Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal and rabbi Shmuel Segal bless the largest Hanukkah Menorah in Europe in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on December 12, 2017. (Getty Images)

It is easy to get dispirited with the state of the world, not least with the rise of racism and fascist rhetoric in recent years.

Occasionally something will happen, however, that restores your faith in the world and suggests that, broadly, speaking, we are moving in the right direction.

It might not seem like much but for things to change that significantly in under 80 years is extraordinary.

I am a Jew without faith and yet I know that if such things were to happen again then the enemy wouldn't care about such intricacies. My grandfather, Zigi Shipper, was held captive in Auschwitz during the war and reduced to no more than a number - 84303. At that point, he had no home, no family, not even a name.

In January, Zigi will celebrate his 88th birthday. He has two daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The most recent addition to the family, my son, is named Isaac Zigi in honour of his heroic relative.

These things have to matter. It bears repeating, happy Hanukkah!

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)