Kressel Housman's Reviews > Between My Father and the Old Fool: A Holocaust Memoir

Between My Father and the Old Fool by Maier Cahan
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's review
Oct 04, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, holocaust, jewish, non-fiction, torah, memoir
Read from October 04 to 09, 2010

This is one of the best Holocaust memoirs I've ever read. Part of it is because it's written like a novel, ie with more dialogue than description, but mainly it's because the focus is on keeping the mitzvos in the worst of circumstances. The writings of Primo Levi, in contrast, don't a fraction of the hope. (I believe Primo Levi killed himself decades after the war.) Maier Cahan, in his efforts to put on tefillin on the sly and daven Shacharis on his way to the bitterest of hard labors is an absolute inspiration. Yes, he does question G-d about all the suffering around him, but ultimately, his faith is his strength. Anyone reading his story, especially a Jew, will gain from that strength. If he can keep the mitzvos in the most adverse of circumstances, what right do we have to be lazy? Recommended.
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