I am inside an old Victorian home, standing alongside a railing of polished wood, as is the second floor I’m standing on. Looking down, the first floor is crowded with Jewish men of differing epochs and cultures. Some are dead and some are not. One by one they come up the stairs to visit me. They tell me about their persecutions. Quite a few of them speak about the European holocaust, but there are Russian Jews as well, each making a horrible recounting. 

Most of them are dressed in fine clothes, even some of the ghosts, which I believe is a sign of peace and redeemed suffering. Some others, however, still wear the stripes or the yellow stars brought with them to the concentration camps. An old man, wearing a white, wooly beard and an old-fashioned three-button suit, speaks to me in frustration and confusion. “What were we to do? If we gave money to charity, they accused us of perfidy; if we saved our money in a bank, they said the same things!” 

A wellspring of mercy opens in my heart for the old man, but each only have a moment to spare for me before it is someone else’s turn and I know as he moves forward he will have to put his case to another, and perhaps another and another. I am aware of old, vintage automobiles pulling up in front of the mansion, bringing entire Jewish families now, wives, sons and daughters. Each has a case to present, a plea to be made. More and more they arrive and enter. Listening to them crowd in, I hear no accusation, no disrespect for the owner of the house; neither do they say such things to me. Still, I am ashamed that they have found it necessary to come. There is a real sense throughout the house that I should have gone to them.

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