Rejsen til Manchester
Elias Levin in Manchester.
"I'm Elias Levin, sorry I don't speak English but Jiddish, German and Danish!"
One day, in September 2002, 94-year-old former second-hand dealer Elias Levin (1909-2006) receives a visit from Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner at the retirement home Meyers Minde in Copenhagen. “I regret to say that your son, Dan Levin, the Rabbi of Manchester, has died”, says the Chief Rabbi. Levin wants to go to the funeral, but has no time to make the preparations. A year goes by before he is able to attend the unveiling of the stone in Manchester, after which he goes to his grandson Kalman Levin’s wedding to Chani Adam in the same city.
It is this plane journey, which now 95-year-old Levin performs alone, that he describes to Erik Henriques Bing after returning home. He describes the unveiling of the stone and the wedding and festivities. At both events, he gives a speech. In Manchester, he stays at the retirement home Beenstock Home near the Machzikei Hadass Synagogue. He attends dinners and gatherings and admires the strictly orthodox atmosphere at the retirement home where it is traditional for children and young people to visit the old. He does not speak English, but, as the sign he wears on his chest signals: ”I’m ELIAS LEVIN, SORRY I don’t speak ENGLISH but JIDDISCH, GERMAN and DANISH!” Luck smiles on Levin, everyone is friendly and helpful towards the old man. His spontaneity and great charm probably opened many doors and hearts to him. A week later, back home at the retirement home in Copenhagen, he describes the trip to Manchester in remarkable detail. On this he concludes: “I have eternal memories, yes, and in my prayers, I thank the Lord for his help.”