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On Simjon and Zipporah

סמיון רוזנפלד וציפורה פרידמן בן שלום ז"ל
צילום: איציק פרידמן קרול

The most important section in the newspaper in the days leading up to elections is the obituaries. This is where I personally run to when I have enough of the current public commotion. Here is what I found there today:

Simjon Rosenfeld, 96 years old, is the last survivor of the Sobibor death camp. The movie "Escape from Sobibor" is based on his incredible story. In a camp in which 150,000 Jews were murdered, he and his friend managed to kill eleven SS people and escape. Most of the rebels were caught and murdered.  Simjon survived, until yesterday. The head of the Nahal Sorek regional council, Eli Askozido, told me that every morning he used to visit the local nursing home, because after being greeted with a "good morning" by Simjon - everything was taken in the right proportions for the rest of his day. Now the last Sobibor survivor has passed away.

Zipporah Friedman Ben Shalom, who passed away last night at the age of 93, is the daughter of the previous Hassidic Rebbe of Vizhnitz, the "Imrei Chaim". She and her husband made Aliyah to Israel and built Kibbutz Reshafim in the Bet She'an Valley in the framework of the HaShomer HaTza'ir movement. Both of them also assumed the position of Kibbutz Secretary. After years of not being in touch with him, she returned to nurse her sick father, and their relationship resumed. Her family moved to the religious Kibbutz Sa'ad. Delicate threads were woven between the Kibbutz movement and the Hassidic movement. Thousands were privileged to learn from teacher Zipporah the stories of Shai Agnon throughout the years, with a special blend of old and new, between the Jewish Shtetl and the Israeli yishuv.
After almost one hundred tumultuous years in both their personal life and our national life, both of them will be buried today in the land of Eretz Israel.

In memoriam.


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