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In Memory of the Fallen Soldiers of World War 2

[Page 407]

Reuven Kopelowicz "of Blessed Memory"

Translated by Ann Monka

Reuven Kopelowicz was born in Lida in the year 1920. He studies in the Yesivot of Radun and Baranovicze.

In a short time his inner talents began to emerge. He was assigned the room of the great sage "The Chafetz Chaim" so he could concentrate more and learn better. He became well known as a "Quasi Genius"

The money his parents sent him was mostly spent on study books, and his leisure time was spent writing poetry and stories. When the Second World War erupted, everything was upset and changed. The Soviet forces occupied Lida and established a very strict Communist regime. Reuven could not remain in Lida. His heart was longing for his comrades in the yeshiva and to continue studies with them.

On a certain Saturday, right after Sabbath services he left for Radun where he met up with his friend. Together they crossed the border to Lithuania and proceeded to arrive in Vilnius where they continued for a while to immerse themselves in more studies. However this idyllic situation did not last for long. The Russians also occupied Vilnius, and shortly after, he and his fellow torah students were exiled to Siberia. Also there he found time to compose songs and study.

In 1943, he was reunited with his parents; however, it was short-lived happiness. In 1944, he was drafted into the Soviet army and killed in action somewhere in Poland.

Poem: Help the People

The wind is blowing pinching the cheeks
There is chaos in the streets
Doors are slamming windows breaking
Roofs collapsing in great anger
Silence! The wind is sobbing
Windows watching throwing painful eyes
Stones turning pale skies rising high
Is this entire real, or a wild dream?

A body filled with shame
Eyes filled with blood
A wounded heart crying for help

Door locks are silent, houses empty
Eyes are watching, and voices screaming
How could this happen to us?

The wind is crying forcing door open
Knocking windows lifting roofs
Help the people, help the people
Cause, there is a great disaster

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