It's just sad, very sad, that a 76 year old man, a holocaust survivor had the courage and the inner strength to try such a futile gesture as to try and stop a madman. But this he did. And he did so, while many athletic, and far stronger young men fled the scene. I have no criticism of them for running. No one knows what they themselves will do in such a crisis. I may have done the same. But it speaks volumes that this elderly man of slight build, a man of a generation very different from what we have now, saw an evil force that needed to be stopped to save others. And he succeeded with the payment of his life.
The irony of his life and death reminds me of the actor Dr. Haing Ngor, who played Dith Pran in the movie The Killing Fields about Cambodia's horror regime of Pol Pot. Dr. Ngor, not an actor before his academy award winning portrayal of Dith Pran, survived the killing fields himself, survived torture and the loss of his wife by their captors all much like the person he portrayed in the movie. He survived all that, only to be killed in his own driveway in Los Angeles by three gang thugs trying to rob him. He gave them what they wanted, the car, his money, etc. But when they wanted the gold locket around his neck, the one which contained his only remaining image of his deceased wife, he refused. He would not surrender this one last momento of his never-forgotten wife, a small thing, but something he had hidden from his captors during those long years in that surreal hell he escaped from. The three thugs shot him dead for the small piece of jewelry, not even giving him enough time to remove his wife's photo.
The three were caught later. However...
"14 April 2004 - Courts overturned the 1998 conviction of the Oriental Lazy Boyz threesome who were jailed for the murder of Ngor. The court ruled that the original prosecutor had unfairly played on the jury sympathy in obtaining the conviction."
I believe in the rule of law. But I also know, probably like this fine man who died saving others, that the law cannot protect you every waking hour. You must take action. You must not wait for others to save you. If you see a chance to stop evil, what will you do? Lucikly, this man didn't think on that question. He acted. Because he already knew what can happen, and will happen when one doesn't act, when one doesn't try to stop evil, even when it is on the other side of the door.
Slain Israeli Professor Saved Others in Va. Tech Massacre