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The Eternity of Israel will not deceive

The Eternity of Israel will not deceive

Friday, 17 August, 2012 - 12:56 pm

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A few friends shared with me the news story of the Hungarian Member of the European Parliament from an Anti-Semite party, who had discovered that he was Jewish - a grandchild of a survivor of the holocaust, and connected to the local Hungarian Rabbi to ask for forgiveness and to reclaim his roots. (here in The Wall Street Journal). What they didn’t know is my personal connection to this story.

It was 20 years ago, weeks after I started to study in a Yeshiva High School in the old city of Tzfat. Walking into the study was a Rabbi with a boy. The boy looked very shy and his wide open eyes scanned the scenery. Clearly he had never seen anything like this before. The visiting Rabbi sat by the table with our teacher, and was evidently engaged in an interesting conversation.

kovesh.jpg

Shortly after, Shlomo was sitting beside me; I was chosen by my teacher to be his study partner. Shlomo, born and raised to an assimilated Jewish family in Budapest, learned only recently that he was Jewish and connected with the local Chabad Rabbi, had a Bris at the age of 12, and after his Bar Mitzvah expressed a strong yearning to devote his youth to explore his heritage. The very young Shlomo went on his own to the city of Tzfat with very minimal knowledge, but with great thirst.
 
Shlomo spoke only Hungarian fluently, which I didn’t...  my job was to translate the text to him in sign language... Shlomo wrote the entire content of the book we studied in Hungarian on the margins of the pages.
 
Fifteen years later Rabbi Shlomo Kovesh was the first ordained Rabbi in Hungary after the holocaust. He became the chief Rabbi of Hungary and now receives great respect from the Hungarian president and government. (In the picture: Rabbi Kovesh addresses the Hungarian Government).
 
As I read the story of the member of parliament turning to Rabbi Kovesh to reconnect to his heritage, I remembered the sign language Chavruta we had, and the word of the prophecy “Netzhach Yisrael lo yeshaker” (=The Eternity of Israel will not deceive) rang in my mind.
Comments on: The Eternity of Israel will not deceive
8/17/2012

Inna Smolov wrote...

G-D'S POWER WORKS IN MANY WAYS. THIS IS ONLY ONE OF MANY. THANK YOU, RABBI FOR SHARING THE STORY.
SHABBAT SHALOM.