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The Righteous Among The Nations

An Entire Universe

The medal of the Righteous bears the Jewish saying: "Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe" (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5). The significance of this saying is best demonstrated when survivors' families – with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – come together for the honoring of a rescuer. It is not only the life of the survivor that was saved by the rescuer, but that of an entire family that would not have come into being, if it weren’t for the Righteous’ efforts. Survivors and their children often represent the only remaining living branch of a large extended family that was destroyed. While we celebrate the life that was saved, we also remember the other branches of that family, that were extinguished and all their children that were never to be born.

At the end of every ceremony in honor of Righteous Among the Nations held at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, after the engraved name of the rescuer is unveiled on the honor wall, we take a photo of the survivor and his family together with the rescuer or his relatives. Here is a selection of these photos.