Go My Son by Chaim Shapiro Essay

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Chaim Shapiro was born in Lomza, Poland. On September 1st, 1939, the Germans invade Poland, quickly annihilating many of the people, including his younger brother Nosson. Soon after the Soviet Union signs a treaty the Germans, giving over Poland to them. Out of fear that he would lose his religion under atheist communist rulership, his mother pleads with him to leave, saying the fateful words “Go My Son.” He leaves war-torn Poland for Vilna, Lithuania, joining with the rest of the Kamenetz Yeshiva. Because of the frequent casualties of war people were forced to move from place to place for safety, because of which he eventually finds himself alone on a train bound Moscow, deep within the Soviet Union. Upon arrival he is sent to work…show more content…
Yet through skilled work and creativity he manages to avoid this problem, enabling him to be able to survive World War Two without once desecrating Shabbos. At one point during Chaim’s stay in Karobka, he went to visit the nearby (metropolis) city of Kuybishev. While there he noticed a woman selling books, including three of which were written in Yiddish. He had not read anything in Yiddish since the outbreak of the war, making him so desperate to buy the books even though he was nearly at of money and had no food. Upon purchasing the books, he opened them to the disappointment of discovering they were all about the greatness of Communism! A little while later he is arrested, and is in fact saved upon the officers discovering he was reading what they considered the most important books on earth! This teaches an important lesson: sometimes what seems so bad, such as here wasting his money on terrible books, can end up causing a salvation, as here it is was saved him from imprisonment in Siberia. A little while after this, while Chaim was still staying in Kazakhstan, he met a Jew who had promised him he would organize a minyan for Yom Kippur, on the ground that Chaim would agree to be the chazzan. This was astounding news, as they were living in communist Russia during World War II, when talk of religion was unheard of, let alone finding ten men to daven together on Yom Kippur! Chaim made his
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