The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 7 July 2012 / 16 Tammuz 5772

The Bakers Miracle

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The recent celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz sparked memories not only of those who died but those who were miraculously saved.

In the European city of Goborova the Nazis were intent on killing all of its Jewish inhabitants by crowding them all into the local synagogue made of wood and setting fire to it. The soldiers surrounded the building and issued a warning that anyone caught outside of it would be shot on the spot.

Among the Jews in the building was Yoel the Baker who had managed to bake some chalot for Shabbat before the Nazi roundup began. He was determined to bring those chalot from his bakery in order to offer his condemned brothers the bread they needed for their last Shabbat meal. Ignoring the danger to his life, he jumped out of the synagogue and soon returned with a bag of chalot and an invitation for all to wash and enjoy a Shabbat meal.

Then came the miracle. From out of nowhere came a Nazi officer and ordered the guards surrounding the synagogue to leave the area for an important combat mission. He even refused to allow them to spend a few minutes to set the synagogue on fire.

The self-sacrifice of Yoel the Baker for the sake of Shabbat was seen by all as the merit that brought about this miracle.

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