When Moshe Prager, safe in Palestine, learned that the soil of Europe was saturated with Jewish blood and its sky was black with the ashes of crematoria chimneys, he longed for his brother and sisters. He couldnÆt wait to go back, to search, to learn.
As soon as the war ended he was there, living in the Displaced Persons Camps with the wretched, pitiful survivors. They wouldn't talk to anyone because they couldnÆt bear to relive their agony for the benefit of curious strangers. But Mosher Prager was not a stranger. He was one of them. He was the eternal Jew who had suffered in absentia, who bore their scars on his back, their hurt in his breast, their lament on his lips.
So they spoke to him.
They told him of astounding heroism, of inspiring loyalty to the traditions of Israel. They told him about little Shmulik, beaten mercilessly by Pole and German, who pleaded with his frightened father," Haven't I had my share of blows? I, too, am a Jew. I, too, want to pray.." They told Prager about girls in a slave labor camp who fasted on Yom Kippur. About a "simple" Jew who risked death in seven different camps by putting on Tefillin every day. Of Rabbi Adam, being systematically tortured every day, yet insisting to his comrades that it is better to be a victim than a murderer.
These true stories make your eyes fill with tears and your chests burst with pride!
What heroes! What sparks of glory! What lessons in how to live, how to die, how to maintain self-respect and hope and decency even in hell.
Moshe Prager is one of Israel's major authors and historians of the Holocaust. Confidant of Orthodox rabbis and secular statesmen, this scion of a great chassidic dynasty is himself a spark of glory, an eloquent witness, and a stirring storyteller.