web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Cast Your Bread


Lessons-logo

My brother lives in Haifa. Despite his advanced age of 96, his mind is still sharp and his memory is keen. In a recent letter, he related the following episode. I was not aware of this incident since I was married and living in France when it happened.

Our family lived in Pressburg, which today is Bratislava. The year was 1938, just preceding World War II. By then, Austria was annexed to Germany and controlled by the Nazis. Their tentacles were spreading to the European countries surrounding Austria. Bratislava was only an hour’s ride from Vienna, and anti-Semitism was on the rise. At the time this story took place, my brother was in his early 20s. He was bitterly introduced to the suffering awaiting European Jewry even before the outbreak of the war.

One Shabbos, my brother and his friends took a peaceful stroll. Suddenly, they were surrounded by a group of military men, forced into a truck, and driven away. They arrived in unfamiliar territory, a no man’s land. They were confined to barracks and immediately put to work. They were part of a group forced to prepare the groundwork for a railroad. The work was backbreaking. They carried heavy stones, cut and lay them as the foundation of the railway.

Meanwhile my parents, as well as his friends’ families, were frantic. They had no idea what had happened to their sons, and could not get any information regarding their whereabouts.

The boys were in the hands of a sadistic commander but, thanks to Divine Providence, this cruel commander suffered a heart attack and was forced to relinquish his duties. His successor was a younger man who contained humane qualities. Two days after this younger commander took over, my brother was summoned to the main office. He was terrified.

The commander asked him, “I see you’re from Bratislava and your surname sounds familiar. Does your family by chance own a store downtown?”

My brother answered, “Yes, that is my father’s store.”

The commander continued. “Well, I am also from Bratislava. My name is Ondrej Nadvorny. My mother was a maid in your parents’ home. At one time, my father faced a very difficult crisis and your father helped him tremendously. I will try to help you as well.” The commander said no more, and simply told him to return to the barracks.

The next morning, a jeep pulled up in front of the barracks and the driver handed my brother two envelopes. One contained a note discharging him of his duties due to “incompetence.” The other contained a train ticket to Bratislava with enough money to hire a taxi to get him home from the train station. The driver advised him not to wait a minute longer. Needless to say, my brother was dumbfounded – and ecstatic beyond words.

When my parents saw that my brother was alive and well, their joy was boundless. Little could my father have imagined that his benevolence to a gentile would one day be repaid in such a miraculous way!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Cast Your Bread”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House, Oct. 1, 2014.
Netanyahu, Obama Focus on Different Priorities in White House Talk
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

More Articles from Lilly Amsel
Lessons-logo

My brother lives in Haifa. Despite his advanced age of 96, his mind is still sharp and his memory is keen. In a recent letter, he related the following episode. I was not aware of this incident since I was married and living in France when it happened.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/cast-your-bread/2010/02/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: