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Posted: 2/17/2006 3:21:10 PM EDT

It may have taken 63 years but Herman Rosenblat is finally able to celebrate being a man.

Rosenblat, formerly of Bay Terrace, received his Bar Mitzvah today at Congregation Beth Sholom Chabad in Mineola. Although most Jewish boys celebrate at age 13 -- the age when the child becomes responsible for himself under Jewish law -- Rosenblat was hardly in a position for balloons and streamers: the 76-year-old Polish immigrant spent his 13th year in a concentration camp during World War II.

Rosenblat celebrated with about a dozen friends and local congregants, eating cookies and dancing the Hora. But his journey from near death in a German concentration camp to celebrating his life in a Mineola temple is just one of Rosenblat's amazing tales.

Perhaps his most astonishing is the story of how he met his wife, Roma. While in the concentration camp, the teenage Rosenblat met a girl on the outside who would throw him apples and bread over the barbed wire fence that separated them. The little girl gave him hope, he said, in a world that was filled with death. Seventeen years later, after being freed by the Russians and immigrating to New York, Rosenblat reluctantly agreed to go on a blind date. After a few minutes of talking, the girl, Roma, asked him where he was during the war. When he told her, she got quiet and then told the story of how she used to feed apples and bread to a teenage boy in a concentration camp. The two realized they had been reunited and Rosenblat proposed on the spot. Six months later they married.

"My wife has always been there with me," he said in a speech after his Bar Mitzvah.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:29:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:31:07 PM EDT
And yet some say, "There is no God."
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 3:44:49 PM EDT
I heard this story some years ago about he and his wife. Awesome!
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:46:57 PM EDT
Such stories aren't totally impossible.

Take, for example, a train ride I took in 1992 if I recall. Started in NYC, going to Chicago. Sat next to a girl from a little town in Scotland, population about 5000. Somewhere near Albany, two lads got on the train. She recognised them from the same town in Scotland.

About a week later, I'm in Miami, staying in a youth hostel. I'm on a bunk bed, only staying for one night. The chap in the bunk below me was also staying for only one night, he was passing through from a holiday in the Florida keys on his way home. Classmate of mine from Ireland. There were about 100 people in my class.

He happened to be wearing the same T-shirt (Pink elephant falling on person saying "Oh sh*t") as one of the range officers in college when I first met her.

Well, maybe not the same T-shirt, but the same picture.

It was bizarre.

I should also note that on that train journey, I had a ticket to get on the Sunset Limited that fell off a bridge in Alabama, killing 40. Still have that ticket. I ended up rescheduling to fit the schedule of the lass from Kinloss, took the previous train.

Also bizarre.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:52:50 PM EDT
WOW!, that is an amazing story.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:54:23 PM EDT
Pretty cool!
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