Rabbi Aharon Margalit’s autobiography, As Long As I Live, is an incredible story with many layers. This book reads like a novel with all the literary elements. The author builds the suspense, his writing voice is strong, and the descriptions of the setting are vivid and add to the story. On a deeper level, this book teaches the reader emunah and bitachon through the writer’s real-life examples. The lessons in emunah in this book are life-changing. Rabbi Margalit’s life is a lesson in believing in brachos from tzadikim, davening, and a positive attitude that Hashem is here and whatever challenge He gives us is for the best to help us grow. He shows how he learned these important lessons in bitachon from his parents, both Holocaust survivors who built a new family and life in Eretz Yisrael in a moshav after World War II. They both taught Rabbi Margalit unwavering trust in brachos from tzadikim and in Hashem’s presence in their lives. He begins the story with his early childhood, growing up on a religious moshav in Israel.

Monday, July 13, started out like a regular wonderful day. I rose extra early, planning to head to Long Beach Island, New Jersey, to visit my mom. The sun shone and I sped towards the Belt Parkway, my favorite highway with the glorious view of sailboats and rippling water. I was grateful for the usual traffic snarl until Exit 17W, which meant more people are back at work and the world is more on a normal schedule. I coasted to the Verrazzano Bridge, admiring the stunning view and thanking Hashem for the ability to go visit my mom in person. My plan was to arrive early enough to take a long walk on the beach.