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Hannah Stern is a young Jewish girl living in the present day. She is bored by her relatives' stories about the past and not looking forward to the Passover Seder. When Hannah symbolically opens the door for the prophet Elijah, she is transported back in time to 1942 in Poland of World War II. At that time and place, the people believe she is Chaya Abramowicz, who is recovering from cholera, the disease that killed Chaya's parents. The strange remarks Hannah/Chaya makes about the future and her inability to recognize her "aunt" Gitl and "uncle" Shmuel are blamed on the fever. At her uncle's wedding, the Nazis come to transport the entire population of the village to a concentration camp near Donavin, and only Hannah knows all the terrors that they will face: starvation, mistreatment, forced labor, and finally execution. She struggles to survive at the camp, with the help of a girl named Rivka. At the concentration camp, Aunt Gitl, Hannah, Uncle Shmuel, and some other men try to escape. The men are caught and shot in front of the inmates, except for Gitl and Hannah who return to their barracks and Yitzchak who escapes. Later, when Hannah and the girls from Viosk are talking, they are caught by a Nazi soldier, and Esther, Shifre and Rivka are sent to the gas ovens. As Rivka is about to be sent to the gas ovens for not working, Hannah takes Rivka's place and tells her to run. Then, after she walks into "Lilith's Cave", she is transported back to her family's Seder. She notices Aunt Eva's number was the same as Rivka's, and while recounting her experience to her aunt, the aunt reveals that when she was in the concentration camps, she was called Rivka (and her brother was called Wolfe, which was Grandpa Will) and was saved by a girl named Chaya Abramowicz.