Thursday, February 13, 2020

Family Is: A Missed Opportunity

When you think “family” what’s the image you see? Do you have a great photo of it? …Share an award-worthy picture of your very personal concept of family and explain what makes that view so special, and you could win $500…

This appeared in the February edition of Reader’s Digest and I was intrigued. I had a perfect picture and an emotional explanation of it. The snapshot, taken by my daughter-in-law, was posed late Friday afternoon, close to candle lighting of the shabbat of my eldest grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. My husband and I posed with the Bar Mitzvah boy, surrounded by his siblings and cousins. We stood on a grassy expanse of Kibbutz Lavi in the Galil.  The green foliage, colorful clothing, and happy smiles made it a most joyful photo.

My explanation was on the more serious side. I would call the picture My Father’s Revenge and explain how at age seventeen, in 1937, my father had fled Nazi Germany all alone, not knowing if he’d ever see his mother, father, or brothers again. He was one of the fortunate ones. Due to Divine Providence (and his uncle’s friendship with an Oklahoman senator) not only did he enter America safely, but his brother arrived six months later and his parents and second brother the following year.

Walter J Katz built himself a good life. I wanted to share his miracle. Just a quick glance at the photo with all his great-grandchildren shows that Hitler’s Final Solution failed, thank G-d.

Already thinking about how I’d spend my prize money I opened up the website to check out the contest rules.

Eligibility: Reader’s Digest’s “Family Is…” photo contest (#227) is sponsored by Trusted Media Brands, Inc. (“Sponsor”) and is open to legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at time of entry. 
I was out! For thirty-three years I haven’t been a U.S. resident. For a couple of minutes I considered fudging it and using a friend’s or relative’s address from the USA. Quickly I discarded that idea. It wouldn’t be honest.

Besides, a big part of my father’s miracle is that he has a family of three generations living in the Land of Israel. Not only did The Final Solution fail but the State of Israel exists. If we listen carefully we can hear the approaching footsteps of the Mashiach. 
There will be no $500 prize money for me but I have a much bigger reward. I’m blessed to live with all my family in the Land that G-d gave to the Jewish people. We have a front-row seat when the Redemption comes. What could be better than that?
The announcement in Reader's Digest


Ariela ben-Eliezer said...

i just love to read your articles, advice and homey stories whether you posted them yesterday, last month or a year ago. i can catch one while browsing around on the computer and reread it again and again and gain new insights each time. thank you for sharing such pearls of wisdom and personal insights into family and life in shilo...esp having come from so far away, another world, another lifetime. thank you, ester, for being you. love, me

Ester Katz Silvers said...

Thank you, Ariela