During those cold winters, my mother and I, hand in hand, entered the old church. But before, I always wanted to puff some breath against the yellowy light falling from the bulb hanging above the lintel, to enjoy my vapor being absorbed by the wintry mist.
On opening the old door of black wood in the gloomy entrance, a deeply penetrating smell of incense invaded me always. It was then when something started insufflating through my nostrils and a well-known upsetting being was born in me.
High gothic vaults appeared above me and gothic chapels surrounded me... everything built in brown stone though the ashlars in the vaults remained always almost black.
The bright lit side chapels shone with their huge golden frames of religious paintings and the multicolored robes of the frozen statues.
But inexplicably, my eyes always concentrated on the naked walls and floors.
I asked myself how many Jewish souls had dragged their bodies on these floors... because they were Jewish but they didn't know.
I asked myself how many Jewish souls had seen the very same stones that I was seeing and stepped on the very same stones that I was stepping on at that moment... on their way to the stake to be burned after the Sunday mass.
And I approached one of the columns, and touched one of its ashlars, and said to myself: "tell me!” “Has a Jew ever looked at you?” “I mean in the middle ages!” “Did the Jewish soul see you when being forced to the burning stake?” “Did this rocky floor support the delicate feet of the Inquisition's victims?”
“And you, there up, in the petrified heaven embracing these naves... have you ever witnessed the horror of the Inquisition?"
And I suddenly felt a mysterious cold freezing my heart.
The most emblematic jewish partisan's anthem.
ZOG NIT KAYNMOL (Never say this is the end of the road./ Nunca digas que es el final del camino).
Composer: Hersch Glik.
Performed by the very acclaimed israeli singer Chava Alberstein, from her album "Yiddish Songs".
Edited in Israel.
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Barzilai Benklawer Kellajer