A Student’s Letter About Jacob’s Rescue

Dear Malka Drucker and Michael Halperin,

The thought that at any moment the Nazis might burst through your door and seize you, shattering your secure life, is tragic and terrifying to a little boy. I, myself, do not think that I could grasp why I had been chosen among millions to be persecuted, tortured and slaughtered. What had I done wrong?

In your book, Jacob’s Rescue, a small vulnerable child goes through things that are only in my worst nightmares. Yet all around us, in our “free and loving” world, prejudice consumes the vulnerable. Prejudice is the shadow lurking around street corners. Sheltered by my loving home and caring school, I have never looked at the world as violent, demanding, and accusing. I thought that because we fought the Civil War and World War II that meant we were all accepting of one another. Yet all around me a shadow lurks. A shadow that if we don’t turn on the light, will consume all that is good, just, and fair. In your book discrimination almost killed an entire ethnic group, and everything associated with it.

In my old school in the inner city there were kids of every class and culture, and race, I found myself thinking, stay away from that kid, he must be a gang member, look at those clothes. Troy, a lively kid, from the “wrong side of the tracks”, always stuck me as obnoxious and petty. Yet as the year wore on I got to know him better. We became good friends. He had a great sense of humor and was very respectful of those around him. Thanks to your powerful, vivid words, I look at the world through new eyes, I try not to judge or accuse someone before I know them, as I did with Troy. Instead of judging, we need to break down the barriers of race, color, size, and other physical attributes that we might judge a person by. I need to see everyone, not as a Black, a Jew, or an Hispanic, but as a person, a life, and a hero.

With new eyes, I see a world with thousands of faults too. I see my strengths and my weaknesses, and I have decided, that I am going to let my light shine, because, it only takes one light to pierce the darkness.


M. Snyder

Jacob’s Rescue, The Book