I am a survivor, and if you are Jewish then you are a survivor, too. It took me a while to grasp this. I've never thought of myself as a survivor. My Bubbie and Zeidi (grandmother and grandfather)-- now they were survivors: survivors of the Holocaust, survivors of hunger and terror, survivors of life, but me and you, you might ask, what have we survived?

My Bubbie and Zeidi were small people. My Bubbie didn't even come close to reaching five feet and I don't think that my Zeidi was much taller. But they were giants of greatness and strength. I knew very little about their past. I was told bits and pieces of their stories. I knew that my little Bubbie had escaped from death's door and had been a Partisan fighter in the forest. I had heard a story of how all 4' 10" of her had carried her brother on her shoulders, because his feet had frostbite and he couldn't walk. I knew my Zeidi hailed from a very large family, and only he survived. He was shot, starved and tortured— and yet he managed to escape and hide in the forest. The rest was a mystery. Most of what happened will always be a mystery.

The other day I received a treasureThe other day I received a treasure. It was an interview that my Zeidi gave in the early fifties. In it, he and another survivor recounted what happened to the people in their village and the final days before my Zeidi was able to escape into the forest. I found out that Zeidi was one of four leaders in a resistance against the Nazi murders. My little Zeidi fought with his bare hands against the enemy's guns, and he lived to tell about it. When I read the interview I shook with emotion. I talked with my mother who cried to me, "I never knew. He never told me about this. I never knew that he was a hero."

Now, there's more to the story. Not the story of their escape or the story of how they saved lives— the story of what they did afterwards. My mother's childhood home was never empty. Zeidi would pick strangers up off the street and take them home with him. Whatever he had he gave. Bubbie would cook and serve food to the strangers that Zeidi brought home: the despondent, the destitute, the poor and the hungry. She would take a cup of flour and turn it into a delicious cake, take a chicken and feed twenty. After being robbed of everything— their family, their homes, their possessions and their health— the only things they wouldn't let anyone steal from them were their desire to live and their desire to give. Zeide had big blue eyes that always sparkled with a love of life and with laughter. Bubbie's hands were never idle; they were always nourishing and healing.

When I read the details of my Zeidi's resistance and a small accounting of his life under torture, I shook with emotion because I realized the greatness of my existence and the miracle of my being alive today. Exiles, the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, the Holocaust, suicide bombers; for thousands of years people have been trying to wipe out the Jewish people- and they can't. G‑d won't let them. The blood of survival runs through my veins and the veins of every Jew on the planet. I'm alive, I'm Jewish and I'm a survivor.

I realized the miracle of my being alive todayAfter reading the article I ran to my three year old son and told him, "Avraham Nissim, you're a Jew and you must always be proud to be a Jew. You are a survivor and G‑d loves you. "

All of our holidays, our commandments and our customs are to remind us of this. We are Jews, we are survivors and G‑d loves us. I look at my son who now, at the age of three, has lovely peiot (side locks), wears tzitzit and, like the prince of the King, wears a kippah on his head. Without a doubt he and my daughter are my Bubbie and Zeidi's greatest revenge against Hitler. I know that their lofty souls are looking down upon me, their granddaughter, as I live my life in their example, proud to be a Jew.