Aunt Rosa

     Aunt Rosa and my mother Berta were born one year apart.  The two sisters lived together nearly all their lives. When the Nazis marched into Vienna, their native city, they were the ones who had children to worry about. Berta told her husband, who was planning their escape, “I’m not leaving without Rosa and her family.”  And so my father did what was necessary to get papers for three more refugees.      In Vienna, Rosa and her husband Sigi had a shop where they sold creams and perfumes to the ladies.  They bought from Rosa because they...

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Approaching the Eve of At-one-ment – Yom Kippur, 1997

Yesterday I went to a Sabbath service. It wasn’t just an ordinary Sabbath service. It was the first Sabbath of the Jewish New Year. It was the first Sabbath service I have attended with Moisey, my Jewish partner. It was the first Sabbath service I have participated in for twenty years. It was the first Sabbath service I have seen where the Rabbi is pregnant.      So much came up for me during the two and a half hours I sat in my seat. There were only a handful of people in the large sanctuary, and most of them were quite elderly. The Rabbi is...

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A Birthday Gift from my Mother

     I have just spent the last year living through two difficult health issues. One was a car accident, when my own car ran over me and came to rest on my left leg, just above my knee. I went through three hospitalizations, a week in a nursing home, a surgery, and many months of wound care until I was in a state of safety from serious infection from my injury.      Just as I was about to do what was necessary to regain full use of my leg, I went for a mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two more surgeries and eight chemotherapy...

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1988 – Fifty Years Later

     I was born in Vienna, Austria in the month of January in the fateful year of 1938. In March of 1938, Hitler and the Nazi army marched into the city, changing our lives forever. By the summer of 1939, my father had succeeded in bribing enough Nazi officials to procure visas and passports for us. My parents, my brother and I managed to escape the Holocaust by going to Uruguay, spending the seven war years there until we were able to come to the United States in 1946. We lived in Richmond, Virginia with the members of my mother’s family,...

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