Secrets of Jewish Survival

by Ben Volman

Why are the Jewish people persecuted, and why do we always survive?

The secret of Jewish survival is buried among many secrets and many questions. Let me begin with a secret that took me more than thirty years to uncover.

After our son was born, my aunt, a Holocaust survivor, came to visit. Seeing the little boy reminded her of another child, the infant son of an older brother, Carchi. The child and his mother had been with her in Auschwitz. They had not survived, and she could only speak about them briefly because it was too painful to recall. I had never even heard of this child before.

A people of survival must cope with endless questions, stories of survival and tragedies of loss. One wonders how Israel has outlasted an endless parade of tyrants and despots, from ancient Haman to the modern-day Hamas.

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