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The Survivor

The Survivor


Friday's snow had turned to slippery ice.
You know, you could get a ticket for not shoveling the sidewalk in front of your house.
And it was already Sunday night.

It was a cold night in Brooklyn.
I had spent all day at the yeshiva studying Torah.
I better work fast.
Water can get pretty tough when it freezes.

Whack, Whack.
I was making little progress.
The vibrations of metal smashing chipped rock tingled my hands.

Whack, Whack.
The brick houses in the background were slowly fading away.

Whack, Whack.
The parked jeep and lamppost were already gone.

Whack, Whack.
The voices were getting louder.
Work Jew.
The soldiers barked at me from under their warm fur hats.

Whack, Whack.
I needed the Kleenex from my jacket pocket.
But it was gone.
The KGB officer had taken it from me last week.
Juvenile delinquents don't deserve it he said.

Whack, Whack.
C'mon Moshe hurry up or I'll make you use your hands.

My name is not Moshe.
My grandfather's name was Moshe.
In 1928 he was caught learning the forbidden Torah and was sent to Siberia.

Whack, Whack.
I began to pray.
I did not ask for liberation or a hot coffee.
I prayed that my grandchild would continue the fight.

I did my eight-hour work shift in fifteen minutes.
The labor camp disappeared and I went back inside.
Sipping my steamy drink I wondered how they did it.
They the prisoners.
They the soldiers.

Moshe never left Siberia.
But he's a survivor.
I'm living proof.

By Shmuel Marcus; from his upcoming book of Chassidic fiction
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Article On Moshe This article did a lot for me and to me. I felt like it was me. Reply

Mariluz Aguilar (Chava Levy) Guatemala December 22, 2012

LOVE IT! I felt like I went back in time, I was transported to Siberia! Reply

Martin Rosen Manchester, UK October 13, 2008

Amazing work! I loved it. It spoke as if it was real, like fiction really should!!! Reply

Leslie, California via December 10, 2007

This is really beautiful writing. I look forward to more. Reply

m b ny November 24, 2007

i love reading your articles Reply

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