Monday, April 18, 2016

My Father’s Revenge

We did it! We got our seven children, their spouses and children, my husband and me all in one picture. Okay, it wasn’t a great picture. Some of the grandchildren made faces. Others were half hidden by taller relatives. Still, I was thankful to have a picture of all of us together.

All of us! My eyes keep returning to the refrigerator door where the photo hangs. As I study the dear faces I can’t help thinking of several verses from the Pesach Haggadah.

And it is this that has stood by our fathers and us. For not only one has risen against us to annihilate us, but in every generation they rise against us to annihilate us. But the Holy One, Blessed be He, rescues us from their hand.

courtesy of

In 1937, at the age of seventeen, my father fled Nazi Germany. Thanks to a well-to-do uncle in America, and of course, Divine intervention, he and his family were among the privileged who had a country to flee to. My father was blessed with a good life, a loving wife, and one child, me. It couldn’t have been easy for him when I moved halfway around the world to live in the Land of Israel but he tried to be supportive.

In his later years my father crossed the ocean three times to attend the weddings of three of his grandchildren. He spent the last year of his life living with us in Israel. During that year he merited knowing four great-grandchildren. Since his death all of his grandchildren have married. Hashem blessed us with a number of additional grandchildren. Hence the crowded family picture and my father’s revenge on the Nazis.

My father’s story is not unique. Just as it says in the Haggadah in every generation they rise up against us. But they never succeed in totally annihilating us. The picture on my refrigerator bears witness to the truth of that statement.

As Pesach nears my heart is full of many prayers. I pray that this will be the year that when we say Next year in Jeruslaem it will truly happen and all the Jews will come home. I pray that when we open the door for Eliayhu the Prophet he will herald the coming of the Moshiach. More than anything else, I pray that this will be the year that our enemies will give up trying to annihilate us and we will truly have peace.


Batya Medad said...

Didn't I take that photo of your family on a Friday before Shabbat?

Ester said...

That was erev Shabbat Holomod Sukkot when my father was still alive and living with us. We were about half the size then....