Anschul was born to an Orthodox immigrant family in New York. He was always a gentle and loving soul. At the age of 18 he was not overlooked by the U.S. draft, and he was sent overseas to Europe to fight in World War II.

In his words, he has seen open miracles that have allowed him to live and prevented him from hurting anyone else. Before he was drafted, he had helped out in a print shop that belonged to a hospital. When the military saw that he worked in a hospital, they mistakenly thought he had a medical background and assigned him to a medic squad.

Later, right before D-Day, he found himself on a ship close to Normandy Beach. At the last minute he was whisked away to an army hospital because he was a medic. He feels that this saved him from death on the beaches of Normandy.

One time, when in Germany, he went walking to town alone. When he returned, his buddies berated him for endangering himself. They did not know that his fluency in Yiddish allowed him to communicate with the natives.

During his entire military career, he would go to services on Friday night whenever he was stationed near a Jewish community. However, after his discharge, he became less connected to his religion. This created a rift between him and his family.

When we came in to his home, he told us this was the most monumental moment in his life since his time in the military. Never before had a rabbi walked into his house—and now he got two at once!

He showed us his collection of fascinating old photos, and then he said he wanted to show us something he hadn't used in over 70 years. Like a young boy, he bounced to his closet and pulled out the old tallit and tefillin he had worn at his bar mitzvah. Despite all he has been through, he always kept them with him.

Today, at age 86, he is healthy and strong, and after reminiscing about his miraculous and riveting life, he put on tefillin and reconnected to the distant days of his youth.

Anschul's tallit and tefillin from his bar mitzvah.
Anschul's tallit and tefillin from his bar mitzvah.