Monday, June 1, 2020 -
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‘No regrets’

Scene: Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

A man is drowning. Enter a group of yeshiva boys. They rush to a nearby police officer. As the officer pulls the man from the water, he discovers a Nazi swastika tattooed on the man’s hand. End scene.

The events described above occurred May 17. The teens, who study at a yeshiva in Brighton, Mass., were out for an evening stroll when they saw the body in the water. Two of them quickly informed Boston College Police Officer Carl Mascioli, who told NBC10 Boston that the man did not have much time left and would have died if the teens had not spotted him and taken action, JTA reported.

How did the boys feel when they discovered they saved the life of someone who appears to be a neo-Nazi?

“No regrets,” according to Mascioli, who conveyed the boys’ message to NBC10. “A good deed is a good deed and that’s part of life,” they told Mascioli. “We should be helping everybody out.”

“No regrets.” A powerful statement.

If you knew someone who openly demonstrated their affinity for a system that pursued the genocide of your people would you rush to help save his or her life?

For these teens, their innate human goodness, the instinct to help someone in need, was alive and well.

The boys did, however, want the man to know it was four Jewish boys who helped save his life.

Mascioli said he told the swastika-tattoed man that it was Jewish teens who saved his life. “I kind of let the gentlemen know sometimes some deeds have a funny way of turning around,” he told NBC10. “Their good deed had a little bit of a twist to it.”

Perhaps more than a twist; perhaps the actions of these teens not only saved this man’s life, but rescued his soul. Perhaps he’ll re-evaluate his tattoo. After all, due to the Jewish teens’ actions, he is expected to make a full recovery.

Even if this life changing moment doesn’t change his world view — “no regrets.”

Copyright © 2019 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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Rabbi Hillel Goldberg
Editor & Publisher

Shana R. Goldberg
Assistant Publisher