web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Flaming Glory

Reich-032213-Flames

The skin is painful to look at.

Raw- pink, and deeper pink, almost red. How can I touch this? I can’t, I can’t- the pain, the pain! Slowly, slowly, and I feel, rather then see, the almost invisible shudder that runs through Father’s body. My face is blank, but my heart is contracted, paining for him. Hair by hair, hair by hair. Focus on the color, just on the colors. White. And white. And gray. And gray. And black. And- black, brown, grizzled, lifeless - burned.

And I can silence the thought no longer, for here, in front of my eyes- can’t look away, must continue, must look at it -

Is skin, hideously burned, brown and black and red and cracked -

And it screams, flaming up in memory -

“Hurry up!” The officer barks in German. Father quickens his stride and marches down the hallway. Ahead there is an open door.

“In there!” the officer shouts again.

Father quickly enters, blinking in the light. He feels naked, exposed, with his head and peyos and beard uncovered. For the past year he has managed to hide the religious growths. But now he has been caught, the scarf snatched off. They have not found the knife hidden in his clothing, do not know that he was on his way to illegally slaughter a Jew’s chicken. But they found his beard. The feel of German air on his cheeks is frightening.

Several German policemen stand around the room. There are a number of other Jews, looking as nervous and uneasy as he feels. They know they are caught. They know they are in trouble. They only do not know exactly what will happen to them.

At the desk is Shtender, the chief officer of the unit. He stands and speaks harshly. “Under German law of occupation, Jews may not gather for prayer. Jews, you have disobeyed the law.” He nods curtly to some of the younger officers.

In a heartbeat, they attack, rubber truncheons drawn and pounding. I see the flash of swastikas on armbands, rising and descending. There are shouts, and cries, as they descend on the Jews. It is a fearful power; muscular figures, stiff brown uniforms, and those shiny, blackest boots, machines of lithe power, seemingly infinite power, towering over their prey. It is odd, for the Jews are not all small men. And yet they look insignificant, powerless, nothing in face of the beaters.

That is what it is. There are the strong, and there are the weak.

The lines are drawn.

And then my mind stops wandering, for there- here- is Father- and they are beating him too. He is silent, but I scream for him, scream inside me, for they are beating him- Father! On the head, and shoulders, and back- he is trying to protect himself with his arms- Father! He is not a young man- I am tensed, coiled, stop, stop, Father! And it goes on - and I am holding my breath, heart pounding crashing in my ears- I cannot close my eyes to the image - and then it is over.

Close your eyes, do not go further -

The Jews are gasping, some climbing to their feet slowly, some groaning, some holding themselves in pain. They look terrified.

“Jew!” It is Father he calls.

Father comes close to him, as he must. I see Father’s eyes. They are… Father’s eyes, as they always are; deep, and thoughtful, and strong. But… behind all that… I cannot see it, but I know it-

The terrible fear.

Chazkel Reich

Chazkel Reich

Snap!snap!snap! It is so quick, that ignition of the cigarette lighter. So quick, the motion of the arm. So quick, at Father’s beard-

So quick, that the flame grows, licking up the gray, now licking his chin, now licking his cheeks-

I stare in horror, horror – Fatheeeer! Noooooooo! Tight, tight, tight, for there is nothing I can do, as it sears across my mind -

And Father is screaming, screams that tear my heart open- his face is burning – YOU DOGS- PUT IT OUT PUT IT OUT, SOMEONE PUT IT OUT!!

And he is standing there, the German, just standing there.

Just standing there!

And finally, finally, he takes a bucket of water and throws it across Father’s face.

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 “Flaming Glory”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
funny rocket joke
Israel Retaliates: Hits Terror Tunnel Cement Factory
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Rayzel Reich
Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Reich-082313-Puddle

We had just moved to Boro Park, fresh from the DP camps. The community was new and small, but we were settling in nicely. I knew how fortunate I was to have almost my whole family survive; most had so much less. Our family was a draw for many who needed that familiar feeling of home. One Shabbos afternoon I answered the door to find one such friend and a couple I did not recognize.

I didn’t need that much garlic. After all… how much garlic, exactly, could I put into the chicken without overdoing it?

But something made me leave the white, rounded head on the counter after cracking off a few bulbs, rather than putting it back in the fridge. Maybe I’d need more.

I stare, and I stare, trying to connect to those deep, seeing, eyes, to the wisdom and depth within that face. And all I can think, murmurs sliding in a circle through my mind – is, hadras panim… hadras panim… hadras panim…

“…will the kid say, ‘Oh, I’m walking into the strange house, just like Goldilocks?! Maybe the kid will think..”

Apparently I had walked into a family discussion of the pros and cons of reading fairy tales to children.

It was Moishele, and Itche, and me. We did everything together. We even made our own language, which only we understood. In shul they jokingly called us “the troika,” after the three bishops whose authority extended across Poland.

There is a rustle as boys and girls take papers from under their chairs. Jenia (Yenya) Greenberg now Reich, and her brother Leon (Leibush) Greenberg. I look down at the paper in my hand. It is a white piece of paper; a white piece full of words. A white piece of my heart. “Yenya,” Miss […]

I was a bit surprised to see my sister Rini sitting in the rocking chair at the end of the kitchen, rocking peacefully back and forth. Rini, age eleven, generally prefers more intense activities, such as bike riding, ripsticking, and yelling.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/flaming-glory/2013/03/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: