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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Observing A Siddur Exchange in The Concentration Camp

Remember when you were younger and you would play a game where you closed one eye and held out one index finger. The game was to try touching the tip of it with your other index finger. For some reason you would always miss. Now I never checked this out with an ophthalmologist but the reason for this seems to be that in order to get a three dimensional view you need to see the same image from two at least slightly different angles. With only one eye you get a two dimensional picture and therefore lose your depth perception.

After the Holocaust there was a Rebbe in the DP camps who noticed a formerly religious Jew who had given up on religion. He asked him what made him do so. This fellow answered the Rebbe that in his barracks there was one guy who managed to smuggle in a Siddur. But if you wanted to daven from his siddur you would need to give him part of your food rations. With the meager rations in the camps it pretty much meant that in exchange for the privilege of davening from his siddur, this scoundrel was asking you to give him your life blood. "Such a religion I want no part of" cried this broken man to the Rebbe. The Rebbe smiled and told him that he was only looking at one side of the story. "Did you ever consider the multitude of walking skeletons who were ready to trade their lives for a privilege of davening to Hashem even as they were standing in the depths of Hell? That is a religion that I want to be part of!"

Looking at one side of a story only gives a two dimensional view and makes it impossible to properly judge. That's why Hashem gave us two eyes so we can see things from two perspectives and then we will have all the information needed to make an accurate judgment and catch our index finger right at the tip.

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