On the Holocaust Remembrance Day: Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto told his students about the martyrdom of Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, may God avenge his blood, who was brutally murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators on July 6. He spent his last minutes preparing the other victims with him for their martyrdom.
Watch the full story of Rabbi Wasserman’s martyrdom as related by Rabbi Pinto:
Rabbi Pinto said: "It is well known that Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman was among the most righteous individuals who was killed by the Germans in the Holocaust. He had a large yeshiva and would travel from place to place to collect money for his yeshiva. He was in America when the Holocaust started in Germany. People told him, ‘Don’t return! Stay in America. Rabbis have come here and established yeshivas and study halls with hundreds of students and you can too. It’s a mortal danger if the rabbi returns to Europe.’"
Rabbi Pinto related that Rabbi Wasserman replied that whatever fate befalls his students, he wants to share it with them. Rabbi Wasserman went back to Europe and shortly after, he was taken to a killing site and murdered. Many of his yeshiva students were also murdered.
As Rabbi Wasserman was being taken to his death, he encouraged the other rabbis and students who were being taken to their death with him. He referred to the law that if a person has an impure thought when bringing a sacrifice to the Temple, he receives no reward for the sacrifice and is as if he gave nothing. He encouraged those facing martyrdom with him to accept the heavenly decree of their death and not have any improper thought that would invalidate their sacrifice. They went to their deaths fully accepting that it was the Divine Will.
This article was written in cooperation with Shuva Israel