Let’s Light a Candle for Raoul


Saturday January 17th marked 70 years since Raoul Wallenberg was abducted by the Russians. Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in the time of World War II, was the greatest savior of Jews from Nazi horrors. Armed with nothing but his imagination and love for humanity, he single-handedly saved 100,000 Jews from slaughter. But despite his heroic and extraordinary feats he was abandoned by Israel and the Jewish people since his capture in 1945 as nothing was done to locate his whereabouts and have him released. This is my plea to the righteous Raoul Wallenberg and the Jewish people on the commemoration of his capture:

Let’s light a candle and meditate on that flame. Seventy years ago on the 17th of January 1945, you Raoul, a man with a soul on fire, was incarcerated in the cold and terrible Gulag. Raoul, however strange this may sound to you, we need your blessing. We too want a heart of unconditional love . Bob Dylan had a song: How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see; how many ears must one man have in order to hear people cry; the answer my friends is blowin in the winds , the answer is blowing in the winds.

You heard our cries, Raoul, because you decided that we were not strangers but family. In your memory, let’s light a candle and meditate that idea that you understood: the stranger who is suffering is family. You refused to ask permission for your acts of salvation because one doesn’t ask permission to save his family. For the last 70 years historians have been trying to teach us that the number one enemy during the Second World War was Hitler and the Nazis . Therefore, according to them, we were powerless to save. However, you knew better. You knew that the Nazis were enemy number two . You knew that enemy number one was the painful sense of abandonment that the Jews felt. You hugged that pain and miraculously transformed that pain into power. You went to the death marches, to the trains and to the Danube river and saved tens of thousands of Jews with your secret weapon: your imagination. You simply felt our pain and you imagined yourself saving.

Let’s light a candle and meditate on that flame – so we too shall be blessed to hug pain and turn it into the power to feel and heal. You see Raoul – we abandoned you and now we have the audacity to ask you to bless us. Raoul, we are meditating on your flame and we beg you to forgive us . Raoul, we need you to bless us – so we finally understand the meaning of it all. For years we’ve been studying the holocaust, the hell, but we got it all wrong. When one becomes intimate with hell, a motivation is born to create a paradise and in paradise we need you to bless us and teach us the angelic way. So let’s like a candle and meditate on that flame .

Marie Dupuis, Raoul Wallenberg’s niece, asked us to light a candle for Raoul.

About the Author
Eli Yossef is an educator, lecturer and activist. He currently works with the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Machon Meir and Machon as well as in Real Estate. Published works include “The Act” (1992) for which he won the Yair Prize.
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