Candle lighting time
- 06.12.2013 06 Декабрь / Тевет 3 - 15:32
Born in 1943 in evacuation Grigory Katz owes his life to a lucky chance in June 1941 that helped his family escape the fate of 6000 out of 7000 Orsha Jews murdered in the ghetto. It was only after the liberation of Orsha in 1944 that his family returned to their native town. Neither atrocities of the Holocaust, nor persecution of any religious practices in the Soviet Union could make Katz family forsake their Jewish identity – Shabbat and festivals were observed and Yiddish was always spoken at home. Grigory carried Jewish traditions with him through the years. Now when he is well in his sixties it is occasional visits to the synagogue and “Hesed-Shalom” in Orsha that give him the sense of community and belonging. With his health deteriorating because of progressing polyarthritis and stenocardia, Grigory has to stay in his small two-room flat more often saving his modest pension of $200 and sparing his strength for his weekly visits to his wife who is in the nursing home for people with psycho-neurological disorders. Apart from his wife the only family of Grigory is his daughter and grandson who live in Tatarstan. Grigory confesses that he gets very lonely in long winter evenings. At least during the day he gets visited by some neighbors and the home care worker. Evenings drag on monotonously as his TV set would not work. Hesed promised to help him and contribute to the cost of a new one, and Grigory is saving what he can to speed up the purchase that would make a difference in his lonely life.