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.