_salam@yahoo.com)

      To include this holy Rabbi in a list which includes Nasrallah is sacrilege. I can only suggest that perhaps some readers react. Letters to the editor can be addressed to: fpletters@CarnegieEndowment.org or at: fp@ceip.org - Their phone and fax are: Phone: (202) 939-2230 Fax: (202) 483-4430. The editor-in-Chief is Moisיs Naםm. The Senior editor is Michael C. Boyer and can be reached at (202) 939-2345.


      If I add another blog before Pesach, I'll write this again. If not, Pesach Sameach - Happy Passover to all Arutz 7 readers. If you're interested in coming to Hebron this Passover, see: http://tinyurl.com/3sq5jf for details.



      Nissan 6, 5768, 4/11/2008

      Why can't Jews buy homes in Hebron?



      A people with no past, or a people that refuses to recognize its past, has no future.
      Many events, despite their joy and festivity, may also have bittersweet shadows lurking behind them.

      It is customary at every Jewish wedding, that under the huppa, or wedding canopy, the groom recites the words from Psalms 137:5-6: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy." In some traditions the groom also places ashes on his forehead, recalling the destruction of the second Temple, and breaks a glass as an expression of loss. Even on the happiest of occasions, we recall the depths of sorrow at the loss of our most significant national enterprises, Jerusalem and the Temple.

      ON THURSDAY night I attended a wedding. The daughter of one of Hebron's leaders was married in Jerusalem. As is wont at such weddings, the groom rubbed two sets of ashes on his forehead: ashes discovered in the Old City of Jerusalem, from the fire 2,000 years ago which destroyed the city, and also dust from Gush Katif, razed and obliterated almost three years ago, this summer.

      However, this past Thursday night had a particularly poignant significance. The groom was a graduate of Mercaz HaRav High School. He knew many of the young men killed there by an Arab terrorist just a few weeks ago. The night of his marriage was also the "shloshim" - the 30th day following the murders. That night there was also a large memorial service at the yeshiva in memory of the young victims.

      So, when the groom recited the words, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem," all the people in attendance were remembering not only the Temple from two millennium ago, but the deaths of those eight students, only a short time ago.

      This is, perhaps, the story of Judaism: a combination of sadness and happiness, mixed together, making for the Jewish people.

      SOME EVENTS can be understood; others are difficult to fathom. We are currently celebrating the first anniversary of the conclusion of the purchase of Beit HaShalom in Hebron. Exactly a year ago attorneys gave us the green light, and in we went. This huge, 3,500 square meter structure, strategically located on the road between Hebron and Kiryat Arba, was the first property purchased outside of the borders of the original Jewish neighborhoods. The roof of the building serves as a lookout, with a view of Kiryat Arba to the east and the Hebron Hills to the south. It is an amazing sight; on the one hand, exceedingly beautiful, and on the other hand, a bona fide security asset.

      Israel is on the verge of a 60th birthday. Since the birth of the state in 1948, despite all the problems encountered, Israel has made tremendous achievements. Who could have expected that a people being shoveled into ovens only a few years before, with over six million of their brethren exterminated, could overcome all odds and bring an ancient nation back to life, a feat unequaled by any other culture or nationality in the history of the world. It certainly does deserve to be celebrated.

      However I cannot but sense that this celebration is somewhat bittersweet with the case in point an excellent example, a microcosm of issues continually encountered.

      The Jews came back home to Israel; but to what kind of an Israel? Of course growth and development are measures of success. But do we remember where we've come from? Do we take into account the triumphs upon which modern Israel was born? Do we recall the bedrock which serves as the justification for the rebirth of our people in our homeland?

      HEBRON WAS the first Jewish city in the land of Israel, home to our patriarchs and matriarchs. The Cave of Machpela is our people's second holiest site, after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It was off-limits to Jews for 700 years, until Hebron came under Israeli control in the 1967 Six-Day War. As we celebrate 60 years of independence, so too we observe 40 years since the return of Jewish residency in Hebron during Passover of 1968.

      Yet when Jews legally purchase a building in Hebron, 60 years after the rebirth of our statehood, such a transaction is automatically shrouded in controversy. So much so that the families in the building were prevented from installing glass windows throughout a snowy and rainy winter. At present they still may not install plastic shades on the windows, nor may they hook up the building to the city's central electric services. This is not due to any question of the legality of the purchase, but rather to a fundamental question: Can Jews continue to live, grow and develop freely in Hebron?

      How can we, as a people, justify our existence in Tel Aviv or Haifa, if we do not recognize the validity of our presence in Hebron? If we cannot accept and respect the very pillars upon which our statehood lies, a peek into a crystal ball of the days and years to come looks dismal and bleak. A people with no past, or a people that refuses to recognize its past, has no future.

      A Jewish purchase of a building such as Beit HaShalom in Hebron should not be viewed as "problematic." Instead it should be cheered on as a positive step in the renewal of Israel's oldest city.

      The time has come for Jews throughout Israel and around the world to declare their allegiance to Hebron.

      --------------------------------------------------------------
      This Op-Ed piece was published this week in the Jerusalem Post.

      THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 8, 2008



      Nissan 1, 5768, 4/6/2008

      The Gabbai



      Yaamod, 57200148! ... Shloimele Shloimele! Is it really you?"
      The gabbai's eyes moved rapidly across the familiar faces of the men packed
      into shul on this sunny Shabbos morning.

      Shloime Kaufman, the gabbai, had been going through this routine for the
      past twenty years, looking out over the congregation and at his many friends
      and neighbors a world of warm-hearted people with whom he shared his life.
      Choosing a few each week for aliyos was a job that came with its
      difficulties, but it also gave him the weekly opportunity to count these
      blessings. This secure, contented world in which he found himself was all
      the more precious because, by any law of logic or probability, it should
      never have come into existence.

      The world Mr. Kaufman had known as a child and young man in Poland had been
      erased. It had collapsed all around him, snuffing out the lives of his loved
      ones. At the time, he had thought that surely the few survivors who managed
      to emerge from the rubble alive would be left with nothing no yeshivos, no
      shuls, no gedolim to guide them. And yet, here he was, the grandfather of a
      beautiful, Torah-observant family, the gabbai of a thriving shul, surrounded
      by friends and family. Better to relish the miracle of the present than
      think too much about the searing pain of the past.

      Mr. Kaufman scanned the rows of men as the Torah was removed from the ark.
      His eyes rested upon an unfamiliar face, a man about his own age with a
      short grey beard. He hadn't seen him in shul before. He surmised that he
      must be a guest. But there was something very familiar about this face.

      Suddenly, the man's features and expression jarred loose a powerful flash of
      recognition in Mr. Kaufman's mind. It was Menachem Reiner, his closest
      childhood friend. It was Menachem, the boy with whom he had grown up in
      their small Polish shtetl, with whom he had attended yeshivah in Bialystock.
      It was Menachem, the young man to whom he had clung, and who had clung to
      him, as they began their cattle-car journey into the fearsome blackness of
      Auschwitz . They had promised each other to stick together, they had given
      each other courage and hope. Bearing the numbers the Nazis had tattooed on
      their arms, they had found in each other the strength to hold onto their
      humanity and resist becoming only numbers. They had vowed to help each other
      survive, both in body and soul.

      And they did survive, Boruch Hashem. But when the war ended, each went his
      own way, eager to begin anew. For sanity's sake, they each tucked the past
      away into a deep, locked box that would be opened only on rare occasions.
      Menachem had settled in Israel , and Shloime Kaufman had obtained a visa for
      America .

      Consumed with creating a future and healing the wounds of the past, they had
      lost touch with each other. That was forty-two years ago. Now, with
      unbelieving eyes and trembling hands, Mr. Kaufman beheld the unmistakable
      face of his friend once again. Shlomie decided in his mind: Menachem Reiner
      would get the sixth aliyah.

      As the Torah reading began, the gabbai felt as if his heart could not be
      contained in his chest. He wanted to leap across the rows of men and fall
      upon his friend in a mighty embrace. "This must be how Yosef felt when he
      finally saw his brother Binyamin," he thought to himself. "All these years!"
      Nevertheless, he clamped a tight lid on his emotions and performed his duty,
      calling up each aliyah with the traditional chant of "Ya'amod" followed by
      the honoree's Hebrew name. By the fifth aliyah, however, beads of sweat were
      sparkling on his forehead and tears were welling up in his eyes. He prayed
      that when the time came to call up number six, his voice would be able to
      break free of his tight throat.

      There was no need to ask Menachem his name because he could never forget
      Menachem ben Yehoshua. For the first time, he began to wonder how would
      Menachem react when they came face to face? It was time to call him up, but
      Mr. Kaufman could not open his mouth. There were no words fit for this
      moment. All the suffering locked away in that figurative box was now out in
      the open, laid out before his eyes, and it was too much to bear.

      The congregation began murmuring and looking toward Mr. Kaufman, fearing
      that the pale, trembling man was becoming ill. A deep cry rose up inside the
      gabbai a cry to Hashem that contained in its broken sound all of His
      children's cries of anguish. Mr. Kaufman turned in the direction of his
      friend and at last found his voice. "Yaamod, 57200148!" he called.

      The baffled men in the shul did not understand what had happened. What was
      this number? What had become of Mr. Kaufman? But in the back of the room,
      one man understood completely. The number was Menachem's number, tattooed on
      his arm as a lifetime reminder of the darkest period of Jewish history, the
      epic tragedy of his people which he had witnessed with his own eyes.

      The entire shul sat in stony silence as Menachem moved slowly toward the
      bimah. Finally, as they saw him approaching his long-lost brother, they
      understood the scene that was unfolding in front of them. Menachem needed no
      introduction. With tears coursing down his face, he cried out, "Shloimele!
      Shloimele! Is it really you?" "Yes, Menachem, it's really me!" Mr. Kaufman
      answered, embracing his friend. They wept into each other's shoulders,
      rocking gently. "Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay," Mr. Kaufman breathed. Words were
      powerless to carry his chaotic emotions.

      The entire shul sat spellbound, witnessing a moment that could have melted a
      heart made of iron. As these two men stood together, living witnesses to the
      Jewish people's miraculous survival, it seemed that the Heavens had opened
      up to declare, through them, that Hashem would never forsake His people. Am
      Yisrael Chai! The Jewish nation is alive, and Torah has been rebuilt in
      America .

      The Holocaust survivors who came to America planted the seeds, and it is up
      to us to reap the fruits of their labor and continue their legacy. (From,
      Stories for the Jewish Heart - Book 2 R. Binyomin Pruzansky)
      (Thanks to Jack L. for emailing me this)