Being Jewish means following the laws of the Jews. The core of Jewishness is observing the Jewishness.
After all I have been going through I couldn’t live day by day if I didn’t have that strong faith in God. He gave us miracle after miracle in one year. It can’t be seen any other way. But not only the miracles. After we were liberated in Auschwitz I came back to Chust and we found food, then we wandered, a typical Jewish experience, wandering from one place to the other and asking, where are we going to go?
You know what it does to us when we light a candle for the family and the father comes home and makes the kiddusch and then blesses his children. There is something so warm about that expression. He puts his hands on the little kids and after he blesses the kid, the kid kisses him and he kisses the kids. Is there anything else in the world that can replicate this kind of closeness?
When a Jewish person dies, his family, children, parents or siblings sit Shiva. Seven days sitting low, and not being allowed to do anything. Other people need to help by providing food. But we are surrounded here with 6 million single deaths. And who are the mourners of those 6 million? I am, for instance. Everybody who remains are mourners, because we lost a lot of people and we were never allowed to sit Shiva.
Dr. Giselle Cycowicz is a survivor of Auschwitz. She was born in the town of Chust, in the Carpathian Mountains. In 1944 she was transported to Auschwitz. She survived the horrors, and upon liberation returned to Chust, where she was reunited with her eldest sister and her mother, who survived despite her age. This was followed by three years of wandering in Europe and, eventually, settling in New York. Later Giselle traveled to Israel, where she worked as a designer in the engineering department of the Israel Electric Company. It was the best year of her life — the first time she felt she had a home. In 1957, after her return to the United States, she married and had three children. When the youngest was three years old, she finally resumed her formal education that had been disrupted at age 12, and began to study. At age 56 she obtained a PhD in psychology and embarked upon a new career.