web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Indepth Stories
Dalia Lemkos, HY"D Is this the image you think of when you hear the word "settler?"

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Temple_Mount_aerial_from_south_tb_q010703bsr-300x225

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

voting

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

There was much to learn from Judge Kramer and the examples he set remains a source of inspiration and a resource from which to learn. He was and remains a great role model.

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: