Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



I Promise You

Yael Mermelstein

Aunt Leora just asked me to write up Safta’s life story. Safta’s a Holocaust survivor. Why would I tear open all of her wounds?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

 Mishpacha image

 

F

ebruary 4, 2015: My Aunt Leora just approached me about writing up my Safta’s life story. Leora’s daughter, Tamar, my first cousin — well, her school puts on a Holocaust play every year, and she wants my Safta’s story to be featured. Apparently I’ve been elected the family writer. Seriously. Do I have time for this?

Besides, Safta lives inAmericawhile I’m here inIsrael. How could it even work? And it’s not like her story is a pretty one. Safta’s a Holocaust survivor. Why would I want to tear open all of her wounds? Sounds pretty cruel to me. I think I’ll pass.

 

Feb. 15: It’s 3 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Safta’s parents, Yitzchak and Chana Zisel Adler, were my great-grandparents. I never met them. How could I have? They were murdered by the Nazis. Who’s going to remember them, if not my family? How will my family remember them, if it isn’t written down? The Jews are the people of the book. Safta’s story needs a book. Who else will write it but me?

 

Feb. 15: 10 a.m. But I’m way too busy with other projects, deadlines, commitments. How am I supposed to budget my time? How am I supposed to rank the items in my life from most important to least important? Is there some objective system that I can use? Because I don’t know how to find the answers within myself.

 

Feb. 16: The idea of this book is seriously a mosquito that won’t stop buzzing in my ear. It’s going to burrow inside my brain soon enough if I don’t do something about it.

 

March 4: Copy of the e-mail my Aunt Leora sent to the principal of my cousin Tamar’s school:

Hi Rabbi B.,

Hope you are well.

It brings us such joy that Tamar is (finally) in your class!

Tamar has brought up on more than one occasion that she would love to have her Safta’s (my mother) story during the Holocaust, used as the basis for your annual Holocaust play.

I remember briefly discussing it with you.

You mentioned that you only take on stories that have a manuscript.

I have a niece who is an author.

She has published both adult and children’s books, as well as many articles.

I would ask her to write up this story.

Is there any way to make it happen for next year?

If she can get a manuscript together would that be acceptable?

Maybe if my niece could focus on one part of my mother’s story, it would be more helpful?

 

 

Any suggestions you could make would be appreciated.

 

My mother is very willing to take this on.

Thank you!

Leora

I’m sure they have many manuscripts to choose from in any event. They’ll surely take a pass on my unwritten one. People have all sorts of dreams, that doesn’t mean that any of them come true, right? Well, at least I can say I tried!

Related Stories

Super Avi: Episode 1

Ruchama Schnaidman

A few weeks ago, Jr. Editor Libby Tescher called. “Have you ever heard of Super Avi?” she asked. Tha...

Breakthrough: Chapter 44

Tovy Mann

Gedalya Neiman speaks privately with his wife’s Mossad handler. When he returns an hour later, Gedal...

Jr. Tales: Saved by a Toad

Rhona Lewis

Fly?! To where?! Uri dropped the shoebox. He shoved open the kitchen door. “Who’s m-m-moving?” he y...

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
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you