"We received your check in the mail," Rabbi Bochner dialed the hasty scribbled number on the back of the large, unidentified check made out to Bonei Olam. "Thank you very much."

Bonei Olam was founded by a group of individuals who experienced the hardships of childlessness. Rabbi Shlomo Bochner, one of the founders of this organization, has developed a strong and dedicated network of doctors and fertility centers across the world, enabling them to offer unsurpassed medical and financial assistance to all applicants. The costs, however, are staggering.

"It was my pleasure." The thick-accented voice indeed seemed pleased.

"I was wondering, what is it about?"

"What it is about? This is a check. I do not understand what you are asking me."

"Yes, but the cheque was made out for $10,000! And there was no name on the check."

"Ah, why would I need my name on the check? This is a donation. I am not looking for honor, for great awards, you know. I just want to give, that's all."

Shlomo's curiosity was piqued.

"But tell me, sir, what is the reason that you sent us such a large donation?"

"This is my appreciation to G‑d!" The elderly man said, his tone rising an octave, his joy obvious. "Let me tell you a story."

World War II spread its wings over the Jewish communities like an angry-looking eagle. The inhabitants of the once-vibrant towns and shtetls — which until recently had bustled with life — sat huddled together within the walls of the ghettos; some of them hurrying through quiet alleyways feverishly planning escape, others trembling in fear. All of them dreading the frightful actions called "Judenaussiedlung," wherein the Gestapo would round up men, women, even children, and dump them into waiting trucks like piles of rags.

As Gershon would lie in bed at night, with eyes open, unable to sleep out of hunger and fear, he would listen to his brother, Shimon, lying beside him, groaning in his sleep. He would listen to the quiet murmurings of his parents and he would feel his heartbeat thumping in his throat. Lately, people were disappearing off the streets, with only a handful returning badly beaten, broken and bent from pain and humiliation. One sad incident followed another and terrible rumors were spreading throughout the ghetto.

Mornings were no better, Fear lurked in every corner; deportation was imminent.as everybody walked around the crowded apartment as though walking on eggshells. The other families crammed into their tiny apartment were busy preparing hideouts underneath the stairwell, in the attic, and in closets. Some had even ventured to run to the nearby forests, but were barred by soldiers and policemen stationed all around the city.

Fear lurked in every corner; deportation was imminent. An action had taken place in the nearby town. A cloud of worry had enveloped Mama, who had a premonition that the family would be separated. Her tired eyes set deep within her worried face, seemed to recede even more with each passing day.

Suddenly Mama approached them. Gershon felt her light touch on his shoulder, and out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed Mama lovingly patting Shimon's head. Shimon's large saddened eyes stared up at her. Slowly he turned to face his mother.

Mama opened her mouth to say something, then shook her head and closed it. She tried again. "Gershon, Shimon," she whispered with sobs choking her voice. She paused for a moment to pull herself together. "I want you to realize that it is very likely that we will be separated from each other," she said and then lifted her hands in the air. "Maybe even forever."

Gershon couldn't hear it. Something inside him urged him to turn on his heels and flee. With all his being he wanted to run from these terrible words. But he did not run. There was nowhere to run from the awful truth. Gershon remained frozen in place. With his eyes, he begged Mama to say it wasn't so, to say that the danger would pass. Life would soon return to the way it was, and once again he would be standing at the door, the lunch packed by Mama in his hand. And Mama would wish him a day full of success.

But Mama didn't seem to share his mental picture. Standing stoically in her usual regal manner she continued talking. "My dear children, when the Gestapo come and get us, I do not know what will be. One thing I ask of you. Please take care of each other."

Gershon stood erect, not daring to utter a single word lest the dam on his oceans of tears break loose. Shimon couldn't look at Mama. His chin quivered and there was a noticeable tremor in his hands. But Mama, her gentle blue eyes reflecting so much sorrow, did not break down.

"Gershon," she whispered, "if you manage to find a piece of bread, share it with Shimon." Gershon nodded solemnly.

Mama turned to Shimon, "And Shimon, if you come across a drop of water, remember that Gershon is also thirsty."

Mama paused. She turned her eyes heavenward, whispering a prayer supplicating G‑d to grant her children life. Gershon swallowed hard.

"Take care of each other, my dear children," Mama repeated. "Wherever you go, wherever you hide, take care of each other. This is what I ask of you. Do whatever you can, but do not separate!"

Things happened so suddenly afterwards. The Gestapo stormed their apartment and chased them out of their home and into the waiting trucks.

Gershon and Shimon held on to each other as they endured the worst of human cruelty. They never forgot their mother's parting words, and indeed they managed to stay together and to care for each other through the inferno of Treblinka and the evils of Bergen-Belsen.

Then they arrived to Auschwitz.

Mengele, may his name be blotted out, stood at the platform in his impeccable suit and shiny boots, casually swinging his finger to the right and to the left. For each person assigned to "Life," an S.S. guard would hurry to affix a red stamp on the forehead. Those fated for the gas chambers were not stamped.

The long line of suffering prisoners meandered slowly ahead. Broken, beaten and humiliated, but with a powerful desire to live, Gershon dragged his brother along. His heart pumped wildly. His dear brother Shimon, so scrawny and sickly, appeared half dead. He could hardly hold himself up. Would Shimon make it past the discerning gaze of this Angel of Death?

In a moment, all of Gershon's doubts vanished as the Nazi nonchalantly flicked his finger to the left…and then, before he could even think, it was his turn.

His mind numb, Gershon did not quite grasp that he had been slated to the right — to life. "Take care of each other, my dear children," Mama repeated. "Wherever you go, wherever you hide, take care of each other." Like a shadow, he languidly followed his brother to the left side, before an S.S. guard shoved him to the right and brutally stamped his forehead with that red, telltale mark that separated him from his brother.

Tears welled up inside him, blocking his vision. He had promised his mother. They had been through so much together, caring for each others' wounds, splitting their morsels of food, and miraculously they had never been separated. How could he break his promise now?

Slowly, a plan began to take shape in Gershon's mind — a dubious, daring plan, but it was a plan nonetheless — built on unquenchable hope, inspired by a long-ago promise.

With a prayer in his soul and heart pummelling within his chest, Gershon hurried over to where his brother was standing. Fervently he kissed his brother's forehead. And then he kissed it again. Shimon stared blankly, apathetically, as his brother showered him with wet, sloppy kisses. Gershon appeared as though he was not aware of anything else going on around him. Like a man possessed, he kissed and kissed.

But from the corner of his eyes, Gershon remained on the lookout. When he was sure that the Nazi's weren't watching, he quickly pressed his forehead with the red mark granting him the right to live against Shimon's forehead. Satisfied, he backed up to inspect his handiwork. A red stamp now appeared on his brother's forehead. Wasting no time, he dragged his brother to the right, and not a moment too soon.

G‑d was with him on that day.

"Both of us survived the war, Mr. Bochner; we were spared. No one else in our entire town survived."

He fell into a reflective silence. Shlomo Bochner, mesmerized by the story, remained motionless in his seat.

"Many years have passed since then. My brother is gone and I am already an old man. But I have no children.

"I sent you the money because I owe a debt of gratitude to G‑d. I survived the war. I survived together with my brother! I want to help a couple who does not have children. I want a couple to experience the joy of having children."