The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 4 February 2012 / 10 Shevat 5772

The "Eyes" Have it

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The current wave of anti-Semitism in Europe lends special relevance to a little-known Holocaust story which appears in the latest volume of "Aleinu Leshabeach" in Hebrew.

A Nazi officer decided to have some fun together with his comrades at the expense of a Jewish prisoner. He called him into the room where the group was gathered and said to him:

"When I was young I had an eye removed and replaced with a glass one. The surgeon did such a masterful job that no one was ever capable of detecting which of my eyes was real and which was glass. If you can correctly identify which is the glass eye you will live, but if you fail to do so you will be shot on the spot."

While all the officers chuckled with sadistic pleasure at what they viewed as an exercise in futility, the Jew marched towards his one-eyed tormentor and correctly pointed to the glass eye. When asked by the surprised Nazis how he had managed to succeed where all others had failed, he offered this explanation:

"Your hatred of Jews is so intense that it is reflected in your very eyes. When I failed to see this hatred revealed in one of your eyes, I realized it couldnt be your real one!"

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