web analytics
May 3, 2015 / 14 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Pope Comes A Calling

Last week Pope Benedict XVI went to Poland to honor his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. His visit reportedly brought out heightened feeling of nationalism – and in some cases, anti-Semitism – in Poland.


In the most flagrant act of anti-Semitism, Rabbi Michael Schudrich was attacked on Shabbat morning as he was leaving the synagogue. The attacker shouted “Poland for Poles,” as he punched the rabbi and sprayed him with pepper spray. Rabbi Schudrich was not harmed and the attacker got away, despite the synagogue’s 24-hour security.


This was the first time in 15 years that Rabbi Schudrich has been physically attacked, although anti-Semitic remarks have been directed at him in the past.


The pope, on his arrival Thursday, passed through the area of the Warsaw Ghetto and past the Ghetto Monument, but did not stop and meet survivors and Poles who had helped save Jews, as he was scheduled to do. News reporters had gathered at the site to report live on the occasion, and seemed shocked when the motorcade drove by without slowing down.


On Sunday, when the pope visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, he publicly addressed the Jewish issue. He recalled the horrors of the Holocaust and wondered how God could have let it happen.


Unlike the visit of John Paul II to Auschwitz, there was little controversy. The issue of a cross at Auschwitz was not mentioned, and there was nothing like the provocative picture of the chief rabbi complaining to the pope, as on that former occasion. (There had been a widely published picture of Rabbi Joskowitch making a pointed gesture to the pope that many believe led to the rabbi’s resignation.)


In addition to the pope’s prayers for the victims of the German atrocities committed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, there was also a Kel-Maleh recited by Simcha Keller of Lodz, and a Kaddish recited by Rabbi Schudrich.


That the pope seemed generally friendly and open to all people was the popular feeling among those present, although it was pointed out that there was no mention of anti-Semitism or any call for its end.


The Catholic Radio station Radio Maria has long been considered a vehicle of anti-Semitism in the country, and recently the Polish government appointed Roman Giertych as minister of education. Mr. Giertych is a member of a far-right party whose members have a long history of anti-Semitism.


Rabbi Schudrich warned that the inclusion of Giertych and his party in the government will give new strength to anti-Semites. Such warnings were deflected by Prime Minister Kazmirierz Marcinkiewicz when he met with the Israeli ambassador, David Peleg. Marcinkiewicz said, “Bringing representatives of the All-Polish Youth into the government could give the impression that the Polish government will tolerate racism and xenophobia. This is not only false, but it will be absolutely condemned.”


On Monday, Polish President Lech Kaczynski expressed regret to Rabbi Schudrich over the Shabbat attack During their meeting at the presidential palace, the president said he would stand up to anti-Semitism and that Poland was an open, democratic society.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Pope Comes A Calling”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against  police brutality and alleged racism.
Hundreds of Israeli Ethiopians Protest in Tel Aviv, Block Ayalon Highway
Latest Sections Stories
blintze_cake

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

Kupfer-On-Our-Own-NEW

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at the Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 8, at 7:45 am at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  The annual event, which brings together important elected officials and the Westchester Jewish community, is sponsored jointly by UJA-Federation of New York […]

“Like other collaborative members, we embarked on this journey as an opportunity to build on New York leadership’s long commitment to expand and diversify opportunities for Jewish teen engagement,” says Melanie Schneider, senior planning executive with UJA-Federation of New York’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

But Pi Day is worst of all
I want the extra credit bad
But trying to remember many numbers
makes me sad.

Several thousand Eastern European Jews had escaped Nazi death and Soviet persecution by fleeing to Shanghai, China.

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lauder receiving a special album from Rabbi Maciej Pawlak, director of the Lauder-Morasha school in Warsaw.

In 1989 he hosted a dinner for 157 young Jews with the late Rabbi Chaskel Besser and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland was born.

Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/the-pope-comes-a-calling/2006/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: