Children that cannot laugh or cry

Rabbi Herschel Schacter has passed. He was the first Jew into Buchenwald after liberation in 1945. From the NYT obituary, one notable exchange:

…Drawing closer, he saw a small boy, Prisoner 17030, hiding in terror behind the mound [of corpses]. …. With tears streaming down his face, Rabbi Schacter picked the boy up.

“What’s your name, my child?” he asked in Yiddish.

“Lulek,” the child replied.

“How old are you?” the rabbi asked.

“What difference does it make?” Lulek, who was 7, said. “I’m older than you, anyway.”

“Why do you think you’re older?” Rabbi Schacter asked, smiling.

“Because you cry and laugh like a child,” Lulek replied. “I haven’t laughed in a long time, and I don’t even cry anymore. So which one of us is older?”

When people say never again, it should mean that no child ever has to give up laughing and crying.


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