web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Letters To The Editor

Letters-logo

Prophetic Van Paassen

In “Lag B’Omer 1942, ‘Jewish Amazons,’ and the Pyramids,” (op-ed, May 16) Rafael Medoff mentions the book The Forgotten Ally by Pierre Van Paassen, published in 1943, about the military efforts of the Jews of pre-state Israel during World War II, and how these efforts were kept from the general public.

A devout Dutch Calvinist and world-renowned journalist, Pierre Van Paassen was chairman of the Committee for a Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews. In A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust, Medoff and his co-author, David S. Wyman, recorded that it was Benzion Netanyahu, father of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who got Van Paassen involved with the Bergson Group, which sponsored the Committee for a Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews.

In The Forgotten Ally Van Paassen also discusses the extreme poverty of the Jews of pre-World War II Poland. He begins the book with his memory of Dutch Calvinists praying for the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. These prayers, he said, were offered by “the little people” of Holland – farmers, shopkeepers, etc.

He had also written about pre-state Israel in his autobiography, Days of Our Years. That bestseller, published in 1939, helped to alert Americans to the great danger of Hitler. He also discussed the modern African slave trade, which he witnessed, and Mussolini’s war against Ethiopia, which he covered as a journalist.

Above all, during the 1930s Pierre Van Paassen foresaw the Holocaust, and strongly and repeatedly advocated the mass evacuation of European Jewry to pre-state Israel.

Reuven Solomon
Forest Hills, NY

History Through An Inner Lens

I wish to correct reader Baruch Rabiner’s erroneous assumption (Letters, May 16) that I hold the view that “Jewish children should go through life without being informed about the Holocaust…”

Nowhere in my letter of May 9 was such an idea suggested or even hinted at. To the contrary, my point is that we do teach about persecutions, destructions, and tortures. Nowhere in our Torah-true texts of history are these tragic realities denied or glossed over, nor do these texts paint an “idyllic” picture of only good times in Eastern Europe. But my point was that our emphasis is on the deeper aspects, the spirit.

The history of Jews cannot be viewed the way we view the history of other nations. Our history needs an inner lens.

The Vilna Gaon wrote that it is impossible to know properly the revealed part of Torah without knowledge of its inner part. We can apply this general principle to Jewish history as well – it is impossible to know properly the superficial aspects of our history without knowing the deeper aspects.

We need the “idyllic” (deeper) to properly understand the “real” (superficial). That is why we report both the body and the soul of our history, with an emphasis on the soul.

(Mrs.) Frida Schapiro
Via E-Mail

Political Agendas And The Israel Parade

Michael Brenner’s finger pointing in his letter to the editor last week ought to be aimed athimself and groups like JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) when he speaks about divisiveness.

Brenner draws a faulty analogy between Orthodox, Conservative and Reform groups and an organization such as JQY. What he conveniently ignores is that all three Jewish denominational groups march under the collective banner of Judaism whereas gay groups such as JQY are solely focused on drawing attention to a political cause.

Brenner’s allusion to the fact that a thriving gay community is tolerated in Israel is a similarly inapposite argument. The Celebrate Israel Parade is an expression of a distinctly American religious polity that is not necessarily tied to what Jews feel anywhere else, including in the Land of Israel. American Jews are entitled to encourage and stand for the kind of Jewish state they envisage and yearn for.

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 “Letters To The Editor”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2012.
Hillary Clinton Says She Will Be Better Friend than Obama to Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
U.S. postage stamp honoring Haym Solomon.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Jelgava Synagogue, Latvia

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-303/2014/05/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: