Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Thank You, Shanghai

Shimon Breitkopf, Shanghai, China

Less than a month before they would sit down to the Seder to celebrate the holiday of liberation, an unusual delegation headed by Rav Chaim Walkin set out to the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai. Seventy years before, their families had found an unlikely refuge from the Nazis in this foreign city. Now they’d returned — to say thank you.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

To the Chinese hurrying along the streets of Shanghai, we must have seemed a strange group: about 30 people, including a prominent mashgiach and rosh yeshivah, a rebbetzin, family members, businessmen from America, Israel, and Turkey — and reporters, lots of them. The delegation of Shanghai survivors was headed by Rav Chaim Walkin, mashgiach of Yeshivas Ateres Yisrael, and Rav Yosef Sorotzkin, rosh yeshivas Meor Eliyahu. Both had been born in this city, far from the Lithuanian Torah citadels yet safe from the European inferno; and both brought along their wives and sons on their journey to the past. Rebbetzin Chaya Small, Rav Walkin’s older sister, made the trip from her Chicago home. Mickey Abraham of New York, another “Shanghai baby,” came along with his son. Turkish businessman Morris Bildirici, close friend of the Walkin family, dropped his business dealings for the week to join the historic expedition. And Mishpacha publisherEliPaley, who’d set the journey in motion, watched his idea become reality — to come back to this pulsating city and remember a time, decades ago, when it echoed with Torah learning. We’d try to capture the last strains of the Mirrer Yeshivah’s golden era. We’d find old haunts and try to pass the inspiration forward. But most of all, we’d share our gratitude to a nation under occupation that still opened its doors to a desperate band of Jews.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
No Misunderstandings
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Hashem revealed the secret of a balanced life
What Was the Court’s Rush?
Yonoson Rosenblum The Democratic Party’s descent into madness
Survey? Oy Vey
Eytan Kobre How could YAFFED promote such a farce?
Filling the Void
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Jewish leaders don’t need to be declared or coronated
Top 5 Ways We Remember Our Rebbeim (and we love them for it!)
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin An ode to these pivotal people in my life
Hanging On in Newark
Rabbi Nosson Scherman Rabbi Nosson Scherman remembers the shul of his youth
A Fine Kettle of Fish
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman The “minor” chasadim are often the most meaningful
The Next Hill
Jacob L. Freedman The look on Malachi’s face nearly broke my heart
Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance
Riki Goldstein Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him
A Playlist for Shabbos
Riki Goldstein What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?
With Flying Colors
Riki Goldstein My 15 seconds of fame on the Carnegie Hall stage
Full Faith
Faigy Peritzman With emunah, everyone’s obligation is the same
Speechless
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Silence isn’t always golden
The Only One
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Within every Jew is the flame of instinctive emunah