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Yom Hashoah: Rosh Hashanah 1944 from Mekadeshei Hashem by Rabbi T H Meisels II

The Rabbi implored the man not to rely upon him. “Beloved Jew, I did not say that you could not ransom your child. I cannot rule either yes or no. Do what you wish as though you had never asked me.” After much entreaty, the father finally said, “Rabbi, I have done what the Torah has obligated me to do. I have asked a question of a Rabbi. There is no other Rabbi here. And if you cannot tell me that I may ransom my child, it is a sign that in your own mind, you are not certain that Jewish law permits it. For if you were certain that it was permitted, you would unquestionably have told me so. So for me your evasion is tantamount to a clear decision that I am forbidden to do so by the law. So my only son will lose his life according to the Torah and the halachah. I accept God’s decree with love and with joy. I will do nothing to ransom him at the cost of another innocent life, for so the Torah has commanded!”


All that day of Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Meisels writes, this Jew went about murmuring joyfully that he had the merit of giving his only son’s life in obedience to the will of the Creator and His Torah. He prayed that his act might be as acceptable in the site of the Almighty as Abraham’s binding of Isaac, of which we are reminded in the Rosh Hashanah Torah reading and prayers.

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