Required Viewing for Every Single JewishMOM: The Man from Vilna by Abie Rotenberg

Required Viewing for Every Single JewishMOM: The Man from Vilna by Abie Rotenberg

Feeling uninspired in your JewishMOM life? Chana Jenny’s prescription: watch this video immediately and frequently!

THE MAN FROM VILNA: Lyrics
I met a man last Sunday, who was on his way back home
From a wedding in Chicago, and was traveling alone
He said he came from Vilna, a survivor I could tell

And I helped him with his suitcase, he could not walk very well
A steward gave us coffee as we settled on the plane
And I asked him why he bothers, at his age there’d be no blame
He said “No simcha is a burden, though I miss my dear late wife”
And then he shared with me a story that has changed my view of life:

“We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong
From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song
Though we had no sifrei Torah to clutch close to our hearts
In their place we held the future of a past so torn apart

I remember liberation, joy and fear both intertwined
Where to go and what to do, and how to leave the pain behind?
My heart said ‘Go to Vilna’, dare I pray yet once again
For the chance to find a loved one, or perhaps a childhood friend?
It took many months to get there, from the late spring to the fall
And as I, many others, close to four hundred in all
And slowly there was healing, darkened souls now mixed with light
When someone proudly cried out, ‘Simchas Torah is tonight!’

We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong
From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song
Though we had no sifrei Torah to clutch close to our hearts
In their place we held the future of a past so torn apart

We ran as one towards the shul, our spirits in a trance
And we tore apart the barricade, in defiance we would dance
But the scene before our eyes shook us to the core
Scraps of siddur, bullet holes, bloodstains on the floor
Turning to the eastern wall, we looked on in despair
There’d be no scrolls to dance with, the holy ark was bare

Then we heard two children crying, a boy and girl whom no one knew
And we realized that no children were among us but those two

We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong
From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song
Though we had no sifrei Torah to gather in our arms
In their place we held those children, the Jewish people would live on

We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong
From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song
Though we had no sifrei Torah to clutch an hold up high
In their place we held those children, am yisrael chai”

We danced round and round in circles as if the world had done no wrong
From evening until morning, filling up the shul with song
Though we had no sifrei Torah to gather in our arms
In their place we held those children, the Jewish people would live on

Am Yisrael chai
The Jewish people would live on
The Jewish people WILL live on

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One comment

  1. Yes! The Jewish people do live on! A very feeble and very small remnant, out of the most horrific effort to annihilate . . has grown into a strong and vibrant nation. Am Yisrael chai!

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