It happened this way… a most improbable series of events:
The tiny newborn baby, blond-haired and blue-eyed, was hidden, bundled inside a fur coat, with jewelry and cash.
A local woman, hired to sort belongings, found the baby, and longing for a child of her own, made the split-second decision to take her.
The little girl, Lila she was named, grew up, loved, coddled, Hungarian.
Years passed, and Lila grew into an accomplished young woman. She became a pediatric surgeon, married, and gave birth to twins. Just one month later, her husband, along with his parents, and hers were tragically killed in a car crash.
Some months later, Lila’s aunt arrived to comfort her, carrying with her a letter from Lila’s mother in which she shared the truth of the tiny stolen Jewish baby.
Lila was shocked – her entire life, her family – a sham. Was there nothing else? No hint of who she was? Just one thing, her aunt replied, a pendant engraved with foreign words.
Lila wrestled long and hard with what to do and finally emigrated to Israel where she found her Jewish roots. Learning Hebrew and Yiddish, she was finally able to read her real name from the pendant; it contained only hers and her mother’s first names, but still, wondrous!
Time passed, she married again, had two more children, and became a widely-respected surgeon. And then came that awful day- a suicide bomber at a popular pizzeria, countless wounded and killed, including her husband, picking up pizza for the family. She was in shock, the pain and loss unbearable, but she was desperately needed nonetheless for the dozens of injured children.
She hurriedly treated one young girl whose grandfather vehemently insisted on staying with her. It was only later that she noticed the pendant around the child’s neck, a pendant that exactly matched her own… and it seemed strangely to her that the very movement of the earth slowed down…
“Could I ask where she got that?” she asked.
“I was a jeweler, and I designed and made one of these pendants for each of my children and grandchildren,” the man replied.
“Did you once have a wife named Miriam and a baby girl?”
“Yes,” the man hesitatingly replied. “They were killed at Auschwitz. How could you know that?”
And the earth shuddered to a stop for just that one moment as Leah, daughter of Miriam, took the pendant she always wore and handed it to her father.
(This is a true story.)