By Harvey Tobkes

This event happened many years ago, but I would like to share it with you today…

As you probably know, Florida has a significant population of people in their 90’s.


My next-door neighbors, back then were Miklosh, a Hungarian Jew and his sweet wife Audrey. In WWII, Miklosh was sentenced to 10 years in a Siberian prison camp by the Russians, but the war ended a year later and he somehow was able to get to the U.S.

Finally, his luck ran out…he died at age 94 after breaking his hip as he fell in the lobby of our building. Miklosh was always an inspiration! He stood 6 feet 3 inches tall, ramrod straight, just as if he were a guard at Buckingham Palace. Miklosh was an upbeat guy despite all the hardships in his life.

When our grandson David was just 5-years-old, I brought him next door to meet the old couple and as soon as they met him they were charmed by his old world manners; David gave them a little bow and then exchanged hearty hand shakes with both. After answering questions about himself and asking questions about Siberia, David asked if they would like to hear him sing, Hatikva, (literally “The Hope,” which is Israel’s national anthem) in his regular voice or his Rabbi voice (by which he meant in a low, husky voice range). Yes, they got a little teary eyed listening to David singing in his best rabbi voice. and I confess, my eyes got a little moist too; just watching this little guy entertaining the delighted elderly couple was a pleasure for them and me, his proud grandpa.

When he was finished singing they always had some cookies or chocolates to offer and of course, David did not refuse. He promised to return soon to visit his new old friends.

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