Wednesday, November 08, 2006
“Dear friend, it’s Yitzchak Leib, your neighbor. I have news from home.
The day you left for the army, the Germans invaded. They dropped into our village and rounded up all the Jews. I saved myself by fleeing into the forest, and I watched it all unfold. They herded all of our brothers and sisters into the Shul and locked all the doors. The Nazis then set fire to the walls of the Shul, while the cries from within went unheard. Your parents weren’t in the Shul because they had gone into hiding, but the Nazis found them. The Nazis hanged them both.
In the Shul, your wife stood holding your young son in her arms. She watched as all the men wrapped themselves in their Talleisim, preparing to meet their heavenly Father. She watched as the Rav went up to the Aron Kodesh and took out a Sefer Torah.
He turned to the holy congregation. 'We are leaving this world behind us now, my dearest brothers, but let us not fear. The angels are waiting for us in Gan Eden.’
The Shul was dark through the smoke.
‘Come let us do Teshuva on this holy day, let us return our souls to Him clean and pure, like on the day we were born. We will leave like heroes, going proudly from this place. This world was a foolish one, let our hearts not be bothered.’
Black smoke was filling the Shul. The congregation stood listening to the Rav with eyes burning, souls shining.
‘Shema Yisrael Hashem Echad.’ The Rav intoned with his eyes closed, as the whole congregation answered his call to proclaim their faith in the One.
Breathing became almost impossible as the Rav started to recite the final Kaddish, the congregation answering Amen through the deadly clouds.
Your wife stood quietly the entire time, without even shedding a tear. She stood strong, proud. And as she felt the smoke squeezing her soul out of her body, she clutched your little boy to her heart
and whispered your name.”
He stands there for a while not moving, his face white, and his stare blank. Then his knees begin to tremble. His legs won’t support him, his arms will no longer hold up the paper in his hands.
A tear falls down the postman’s face. Each day, bags of letters arrive, each one addressed to someone else.
The postman has no friends, for he has nothing to say.