Thursday, November 14, 2013

Samson: A Savior Will Rise.




Any book that accurately retells the horror of the Holocaust will be a heart-wrenching book.
There are not words to describe it. There are no words strong enough.
Samson: A Savior Will Rise gives us faces and names and personalities of a Jewish family in the Krakow Ghetto.
Abraham and Hannah, the aged patriarch and matriarch. They were frail in body yet strong in spirit.
Samson, the eldest son, the prizefighter who should have competed in the 1936 Olympics.
His wife, Rebecca, beautiful even though she's slowly being starved to death, with part of her radiance coming from the new life she carries in her womb.
Their other three children, Simon and Leah and Rachel. The boy played classical violin with as much skill as a man twice his age, and the twin girls shed joy and laughter everywhere.
Samson's brother Zach, slim, soft-spoken, scholarly and his love, Esther. The two of them planned to marry as soon as possible, and their hope was to be as happy as Samson and Rebecca.
Samson's sister, Sarah, and her baby Elijah. Sarah's husband had already been taken away.
All of them lived in one room, all of them dependent on Samson to bring their daily bread.

And then the day comes when Samson rescues a boy from Nazi brutality, breaking one officer's nose and snapping the other one's jaw. In retaliation, his whole family is sent to the camp, to Auschwitz.
And there Samson is offered a sadistic bargain that will either preserve his life or send him to his death.
A boxing match, the winner lives and receives extra food, the loser goes to the gas chambers.
And so Samson will enter the ring again, and he will send his opponent to his death to try to save his family.

And as Samson fought, unleashing his fury on his opponents, matching his muscle against the Nazis,
he became a symbol for the whole camp. He became a symbol of renewed hope when it seemed insane to have hope... and he became a symbol of their faith.
He fought with the strength of a man preserving his own life and desperate to free his family, and he fought with a strength that couldn't all be his own. He was battered, broken, "held together with stitches at the seams." Yet somehow, every time he fell, he rose to fight again, and when he fought he won.

There are so many questions laid on your heart as you read.
The perverse, wicked things done to Samson's family...
How could the world have allowed that to happen?
How could "civilized" and "educated" people ever rationalized or condoned that depravity?
How could we forget the wickedness in the grossly fallen heart of man... how could we ever convince ourselves that we are all basically good?
How, when this massive sin flourished a mere 70 years ago, how could we train children today that there is not absolute truth, no absolute definition of good and evil?
How could we forget?

Thank you Booksneeze for my copy of Samson: A Savior Will Rise. 

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