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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Exacting Vengeance on the Gentiles?

Seeing the sight of Jesus on a cross must have made them feel like they were seeing Avodah Zara in the Beis HaMikdash.
A figure of Jesus on the cross defaced in Hebrew opposite the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine, Aug. 14, 2013.

A figure of Jesus on the cross defaced in Hebrew opposite the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine, Aug. 14, 2013.
Photo Credit: Alena Vovchenko / JTA

It would be similar to a Jewish patient being admitted to a hospital run by Catholics which have a crucifix in every room and defacing the one in your room with anti Christian graffiti.  Can you imagine a response by a that was similar to the Breslover response in Uman? ‘We respect other religions but not all of our coreligionists do so please remove the cross from his room or more of them will be damaged and we will end up in a war between Christians and Jews’.

This is not a response. This is an excuse… and a means of trying to get rid of that statue via a subtle threat.

That said – if I were the Ukranian government I would relocate the statue just to avoid conflict and thereby continue the positive impact tens of thousands of tourists have on their economy. But at the same time I would privately resent the reason I had to do so – the disrespect of these Chasidic Jews of my god.

The real solution to this – so that it never happens again – is for the Breslover religious leadership to re-educate their coreligionists to never do anything like that again and instead act like civilized human beings at all times. I’m not even sure if asking them to move the statue politely without any prior vandalism is appropriate. They are your hosts. Be grateful for their hospitality! Breslover leadership has to realize that if they are going to get along with others in the world, they have to teach their flock to behave like human beings at all times… and keep their outrage to themselves.

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Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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