As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 75-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday's shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 32 dead and over two dozen wounded.
Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter, who had attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio.
Several of Librescu's other students sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman's way and saved their lives, said the son, Joe.
"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jumping out."
At least three professors were among the victims.Thinking about how this Professor survived the Holocaust, with the hand of God on his life, so that he would live all these years, and then give his life for a classroom full of young people...
Only God knows our path. This will be a catalyst to at least some of the young people in that room. What will they do? How will they change? What will the course of their lives be? Who will they go on to affect forever?
Tragedies like this just seem to crystalize the places where good and evil intersect. Those places are never easy to experience but they are never wasted. They may be incomprehensible to us, but somehow they aren't senseless in the eternal perspective.
Professor Librescu is now in a place where all of this makes sense.
God Bless Him.