Monday, September 17, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1676 Yizkor (for Yom Kippur) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 18, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1676  Yizkor  (for Yom Kippur) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 18,  2018
In the Jewish religion, tonight is Erev Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.....and there is a service tomorrow at every synagogue where all are admitted, Yizkor, when the special memorial prayer is said for the departed. Yizkor means....remember.     

                                                                    by Janet S. Tiger   
                                                              (c)  2016    all rights reserved


              (This is an older man - accent from Europe)

I am here to say Kaddish for my family, and especially for someone not my family……my friend….Chaim.

Why do I stand for someone who is not a relative?  Because he has no one to stand and say Kaddish for him.....

When I go, I have my children, my grandchildren to say the prayers for me.  My friend...he died a young man......even though he looked old, he was only 18.....and I was 15, but I was only in the camps a year, he had managed to survive for almost six years.  He was a good person…..

I will not tire you with the whole story, the story of a life during World War II takes a long time to tell……but you probably already know that at the end of the war, there were the marches.  We marched for a million miles.....And Chaim was next to me....the old man and the boy.....he watched out for me...kept an eye on me..... and it was cold…February cold ......and we had no warm clothes…..and I got sick and suddenly it wasn’t cold, I was burning up with fever, Chaim and another man held me up so I wouldn't get shot for not keeping up.......not easy on one slice of bread a day and some soup......he kept talking to me, trying to encourage me, but I was finished.... when we stopped for a break – which meant the soldiers could take a smoke and a piss, I lay there like a corpse.

When the break was over……I could not get up…..the soldiers came… have to understand, they knew  the war was over, but they still loved to kill us…..the biggest problem now was enough bullets……so when the soldier came over to get me up, Chaim lay next to me and he said to the soldier……'he’s almost dead, and me, too.  Don’t waste the bullet on him…...I remember looking at the soldier and I let my eyes fall back and  I will never forget how he laughed and turned to his friend and said, ‘What a considerate Jew!  Saving a bullet!’  But the other soldier kicked me and said, 'He has a point, this one's not worth the bullet....... but this one......he aimed the gun at Chaim. And he shot Chaim, and I saw nothing else……hours later, it was dark, and I heard a voice and now I was cold again.  It was Chaim’s voice…..he said he had turned as the gun fired and the bullet went through his shoulder.  It was bleeding and I had to help him stop the blood…..

I could barely stand, and I had no shoes, the others had taken them, but I still had a rag and I shoved it into the hole.  The bleeding stopped and he stood up and told me we had to walk to a farmhouse he had seen a few miles back……and I tried to walk, but after a few steps, I fell down and he lifted me with his good arm and he put me over his bad shoulder and he walked with me for those miles……I was so woozy, and it was like in a dream… add to the fun…it started to snow….I woke up and saw the farm…..he almost ran to the front door and he knocked and that was all I remembered until I woke up three days later.

In the Kartoffel Zimmer....the potato room.....under the barn, her name was Gerta, and she kept potatoes and other food, canned, and she kept me.....along with two other Jewish children she was hiding......a brother and sister, Simon and Ruth.......

When I finally opened my eyes, I looked around and asked for Chaim – was he alright?  They looked at me like I was crazy.  But they thought it was from the fever.  After a few days, I begged them to tell me and they said, there was no Chaim…..

I asked Gerta again and again, she finally said….’you were alone, liebchin….just you at the door, covered in blood…..

Where did he go?  She told me....'There was no one else'……’but I was not able to walk!  How could I get here?’  'The body can do amazing things'…..Greta said to me….but then I asked her, ‘If I walked, how come my feet were not bloody? I had no shoes!  And where did the blood come from, I have no wounds?’

She looked at me and her eyes got very wide and she said….'You must have been carried by a ghost!'And she smiled, but not to make fun.  And she said.....‘You must honor this ghost, by living a good life’

Those last months before the war ended were a dream – a nightmare, but a dream.

Ruth and her brother and I became more than friends…we came to the United States together, I married Ruth and Simon was my best man.

I have lived my life to honor my friend who carried me to safety that night.  Where did he go?  I have no idea.  After the war, I searched around the farm, perhaps he had walked off…..died in the woods.  No sign of him.  When I did the searches for my family, who were all ashes, I looked for him, too.  The Germans kept good records, until the end, when they got a little sloppy....I always hoped to find some of my family, my brothers, my sister......Chaim.....but no, they were all murdered.  So I say Kaddish for them.......and for Chaim

I stand for him every Yom Kippur, because…..he stood for me ......or I would not be here.

        (He turns to leave, stops, looks back, listens)

Funny, so many people ask that very same question - what does it feel like to lose every one?

But I didn't lose them,,,,,,,
I still have them all.....

       (He touches his heart nods, then exits. And to all those who have no one to stand for them, we stand, and say, rest in peace.)


first posted Day #973 Yizkor  (c) Oct. 12,  2016


Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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