An eye-catching photo of a group of Jews burying a niftar amid a snowstorm in the Russian city of Kaliningrad has a moving story behind it, B’Chadrei Chareidim reported.
The elderly Jew who had passed away was a high-ranking officer in the Russian army and a fitting military ceremony was held upon his death, However, his son, a resident of Moscow and also a high-ranking army official, wanted his father to have a Jewish burial and he contacted the Chabad shaliach in the city, Reb Avremi Daitsh. Reb Daitsh organized the levaya, gathering ten men after much effort to come to the cemetery amid a heavy snowstorm.
A twist to the story was that as the son was organizing the levaya, he discovered some information about his family he hadn’t known, that it wasn’t just his father who was Jewish but his mother was Jewish as well. When the Nazis occupied Russia in 1942 and murdered thousands of Jews, one woman, a resident of the city of Krasnodar, managed to escape and hide out as a non-Jewess. This woman’s granddaughter, who was Jewish but indistinguishable from the non-Jews around her, ended up marrying the Russian army officer who was just niftar.
The son, who went to the effort to arrange a Jewish burial for his father, now discovered that he was a halachic Jew.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)