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[Page 142]

We Will Remember You Forever

by Ahuva Schneiderman-Ruch

Translated by Rae Meltzer

I am reminded of my shtetl Rakishok, before my immigration to Israel. I remember her wide streets and her narrow streets. Although Rakishok did not produce any writers, artists or musicians, nevertheless, the shtetl had good, ordinary Jews, with Jewish hearts, who always dreamed of their own homeland and were not lucky enough to see the great miracle of the birth of our homeland in Israel.

I remember the active Zionists in Rakishok; Hillel Eidelson (Brash) whom we called "The Grandfather". [See biographical sketch and photo of Hillel Eidelson on p. 46.] Without Grandfather Hillel Eidelson no meeting of the "Keren Kimes," "Keren Hisod," or other Zionist organization would begin. He also joined with us in the hora dance. I remember the Zionist "minyon" with our own "cantor," that good Jew and Zionist, Alhonen Arsh, may he rest in peace.

It was all so loving, dear, and holy. Mostly, the whole shtetl believed in Zionism. We had a "Kibbutz" organization, "Hapoel" organization, which was not only interested in sports, but also in cultural affairs, and we also had our own library. The Zionist organization brought new life into the shtetl. On the street one heard Hebrew spoken freely. A new generation was growing up and looking for a way to establish a Jewish homeland.

Only a small number had the resources to make aliyah to Israel. The Holocaust horror forced many Jews to seek a haven in Israel, where there are 110 families from Rakishok. Some are members of kibbutzim, a large group are workers who participate in all the work of the country. We in Israel remember the Rakishoker martyrs. We will never forget them. Our people will forever remember the German murderers and the bestial atrocities they committed upon our people.

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