By COLlive staff
A Holocaust survivor from New Jersey completed his bar mitzvah at 78 years old, decades after he was set free.
Alfred Glogower was four years old when he was liberated from the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. He says that he still remembers the horrors he faced there as a child.
Glogower eventually moved to the United States and became a major in the Army, but he never had his bar mitzvah.
On Sunday, Tisha B’Av, Glogower put on Tefillin for the first time, with the help of Rabbi Shmully Levitin, Director of Chabad Young Professionals of Hoboken and Jersey City.
“Today is the fast of 9 Av. The saddest day on the Jewish calendar. When we mourn the destruction of our holy Temples and the resulting pain and persecution we’ve endured over the millennia,” said Rabbi Levitin. “The symbolism of the date of his Bar Mitzvah moved us to tears.
“The 9th of Av is also the birthday of Moshiach. Moshiach will usher in the final redemption when the 3rd Temple will be built and there will be an end to all the pain and suffering in the world.
“Today is a sad day but it’s also the day that will soon bring renewal and redemption to the world. Within our darkest moments lies the inception of our greatest light and hope.
“The feeling of darkness giving way to light, the triumph of Judaism over the forces that try to wipe us out, was palpable today as Avrum celebrated his Bar Mitzvah,” Rabbi Levitin said.