Challenge 700 Response
with Dave Wisker
“Blood Group” appears in issue 700.
[Dave Wisker] I want you to know how much I appreciated your perceptive questions about "Blood Group" in the Challenge, especially the one about Miri being an angel of life and an angel of death all in one day.
Thanks for giving the story a home, and for the classy presentation!
Copyright © 2017 by Dave Wisker
[Don Webb] Thank you, Dave! I’m glad you like the presentation. What’s good for our readers is also good for our authors. And, as I like to say, “A good word goes a long way.”
Thanks, too, for appreciating the Challenge questions. The ones on “Blood Group” are among the most difficult ever asked in any of our Challenges; like your story, they require readers to do some self-examination.
In one day, Miri acts as both an angel of life and an “angel of death.” Is her behavior inconsistent? Why or why not?
The essay “Go Tell the Spartans...” answers the question by addressing the dilemma of pacifism.
Would a faithful adherent of a different religion have done the same thing as Miri in similar circumstances?
That’s a loaded question, because there are no “similar circumstances.” For example, Christians were also persecuted by the Nazis but, as in Roman times, opportunistically rather than systematically. A Christian might call an ambulance for Beck, but she would also have the moral obligation and duty to inform the local authorities and those in Germany and Israel that she has discovered an escaped Nazi war criminal.
Does Miri follow the three rules of resistance?
Yes, she does:
- She takes Beck’s every poisonous word — like Hitler’s own — as a threat.
- She holds Beck accountable by taking his threat at face value; he would kill her if he could.
- She cannot treat Beck as a “normal” patient; she carries the weight of her own history, and so does he.
How might these rules be applied today?
“The Devil is dangerous not because he is so smart but because he is so old.” — Spanish proverb. Be watchful. Good is creative; evil is always the same.
Copyright © 2017 by Don Webb