Monday, February 15, 2010

My Name

I've started reading Hizkia M. Franco's The Jewish Martyrs of Rhodes and Cos, a book about two rather small Spangoli Jewish communities that were destroyed during the Nazi Holocaust. The chapter I'm currently reading is talking about the expulsion of Turkish born Jews who had got Italian citizenship by virtue of the Treaty of Lausanne. The boat (or 'tramp steamer' as Franco calls it) that was supposed to take them to the Mandate caught fire as it was leaving the harbor and the Rhodes Jewish community organized itself in order to help the 'refugees':

Early the following morning, many men and women of our community hurried to the aid of the castaways, and they were the first to supply food, clothing and blankets. Soon a kitchen was organized in the stadium to feed them properly, as the prescribed rations issued by the authorities were insufficient. Fortunately we still had plenty of food at the time.

In our community, there were good people who devoted themselves wholeheartedly to this charitable work. One of them, the well-known businessman Avraam Piha, fell ill as a result of his efforts. He died on 26 July 1939. May his blessed soul rest in peace!

I'm named after that man, my great grandfather (My dad isn't sure if that date of death (his azkara is in Elul) is accurate). What an honor to carry this name.

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