Akiba Drummer said:
"God is testing us. He wants to see whether we are capable of overcoming our base instincts, of killing the Satan within ourselves. We have no right to despair. And if He punishes us mercilessly, it is a sign that He loves us that much more …"
Hersch Genud, well versed in the Kabbalah, spoke of the end of the world and the coming of the Messiah.
From time to time, in the middle of all that talk, a thought crossed my mind: Where is Mother right now … and Tzipora …
"Mother is still a young woman," my father once said. "She must be in a labor camp. And Tzipora, she is a big girl now. She too must be in a camp …"
How we would have liked to believe that. We pretended, for what if one of us still did believe? (3.176-181)
They quickly became my friends. Having once belonged to a Zionist youth organization, they knew countless Hebrew songs. And so we would sometimes hum melodies evoking the gentle waters of the Jordan River and the majestic sanctity of Jerusalem. We also spoke often about Palestine. Their parents, like mine, had not the courage to sell everything and emigrate while there was still time. We decided that if we were allowed to live until the Liberation, we would not stay another day in Europe. We would board the first ship to Haifa. (4.42)
Still lost in his Kabbalistic dreams, Akiba Drumer had discovered a verse in the Bible which, translated into numbers, made it possible for him to predict Redemption in the weeks to come. (4.43)