March 27, 2013

Asked "How old are you?," the 7-year-old said "What difference does it make? I’m older than you, anyway."

"Why do you think you’re older?" Rabbi Schacter asked.
“Because you cry and laugh like a child,” Lulek replied. “I haven’t laughed in a long time, and I don’t even cry anymore. So which one of us is older?”

43 comments:

JAL said...

We forget.

Thank you for reminding us.

edutcher said...

That was one Hell of a billet.

That's a man who earned his place in Heaven.

wyo sis said...

Wow.
It makes you think that some things are really important and others are just distractions.
People are important, and freedom is important.

sydney said...

“They were asking me, over and over, ‘Does the world know what happened to us?’ ”

Heartbreaking. What happens when the world turns away from the truth.

Inga said...

An example of what happens when some humans are considered "less than".

edutcher said...

The She Devil of the SS does it all the time.

Deb said...

"And what of Lulek, the orphan Rabbi Schacter rescued from Buchenwald that day? Lulek, who eventually settled in Palestine, grew up to be Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau."

This world relects the next one. We never know what effect our words and actions will have on those around use.

m stone said...

People don't earn their place in heaven. We live and overcome by the grace of God extended in wonderful ways like at Buchenwald. He gets the credit.

wyo sis said...

People kind of do earn their place in heaven. Just sayin'.

bagoh20 said...

I'm aiming for purgatory.

edutcher said...

Aren't we all?

As we know ourselves, Heaven seems more than a bit out of reach.

bagoh20 said...

"Does the world know what happened to us?”

Yes, but they are forgetting how it was allowed to happen.

Basta! said...

"We never know what effect our words and actions will have on those around use."

My first grade nun said words to this effect, as to why we could never commit suicide. A word or act of kindness can have ramifications far beyond what we might expect, and of which we might never even learn.

YoungHegelian said...

It's hard to imagine a better lesson for Passover.

I was at a second night Seder last night with two Polish Jewish holocaust survivors. There would have been 4 of them, but the missing couple are 90 & 86, so sometimes their health is too frail to make it.

The living memory of those awful times is fading amongst us.

Alev ha-sholem.

Paul said...

“I haven’t laughed in a long time, and I don’t even cry anymore."

That does not mean he is older, it means he is messed up in the head.

Michael K said...

When I was a boy in Chicago, it was not unusual to see people with numbers tattooed on their arms. I knew what it meant.

Chip Ahoy said...

That morning, after learning that Patton’s forward tanks had arrived at the camp, Rabbi Schacter, who died in the Riverdale section of the Bronx on Thursday at 95 after a career as one of the most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, commandeered a jeep and driver.

Even as a time traveler I find that sentence jolting.

I have a lot to say on this subject but unfortunately deep as it is, profound as I am, it is also reflective and personal, and risks sounding self-aggrandizing so it must just pass.

Okay, goes like this. There ARE times when the younger person, sometimes much younger, has the experience and there occurs a complete role reversal where senior partner attains understanding from junior. This happened with my own dad and they are two of the most touching moments of both of our lives.

It occurred again last week with the harbinger of death that I mentioned, who lost two close friends some twenty-five years or so his junior, two days apart, one his own tenant.

During his call I thought, "Oh no, this is not working." I have to up my game here and speak directly from my heart directly to heart and tap my empathetic powers then address the core damage stripped of all interference. I did notice the word "guilt" whispered in a kind of elided avoidance so I shot at that and splayed it, because that is what I would have felt had that happened to me. Two people died, tragedies for them, I addressed the tragedy for him. As a spiritual counselor. And honestly, I have no business doing that. Not training at all. No accreditation. What. So. Ever. And yet here was this guy twice my own age, who sobbed on the phone while I provided an outsider's perception of things, and that whole thing is a bit embarrassing for me because it is not how I see myself, and then when we passed through that to happier hopeful positive things he thanked me and said he does value my perceptions and that I've been helpful to him.

Taa daaaa *performs elaborate salaam, backs out of room*

edutcher said...

Paul said...

I haven’t laughed in a long time, and I don’t even cry anymore.

That does not mean he is older, it means he is messed up in the head.


No, he'd just gotten hard beyond his years. I'll bet anything he had the Ten Thousand Yard Stare, too.

traditionalguy said...

There is a beautiful moon tonight. We just got home from Lenten Dinner at a local Episcopal Church with a friend...and now you go and make us weep.

Speaking of the Third Army, George Patton was another person who dedicated his life for the moment he became needed. His was a very purpose driven life: driven to lead an American Army to defeat the SS murderers stopped around Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge.

They thus effectively ended the reign of the monster of the Germans and was able to drive his Army on to liberate Buchenwald four months later.

edutcher said...

First Army (Courtney Hodges) did a great deal to defend itself. Third Army was needed to form the southern arm of the pincer that eventually cut off the Bulge, but Georgie, his publicists then and since notwithstanding, was hardly the only actor in the drama.

m stone said...

It's all about the moment, eh?

zekher tzadik livrakha

Pogo said...

"When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden."

Victor Frankl, in Man's Search for Meaning

Sam L. said...

My wife's Jewish uncle died. In the cemetery, there was a couple buried: one had been at Buchenwald; the other at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

A very poignant story.

And while one remembers the admonishment "Never again," it is sadly apparent it will happen again, and when it does, the US will have neither the ability nor the will to stop it.

In fact, I'd hazard a guess many on the Left will cheer Israel's demise.

Lem said...

Hillary was at Buchenwald?

rcommal said...

Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.

rcommal said...

And in the end...

(Or, something like that, anyway.)

Dante said...

Isn't this a primary reason to make a free thinking people? A people who are responsible for themselves, and do not look to government for their solutions?

Massive collection of power is a huge problem. Yet, leftists continue to push ever more into the federal government. Control over the lives of unborn children through massive deficit spending, the redirecting of so much of the economy through the government, the insane laws over our lives in the hands of the government.

Oh yes, it's all for good fairness reasons of one or another, whose outcome can only be complete control. Get rid of the guns, get rid of the power of the people, push them down with feminism, PCism, eco-fascism, and whatever other tool their is to use, while keeping the masses distracted with toys and deficit spending.

It is dangerous. Only through free exchange, and stopping huge collections of power can the mob mentality be beaten. Individual expression: not gays shutting down people's livelihoods because they disagree with them. Not feminists supporting Bill Clinton, when in reality he is exactly what they hate in men.

It's not merely decline.

rcommal said...

Pogo:

I first read Frankl as a youngest teen-ager, when someone I admired handed me the book. Given our recent move, I found that I could not immediately put my hand on that copy of the book when its subject came up. So I bought yet another copy in order to immediately put it into the hands of someone else.

rcommal said...

Hey, Pogo:

As part of this most recent time that I bought the Frankl book, I also bought and passed on Tadeusz Borowki's "This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen," along with another book or two. This is by way of considering that perhaps you might find of interest Borowki's book.

rcommal said...

Also, just for the record, in case some brainless dumb-ass or some ruthlessly brain-dead sonuvabitch tries to present it otherwise:

I did not post as a free-standing comment that Goebbels quote because I agree with or approve of Goebbels.

Make not that mistake.

Largo said...

Chip, thank you for sharing.

Rusty said...

We take too much for granted here.

Pogo said...

@rcommal

Thank you; I'd never run across that title before.

Pogo said...

And I, too, have given away many copies of Frankl's book.

Rusty said...

Only through free exchange, and stopping huge collections of power can the mob mentality be beaten.

If I can paraphrase Brecht. That bitch is always in heat.

Mitchell the Bat said...

That's a nice story about the rabbi and the kid and that's a nice lesson about the value of happiness in life.

The Bible was written and assembled by guys like Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

An example of what happens when some humans are considered "less than".

You mean like those people who are not decent because they don't march in lock step with your ideology and dare to have a different opinion?

Them?

Henry said...

I shouldn't cry on the train.

Rusty said...

Henry said...
I shouldn't cry on the train.

The Dutch Jews wore their best clothes.

ken in sc said...

I met a guy who survived Auschwitz. He had the tattoo number on his arm. He told his children it was his phone number. He was in the Polish Resistance and was arrested when he was 16. He said if the Nazis had known what he had really done, they would have executed him. Instead he was sent to Auschwitz. His job there was to help pull a sledge of dead bodies from the gas chambers to the ovens.

He was a retired engineer from GE. He got his education through the Polish version of the GI Bill. He studied in Italy and Britain. Ironically, his idea of a retirement business, was to use his private plane to ferry deceased people back to their home for burial.

Michael K said...

" but Georgie, his publicists then and since notwithstanding, was hardly the only actor in the drama."

No, but he was the one who was able to turn the Third Army 90 degrees in a winter storm and come to the relief of soldiers who had no other support. Bradley was a better general than Eisenhower but there was no mistake about why the Germans feared Patton.