Whilst we didn’t have the celebration we planned, we are free to practice our religion, we were able to celebrate in some way, our grandparents were able to see us deliver our Parsha and D’var Torah
Eva Saffer was twinned with Eva Schneider from East Prussia,Germany who died at age of 12 in Vidzeme, Latvia. Charlie Saffer was twinned with Shmil Yoel Scharf, from Carpathian Ruthenia, Czechoslovakia who died at age of 12 in Carpathian Ruthenia, Czechoslovakia.
This year we turned 14. We should have had our B’nei Mitzvah last year. However, the restrictions put a stop to our original plan. I (Charlie) was ready to read my portion in 2020. I continued to practice and learn more of the portion for another year. We were led to believe all restrictions would be lifted on the 21st June in time for us to have all our friends and family on synagogue on the 26th June. We planned to have a party to celebrate on the same weekend.
The restrictions were not entirely lifted. Covid remains a threat. We had a restricted amount of people in synagogue and rearranged the party again to fit in with the restrictions.
In some small way, Covid is similar to the Holocaust i.e. the restrictions on our lives.
But that is where the similarity stops. Covid does not discriminate – we are all affected. Social distancing, masks and hand gel are in place to keep us safe, we are fighting this virus together.
In fact we count ourselves lucky.
Whilst we didn’t have the celebration we planned, we are free to practice our religion, we were able to celebrate in some way, our grandparents were able to see us deliver our Parsha and D’var Torah. We had friends from different racial and religious backgrounds celebrating with us.
In summary, whilst Covid has meant life has been restricted and unpredictable, we are still safe, still have the security of our home and family. Most importantly we are still free to be Jews and freely practice our religious traditions such as our B’nei Mitzvah, unlike the young victims of the Holocaust.