The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 9 March 2013 / 26 Adar I 5773

In Search of a Knife

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
“A holocaust survivor with a sense of mission.”

This is the capsule description of the late Moshe Dovid Reisner who settled in Bnei Brak after World War Two.

Many stories have been told of his heroic behavior in a Nazi concentration camp. No sooner was he released than he began performing circumcisions as the only mohel in the Bohemian region of Czechoslovakia.

Once upon arriving in one of the area cities to perform a brit, he discovered that he had left his knife at home. Hours passed of a fruitless search for a knife since life had not yet returned to that liberated community and all the shops were closed. Reisner then came up with a bold idea. He went to the local police station and asked the non-Jewish officers to break open one of the shops where a suitable knife might be found. To everyone’s surprise the police agreed to do so, a proper knife was indeed located and the brit performed.

Needless to say, the shop owner was subsequently informed and compensated.

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