Despite the adverse weather conditions with a cold of -25 degrees Celsius and in the midst of a snowstorm, 150 people came to the funeral of a Holocaust survivor in Canada they did not even know.
Eddie Ford was a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor from Budapest, Hungary. Despite having lived most of his life away from Judaism, a few days before his death he asked the rabbi of Toronto to visit him in the hospital. When the rabbi arrived at the oncology department, Ford asked him to help him to be buried according to the Jewish rite.
When Ford died, the rabbi posted on his Facebook account a call to the Jews of the city to arrive at the funeral, but he did not have high hopes.
“Attention to the Jewish community of Toronto,” wrote Rabbi Zale Newman. “We must have minyan (10 Jewish men) present for a Holocaust survivor who died without leaving close relatives,” he explained and asked readers: “Can you accompany a Holocaust survivor tomorrow on his last voyage?”
After the funeral, Zale said that he had little hope that the people would actually arrive and that he thought there would only be three participants: he, the man who would be buried and God. However, when he arrived at the cemetery he got a big surprise.
“When I arrived at the cemetery with a cold of -27, I saw a long line of cars, and I assumed they were there was another funeral,” Newman said.
“I’m with tears just thinking about how amazing it is to be part of the Jewish people who, with little notice, left everything they had planned to do to stand outside in an open field, super col and windy day, to accompany a sweet and small Jew from Budapest who was a stranger to almost all of them on his last journey,” the rabbi posted on his Facebook.