Love is in Da Blog: Tuesday Teaser

Love is in Da Blog: Tuesday Teaser


This  is part of  February  Love is in Da Blog at Just fooling Around With Be  said : “I dedicated Tuesdays to “Teaser Tuesday” over at “A Daily Rhythm” and books we love. Choose a book that you deeply love and read time and time again. Or actually, pick a book about love. Either follow the “Teaser Tuesday” Rules, do a book review, dedicate a sentence to the author or just write anything you please about that book you love.”



This  week  I  am writing  about  a  book  that  truly  touched me.

The Devil’s Arithmetic is a historical fiction novel written by American author Jane Yolen and published in 1988. The book is about Hannah Stern, a Jewish girl who lives in New Rochelle, New York. During a Passover Seder, Hannah is transported back in time to 1942 Poland, during World War II, where she is sent to a death camp thought to beAuschwitz and learns the importance of knowing about the past.

I am not   Jewish   but I know  my  history  and  this  book  tells  the  story  of  how  an entire  village  is  transported  off  to  a  death  camp. Among  them  by  magic  or  fate is  young Hannah  who  has been transported  there  from  the  future.

Hannah  is transported  from the  Passover  Seder  in her  time   to a  time  and place  during  WW2  there  believe she is Chaya Abramowicz, who is recovering from cholera, the fever that killed Chaya’s parents a few months ago. The strange remarks Hannah/Chaya makes about the future and her inability to recognize her “aunt” Gitl and “uncle” Shmuel are blamed on the fever.

At her “uncle’s” wedding, the Nazis come to transport the entire population of the village to a concentration camp near Donavin, and only Hannah knows all the terrors they will face: starvation, mistreatment, forced labor, and finally execution. She  has  to  live  the  life  of  an intern  in  a  death camp. Through  this  she learns  who  she is  and  why  the  Jewish  Religion is  so important  to her  and her  family.

These  are  some of  the  parts  of  the  book  that  made  me  sit  up  and  think.


“But as the scissors snip-snapped through her hair and the razor shaved the rest, she realized with a sudden awful panic that she could no longer recall anything from the past. I cannot remember, she whispered to herself.”

Hannah, p. 94
“Six million,” Hannah said, “but that’s not all the Jews there are. In the end, in the future, there will be Jews still. And there will be Israel, a Jewish state, where there will be a Jewish president and a Jewish senate. And in America, Jewish movie stars.”
Hannah, p. 156
“I will be brave. I am the only one who knows about the ovens, but I will be brave. I will not take away their hope, which is all they have. I will not tell them that the Nazis often lied and said people were going to take showers when they took them to be killed.”

Hannah, p. 93
“And as for running – where would we run to? God is everywhere. There will always be Nazis among us. No, my child, do not tremble before mere men. It is God before whom we must tremble. Only God. We will go ahead, just as we have planned. After all, this is our shtetl, not theirs, and there is still a wedding to be made.”

Reb Boruch, p. 64

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bee Halton
    Feb 09, 2016 @ 05:12:46

    Wow, that is an intense story. I am not sure I could read it. As a teenager I read some books about the Nazi time: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and The Diary of Anne Frank for example. That time is still pretty close to me because my grandmother told me about how it was to be a teenager in Nazi days and what she had to suffer. Hitler made everybody suffer even though what he has done in the camps is just unbelievable. I have visited Dachau because I was born relatively close by and we did it with school. I still remember the dread, despair and being so overpowered by what happened in the country I was born in. It still overpowers me, to be honest. That is something I do not want to stand for even though it is part of my past.


    • willowdot21
      Feb 09, 2016 @ 05:56:33

      Hi Bee, I do not know what to say,it is a hard book to read. All books on this subject are. It is hard to understand now a whole nation could be taken in by an evil mad man. Those who disagreed with him soon disappeared, the way it has always been with evil dictators and still is today. On one hand no one should carry the blame and yet on the other hand we all should. The world let it happen.
      Let’s not get into this I was trying to reassure you but I fear my words are clumsy.
      The book is important to me because the young Hannah was disinterested in her roots and her history and it is dangerous to forget we must never forget. I have not visited any of the camps but my husband has visit Auschwitz he was very touched by the place, Erie and full of pain.
      Bee sorry to have disturbed you. xx


      • Bee Halton
        Feb 09, 2016 @ 06:32:32

        Don’t worry you have not disturbed me. I am from Germany it is part of my history. I am very aware of this. I am not sure how much today’s youngsters in Germany are made aware of what happened in those days but when I was young we were very aware of the responsibility that comes with a history like that. I believe that is one reason why Angela Merkel opened Germany’s doors so freely to the refugees from Syria even though the country was in no way prepared for an onslaught like this and integrating so many all at once is a tough task. Just because it would be hard for me to read this book does not mean I don’t think it is important and I appreciate that you share such a book with us. It is easy to keep the lighter things on our blogs but the darker one’s need to have their place too.

      • willowdot21
        Feb 09, 2016 @ 07:14:08

        Yes it is a hard to carry history but you were in no way part of it. I hope all young people know their history where ever they come from.
        There is no point going deeper on to this as there is so much evil in the world that we cannot fix it from our blogs.
        I agree with what you say about Angela Merkel too. A move without too much thought.

  2. Lynz Real Cooking
    Feb 09, 2016 @ 17:20:29

    wow this sounds so sad and intense! Thanks for telling us about it!


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