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Who Will be our Modern Day Midwives?


By Susie Tessel

The Jewish People are charged with the task to be a light onto the nations. Our actions proclaim our values. We are also The People of the Book. One of my favorite examples of the marriage of those two identities is the example below of someone impacting countless lives with action propelled by inspirational words.

Two unsung heroes of the Passover story are the Midwives. In A Different Night by Noam Zion, he poses the question “Who will be today’s Midwives?

One Sunday morning in 1941 in Nazi occupied Netherlands, a mysterious character rode up on his bicycle and entered the Calvinist church. He ascended the podium and read aloud the story of the midwives who saved the Hebrew babies and defied Pharaoh’s policy of genocide. “Who is today’s Pharaoh?” he asked. “Hitler”, the congregation replied. “Who are today’s Hebrew babies?” “The Jews.” “Who will be today’s midwives?” He left the church, leaving his question hanging in the air.

But, he did not stop there. This man traveled throughout the Netherlands tirelessly encouraging people to take action. During the war (1941-1945) seven families from this little church alone hid Jews and other resisters from the Nazis. The number of lives saved is reputed to be in the hundreds.

We are not living during those tumultuous times, but the question remains, who will be today’s Midwives?

For me, this inspirational true story is a call to action!! Who will be our modern day midwives? Share this story, and ask your students, their families, and other congregants to look for opportunities to act and make a difference.


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