As Memory turns to History

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    Sadly, too many Jews define Judaism, Israel, and their own Jewish identity either entirely or primarily with respect to the Holocaust, seeing nothing positive in Torah and Judaism to move towards. Some even reject Jewish practice and even membership in Am Yisroel with “Where was God during…?” The forced feeding of Holocaust history, culture, and identify down many young peoples throats has also left many Jews inured to even dialog about how, in a post-Holocaust world, to live a Jewish life that is meaningfully distinct from non-Jewish life.  The passing of the last survivors of the camps is inevitable.  Too few of us in later generations turn their memories into platforms from which to grow Judaism, Jewish identity, and Jews.

  2. dr. bill says:

    Very well said.  For me the Spielberg tapes my late father made had inordinate impact.  In a conversation about the divrei chaim, I once told a chossid that my father told me of a unique bracha he received in the ghetto from his youngest son, the zhiliner rebbe.  The chosid could not believe that a son of the divrei chaim survived until WWII.  In fact, he did.  A contemporary of mine was told by his older cousins who were survivors that jews would come from far and wide in Europe to hear the zhiliner called to the torah with his father’s name mentioned.  Those personally meaningful snippets of history, things I try to remind my grandchildren, will likely only survive as a result of a tape.

  3. Esther says:

    I recently overheard my children and their friends playing being Jews and Nazis.  They were being pulled out of hiding places, lined up before the chief who sent them right and left.  This was obviously inspired by the stories they had read and heard from their teachers and by a recent show produced by I think Bobov chassidim.   The holocaust no longer has a raw edge for today’s  children and has entered the realm of play and fiction which was unfathomable before.

  4. dr. bill says:

    as is well known, the Rav ztl, wanted the Shoah remembered as a part of Tisha B’av.  While I appreciate the argument that the Shoah was sui generis and deserving of its own day, the Rav may have had something deeper in mind.  By comparing destruction to destructions past and jewish revival to revivals past, we learn about how our directed, linear history evolves and our proper reactions.  singular events, no matter how significant, do not teach anywhere nearly as well.

    • mycroft says:

      I hear the late RD Eliezer Berkovitz during a lecture tour just after writing FaithAfter the Holocaust. I asked him why was the Holocaust unique and.  My mind all  of the issues raised could have been raised in 1920.He agreed just the Holocaust was recent and obvious.

      There are many who treat the holocaust as Sui generis and others who don’t- when we deal with survivors it is tough to  deal with proper theology. As a leading current Jewish philosophy professor -who I suspect Dr Bill knows- once wrote me in discussing some issue it takes tack and diplomacy to argue with false hashkafa if they are written either by survivors of concentration camps or those who lost a child but those steps must be taken.

  5. Steve brizel says:

    Take a look at the comments of RD N Lamm and R E Buchwald as to an undue focus on the Shoah conveying no positive message with respect to Jewish continuity for this and the future generations of American Jews.

    • Shmuel Winiarz says:

      Yes very true point, in Rebbetzin Jungreis’s case I noted “not with the guilt of granting a posthumous victory, but with a spiritually enriching education, allowing ppl to joyously embrace their Judaism”.. We need a positive and convincing message, but we also must not forget the many chapters in our history that were not exactly pleasant, it also is part of our identity.

Pin It on Pinterest