Sunday, May 08, 2005

Yated & Cross Currents Answer Why Chareidim Reject Yom Hashoa

Even when I was a fully paid up member of the Ultra Orthodox camp I felt it odd that a day wasn’t set aside to mourn the great tragedy that was the lot of European Jewry between 1935-1945. After all we belong to a community that has days and rituals to commemorate various events practically all the time. We know how to do it and we do it well. As master bloggers DovBears brother Yitzchock Eyezik notes in his own inimical style we are at this very moment mourning the loss of 24,000 Talmudic students that died some 2000 years ago. We are not listening to music, cutting our hair, wearing new clothes or getting married; and all this for 33 days!! As I say we know how to do it. We have experience. We have very good precedence’s. Within such a context the absence of anything, and I do mean anything, for the Shoa is nothing less than pretty extraordinary.

And so each year as the non-chareidi world prepares to solemnly remember the unspeakable horrors of the holocaust on Yom Hashoa, their embarrassed relative that is the chareidi world is hard at work producing an apologetic which will explain why they cannot, sorry must not, take part.

This year I had the benefit to read two sets of such apologetics. I suggest you read them as well. I can assure you that you will be left with nothing but respect for their position. The first set is on the Yated Neemans website and the second is at Cross Currents.

In case you do not have the time to read them fully I will summarise the main points, as I understand them.

1) The only, and let me reiterate, the only reason why Yom Hashoa was instituted was to commemorate the attempt to fight the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
2) Yom Hashoa is not really concerned with the vast majority of Jews that perished. We would rather forget those that went like sheep to the slaughter.
3) Chareidim are of the opinion that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was a disgrace and a grave sin. The ‘Gedolim’ were against it. (I assume that these are the same ‘Gedolim’ that promised their followers that the war will never happen and that they should certainly not attempt to flee. YS.) It was collective suicide and nothing but scorn should be poured on that whole episode and those wild unthinking Jews that took a part in it. Chareidim therefore eschew Yom Hashoa (see No 1).
4) Chareidim are of the opinion that one should never fight against their enemies. If a nation wants to get rid of Klal Yisroel, then so be it and we should all go like sheep to the slaughter. Chareidim therefore eschew Yom Hashoa (see No 2).
5) Kibutznikim are cowards. They prefer to forget those who did not fight back (as per No 1 & 2) and yet when one went to kibbutzim at night in the immediate post war years one could hear from the huts the screams of survivors as they relived their torments during nigh time nightmares.
6) Chareidim are by their very nature more sensitive than other mortals and mourn more deeply and more painfully than anyone else.

For more of this type of stuff please read the original. As for me I am feeling rather depressed. I wonder why?


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