Religious life of Rywka

Litzmannstadt Getto 21 I 1944
Friday! … Every week I wait impatiently for Friday evening and Saturday … I don’t know, I can’t imagine at all what would happen if we didn’t have this one Saturday (and Friday evenings). (This is a winter day.) I feel so good. I can think and dream (I have time then.) Oh, dream, dream and forget. […]I’ll light the candles in a few hours … and then? Oh.

Litzmannstadt Getto 2 II 1944
Oh! In human life friendship and love are great advantages … It’s an authentic gift from God and it is happiness … Happy is the person who lives in friendship and love … It’s encouraging and comforting … I love Surcia so much! … Actually, this is the only strong beam of warmth within this atmosphere that’s so icy and cold. I’m so grateful to God for this! When I look back, I think that we came within a hair’s breadth of not meeting at all. Isn’t it Providence? Oh, God is so omnipotent, all-powerful and kind. It’s good that I believe in God! I love God so much! I can always and everywhere rely on God, but I have to help a little since nothing is going to happen by itself! But I do know that God will take care of me! Oh, it’s good that I’m a Jewish girl, that I was taught to love God … I’m grateful for all this! Thank you, God.

Litzmannstadt Getto 7 II 1944
Nevertheless I’m grateful to God that I’m a Jewish girl! That He let me understand it. God! I know so little, I hear so little, but what I’ve heard means so much to me, it has fulfilled me a lot, that … Oh, that’s why whenever the opportunity presents itself, I have to take advantage of it, I have to … […] I’ve always wanted to study, but I didn’t know exactly what. Now I know, now it’s different, now I know that I want to study, but to study the Torah, our dear, beloved, always new and yet so old Torah.

Our life-giving Torah! 

Mother Torah!!!

Litzmannstadt Getto 11 II 1944
Oh, it’s Friday again! Time goes by so fast! And for what? Do we know? What’s waiting for us in the future? I’m asking this question with both fear and youthful curiosity. We have an answer to this, great answer: God and the Torah! Father God and Mother Torah! They are our parents! Omnipotent, Omniscient, Eternal!!! It’s so powerful!!! In front of this I’m just a little creature that can hardly be seen through the microscope. Well … oh, I’m laughing at the entire world—I, a poor Jewish girl from the ghetto—I, who don’t know what will happen to me tomorrow … I’m laughing at the entire world because I have a support, a great support: my Faith, because I believe! Thanks to it I’m stronger, richer and more worthy than others … God, I’m so grateful to you!!! …

Litzmannstadt Getto 20 II 1944
Oh, God, it was so awful to get up so early on Saturday! I was choking! When I was crossing the intersection of Jerozolimska Street and Franciszkańska Street, I saw a soldier near the barbed wire looking at the ghetto. It seemed to me that he was looking only at me and was pleased, that I, too, was on my way. Oh, God! I’ll never forget this feeling, I felt so bad, I was suffocating, I felt like crying! Crying … crying … I watched people going to the workshops as usual. This day, this holy, sacred day is for them an ordinary and normal weekday. God, and I’m among them? And I’m like them? (Maybe nobody thought about it.) For me, going to the workshop on Saturday was a terrible agony. I thought involuntarily: if I have to do it again (I wish I wouldn’t), will it become commonplace for me, will I get used to it? Oh, God, do something so I wouldn’t have to go to the workshop on Saturday! I felt so bad! I wanted to cry! It seemed to me that everybody was laughing at me. That they were laughing because I came. God, I’ll never forget these feelings. Oh, I felt so bad. In this respect our class is all right. There are many girls who don’t work on Saturdays … but so what? What good is it for me? 

Litzmannstadt Getto 8 III 1944
Tomorrow is Purim. Purim! What kind of holiday is that? … And, what times are we living in? … Ven s’volt geshen aza neys vi demol[l]t?! [Oh, if only such a miracle could happen like back then]. But do we deserve it? Although we suffer so much … well, why shall I beat about the bush? I’d simply like a miracle to happen. Yesterday I saw Surcia and Chajusia. Well, it’s no good. They take people from the workshops at night. Besides Berka, Kon’s sister, has been released today. Really, nobody could believe that. It’s destiny. […]Cipka was the only one who remembered to give mishloyekh mones to everybody from the Dajcz family, to the cousins. For Mrs. Markus she’s sent some little things: washing powder for Rózia, hair curlers for Nadzia and a book for Pola. She’s enclosed little notes on which she wrote “Trinkets.” I have to admit that it was partly my idea. But it doesn’t matter now …