These manuscripts are the only remnant of my grandfather’s life, and I like to read them on a Friday night at the Shabbat table.
This week’s Torah portion tells of the birth of Moses and how, as a young prince in
But you have to be a Holocaust Jew to come up with the commentary that my grandfather came up with for that week’s sermon.
He said simply that Moses “looked this way and that”, but could find no-one paying attention as the Jew was being beaten.
Just as is has been throughout the generations. When Jews are being beaten and oppressed, no-one pays any attention. Whether it is by the hand of Romans, Greeks, Crusaders or Cossacks. Whether in the fires of the Spanish Inquisition or the ovens of Nazi Germany it is always the same. You can look this way and that, but there is never anyone there. No-one to speak up for the Jews. No-one to defend us but ourselves.
And it’s every bit as true today as it was in those last precious weeks of my grandfather’s life as a free man and a leader of a once thriving community.
A community which was reduced to ashes.
Because, no matter which way they turned.
There was no-one.
And there never will be.