Rorate Caeli

Exactly 100 Years Ago: A Beautiful War Story
Rabbi Dies Holding a Crucifix for Dying Soldier

At the end of the first month of the Great War:

August 29, 1914: in Taintrux (Vosges, Lorraine), an agonizing French Catholic soldier, in an infirmary bombarded by the Germans in the war front, asks a military chaplain, whom he believes to be a priest in a cassock, for a Crucifix. The chaplain was Chief Rabbi Abraham Bloch, who brings and presents to him the image of the Crucified Lord: moments later, both would be killed by an exploding shell.

The main eyewitness of the incident was Father Jamin, S.J., in whose arms Bloch finally expired.

(Cf. Maurice Barrès, Les diverses familles spirituelles de la France - published in English as The Faith of France.)

[First posted by us in 2011. The famous image is by Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, born in a prominent French and Algerian Jewish family. ]