January 10, 2017
“If a person destroys one life, it is as if they have destroyed the entire world. And if a person saves one life, it is as if they have saved an entire world.” – Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
All too often in times of change, anxiety and uncertainty humanity will give in to a base desire to find someone else, someone different to blame for our struggles. It is a phenomenon that finds root across cultures, faiths and generations.
The actions of the Righteous Among the Nations forces the question: under the same circumstances, how would we act? Would you risk death to shelter a child? Would you put the life of you and your family at risk to save, ten, one hundred, one thousand? If the world you knew crumbled around you, would you stay true to your faith? Would you waver from your moral compass?
The Righteous Among the Nations are a testament to humanity. Atypical individuals who did not stand idly by in a time of fear, deprivation and destruction. Instead they nourished, sheltered and saved Jews in peril, because they deemed it right.
The bravery of the Righteous offers us a glimmer of hope. Through their deeds we see that we are not powerless in the face of ignorance and indifference. We do not have to be complicit in actions that defy our moral compass.
The preservation of human life, human dignity and human rights is sacred. And by remembering their legacy and listening to their stories, we begin a journey that helps us to find our own voice.