I wasn’t planning on writing about the Virginia Tech Shootings; though my heart goes out to everyone affected by them, no matter how distant, our nation is once again in mourning. Judaism teaches us that each of us are a world into ourselves, and some worlds were cut short yesterday. However, I felt compelled to write about the tragedy after receiving an email today from a local Rabbi.
Yesterday, on Yom Hashoah, a Holocaust Survivor – Professor Liviu Librescu – a 77 year old Jewish Romanian Israeli survivor of the Holocaust – gave his life so that his students could live. He blocked his classroom door to keep the gunman out as students escaped through the window, sacrificing his life for those of his students. He will be forever remembered as a hero.
And while so many in the Arab world rally in the street when their youth ‘sacrifice’ their lives as suicide bombers I’d like to point out a major difference: Professor Liviu gave his life so that others could live: he used his body as a shield, not as a weapon.
Professor Liviu and his wife Marlina emigrated to Israel from Romania in 1978 and had been living in the United States for 22 years.
To all those who are affected by this tragedy, from my family to yours, I extend condolences: may the source of peace send healing to all those who mourn and be a source of comfort to all who are bereaved.