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Pause for Thought - Radio 2

Listen to our very own, Miriam Arkush Lorie, Rabbi-inTraining's latest Radio 2 Pause for Thought with Zoe Ball here:

Here's the script:

"Remembrance Sunday is coming up, and I will forever associate the day with my grandpa David, who marched every year with his fellow Jewish ex-servicemen and women, almost until the year he died aged 101.

Grandpa David was a hero - a WW2 British army dentist who was captured and survived for 3 years in a POW camp in Thailand. Being a dentist saved grandpa’s life. In captivity, he set up a makeshift clinic, treating prisoners and guards alike. His work kept him away from the brutal railway building that claimed the lives of so many POWs.

Growing up with grandpa, you’d never know that this gentle, jovial man had endured three nightmare years, in which thousands of fellow prisoners died around him. He was just Grandpa who played football and Rummikub with us, always had a twinkle in his eye and was famous for saying “yes dear” to anything grandma asked of him.

And when asked about his years as a POW, grandpa would tell us upbeat stories of camaraderie, of picking mangos off trees, of getting away with smuggling radio parts into the camp, and of how he stepped up as an unofficial rabbi to the other lads, leading Shabbat and festival services, and when necessary, conducting their funerals.

It amazes me how grandpa came home, built a loving family life, and was always full of humour and sparkle. They don’t make them like that these days, do they Zoe?

It seems to me - as the famous quote goes - that “war is hell” for all concerned. I so passionately wish that war wasn’t a feature of our world - back then or today. This Sunday is an opportunity to salute those who sacrificed so much. Some paid the ultimate price. The fortunate others, like my grandpa David, came back and rebuilt.

For me, that’s the real heroism. Not just that grandpa survived and took care of so many souls - and teeth - but the gentle, loving rebuilding afterwards. The living out of what the fighting was all for. And despite everything he lived through, playing Rummikub and football with the grandkids."

Grandpa David

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