web analytics
September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



German Bullies, A Milk Bucket, And Divine Providence

By:

Lessons-logo

Judaism holds that nothing happens by chance, that everything is orchestrated by Hashem. And so it was long ago on a Sunday morning, about a month after Pesach when my father ran an errand for his parents.

It was the early 1930s and my father, Kurt Lion, then seven or eight years old, was still living in the southwest German farming village where he had been born. His parents had asked him to take a bucket full of milk, drawn from their cow, and deliver it to an uncle who lived nearby. At the time, with the rise of Hitler and hatred of Jews pervading even the most rural of German villages, my father was fearful of running into gangs of Gentile kids in the street – as they might bully him for being Jewish.

But on this Sunday a group of five youths followed my father stubbornly, even as he tried to evade them. They spewed anti-Semitic taunts at him, although he kept pleading that he wanted no trouble. They continued to bear down on him and the group’s leader, several years older than my father, lunged forward to throw a punch.

For the rest of his life my father had vivid memories of what happened next, and he always recounted it with a smile. He ducked away from the punch but at the same time flung the bucket of milk toward his attacker. The milk spilled all over the anti-Semite’s clothing, which incidentally had been his “Sunday finest” for churchgoing.

“My mother is going to kill me!” the attacker cried out, retreating. “Then you should have left me alone,” my father responded.

Some of the other youths again moved toward my father. But he raised the bucket, still half-filled with milk, and sloshed it menacingly.

“I’ll get you too if you don’t leave me alone,” he warned. The group, now also fearing a milk shower on their Sunday clothes, ran away.

My father returned home, said he needed more milk for his uncle and told his parents what had happened. His father, Philip, laughed and joked that the milk had not been wasted; their cow would have approved that its milk was used for this purpose. And he complimented my father for keeping up his courage, “staying brave, and using his Yiddishe kop.

The lesson my father learned that spring morning boosted his confidence and helped him survive the hard times ahead. In the subsequent years, he became adept at defending himself and his Jewish friends in neighborhood fights with anti-Semitic bullies.

During the war he lost his parents but though left an orphan, this fighting spirit kept him going. He joined the French Resistance and continued to fight back against the Germans who inflicted such horrors against his family and our people.

This spring, a few months after my father’s first yahrzeit, when I thought of his amused memories at chasing off the anti-Semitic gang with a bucket of milk, I pondered Divine Providence. A childhood incident that could have ended with my father being beaten badly, humiliated, and perpetually fearful wound up boosting his confidence instead – ultimately instilling in him the bravery to fight and survive.

About the Author: Ed Lion is a former reporter for United Press International now living in the Poconos.


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 “German Bullies, A Milk Bucket, And Divine Providence”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Smoke rises near Quneitra Crossing as it seen from the Golan.Heights in the Israeli side on August 27, 2014, The IDF instructed farmers and civilians to stay away from the border with Syria on the Golan Heights.
Shelling on Golan Heights Strikes Close to Israeli News Team
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

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

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Ed Lion
Sigmar Guggenheimer

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

Bar mitzvah boy Ed Lion, flanked by his parents.

The risks were great, but certain death awaited them if they remained. The gamble paid off, though the family was separated for the next four years of the war.

Beyond the severe discomfort there was also the danger of getting sunk by enemy submarines prowling the seas.

As his bomber lost altitude with the ground rushing up, my father remembered his last thought: “How am I going to get out of this?

Seventy-five years ago on November 10 the Nazis unleashed a wave of terror, destruction and death known as Kristallnacht upon Germany’s Jews, a fearsome presage of the Holocaust. On that day, the childhood of my then-12-year-old father, Kurt Lion, of blessed memory, was abruptly and savagely ended.

Forty years ago this week, Jews the world over watched in agony as Arab terrorists kidnapped and eventually massacred eleven Israeli Olympic athletes. The International Olympic Committee, bowing to Arab pressure, has repeatedly refused these Israelis a proper commemoration. But we as Jews ought to pay them the tribute of remembering their individual lives, deeds, and accomplishments.

Half a century ago in May, Israel hanged Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann for overseeing Germany’s extermination of six million European Jews, fully one-third of the world’s prewar Jewish population. The murder of the six million staggers the mind. Such a vast breadth of our people, each of them with his own individual dreams, loves and aspirations, exterminated.

Judaism holds that nothing happens by chance, that everything is orchestrated by Hashem. And so it was long ago on a Sunday morning, about a month after Pesach when my father ran an errand for his parents.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/german-bullies-a-milk-bucket-and-divine-providence/2012/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: