web analytics
December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Don’t Consign Austin Corbin To Oblivion


The Torah tells us, in Parshat Ki Teitzei, Devarim 25:17, that we should “wipe out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And yet it immediately concludes with the statement “you should not forget.”

In order not to forget, each year before Purim we have a special reading of the Torah reminding us of what Amalek did to us in the wilderness as we were fleeing Egypt. Twice a year in the weekly Torah cycle we are reminded of Amalek. On Purim we read Megillat Esther, which chronicles the evil deeds of Haman, a direct descendent of Amalek. Children in yeshivas regularly learn in Tanach about the wars of Amalek with the Israelite kings, which occurred centuries after the Hebrews’ initial encounter with the Amalekites.

If we read about Amalek so often, what then does the Torah mean when it tells us “wipe out the memory of Amalek from under heaven”?

The Torah is teaching us that we must wipe out everything that Amalek stands for. As long as there is hatred, racism and intolerance in the world, we must never forget what the Amaleks, the Hitlers and even the Austin Corbins have done and are doing. If we don’t learn from the past, we are doomed to have history repeat itself.

Recently, there have been a number of newspaper articles announcing the “newly discovered” fact that Austin Corbin, for whom the border street between the Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach communities in Brooklyn is named, was a virulent anti-Semite. This is a little bit of history that many of us in the Jewish community have been aware of for a long time.

(For a detailed account of who Austin Corbin was, please see the front-page essay in next week’s Jewish Press.)

Currently, a large number of Jewish families – including four Orthodox rabbis who serve various congregations in the community – reside on Corbin Place. Those rabbis, as well as most community members, do not want the name of the street changed.

The very fact that there is a vibrant, growing Jewish community living on the street named after the man who wanted to make this community Judenrein is a slap to his memory. Removing his name would actually permit him to escape into the fog of history and not be remembered for the terrible man he was.

If the name of Corbin Place is changed, will there be newspaper articles 50 years from now reminding future generations about hostile anti-Semites like Austin Corbin?

I had always believed that the money spent on Holocaust memorials and museums would be better spent on yeshiva education. Hitler wanted to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. He failed. Every time a child goes to yeshiva and becomes a better Jew, it’s as if we’re spitting on Hitler’s grave and memory.

But I have come to understand that Holocaust memorials and museums are needed to remind us that the hatred and racism that existed in Nazi Germany still exist in the world today. If we forget this lesson even for a moment, that hate will reappear in our own midst and to our own detriment. There are always going to be Amaleks, Hitlers and Austin Corbins ready and willing to finish what their forebears were unable to.

Only when hatred, racism and intolerance are wiped off the face the earth will we have the luxury of forgetting about our enemies and finally consigning their names to oblivion.

That is why Corbin Place should not have its name changed.

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 “Don’t Consign Austin Corbin To Oblivion”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kerry, the one who is short in size and common sense, with Kerry, the one who is tall in size but short on common sense.
Abbas Bucks Kerry and Runs to the UN to Throw Obama under the Bus
Latest Indepth Stories
Middle-East-map

Is not Israel’s policy of “territory for peace” with Arab leaders criminally irresponsible?

Israel Palestine Flag

Israel must develop it’s truthful message to be as clear & simple to comprehend as the Arab’s lies

School of Athens by Raphael (Aristotle on right holding his work, "Ethics")

2 basic aspects of Aristotelian thought remarkably like Jewish thought: “Involvement” & “Purpose”

Ben-Tsvi-122614

“Farming still allows some unique opportunities for mitzvah fulfillment that a city dweller never meets.”

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

More Articles from Jerry Greenwald
Popular physician and media personality Dr. Mehmet Oz is flanked by bestselling author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and United Hatzalah of Israel founder Eli Beer during a visit to United Hatzalah’s Jerusalem headquarters. Dr. Oz and his family are visiting Israel this week accompanied by Rabbi Boteach on a trip facilitated by philanthropists Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson.

As a young EMT on a Jerusalem ambulance, Eli Beer realized that, stuck in brutal urban traffic, they often arrived too late to help. So he organized a group of volunteer EMTs — many on foot — ready to drop everything and dash to save lives in their neighborhood. Today, United Hatzlah uses a smartphone […]

The Torah tells us, in Parshat Ki Teitzei, Devarim 25:17, that we should “wipe out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And yet it immediately concludes with the statement “you should not forget.”

In order not to forget, each year before Purim we have a special reading of the Torah reminding us of what Amalek did to us in the wilderness as we were fleeing Egypt. Twice a year in the weekly Torah cycle we are reminded of Amalek. On Purim we read Megillat Esther, which chronicles the evil deeds of Haman, a direct descendent of Amalek. Children in yeshivas regularly learn in Tanach about the wars of Amalek with the Israelite kings, which occurred centuries after the Hebrews’ initial encounter with the Amalekites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dont-consign-austin-corbin-to-oblivion/2007/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: