David Mandel
Chief Executive Officer, OHEL Children's Home and Family Services

Saving six million

If you were told today that by sacrificing your life you could save 100,000 Jews  – would you be prepared to do it?

Let’s give you a second to think about it. Your life in exchange for 100,000 Jews.

In 1943 Raoul Wallenberg saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

For decades Wallenberg has been hailed as a hero with memorials, parks and archways erected in his honor in his home country Sweden and throughout Europe. He has been accorded The US Congressional Medal of Honor, a stamp bears his legacy and a movie documented his exploits. Israel honors him at Yad Vashem and countless people drive on boulevards named Wallenberg.

Imagine if there were 64 Raoul Wallenberg’s during the Nazi era in WW 2 and each saved 100,000 Jews. How different the outcome of European Jewry would be.

Seems inconceivable, correct?

Ismail Haniyeh the cowardly head of Hamas calls for the annihilation of the State of Israel and all its Jewish inhabitants.

When repeatedly asked if Hamas would recognize Israel’s right to exist if she met ALL of Hamas’ demands during a television interview with Charlie Rose during the Israel-Gaza conflict  -Haniyeh would not say “yes.”

Today 6.2 million Jews live in Israel.

By seeking the destruction of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants Hamas equates itself with Nazi Germany. (If only for this reason it is galling for Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to equate Israel’s action in Gaza as worse than Hitler. Who is seeking the death and annihilation of whom?)

2nd Lt Hadar Goldin answered the question of being prepared to give his life to save 100,000 Jews. Lt Goldin’s parents were only able to bury his DNA. His body was not fully recovered from the destructive death he faced at the hands of Hamas terrorists.

Hamas sends it’s soldiers into battle with a suicide belt and a Koran with intent to kill as many Israeli Jews as possible.

Theirs is not a battle to win a war.
It is a battle to destroy a nation.

Israel sends its soldiers into battle with a gun and a Bible with intent to save a nation.

Sixty four soldiers of Israel’s Defense Forces gave their lives  in battle to save the lives of 6.2 million Jews living in Israel.

Each soldier saved 97,000 Jews.

These 64 soldiers literally saved a nation.
A nation of six million Jews.

These soldiers will have no boulevards, archways or stamps engraved in their honor.

Nevertheless they will remain heroes in the eyes of all Israel, the Jewish world and all civilized nations. An eternal lesson in sacrifice, in hope.

These soldiers sacrificed so that 1.7 million Arabs in Gaza can one day live peacefully alongside Israel.

One soldier when called to duty has the ability to save 100,000 people.


About the Author
David Mandel is CEO of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services. For more than 50 years, Ohel has provided a safe haven for those suffering in the community. Ohel cares for more than 17,000 individuals in the New York metropolitan area and across all communities offering a broad range of mental health services including outpatient counseling, trauma, anxiety, eldercare, respite and housing.