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In Auschwitz concentration camp.

It happened once in the Auschwitz concentration camp that a German officer discovered a Jewish inmate putting on tefillin. Needless to say, the tefillin had been snuck into the camp at great personal risk.

Looking at the Jew with one black box on his head and another one on his arm, and with leather straps in various configurations, the officer thought that he must have come upon some kind of conspiracy. The prisoner's explanations did not satisfy him. So he took out a penknife and opened up the boxes. What he discovered, of course, were four scored pieces of parchment with small black letters covering them.

"What are these?" he gnarled.

"Those, my dear," the prisoner replied, "are our identification papers – documents of affiliation."

"Affiliation?!" barked the officer, who proceeded to throw the tefillin on the ground.

Muffling a shriek, the Jew jumped over to pick up the tefillin.

Then a shot was heard. The Jew did not get up. He continued to shield the tefillin – with his dead body.


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