88 Year Old Bar Mitzvah

“My grandparents were from a Shtetl in Ukraine. When the pogroms began, they escaped to the Rostov region in search of safety. My grandfather – Leib – was a pious Jew. He wrapped Tefilin each morning and prayed with great vigor.

When I was born, Zaidy insisted that I undergo a Bris. He named me Moshe. Zaidy was a proud Jew, and was determined to pass on the traditions to us kids. Times were difficult, but we had a big and happy Jewish family.

But then the Nazis came. They destroyed our family. Zaidy was first to die, the night the bombings began. Then they came for my Bubby Sara. And her children. And her granddaughter – my first cousin. They wiped out our entire family.

When I turned 13, Zaidy wasn’t around to teach me to lay Tefilin. So I never had a Bar Mitzvah.

But today, at the age of 88, I am finally wrapping Tefilin for the very first time. In memory of Zaidy, Bubby and our entire family.

The Nazis are gone, but we are still here.

Am Israel Chai.”

Source: Chaim Danzinger