Holocaust Remembrance Day
By Reb Gutman Locks
Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. I hate it. I can’t stand to see those photographs of that unimaginable cruelty against innocent people, and it hurts even more knowing that the victims were Jews, and that I was alive, sheltered in America those years, or I would not be here either.
As soon as I went to the Kotel they called me over to try to help with an elderly Jewish man. They told me that he was a survivor of the concentration camp Bergen Belsen, and that he wouldn’t put on tefillin.
I walked over and immediately had him bless his grandchildren. Even if they refuse tefillin they almost always agree to this. He read the blessing in perfect Hebrew, and showed great emotion for his grandchildren as he blessed them. This softened him up a lot and I was able to put tefillin on him. He knew the blessing, and told me about his yeshiva background as a child.
I told him that it was Holocaust Remembrance Day and that I was going to send his picture out on the internet and thousands of people were going to see it. I asked, “What is the message you want me to tell them?”
With an angry voice he said, “Tell them that those sons of dogs didn’t destroy us…that we are still here, and we are growing, and my grandchildren are my proof!”