Chain with Jewish word "chai"

Picture of the chain
Picture of the chain

In the Jewish religion the word “chai” means life. I wear a chain with the word chai around my neck everyday. Its significance to me has a story and it began many generations ago. My great-grandfather lived during the harsh times for the Jewish people around the mid 1900’s. The holocaust destroyed many families and ended millions of people’s lives. Although it destroyed many families, uniquely it didn’t destroy mine. My ancestors were survivors, they overcame a lot. The chain I wear today lived through it all. Prior to the holocaust my family owned a large brewing company that brought them a lot of wealth. Although this company was taken away from them, they were able to keep most of their wealth and use it to bribe their way to America; out of the dangers in Europe. My great-grandfather gave the chain to my grandfather as a gift for his bar mitzvah. He told my grandfather the story about how our family survived the holocaust. On my bar mitzvah, about four years ago, my grandfather passed the chain down to me. I already knew the story of how my family came to America, and having the chain in my hands makes me remember my Jewish heritage every single day. I’ve received many gifts throughout my lifetime but none of them compare to the chain my grandfather gave me on my bar mitzvah day. My bar mitzvah was a special day in my life; receiving that chain made my bar mitzvah that much better.    


Place(s): America, Europe

– Benny Nacht

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more