… Of course, the news has been focusing on the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
And I wanted to make sure that you knew about a “ray of light” that was reported.
It was a man named Liviu Librescu.
Doctor Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, was a professor at Virginia Tech.
And he gave up his life to save his students.
When the gunman tried to enter his classroom?
He stood in front of the door and yelled at his students to escape.
Doctor Librescu was shot through the closed door and killed.
… The massacre occurred as Israel was marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
A reporter noted the ironic tragedy.
How a man who survived the Holocaust was shot down at an American college.
I think there’s something else we should think about.
… I go through this experience every Shabbat as I walk to Synagogue.
I see an elderly man on his way to Synagogue. A Holocaust survivor.
I know him and I know his children.
They are the most special people you could ever meet. The most sensitive and the most giving..
Among the most admired people in the community.
And every week I ask myself the same question.
“After experiencing suffering beyond imagination.
Where the Germans tried to rob you of your dignity. Of your humanity.
How did you go on and raise children like that?”
Hearing about Liviu Librescu makes me ask the same question.
“How do you survive the Holocaust, rebuild your life and then give up your life to save others?
… We should stand in awe of people like this.
And of every Holocaust survivor who rebuilt their life and raised good children.
They are testimony to an idea that the Nazis wanted to destroy.
That every human being has a neshama. A soul. Something G-dly within them.
In the words of the Torah, every human being is created in the Image of G-d.
That neshama gives a person the ability to do G-dly things.
And it can not be destroyed.
… Thank G-d, we have not been put to such tests.
But the best way we can honor the memory of people like Liviu Librescu?
By trying to be more G-dly.
All the best,