May 12, 2008

Righteous gentile, Irene Sendler, dies

This news item made me cry. May this righteous woman, Irene Sendler, rest in peace. May her memory be blessed forever. There are so few righteous people left, and sadly, there are so many Jew haters to take her place. This news is devastating because now I know that I will never meet her. I had told myself that I would try to meet the righteous ones, to thank them, to know them, to hear their travails, to shake their hand, to hug them - and now, at least with Irene Sendler, I won't be able to accomplish that. Via IreneSendler:

Irena Sendler — credited with saving some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, some of them in baskets — died Monday, her family said. She was 98.

Sendler, among the first to be honored by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as a Righteous Among Nations for her wartime heroism, died at a Warsaw hospital, daughter Janina Zgrzembska told The Associated Press.

President Lech Kaczynski expressed "great regret" over Sendler's death, calling her "extremely brave" and "an exceptional person." In recent years, Kaczynski had spearheaded a campaign to put Sendler's name forward as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sendler was a 29-year-old social worker with the city's welfare department when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II. Warsaw's Jews were forced into a walled-off ghetto.

Seeking to save the ghetto's children, Sendler masterminded risky rescue operations. Under the pretext of inspecting sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, she and her assistants ventured inside the ghetto — and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages.
Irene Sendler is a role model for all Jews and Christians. She has gone to her reward, to Heaven. Thank you, Irene Sendler, for sacrificing your peace of mind and quality of life while living under the auspices of tyranny simply to save a Jewish child. You were a role model, and you still are, unlike any American or European role model. May we all be able to live up to you, to your heightened elevation. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven. May you rest in peace and know the Right Hand of G-d. Amen.