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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem

Jerusalemite Perspectives on Holocaust Remembrance Day:

"Being Parents on Holocaust Remembrance Day
**Credit to Eldad David**

When you’re a parent on Holocaust Remembrance Day, your thoughts are enough to make your heart beat faster. Because, when you’re a parent, and you return from work and your kid runs happily into your arms and you hug him, you know that eighty years ago – which really is nothing – in a place not far away, a father like you gave a last hug to his child before walking into the gas chamber. Or before giving him to a family [to hide him] – without knowing what his future will hold; or maybe they parted simply because the parent wanted his child to run away and survive. And they knew that this was their last hug. How can you hug your child, all the while knowing that this is the last hug?

Being a parent on Holocaust Remembrance Day is preparing a dinner of abundance for you child […] knowing that eighty years ago, you could have been holding this child, his belly swollen with hunger, telling you with the last of his strength, 'Dad, water… Dad…Bread…' And you don’t have anything to give him, and so he dies in your arms.

Being a parent on this day is seeing your child smile and laugh, loving all of him, and knowing that there were a million and a half just like him who were simply murdered. They burnt them, strangled them, shot them, hanged them. […]

Being a parent today is looking at your neighbors, who are just like you, and knowing that eighty years ago, in a different place, other neighbors would have reported you, and your wife or your husband, and your kids to the Nazis, and laughed at your fate.

Being a parent on this day is to be driven crazy by your imagination, thinking of what parents and their children had to go through, and, after taking a deep breath, being eternally thankful for the period in which we are living.[…]"

– Jerusalemites FB group

"Why were the sirens activated in Jerusalem?"
– From the 'Ask Jerusalem' Facebook Group

[Selected Comments:]
– "Because of Barcelona's loss."
– "This is a declaration of war the missiles arrived 😁😁"
– "It's because I slept and they wanted to wake me up."
– "A moment of silence in mourning over the Holocaust of Hitler."
– "People, what is this Holocaust? And what do they mean by it? What did Hitler do? Can someone be helpful? I do not know what's going on."
– "It's a memorial day they have."
– "Once, Hitler ruled Germany. He burned and murdered six million Jews on this day. They remember and activate sirens and stand to mourn."
– "According to Jewish sources, Hitler, head of the Nazi movement during World War II, burned the Jews after he executed them in gas chambers in extermination camps. He took their bodies and burned them. They say that he burned six million Jews during the war, out of 10 million Jews who lived in Germany at that time. There's a law in Israel is called the Nazi Law. If anyone denies that the Holocaust happened they can be punished with five years in prison. Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day."

“In a few days, we will mark the rememberence day for the holocaust. And a week later – the rememberence day for fallen Israeli soldiers. On these occasions, sirens will be heard across the country, and you will all stand in honor of the fallen. We, the Haredim – or at least some of us – will not stand during the siren. And you know what? It’s our right. First of all, us Haredim are not a part of the Zionist ideology. We don’t celebrate the Israeli Independance Day, and don’t mourn the soldiers that have fallen for the country. We believe that keeping the Torah is what protects our people. The Haredi story isn’t the Zionist story, and therefore there is no reason to be joyful or mourn. Secondly: for us, standing during the Siren is considered acting like gentiles. This is not the Jewish way of remembering the fallen…we do it by learning Torah and reciting Psalms. Not by standing in silence.
Israel is a multicultural country, and as such, should respect different sectors and viewpoints. It’s time to respect the Haredi way as well. We are allowed to remember in our own way. We don’t force you to learn Torah – don’t make us stand during the siren.”
-Israel Cohen, Mako.


“To Israel Cohen: I’ve seen your provocative video, and I’d like to voice a different opinion…Basic gratitude compels us, no matter what our views are, to bow our heads and mourn every Jew that was killed or murdered over this Holy earth. I too believe that the Torah is at the core of our existence in this country and in general, but no less than us, so believe the thousands of religious and Haredi soldiers who have combined their faith with a physical sacrifice for my safety and yours. You had a few arguments against standing in the siren, and as a smart woman once told me – when you have two replies for one question, it’s a sign that neither are correct. Because if there isn’t anything to remember, what does it matter which way is the right way to remember? As for your claim that standing during the siren is prohibited because it is the way of the gentiles, you haven’t understood the prohibition correctly. If that was the command, then we wouldn’t be allowed to eat cheese or ride the bus. The prohibition refers to tasteless actions that the gentiles do, or inappropriate ones. Actions with meaning – like standing in honor of the dead – is obviously not prohibited. During my years in different Yeshivas, I’ve been under the tuition of many Rabbis, some with more extremist views than yours, but all of them were of the opinion that in the public sphere, you must stand, otherwise you will disgrace the name of God, and cause pain to the mourning families. So I fail to understand how your decision is helpful to either side, except for going viral, which you have succeeded in. So I, and many other Haredim, will stand during the siren. We’ll also learn Torah and recite Psalms. Two are better than one, don’t you think?”

– Noah Tonik, Kikar HaShabat

"Eighty years ago, World War II and the Holocaust took place, a systematic genocide in which six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. The entire world knew, more or less, and was silent. It’s true that back then they didn’t have internet or the media, like we do today, but it is clear that they could have done something!

Today, in 2018, a holocaust has been taking place in Syria for the past five years, carried out by the dictator. All the while, the state knows, the media knows, the internet knows, the entire world knows, sees, and hears about it, but still does nothing. Where is the U.N.? What about human rights? Where’s Europe? What are they so afraid of? …Now, just like back then, they aren’t raising a finger [to stop it] …Very Sad, and such a pity!"

– Jerusalemites FB group

[Selected Comments:]
– "Indeed, the world keeps on turning. The world knew and was silent, and knows today and is silent. It is outrageous and infuriating, but I guess that for the world’s leaders, oil runs thicker than blood."
– "Take a look at the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, even Hamas and Abu Mazen…I have yet to hear one word of condemnation from the Arab world for what is happening in Syria. It is us and the US who condemn, document, and are horrified. […] This is what happens when the UN and the world’s self-righteous human rights activists focus on us, the world’s most ethical army… No one really cares, and no one does anything."
– "In 2016, there were 22 UN resolutions against Israel, and only one against Syria. So that’s the UN’s answer to the children of Syria: ‘No Jews, no news.’"
-"Shame on the State of Israel. Let’s stop whining about the holocaust. If we can’t help neighbors that are going through a holocaust, we haven’t learned anything."

– "What’s happening in Syria isn’t a holocaust, there are no gas chambers or work camps there. What’s going on there is civil war! And a civil war is not a holocaust."
– [In response:] "Yes, it is similar. So what if then they targeted a specific nation, and now it’s against a specific religion? The situation is the same – thousands of people are killed, most of them innocent civilians. And that’s what you call a holocaust."
– [In response:] "It definitely isn’t [a holocaust]. What’s happening in Syria is sad, but they can end the war tomorrow if they put down their weapons. What’s happening there is a war between Assad and Islamic groups who are fighting because of religion.
In the Holocaust, Jews were murdered because of their race, and in Syria, people are being killed because of their opinions. There are no crematoriums in Syria, and there are no gas chambers. What’s taking place there is sad, but it could end tomorrow if they surrender – and that couldn’t have happened in the Holocaust."
– [In response:] "Do we have to wait for six million to be murdered before we do something? They way people are killed doesn’t matter."

[Attached video shows a main street in Tel Aviv during the siren, video from Jpost: https://bit.ly/2GUdVBT]

#East_Jerusalem #West_Jerusalem #Holocaust_Remembrance_Day #Holocaust #Commemoration #Syria #0202pov