Rabbi Samuel Cywiak told me stories of how before the Holocaust, he and his father would travel to Gera, a small town outside of Warsaw, Poland. They made this journey every year to see their Rebbe, the Gerer Rebbe, for the High Holidays. I could tell by the smile on his face and sparkle in his eyes as he told these stories, that these trips to Gera were very special for Rabbi Cywiak. Something he’ll never forgot or want to forget. They were joyous, spiritual, humble, and loving experiences for him, and all involved.
To help celebrate the 2012 Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Sept 16-18) & Yom Kippur (Sept 25-26), the Kindle version of Flight From Fear will be reduced to $1.99 during these dates. And on one of these days, it will be offered for free.
Following last weekend’s promotion, Flight From Fear: A Rabbi’s Holocaust Memoir became an Amazon Best Seller in multiple categories!
It ranked as high as #15 in two Kindle eBook categories: Historical Biographies & Memoirs and Religious (Leaders & Notable People) Biographies & Memoirs. For the general Books category, Flight From Fear ranked as high as #25 for Religious (Leaders & Notable People) Biographies & Memoirs.
Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this proud achievement possible!
Early on, when I was meeting with then 88-year-old Rabbi Samuel Cywiak to ghostwrite his Holocaust memoir, he kept insisting that I include a Holocaust story, which he called the “Herr Mueller” story. It was about a good-natured rabbi who always greeted every man, woman and child he had encountered during his morning walks, and how a person’s spirit and treatment of others will be rewarded. Rabbi Cywiak liked to tell this story to the Flagler College students every time they came to the synagogue to hear about his own experiences.
The only problem was that Rabbi Cywiak couldn’t remember where he had heard the story from; if it was only a verbal tale that had been passed along over the years or if it had actually been published somewhere. I tried to do some research on it, but wasn’t having much luck for some reason. Besides, “Herr Mueller”, although a great story in itself, really did not fit in with the Rabbi’s personal journey or the tone I was working to create.
Recently, something made me think of the Herr Mueller story though, and I did a little more searching on the internet. This time I found it. It was a published story, part of a collection by Yaffa Eliach called Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust.
You can read the entire “Herr Mueller” story here: Good Morning, Herr Mueller. The story is quite short, but contains a powerful message.
~Jeff Swesky, ghostwriter of Flight From Fear