web analytics
August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Dr. Joe Uziel, codirector of the excavation from the Israel Antiquities Authority, sitting atop the stepped structure from the Second Temple period.
Second Temple-Era Podium May Be Discovery in City of David
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

More Articles from Ed Lion
Eli Cohen

PM Netanyahu has pledged the nation won’t rest until the hero Eli Cohen is returned home to Israel

Lion-052215

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

Each craved more out life and within a few months they’d mastered English, received their high school equivalencies, and begun climbing the rungs of the ladder of the American Dream.

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

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

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.

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: