Moving Commentary 5: Berlin

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9 Responses

  1. Robert says:

    Thank you for this poignant reminder of things to be grateful for, and things to remember.

  2. dr. bill says:

    I have never visited Berlin or almost any part of Germany except for short business meetings. The exception was Bonn where walking along the river I thought about the Rishonim who lived there many, many centuries ago. I read the Raavyah on aveilus sitting shivah for my father.

    I would love to see an academic history of Jewish Berlin between the wars. Except perhaps for Slabodka or Vilna, and I doubt it, did a city of that time house gedolim like Rav Chaim Heller, RDTH, Rav Elya Kaplan, RYYW not to mention the Rav, the Rebbe, Rav Hutner, etc. We must go back to the 1880’s in Volozhin when Rav Kook, Rav Meltzer, Rav Polachek, Rav Bengis, etc. studied with the Netziv, Rav Chaim, etc. to find a comparable set of genius / gedolim. And of course, Berlin also housed any number of first-rate traditionally Jewish academics, something never seen since the times of the Rishonim.

    I wish your son hatzlachah; he has a wonderful tradition to even partially restore.

  3. David F says:

    I dunno.
    I just don’t see how anyone can feel comfortable living anywhere in Germany or giving them a z’chus kiyum through our Torah study. I’d sooner we just all pull out and allow the country to go down the same trajectory as all the other countries that feel to the wayside after persecuting and driving the Jews out. Spain is a shadow of it’s former self. Rome is non-existent. Portugal exists on a map only. Greece exists in textbooks only.
    The accursed Germans deserve a far worse fate than all of them.
    Perhaps the Jews stuck there deserve better, but I have no sympathy for a Russian Jew who finally escaped the hell of communism only to move the the hell of fascism.

  4. Raymond says:

    I personally would never set foot in Germany, not only for what they did to our people, but also for what they would still do our people once they feel that they can get away with it. Part of me even thinks that the real reason why Germany has allowed so many islamoNazis to move to their country, is to do their dirty work of murdering Jews, only this time, without getting directly blamed for it.

    And as for us Jews retreating from Germany or Europe constituting a kind of defeat for us, all I can say is that there is a time and a place for everything. Europe is not our place. Israel is. Sometimes retreating from battle helps us to fight another day. Such a principle applies when it comes to Europe. Other times we need to stand and fight with pride and strength. That principle applies when it comes to the only proper place for us Jews, which of course is Israel.

    I realize that what I am expressing here is dark and cynical, but it is based on countless centuries of almost unceasing antisemitism that the world has shown us and continues to show us. The world obviously hates us, and so it is time for us Jews to retreat and go home to our Jewish homeland.

  5. dave says:

    I appreciate your sentiments and I wish your son Hatzlacha, but I must say that a full Jewish pull-out from Europe will be no surrender. It will be a smashing victory to remove our people, our brains, our businesses and our money out of Europe and leave them with the miserable masses of mostly male Muslim marauders that they have allowed to repopulate their countries in lieu of having their own babies. Europe is a cauldron of left wing socialism, Islamic hyper-immigration and resurgent right wing nationalism that will invariably meet around the back at the only topic they can agree upon – Jew hating.
    While the security provided for your son’s community may be very professional, it is also something else – very necessary. Why must we live a life like that in every country in continental Europe? And I don’t think that England is too far off from this experience.
    Europe is a blood-soaked Jewish graveyard. I have no warm nostalgic feeling for that.

    • Raymond says:

      Dave, I just want to say that what you expressed here is so identical to my own thoughts, that it makes me wonder if you are really me…shades of the Twilight Zone!

  6. Cvmay says:

    David & Raymond – I’m on board with you.

    There are many other welcoming kehillos that BMG can send a Kollel to.

  7. Joel rich says:

    Speaking about Meshech Chochmas:
    There is a very famous “Meshech Chochma” in Bechukotai. On the Tochecha in Vayikra (26:44), R. Meir Simcha of Dvinsk 1843-1926) adds the following philosophical gloss:

    “If the Jew thinks that Berlin is Jerusalem … then a raging storm wind will uproot him by his trunk and subject him before a faraway gentile nation… a tempest will arise and spread its roaring waves, and swallow, and destroy, and flood forth without pity. Therefore, you will not be calm, nor shall there be a resting place for the sole of your foot is a blessing, for as long as the Jewish People are uncomfortable in exile, they will yearn to return to their homeland.”


    • Raymond says:

      Chills go up and down my spine as I read the quoted words of the Meshech Chochma. Even aside from the very bleak subject we are talking about here, it reminds me in an even general way that perhaps if I delve deeply enough into the Torah teachings of our collective Jewish ancestors, that I will find there a wisdom about the world unlike a wisdom that exists anywhere else, a kind of transcendent wisdom, as if our people sees G-d’s Creation from the point of view of G-d Himself. And I find such a possibility to be the most spine chilling of all.

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