Israel Air Force Chief: The Life-Altering Lesson Taught Me By My Father, the Holocaust Survivor

Israel Air Force Chief: The Life-Altering Lesson Taught Me By My Father, the Holocaust Survivor

Last month, Israel’s former Air Force commander, Eliezer Shakadi, addressed a group of soldiers about the life-altering lessons he learned from his Holocaust survivor father.

My father’s life story is impossible to comprehend. During World War II he jumped from a train, went to Budapest [where he found refuge], and was saved.

After the war, he returned to his village in Hungary and waited there for almost 2 years, waiting for somebody to return home.

After 2 years he understood the next following incomprehensible reality: I have been left completely alone in the world. He was around your age, nearing 20.

His entire family had been murdered and burnt in Auschwitz. And he made aliya to Israel completely alone and established a family here. You understand, the fact that I am standing here today is a miracle in and of itself.

My father had an amazing sentence that he would say to me all the time, over and over: “Listen, I can’t understand why they try to divide us Jews from one another. With every single Jew, I feel at home.”

Love and acceptance [of every Jew]. That was how he lived.

3 comments

  1. Wow! Thank you for posting this.

  2. Chana Jenny, I saw the full speech and I found it offensive. He talks about unity but as a segue to how he established an army unit for attracting haredim into the army, against rabbinical opposition.
    Never mind his pride about this dubious accomplishment, it never once occurs to him that unity might mean HE should go to yeshiva for a few months…

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