Elie Wiesel’s Challenge

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7 Responses

  1. JS says:

    When your friends whispered this question did they also refer to the Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 158? There is a strong spice to add to the broth, and one which many of my friends take quite seriously. This only amplifies Wiesel’s challange.

  2. nonchareidi says:

    Very good post-especially from a chareidi blog. I wish people would discuss from the Neziv’s same introduction that you quote why Churban Bayeis Sheni occurred.

  3. nonchareidi says:

    I apologize you did quote the Netziv on why the 2nd Beis Hamikdash was destroyed. I would have put more emphasis on the fact that God does not like your chumras if it leads to attacking other people. Frankly, the Agudah in the R. Shafran i
    era has made a good faith attempt tp be much more polite to other “Orthodox Jews” -even those who don’t follow the Rabbis of the Moetzet Gdolei Hatorah-absent a Sanhedrin no one can tell you not to follow your Rebbe.

  4. Barry says:

    Of coursed Wiesel is correct.
    And your beginning is correct, too.
    But, for citizens of the United States, it also applies to how the United States treats its citizens, obviously not in situations as dire as those mentioned by Wiesel, but deserving of some minimum level of support. Whether health care or retirement, to name two “controversial” political topics that shouldn’t be.
    Alas, we haven’t been doing that well, lately.

  5. David Brand says:

    I’m not sure that the Netziv meant that feeling empathy for those suffering is enough. His proof was Avrohom who actually did something (ie, davened) for those suffering. In other words, it’s the actions that count, rather than just the feelings. I did not read all of what Weisel wrote, but if his suggestions amount to “feeling their pain”, then it’s just a bunch of 90’s feel-good rhetoric. But, if he suggests even nominal financial donations or actions like davening or saying Tehillim, then I would tend to agree.

    As for Barry, I will never understand how people look at Torah obligations that are placed on individuals and turn them into excuses for the government to confiscate our money and redistribute it as the government sees fit. It’s not controversial for us to discuss giving tzedakah, but let us be the ones who decide where it goes. After all, the government is not at all capable of caring. Only individuals have that capacity.

  6. nonchareidi says:

    David Brand: Government confiscate money and redistribute as …sees fit. The only practical way to take care of poor people is from a government. Even Israel-check the books of organizations that are doing good-the vast majority of the money comes from government. The American donors get the publicity but the money is government money.

    Who says Yiddishkeit is synonymous with right wing American political ideas-I don’t believe it is synonymous with the left either. But do you believe that Avraham Aveinu and the Avot were believers in a winner take all society? I don’t – but certainly the excellent group of writers this website could address the issue. I am not asking for a discussion on particulars of various political parties-but a Hashkafic analysis.

  7. Ben Halberstam says:

    My view, for what it is worth, is that the criticism at the world’s response to the Holocaust is not directed towards those that were disconnected to the events that occurred. We criticize the peoples of the Eastern Europe that turned in a Jew for 2 packs of cigarettes, the nations that the Germans understood would not object to having the camps there, and the active aiding of the implementation of the final solution by the Polish, French, Lithuanian, Latvian and Croatian peoples (the list could go on quite a bit, but I think the point is made). We find fault that a ship, filled with people fleeing for their lives, was turned away by so-called civilized countries. We condemn that a nation at war, that was bombing the hell out of the enemy, could not spare a few bombs to bomb the train-tracks leading to the concentration camps. We, more accurately, I do not condemn the people of New Zealand for not sending packages to the Jews trapped in Europe. It is the active participation in the extermination of our people, or the active indifference to their slaughter, by those who were engaged in the European theatre that is reprehensible.

    I commend the sentiment of those that feel the suffering of others the world over; but don’t call me a hypocrite for saying that you can condemn much of the world’s reaction to the Holocaust, but still not feel morally obligated to insert oneself in every humanitarian catastrophe the world over.


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