"My dear, our light has turned to gross darkness . . . but our God is rich in mercy to all that call upon Him. He will judge Germany, and once again cause His face to shine upon us. One day Messiah will come and restore all things. The God of our father's will draw us back to Jerusalem. He who scattered Israel will gather Him."
His naiveté angered her. Rachel glared at him and said,
"I cannot accept your God. He is a tyrant!" He looked back and said,
"Hitler is the tyrant. Can't you see that you are doing what Israel did? You are creating your own god. Jeremiah has been labeled a 'prophet of doom,' but he was a prophet of good tidings. His very name means 'Jehovah will exalt.' God was willing, so willing to turn from His wrath and exalt His people by pouring His blessings on them, but they refused to turn from their rebellious ways. That was their choice. We, as a nation, had that same choice."
"What choice is this! We are starving to death. I have no money, no food, no family."
She glared at the old man and said,
"I cannot believe that God would just sit back and allow this to happen to 'His' people!"
Rabbi Cohen looked back at the Scriptures he had just read, and said,
"My dear . . . He has." That remark enraged her. As she stood to her feet, the Rabbi calmly said,
"But I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his children begging bread . . . " With that she snapped,
"You stay here and die. I am going to beg for bread!" and stormed out of the room slamming the door.
Her anger seemed to energize her as she walked the streets of the ghetto looking for food. She was so angry at God and so desperate, she decided to sell her body to any man that would take her, but all she could find were widows and old, sickly men.
By this time she had become very weak with hunger. She returned to her section of the ghetto, and fainted on the sidewalk near where she had left more than seven hours earlier. No one came to her rescue. It was on the cold sidewalk that she recovered, and faintly whispered,
"Oh God of my fathers; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jehovah‑Jirah. Rabbi Cohen was right. I have sinned against You. I was going to sell my body. I am ashamed . . . I am so weak with hunger . . . help me . . . "
It was then that a shadow crossed her weary face and startled her. As she focused her eyes, to her horror she saw the tall figure of an SS officer. She cowered back in fear as he knelt down beside her. Then he opened her hand and to her disbelief, placed within it a roll of money. She was confused. Was he propositioning her? He then whispered,
"Don’t be afraid, and don’t be fooled by the uniform. My name is Jeremiah Adamson. I am an American working with the French Resistance. Please . . . I must find out where the German aircraft plants are in Berlin." Rachel listened to the tone of his voice and looked at his earnest expression. She looked at the soldiers waiting in the car, then inquiringly back at Jerry.
"They think I am an officer of the SS on special assignment for the Fuhrer, trying to uncover information about missing Norwegian children." Then he smiled slightly and said, "The Resistance can produce some fine German paperwork."
Again he said,
"Please . . . it is vital to the Allied cause. Why would I lie to you? All I need are the locations. You may keep all the money; buy yourself something to eat."
Rachel was stunned by what had just taken place. Seconds earlier she had prayed to the God of Israel to provide for her! She thought for a moment, lifted he weak body to her feet and said,
"Wait here," then disappeared around a corner.
Jerry walked back to the soldiers and said,
"I think I am onto something. The woman has seen two children that don't look like Jews . . . a little money goes a long way in making a Jew talk." They smiled then he wandered back to the sidewalk.
The Rabbi looked up in shock as Rachel thrust open the kitchen door. He had fallen asleep with the Bible still open at the Book of Jeremiah. When she left, her eyes were dull and flashed with anger, but now they sparkled with life as she said,
"The God of our fathers has not forsaken us! He heard my prayer!" and held the fistful of money up before his startled face. When she told him what had happened, he began to weep and said,
"My dear . . . God be praised. This is truly wonderful! I have the name of a man who could give this American all the information he needs. But how can I be sure this is not a trap? I could be signing this man's death warrant. What if this is a Nazi scheme to . . . "
Rachel held up her hand to stop his words and said,
"Rabbi, this man is from God. I forgot to tell you his name . . . it's Jeremiah."
To be continued.