Fima G. – Kremenchug, Ukraine

KREMENCHUG, UKRAINE-December 12, 2006

Hello dear American friends!

First of all I wanted to let you know right away that today I received the device you sent me [a blood pressure monitor] in perfect order and decided to express my gratitude by replying immediately so you won’t have to worry for your efforts. I can’t, I don’t know how to express my appreciation for everything you’ve been doing for me. Tears are running down my face as I write this – what have I done to deserve your hard work? I’m praying and asking that God would see what you are doing for me and would repay you for your kindness.

… you asked if I have bank account? No I don’t and probably never will. Under the Soviet system my wife and I had an account in Sberbank where we were keeping what we managed to save for a rainy day over the course of 30 years, hoping that when we retire we’ll have something to live on and supplement our pensions. So during all our lives we were saving and adding to our account and managed to save approx. 20 thousand, which for that time’s standards was a big amount under the Soviets, we were considered rich. We managed to accumulate a good sum of money and if we managed to keep it till we retired, we’d be living well. But then Soviet system disappeared; Soviet gangsters came and took our savings. They took the savings of hundreds of thousands of people like us. One thousand has become like 10 kopeks and our 20 thousand has become 2 rubles, which can buy just a loaf of bread. That’s why I don’t have a bank account; I don’t believe in the gangsters that we have instead of authorities. They robbed all of us and I promised myself that if I ever had any money I’d never keep it in our banks, no matter what the interest they pay…

I’m thinking about you and rushing to mail this letter so it will arrive during Chanukah. I wish you all happy, joyful, bright Chanukah holidays! And also, good health, happiness and good fortune.

Of all Jewish holidays I loved this one, Chanukah, because when I was a kid I used to go see my uncle and aunt and ask them for Chanukah gelt and they gave me everything I asked. I remember my uncle was funny, I’d come and ask for Chanukah gelt and he’d say that I already asked him. I’d say that it was last year. And after they’d give me the gelt I’d tell them to make sure to live till next Chanukah because I’d come next year for Chanukah gelt. I was little and didn’t know what it meant. They liked it very much! And you dear Zane, in Jewish its Zane and in Russian its Sunshine, should ask your mom for Chanukah gelt, she should give you something, it’s a tradition that for Chanukah parents give their children gelt.

Be alive and well, may God bless you, Omein, from me,

Fima.

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