Simon Glasberg never forgot his sister Hilda. When the Germans entered their hometown of Chernowitz, Romania, she was smuggled into the Soviet Union. Simon and his family never heard from her again.

Simon knew that Hitler, may his name be blotted out, had sought to strip every Jew of his identity, his individuality. Mass deportation, mass shootings and mass graves were their modus operandi. To them, every Jew was a faceless, nameless victim, unworthy, not only of the breath of his life, but also of the memory of his name.

But daily, Simon witnessed his father's sorrow, his mother's anguish. They wouldn't, couldn't, ever forget her. Hilda's memory etched itself onto the lives of his parents. Their heart wrenching sighs filled their home, magnifying Simon's own bereavement over the precious sister he once knew.

Yet time has a way of dulling the harshest of sorrows. Simon got married, built a family, and the grief receded somewhat, though never quite disappeared.

Shortly before Rosh Hashana 2006, Simon's nephew, Dr. Eric Weiner, touched upon those suppressed memories, bringing them achingly into sharp focus, once again.

"Did you know that my father had submitted pages of testimony to Yad Vashem before his death?" he asked.

It took a minute for Simon to comprehend what his nephew was referring to.

"Ah, Yad Vashem!" He said at last. "How we wanted to perpetuate the memories of Hilda! My lovely sister, Hilda. Oh, Eric, you know how much my parents searched for her, do you? We all did. We looked and looked and couldn't find her. How much they cried…" His voice cracked. The tears flowed.

"You know Eric," he said after he'd collected himself, "We searched everywhere, even in Israel, while fighting in the War of Independence, we didn't forget about Hilda. Young, beautiful Hilda. But we didn't find a trace of her. My brother went back to the Ukraine to look for her. Nothing. She had simply vanished…"

Would his nephew understand? Could he imagine what it meant to live with the pain of his parents, his own pain, for so many years? All the many years faded away. Simon found himself once again crouching in a cellar trembling in fear lest the Nazis discover their hideout. His parents plan had been to smuggle the family into the Soviet Union. Hilda had been the first to leave, the rest were to follow shortly.

They'd never made it though, Simon reflected. Crossing the borders illegally proved too risky an undertaking for a family with young children. Poor, little Hilda. What did she think? Did she suppose that her family had abandoned her just like that, with nary a thought about her?

Dr. Weiner cleared his throat, interrupting Simon's ruminations. "Yad Vashem," he said, "makes every effort to redeem these victims as individuals. That's what the pages of testimony are all about, you see."

"Individuals, yeah…" Simon paused for a moment. "Eric, no one can undo what was done. No one can bring my little sister back from the grave. Not Yad Vashem, not pages of testimony. No one. Nothing." Again, he lapsed into silence.

Eric spoke again. "Uncle Simon," he said softly. "Hilda is looking for you."

Simon sat up straight. Did he hear him say, "Hilda is looking for you?" Surely not. It couldn't be. Was he getting old?

"She's living in Israel. In Ashdod. Uncle Simon, Hilda's alive." He heard his nephew saying.

Could it be? Should he allow himself to be tricked into this ruse? No. He didn't want to get too excited. The disappointment would be too intense. It wasn't possible. Hilda alive? After all these years? It's been…let's see…sixty five years now. It couldn't be. All these thoughts flashed through his mind, but he said only, "Who told you?" and his voice was hoarse.

"David Schlik. He tracked me down. He started out by looking for my father, Karol, but when he discovered that he's no longer alive, he contacted the chevra kadisha (burial society) who gave him my phone number."

David Schlick, David Schlik…Did he know a David Schlik? He turned the name over in his mind. No memory of David Schlik came up.

"I don't know him," he said tersely. "Who is he? Does he know me?"

"Uncle Simon, David is Hilda's grandson. I spoke to Hilda's grandson."

Simon's throat went dry. All these years and Hilda had been alive. He couldn't utter a word.

Eric put his arm around his uncle. "G‑d has many messengers, Uncle. Apparently, Hilda's grandson learned that his grandmother's maiden name was Glasberg. He hit the internet, searching for family members despite the fact that his grandmother didn't believe there was any hope for her family, because she had already looked for them many years ago.

"You could imagine how shocked he was when the name of his grandmother: Hilda Glasberg, appeared on the Yad Vashem database of Shoah Victims' Names, testifying to her death!"

Slowly the pieces in the puzzle started to become clear. Hilda having arrived safely to Uzbekistan waited eagerly for her parents to arrive. Separation is never easy. Surrounded by chaos in a foreign country and the cold reality of war, Hilda had suffered greatly.

When the war was finally over, they were among the surviving refugees who remained locked behind the iron curtain that had descended on the Soviet Union. In spite of, exhaustive searches, Hilda was unable to cross the borders. As time passed, Hilda accepted the fact that her entire family had been killed in the Holocaust.

With no other choice, Hilda relegated her aching loss into a tight corner of her heart, which she locked and bolted. She couldn't live otherwise. The pain was too intense. As a result, she never spoke about her past with her children.

But G‑d has His ways. In a miraculous chain of events, that corner, dusty with age, was transformed into indescribable joy.

Just before he died, her brother Karol decided to submit a page of testimony to Yad Vashem. A curious grandchild discovered her maiden name and came across that aforementioned testimony.

Not much later, a very emotional brother and sister were finally united, after 65 years of separation!

Achainu, our brothers, the entire family of Israel, who are delivered into distress and captivity, whether they are on sea or dry land – may the Omnipresent One have mercy on them and remove them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption, now, speedily, and soon – and let us say: Amen. (The prayer following the Torah reading on Mondays and Thursdays)