“Have you ever read Sholom Aleichem?” Boruch asked. “That’s how this neighborhood looked when I was a kid. There were hundreds of Jews living here, and they all looked like Jews from the Shtetl.
“I remember the first time I came to the synagogue. It was Simchat Torah, 1948, and I was just seven years old. I lost my father when I was just a baby, so my uncle Aaron brought me along with him. It was packed, and we watched all the old men dance with the Torahs. When I think back, it feels like an ancient tale, with old characters dancing off the fading, yellowed pages of a dust-covered book.”
“Decades have since passed. We’ve outlived communism just like we’ve outlived all the challenges that our nation has faced through its history. Today, I come to the synagogue – an old man with distant memories. On Simchat Torah, I stand on the side and watch as the youth proudly dance with the Torahs held high. Their enthusiasm brings me tremendous joy. We may not be in the Shtetl anymore, but our nation lives on. And if you want to see our future, just look at our youth.”