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75 Years After the Holocaust These Survivors Put On Tefillin for the First Time!

75 years after the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of 6 million of our people, 12 survivors from the town of Olevsk merited celebrating their Bar Mitzva, where they put on tefillin for the first time in their lives! Rabbi Yakov Chaim Miller who runs the “Bet Olevsk Guest House” organized this blessed event where 12 of the town residents celebrated their bar mitzvah in an emotional and tearful ceremony.
It took a month for Rabbi Miller to convince these precious Jews of the great importance of this mitzvah. They accepted and learned the details of how to do the mitzvah they were about to perform. Rabbi Miller with the assistance of Rabbi Moshe Bransdorfer the Rabbi of Heichal Hora’ah,
gathered the men and escorted them to a spacious hall where they were greeted by a large crowd singing and dancing in their honor.

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The climax came when Rabbi Miller pronounced the blessing on Tefillin word by word with the men and also said “Shema Yisrael” with each one.
Some of the men burst into tears thinking about their loved ones who suffered in the camps and were lost in the Holocaust. They should have celebrated their Bar Mitzva together many years before.
A festive meal with song and dance took place immediately afterwards. During the meal  Rabbi Bransdorfer spoke to men in Yiddish and explained to them:” You did a great mitzvah! You turned a new page in your life! You have accepted upon yourselves the Torah and Mitzvot and you all have become kosher Jews!” The rabbi said, touching the hearts of all present.
All those attending were given a Chanukia as a gift to commemorate this great event. Many people did not know what  a Chanukia  was and one man shouted; “I remember what this is from when I was only eight years old, from when my parents were taken away!” 

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