Yesh Atid leader Lapid joins a Jerusalem bar mitzvah ceremony with 30 Holocaust survivors who have never had a chance to celebrate.

The survivors arrived at the Western Wall, waving Israel flags and singing. They put on tefillin and read the Torah while onlookers threw candy at them, a usual custom for bar mitzvah boys and girls in Israel.

The survivors asked Lapid to speak of his own experience, and he described the event as closing a circle. The Yesh Atid chairman spoke of the bar mitzvah his father, Yosef [Tommy] Lapid, never managed to celebrate.

“Dad was in the Budapest ghetto, in a crowded cellar where almost 600 people lived. And his mother – my grandmother – called him and said, ‘Tommike, today is your bar mitzvah. Your father will not come to the bar mitzvah, and I think he will not come ever again. I can’t make you a cake but there is one thing I can do’,” Lapid says. “She took out a vial of perfume, Chanel No. 5 – that she has kept throughout the war, God only knows how, and she smashed it on the floor. ‘At least I can make sure it doesn’t stink on my boy’s bar mitzvah,’ she told my dad,” says Lapid.

Holocaust survivors celebrate their bar mitzvah at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, on Monday, July 13 2015. (Oren Hassidim)

Holocaust survivors celebrate their bar mitzvah at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, on Monday, July 13 2015. (Oren Hassidim)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid at the Western Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem, on Monday, July 13 2015. Oren Hassidim)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid at the Western Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem, on Monday, July 13 2015. Oren Hassidim)

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