Years later when the baby, a grown man living in Israel, shows up at Irena’s home in the States to invite her to his son’s bar-mitzvah – and tells a disbelieving Irena, who has only one child, a daughter- that she is his mother – he explains that he has two- the one who gave birth to him and one who gave him his life. With many in he audience, loudly weeping, I emotionally understood the dictum that I intellectually knew – that he who saves a life – saves a world.
Knowing that a young gentile – with a lot to lose – nonetheless selflessly took it upon herself to save strangers’ lives – because they were lives – left me feeling that there were others like her – perhaps more than I would ever believe – and that has at least quieted, if not silenced the cynical voice that history created in my soul.
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