A Shabbat Cry

3/28/09  This Shabbat we had a class visit us from Temple Israel of Long Beach.  They are part of a Comparative Judaism class offered for 8th graders.  After services they asked about our service and we went on for several minutes in pleasant give and take.  Eugene Schlesinger, our beloved member and holocaust survivor, walked over and introduced himself.  He smiled and graciously greeted them.  He told all of us how fortunate we were to have secure homes and to be able to return to our parents.  Then  he began to tell his story of survival in the holocaust.   His mother told him as he was separated from her to pray every day.  Eugene managed to keep his tallit and tefillin bag with him over 4 long years in the camps.  It saved him when a Russian soldier, who was also Jewish, saw his bag and sent him away from almost certain death.  Eugene told us about the importance of praying every day.  Eugene wept as he concluded his story and we all wept with him.  What a remarkable man.

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