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A Jew who tried to save Christians

Isaac Cremieux was a Jewish friend of Napoleon Bonaparte, and he was both a patriotic Frenchman and a defender of his co-religionists.  As far as helping the Jews, one of his successes was helping to secure the acquittal of the Jewish victims of the famous Damascus (Syria) ritual murder case.  He also appealed to his fellow Jews to help Christians.
He said this to them about the Christians of Lebanon:
The Christians of the East are subjected to the most horrible persecution.  Tortures, rape, assassination, pillage, burning, the murder of women, children, and old people, even mutilation of corpses–such is the picture presented by the whole regions of the Lebanon.  Blood is shed; misery and famine are spreading among a dense population, whom Mohammadan fanaticism is destroying in a  war even against the intention and forces of the Turkish government, and whose sole crime is that they worship the Christ.  French Jews, let us be the first to come to the aid of our Christian brothers; let us not await the results of diplomacy, which is always so slow and which will regulate the future; let us alleviate present needs.  Let a large subscription be begun today in Paris, and let a Jewish committee be organized tomorrow….This signal will be answered by our brethren in England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and all Europe; in the countries that recognize them as citizens, and in those that still refuse them this noble title.  You, also, Jews of the American countries where religious liberty is triumphant, you will help the Catholics of Asia, who are so cruelly oppressed by superstition…
We read about anti-Semitism often in the history of Europe, but I think that in this period (he lived from 1796 to 1880) there must have been cordial relations between the Christians and Jews of parts of Europe, because otherwise he would not refer to “our Christian brothers” and expect his co-religionists to enthusiastically donate.   (Later he donated 50,000 francs to help flood victims in Toulouse, France.)
There was a different mentality back then as compared to our more skeptical and jaded present.  As a lawyer, Cremieux tried to persuade jurors to acquit three young men of having sung the hymn of the Revolution (the year was 1819, and the revolution that had killed Louis XVI was long over, and Louis XVIII was now king of France).  He paraphrased the song for the jury, and at the verse “Amour sacre de la patrie”, all the jurors rose, and acquitted the accused men.
Cremieux

Isaac Adolphe Cremieux

Those words come from the first line of the last verse of the Marseillaise, which was sung by the revolutionaries as they entered Paris:
Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!

He was a very honest man as well. In 1832 Cremieux heard that his father, on leaving the prison in 1796, had found his business destroyed, and had been compelled to compromise with his creditors. Crémieux did not rest until he had found all these creditors or their heirs; and he returned to them not only the principal, which most of them had forgotten, but also the accumulated interest for thirty-six years. Thereupon he sought and easily obtained the rehabilitation of his father’s name.

An Israeli ironman

Adi Deutsch

Adi Deutsch

Adi Deutsch, a soldier in Israel’s Golani brigade, stepped on an anti-personnel mine on his way back from a mission in Lebanon. He managed to block the bleeding artery in his leg himself, and a helicopter came and took him to an Israeli hospital. He asked his doctor, in a manifestation of black humor, if it was a “Volvo”, and his doctor replied that it looked like it would be. (Volvos are given to leg amputees by the Israeli government).
As part of his rehab, he started swimming and running, though his running was impeded by his prosthetic leg. Then when the Zahal Disabled Veteran Organization picked him as one of 12 people to receive special running legs (prosthetic of course), “a new and amazing world opened up to me…”

With his new prosthetic legs, Adi began training in running. And then he started running triathlons. There was a European Triathlon Championship in Eilat in 2012, and he came in third place in his category. “I wanted to show my fellow athletes…that I could become a member of the ‘Iron Man’ family. Earlier this year, he finished the ‘Iron Man’ (a sea swim of 3.8 km, 180 km bike ride and 42 km marathon run) in 14 hours and 20 minutes.

From what I read, prosthetic legs and determination are not always enough. Some of the people who lost limbs when a Muslim bombed the Boston Marathon are not doing well. But Adi advises that we should “set a goal and go after it.” He is certainly an inspiring example.

(you can read more about an organization that helps disabled vets in Israel at http://www.fidv.org). They mention another remarkable man, Aharon Karov, who was sweeping a building for explosives when a booby trap exploded, and the entire building crumbled on top of him. With eight pieces of shrapnel in his head, all of his teeth knocked out, his left eye dismembered, and his stomach and the upper left side of his body completely crushed, his prospects looked grim. After ten days of coma, he was able to wiggle his right fingers and blink, but otherwise, he was a prisoner in his own body. Because of his severe head injuries, he had to relearn right and left, the simple commands sit and stand.
Five years later, he ran the New York Marathon!

Ramon, Ilan (astronaut, fighter pilot who blew up Iraq’s nuclear reactor)

Ilan Ramon


Ilan Ramon was an Israeli pilot, who was said to have excelled in everything he did, such as being first in his class in flight school. As an engineer, he joined the team at Israel Aircraft Industries that developed the Lavi fighter jet.
In 1981, Israeli Colonel Ilan Ramon flew one of the F-16 jets that blew up the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak. In doing so, he may have prevented Saddam Hussein from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Years later, he was chosen by the U.S. to fly in the space shuttle Columbia. On the flight, he carried a picture of the Earth as seen from the moon drawn by a Jewish boy in Theresientstadt concentration camp. He also carried a torah scroll from Bergen Belson.

The space shuttle came to a tragic end on re-entry, killing all on board.