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Pidyon HaBen Memory

Pidyon HaBen Memory

Thanks to Gary Rosenblatt for another beautiful, personal piece, this one related to the Pidyon HaBen of his newest grandchild (“New Grandchild, Ancient Ritual,” March 2).

I was actually married with children of my own before I attended my first Pidyon HaBen and it was replete with the silver tray and jewelry around the baby. I recall being amazed with the entire process.

I was then blessed to have a Pidyon HaBen for two grandsons, and the silver tray that we used belonged to my late husband’s father’s family in Poland. My father-in-law, Dr. Meyer Bieler, had hidden the tray in the wall of his home in Czortkov during the Holocaust.  As a physician and high-ranking officer in the Russian army, he returned to that house towards the end of the war — which was then occupied by others — smashed through the wall, retrieved his possessions and walked out. 

Whenever I would hear the story, I always imagined my father-in-law, in taking this action, to be possessed of a controlled fury; he and his wife had lost everyone, and no one was going to take away from him those last vestiges of a lost world.

Teaneck, N.J.

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