Amazing Story from Reb Ephraim Wachsman

Neilas Hachag Pesach 2013

He said a story about a father and a grandfather that went to a camp in the mountains to visit their son/grandson on visiting day- while they were walking around the grandfather passed by another elderly gentleman- and they nodded at each other. The children asked the grandfather who this elderly man was- since it seemed that they knew each other-  the grandfather answered that this man was his chavrusah and his best friend before World War II.

The son asked his father why he never heard of him before?? The grandfather answered that before the war started he secured papers for his whole family to be able to leave Europe and be saved from the Holocaust- he hid the papers in a certain secret hiding place- and only shared this hiding place with this chavrusah and best friend of his. When it came time for him and his family to leave Europe he went to the hiding place to get the papers and they were gone- this “best friend” stole the papers to use for his own family and he escaped the Holocaust- and this man’s family was left in Europe- and he was the only one who survived from his whole family. The son asked his father- if so- why did you even look at this man and nod to him- you should spit in his face?? He answered that if you lived in that time when the Nazis where taking over Europe and you understood the terrible situation everyone was in- it is not hard to understand why someone’s best friend would have done something like this to save his family- therefore I can forgive him for what he did and at least nod to him.

Rabbi Wachsman said that we are not talking about Rav Shach or a godel hador that this happened with- this was a simple man from Europe…. And he found in himself the will to forgive someone for such terrible thing that he did to him. His point was that a yid has such deep kochos in himself- in middos in torah etc… we just need to work on ourselves and reach our full potential…

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