« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 95]

Zionism and its Realisation


The joy of the Balfour Declaration in the town

by Gedalyahu Gil'ad–Grimtchansky

Our town was not blessed with abundance. Major men of means were nowhere to be found, and those that were comfortable – a child could count them. All the townsfolk were hitched to the wagon of providing for themselves, bringing food for their families and the authorities would impoverish them and prevent them from gaining access to any position of economic wealth. The Jew would run around all week wondering what tomorrow would bring? And only on the Sabbath and Festivals would he throw off the yolk of worries or cares.

It happened just once that the entire town's soul was lifted and a sort of exaltation prevailed. This happened at the time of the great celebration after the Mandate over the land of Israel had been awarded to the British. The entire town adopted a festive and care–free air. The shops closed early, and the Jews, dressed in their Sabbath–best, thronged to the Synagogues. Inside the synagogues all was light and joy. The lights were lit and these merged with the internal lights of the hearts, the pillar of fire that was lit for the Jews in the darkness of their long exile, the anticipation and the hope for salvation. Who will arise to say his words at such an emotional and festive time? By the side of the holy ark stands reb Shlomo the Shochet. With a dignified appearance and with his long and wide black beard he appeared as one of our forefathers. In holy silence we await his words. “Yisrael our grandfather”, who has been long asleep, two thousand years, and during all the years of his long exile his sun did not rise. But now – go out and see – How great is the salvation and consolation, and how great are the miracles and wonders that G–d has done for us. After all, these are the words of the prophet [Isaiah ch 40 v9]: “Upon a lofty mountain ascend, O herald of Zion, raise your voice with strength, O herald of Jerusalem; raise [your voice], fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!””. And reb Shlomo told of the many obstacles that stood before our leaders as they ran from country to country until they had secured the declaration and the Mandate. The audience listens, and a great song of consolation bursts out from their mouths.

In the gathering a “Me sheBeirach” [prayer for wellbeing of nominated person(s) said on Sabbaths and Festivals] is said for all of the leaders: for Professor Weizmann, for Nakhum Sokolov and for others, and a “mi sheBeirach” almost fell also to Herbert Samuel, had not Reb Zalman Yaffe commented: But he's a British official! For hours the lofty raised voices of the gathered in the synagogue were heard, until we all went our separate ways full of hope and faith in the future.

The sons of Suchowola dreamt of Zion and loved her, but did not merit to witness her revival.


« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Suchowola, Poland     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

Yizkor Book Project Manager, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Jason Hallgarten

Copyright © 1999-2017 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 10 Feb 2014 by JH