The night was quiet except for the sounds of the crickets chirping. I only hoped that would be the only sound heard this night. My mind wandered between sleep and my task of listening. I was so very tired. My body ached from the days toil, but peace hadn’t yet claimed me. I lived on each day for my brother Yosef. He needed my guidance, my watchful eye, and tonight he needed my ears and prayers.
“Yaweh, please protect him. Give him patience this night,” I whispered this in my mind, over and over. I could hear the others coughing, moving in the night to find some rest. Others were crying themselves to sleep. It was cold; many were hungry or ill trying to find warmth in the damp darkness. Oh how I wish they would be silent for but a moment.
Then I heard it- the scratch by my wall. “Rebekah,” the sound of my name seeped through the wooden walls.
“Yes,” I barely whispered back. My heart was pounding with both dread and despair. “Yaweh, please stop this,” my mind screamed.
“I love you Rebekah. I will see you on the other side, if not then, when freedom rings.” My dear brother’s voice was shaking either out of fear, or the cold, maybe both, but the words failed me when his voice pleaded for approval.
“Rebekah?” He begged.
My heart was paralyzed and my breathing labored as I spoke the words of old, “I love you Yosef.”
The tears clogged my throat then, but my cry was met with the sound of crunching leaves. I didn’t know how far my brother thought he would get, or if escape could even occur, but as you can see it was too late, and my plea was returned void.
The sirens rang as all occupants in my bunkhouse began to stand. The lights reflected off of the dark walls, silently mocking me. Then the sound of pounding feet and gunshots rang out through the frozen night. The simple shout of my name echoed through the concentration camp. I ran for the door, but was restrained by several women. Where they found the strength to hold me back I know not. I don’t even know the depths they reached to have the ability to cover my screams, to hold me down, to keep me from my beloved brother; my only surviving relative.
The only soft cries now heard in the bunkhouse were my own. Then slowly the reality seeped into my heart as I realized what my brother said, “I will see you on the other side Rebekah.”
The jailors and tormentors of our bodies only thought they had stopped the escape of my brother. They believed that fear would stop us from our freedom. Though surely my brother was dead, he was also free, and one day I will see him on the other side of the barbed fence. I will see him in heaven with Jehovah. Even though my heart was shattered in pieces, I knew concentration was broken that dark cold night. I knew warmth now filled my brother’s soul forevermore as he went home to be greeted by mama. I hadn’t failed! Yosef was finally safe.
“Thank you Yaweh, you answered my prayer.”
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