Ben-Zion Gold’s memoir brings to life the world of a million Jews in pre–World War II Poland who were later destroyed by the Nazis. Warmly recalling the relationships, rituals, observances, and celebrations, Gold evokes the sense of family and faith that helped him through the catastrophe that followed. With him we experience the life and institutions of the time: the heder and hooky playing, his encounter with Hassidism, the courtship and marriage of his oldest sister, and the author’s own first inkling of love.
And with him, we recapture the memories that made life worth living in the face of disaster, along with the experience of the human capacity for evil that tested and transformed his faith as it devastated his world. Finally, Gold tells of the fate of his family and of his own escape from that fate.