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Greatness begins with ordinary people

Friday, 3 May, 2019 - 9:33 am

Chiune.jpg Zaidy Zaidy.JPG

#heroes #courage

Yesterday we commemorated, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Although we are committed never to forget the horror, we should also concentrate on remembering as many positive things as we can, that led ultimately to our people’s survival.

My grandfather, Reb Moshe Rubin was saved by one of the Righteous, the incredibly heroic and courageous, Chiune Sugihara, who, at the beginning of World War II, risked his own career and life to save approximately six thousand Jews from certain death.

As the Japanese consul in Lithuania, he granted exit visas to Jews, against the orders of his government, thus losing both his job and his respectability within his own community.

Today he is considered a hero in Japan, and there are more than 50,000 descendants of “Sugihara survivors” living throughout the world. 50,000 ripples of light that shine brightly on earth today. And if not for Mr. Sugihara's persistence and courage I would not be here today!

The Poway Chabad community, too, was saved by the heroes who risked their lives for the large congregation that was there that Shabbat morning.

While Jew hatred has been a tragic theme in every generation, even in times of great evil and ugliness, time and time again, we see the beautiful parts of human nature.

Greatness begins with ordinary people deciding to take courage and going out of their way for others.

Each and every one of us has the ability to be a Sugihara. To be the heroes in Poway.

May we each do our part in alleviating the pain and suffering in our world, ushering in some much-needed comfort and peace!

With prayers for peace and safety, Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklo

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