web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Don’t Consign Austin Corbin To Oblivion


Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Don’t Consign Austin Corbin To Oblivion”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Indepth Stories
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

Yossi Klein HaLevi

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: