Happy birthday to Mrs. Devorah (Dora) Appel, who just turned 101.
Born in 1919 in Mszana Dolna Poland, her teen years were unfortunately spent within the horrors of several Concentration camps.
Alone in the world after WWII, she found herself in a nearby village next to Auschwitz, at the mercy of a gracious gentile who let her live in his barn. Until one day, one of their boys, Ludvi’k, who befriended her, expressed to her that he knows she is Jewish “but don’t worry I’m not going to disclose it to anyone and we will one day soon go to the city and get married”.
Fearful that he wouldn’t leave her a choice, she escaped that same night far into the woods and spent weeks sleeping under a tree. “I cried to God every night, ‘Please God save me from the two legged animals; I’m not afraid of the four legged animals’…”
Dora was the sole survivor of 9 siblings. Her entire family was sent to their death.
She came to America in 1949.
She bought a grocery store in January 1959 and she’s been working in that grocery store ever since; same place, same store.
As soon as I heard about her birthday, I decided to surprise her and reached out to Yaakov Lemmer to join me, to which he immediately said yes and brought his Antique Field organ to play for this special woman. He ran across the street to buy balloons, while I reached out to Mordy Getz to get her a large print Tehillim gifted by Eichler’s. Thank you for joining in.

Source: @hasidiminusa