Righteous Among the Nations
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Righteous Among the Nations-1944
The guns were rumbling far away in the distance as Budapest prepared to undergo the fate it had known several times like many cities on the unhappy Danube.
Asher, David and two other agents were talking to a priest.
One agent said "We have people to hide. Why don't you shelter our charges here. Say they are Christians-give them Mass tomorrow with all the rest."
"I cannot do that", said the priest.
"Because they are Jews?", asked the agent.
Asher replied, "Because there always must be limits-and there are some things you never lie about. Not ever."
"Well said", said the priest, "God will be good to you-what is your name?"
Asher said, "I hope He is-but I can't tell my name because of my 'pecuiliar vocation'".
"Sounds a little fanatical", replied the agent.
Asher said, "Well if we worry that much about being fanatical shouldn't we send our families to America and trust the goyim to protect them rather then trying to make a country of our own?"
"Fine", said the agent, "But what do we do."
They looked at each other helplessly.
Then the Priest said,"I was a shepherd in my youth. I can lead them across country."
"And provisions?", asked an agent.
The Priest said, "The city is preparing for siege. I'm afraid we have only the bread set aside for Mass."
"Well?" , asked David.
The Priest protested, "but...".
"There is precedant", replied David, "The King of Israel was given the Holy Bread as provisions by the Hebrew priests when he fled from his enemy, and Christ confirmed the action"
"Well said", said the Priest, "But you do not sound like a Jew?"
David replied, "Actually, I am a Protestant."
The Priest pretended shock, "A PROTESTANT. Now that's just-strange."
Everything was prepared and the small group escorted their refugees away.
Before they left, Asher asked the priest, "May I write down how I can find you again?
The Priest replied, "Sorry, I cannot spy for you. It would be incompatable with MY "pecuiliar vocation."
Asher said, "Actually I had something else in mind."
Ten years later, Asher was walking about the Yad Vashem memorial to the victims of the horror-and to the heros who saved some in the midst of misery. He looked at one man.
Asher said, "Welcome. Good sir."
A Hungarian Priest said, "I was told that I was invited to come here."
Asher said, "Do you remember me?"
The Priest looked at him, "Why yes, but I still don't know your name?"
Asher replied, "I still have a 'peculiar vocation' but I have enough of a reputation to be able to recomend that you be placed here. Which is why you were invited here. I cannot tell what happend to me-you understand. But you are not so limited and I would like to know what happend to you?"
The Priest said, "That is of interest. When the Russians plundered Budapest people took shelter in my church. Wounded soldiers, civilians from the city, all sorts as well as my parishioners. And you know what? My church was unharmed and everyone and everything in it."
Asher replied, "I did not know the Russians were so reverent?"
The Priest said, "They certainly were not. But somehow we were unharmed."
Asher replied, "Either you had very good luck-or someone remembered you."
"The Priest said, "Well sometimes you never can tell. But I thought you would like to know."
Asher replied, "Thank you. I am glad to know. Of course strange things happen in war. But still...".
"Aye", said the Priest.
"Aye", said Asher.
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