Holocaust Survivor Essay

He told the audience that 47 years earlier, when he had visited my father’s shiva, he was struck by the enormous courage my mother had shown as a young widow.

Even while sitting shiva, Rochel Steinmetz let everyone know she was going to raise her children by herself, and raise them well.

After the war, she came to America and rapidly rebuilt her life.

She got married, bought a house in the suburbs, and had three children.

This is because a mourner “has no mouth,” just like an egg, which is an enclosed circle, without any hint of an opening.

During the first few days of shiva, I realized how true this was.

Silence communicated my feelings better than words.

As the year of mourning presses on, silence has become the playground of memory; I hear my mother’s voice best during moments of silence.

My family wasn’t very interested in Mother’s Day when I was growing up. Her philosophy was that every day you were alive should be seen as your birthday, and if you had a mother, every day should be seen as Mother’s Day; nothing more needed to be said.

So, our observance of Mother’s Day left a lot to be desired, and we usually marked the day with a casual toss of “Happy Mother’s Day” during a phone conversation.


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