Michael Gitelman

 

Родился и вырос в Одессе. С 1998 года живу в Израиле, недалеко от Хайфы. Получил техническое образование, но давно понял, что я гуманитарий. Ещё в юности пробовал писать пародию, тексты для КВН. Более 8 лет пишу о социальных сетях. Мои статьи и рассказы были опубликованы в израильских газетах на русском языке. В интернет-изданиях на русском языке.

Born and raised in Odessa. Since 1998 I live in Israel, not far from Haifa. I got a technical education, but I realized long ago that I’m a humanist. Even in my youth I tried to write a parody, texts for KVN. More than 8 years I’ve been writing about social networks. My articles and stories were published in Israeli newspapers in Russian. In Internet publications in Russian.

 

«The Story of a Parchment»

‘Everything is forgiven, but those who have spilled innocent blood shall never be forgiven.’

This incident happened about seven or eight years ago, and was reported in Israeli newspapers and television. In Israel, divinity is everywhere — it is difficult to shock the average person with a story of religion or antiquity. There are many Kabbalists here, and a lot of respected Rabbis. But even here, there are people whose names are well known and whose authority is unquestionable.

One of these people is the Rabbi of the town I live in, Yitzchak David Grossman. He is the founder of the educational institutions Migdal Ohr, a school for immigrants from the FSU, and is very well known and respected in the Jewish world.

Here’s a real example. A new Jewish charity foundation was founded in Russia, and needed some help. The foundation asked a Jewish entrepreneur in the UK for help. This kind of people know the value of money and don’t just throw it away. The man demanded a recommendation. He said he can accept a signature only by one of two men – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (now deceased, but in the past – the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel), or Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman. He got the recommendation he wanted.

Israel and Germany maintain very friendly relations. While an Israeli delegation was visiting Germany, a German approached them with a Torah scroll fragment, and asked that it be given to an important Israeli Rabbi. This fragment turned out to have a very interesting history. The German’s grandfather or great-grandfather was a Luftwaffe pilot during World War II. In one of the occupied cities (Poland, Belarus, Ukraine) this man (if you can call him that) had the nerve to enter a Synagogue and cut a piece of parchment out of a Torah scroll… The officer thought the parchment would make a good cover for his pilot’s license.

That pilot didn’t live to see the end of the War, which doesn’t surprise me at all — it is strange that he was even able to leave the Synagogue. His children kept his license “cover”. The Germans understood that it was Hebrew, but could not read it. The parchment was brought to Israel and shown to Rabbi Grossman. He read the text. The fragment said (I’m quoting from my memory): “For cursed you will be, and cursed will be thy children! And thy house will be destroyed! And the land will burn under thy feet!”

It was 1942. Wehrmacht was getting close. The “blond beasts” were going East, smiling, and victory over Germany was still far far away…

 

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