Moshe in the basement

One day, we were sitting over coffee with some of Olia’s friend and a film director from Kyiv when we started talking about our film. The young film director remembered a joke he knew.

In a present day Ukrainian village, a man goes to the priest to confess his sins.

-Father, forgive me for I have sinned. -What’s the matter my son?-Well, you know, when the war started and the Germans came, they were going after all the Jews, and I had a Jewish neighbor, Moshe. Moshe was a good guy, I liked him, and when he asked me to hide him in my basement, I agreed, I couldn’t let him down.-So, what’s the problem in that?-Well, I was lying to the Germans, while hiding Moshe in my basement, and lying is a sin.
-You know my son, you were doing a good deed, and you were saving a man’s life, lying in that case is fine… You may go, your sins are forgiven.

The man doesn’t leave.

-But Father… there is something else… All that time, I was taking 50 rubles per day from Moshe.
-You know my son, times were very hard, you probably had to take some money from him in order to buy food and keep him alive… You may go, your sins are forgiven.

The man still doesn’t leave.

-But Father… there is something else… I still didn’t tell Moshe that the war is over.

When we met the “real” Moshe in Poland, after spending a day filming with him and his wife, we decided to tell him that joke in order to break the ice between us.

We thought it would be funny. He looked at us and said: but that’s not a joke! That story really happened to a man I know! He was hiding in a man’s house in a remote village, and he would have stayed there working for that man if his relatives didn’t find him years after the war was over.

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