by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Pictured above are two brothers who had never seen each other before this day. The one on the left is 73 years old, and the one on the right is 69. The older brother was born in Romania right before the holocaust, and the younger brother was born in Russia.
When the war began, their father was separated from his wife and his young son. He never saw them again. The father managed to escape to Russia. It was known that no people, with the exception of the Germans, were so involved in the massacre of Jews as the Romanians.
“There were instances when the Germans actually had to step in to restrain and slow down the pace of the Romanian murderers, because they were moving too fast for the German bureaucracy.”[i]
The father assumed that his wife and son had been killed.
A few years later, the father remarried and had the younger son. The father died sometime after the war, and after many years of wandering, the younger son was able to immigrate to Canada with the help of an aunt. Meanwhile, the father’s first wife died, and also after many years of wandering, the older son managed to emigrate to Israel.
In Canada, the aunt told the younger son that his father had had another son who most likely was killed in the holocaust. This fascinated the boy, and throughout his life he wondered if, in fact, the brother he had never seen could possibly be alive. He searched, and searched and after many years, with the help of the internet, he was able to trace down his older brother.
On this day, the younger brother came to Israel to meet his 73 year-old brother whom he had never seen. The Israeli brother suggested that they come to the Kotel to thank G-d that they are both alive and have met. They put on tefillin, stood in front of the Kotel, held hands, and thanked G-d for saving them alive and bringing them together. When I took this picture, the younger brother said, “This is the brightest day in my life.”
They went through terrible years of difficult exile. And what did they learn? They learned that instead of weeping over the 70 years that they lost, they are better off rejoicing over the few years that they have left.
[i] The Destruction of the European Jews, pg. 759