Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Tammuz 5759 - June 30, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
A Place of Hope
by S. G.

Perhaps it's because I was born in Switzerland that I always think of the three weeks as a mountain tunnel, from which we emerge, after a long drive, once again into the light of day. The view can be quite splendid as one ascends a winding road flanked by tall pines, leading to the crest of an alpine mountain. Then, as we enter a tunnel and speed into the darkness lit by artificial lamps, the breathtaking view is hidden from us and we can easily forget that we are climbing.

From the 17th of Tammuz until after the 9th of Av, we mourn with increasing strictures the destruction of our Holy Temples, and all the tragedies that ever befell us as a nation come into focus.

My parents, who were survivors of the Holocaust, spent the war years in Europe, running from country to country in order to evade the Germans. In 1943, with Hashem's help, they finally managed to escape into Switzerland where they remained until after the war. Eventually, they made their way to America where the remainder of our family had emigrated.

As children, Tisha B'Av made a great impression on us. For although they had survived the war, my parents always mourned the great number of close relatives and other Jews who had not, and considred Tisha B'Av as their own Holocaust Day. The sadness of that time was overwhelming and we would eagerly await the month of Elul followed by the period of the Festivals and their accompanying joy.

Aliya to Eretz Yisroel gave our family strength. My parents had the privilege of having all of their children settle here in Jerusalem and seeing their grandchildren growing in Torah and Yiddishkeit. Their greatest pleasure was to go to the Kosel on Shabbos and Yom Tov, and on Tisha B'Av, as well. But their sadness was now bolstered by hope, relief, joy, for they knew that they had finally reached home.


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