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.