by Rivkie Greenland, Guest Contributor
|Bubbie Tzirel and my daughter Rivkie at her wedding (1998)|
There is one thing about my generation that is unlike any other in recent times. Most of those of us whose parents were victims of the Holocaust did not have any living grandparents. And there were a lot of us!
As a child of the Holocaust I never knew my grandparents and neither did most of my childhood friends whose parents were also survivors. Growing up, I remember wondering what that was like and being rather jealous of the few friends whose grandparents were alive.
As noted yesterday. My mother-in-law passed away late Sunday afternoon. She was a Holocaust survivor that went through the literal hell that all survivors did. But survive she did. Unfortunately her parents (my wife’s grandparents) did not.
Although we children of the Holocuast had no grandparents, our own children did. My daughter Rivkie describes what that was like. Here is the eulogy for her grandmother, Cyrla (Tzirel) Sauerhaft:
"I grew up with 4 grandparents. And, until I was 20, I had a close relationship with all 4 of them. Even when I got married, we had 7 out of our 8 grandparents at our wedding—three of whom were holocaust survivors. I don't think I realized until today, just what a rarity that was, which I completely took for granted.
Yesterday, the last surviving of my grandparents, Tzirel bas Avraham Meyer, my mother's mother, a holocaust survivor, who had just celebrated her 100th birthday a few months ago, was nifter late yesterday afternoon. She lived through the horrors of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, and together with her two sisters were the only remaining members of their family.
But, if you knew my Bubbie, you knew that she was quite a strong willed and determined women, and remained that way until her very last day. Together with my Zadie Mordechai, ZL, they raised two daughters in Detroit, Michigan (Oak Park-our home away from home growing up), sending them to Bais Yehudah to receive a Torah education - sacrificing everything for their yiddishkeit and the yidishkeit of their future legacy.
Today, BH, they are survived by their two daughters, 8 grandchildren, and 40 great grandchildren.
After all my grandparents had been through I was never fully able to understand the strength and courage it took for them to have the will to keep life going and to be strong and remain faithful in serving Hashem.
My mother told me today, that years ago, at one of the pesach sedarim, (always together with cousins and grandparents) my Zadie stopped and looked around at us all and said "Kik vus ken zein fin ein mentch: Look what can happen from one person."
May Bubbie Tzirel bas Avraham Meyer, together with Zadie Mordechai, a"h be a malitz yosher for the family and all of klall yisroel.
The funeral for my bubbie a"h, will take place in Eretz Yisroel, on Har Hamenuchos, on Wednesday at 3:00 pm. Shiva will be in Chicago, at my mother's home starting Thursday at noon through Tuesday morning.
Baruch Dayan Haemes.
May we all be zoche to only have and share in smachot."