Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, May 10, 2009
Yad Vashem has an award called the Righteous Among the Nations Award. It is probably the highest award the State of Israel can bestow on anyone.

To receive it a non-Jew has to have done something morally simple, yet somehow spectacularly rare. One simply needs to have saved the life of a Jew during the holocaust at risk to one's own life.

Now, during the Holocaust there was certainly ample opportunity for many non-Jews to save the life of a Jew, but then like now the notion of defending a Jew was a rare thought, which makes this award so unique and special.

One British playwright, a Caryl Churchill, would have fit in nicely with the dominant local culture back then. Her recent play "Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza" being a testament of her apparent goal to challenge Goebbels for the title of master propagandist.

But now, like then, acts of evil create the opportunity for the creation of the opposite, if still rare, acts of good.

Non-Jewish British playwright and author Richard Stirling was angered and disturbed after he saw Churchill's anti-Semitic propaganda piece.

Not for a reward, not for recognition, but guided by a true moral compass, Stirling composed a play in response, aptly named, "Seven Other Children".

He hoped to create a balance to the anti-Semitic "Seven Jewish Children".

While I strongly disagree with his misguided and dangerous goal of pursuing a two-state solution, it is clear he does so out of an honest, if naive, belief that this will bring peace.

I don't know the man, and perhaps I am reading into it too far, but if now were World War II, I have no doubt that Stirling would have put his moral compass to good use then too.

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