Yom HaShoah :: A Family Lore
Mother recounts younger brother David preparing for his bar mitzvah. Up and down the house day and night he sings. Vayetze Yaakov miBeersheva vayelech Charana. Jacob left Beersheva and went to Charan. With the special melodies of Torah reading, Mother sings it to us. The transports come, but on the train Grandfather Schwarz practices with David. “We’re leaving Beersheva and going to Charan.” Mother remembers the train was silent as David sang. The ladder then was horizontal — at Auschwitz, it became upright. In the lineup, Grandfather and David are sent to the left together. In the gas chamber, Vayetze is recited — Jacob’s ladder climbs out of that room. How many rungs to the top? David kept his eyes to G-d. David dreamt upwards. I was named after David. Vayetze was my bar mitzvah sedre too, as it was my brother’s. Our ladder was earthbound. David had risen to the top of his ladder. Grandfather Schwarz blessed him that day, and so all of us.
This is our G-d story.