Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My father immigrated from Damascus, Syria to Brooklyn, New York in 1994 with only a few things in his possession. When I asked him what he brought with him, he answered, “a few of my clothes and my tefillin bag, which included a tallit, a pair of tefillin, and a siddur.” He received this siddur, a prayer book, from his father when he turned Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. My father later passed it over to me when I turned Bar Mitzvah and after I promised him that I will always follow God’s laws and commandments. Furthermore, he said that whenever the evil inclination induces me to stray from God’s laws and commandments, I should look at the siddur he has given me and remember the promises I’ve made to him. 

My view on Judaism was greatly influenced by all the knowledge he has shared with me, along with his interpretations and practical explanations of things. The siddur is quite special, as the cover is made from metal. The front cover presents four blue pearls, which symbolize divinity because it is believed that blue is the color of God’s glory, reflected in the color of the sky and sea. Additionally, the siddur has a crown, which represents God’s kingship and his absolute sovereignty. The siddur also has an illustration of the Tablets of Stone, which was given by God to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. This gift is special to me for many reasons, but essentially it serves as a remembrance to continue to follow the Torah, even when I’m feeling lost or hopeless. 

Place(s): Damascus, Syria
Year: 1992

– Isaac

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant