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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Adolf Hitler’

By The Rivers Of Brooklyn

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

   Next week, Jews around the world will gather together to mark Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.
 
   We will sit down on the floor and read the prophet Jeremiah’s Book of Lamentations while abstaining from food and drink and mourning the calamities and disasters that have befallen our people throughout the centuries on this day.
 
   They range from the biblical sin of the spies in the desert who spoke ill of the Promised Land, on through the outbreak of World War I, the outcome of which paved the way for the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.
 
   In the medieval period, Tisha B’Av coincided with the expulsion of the Jews from various European countries.
 
   It was on Tisha B’Av in 1290 that King Edward I of England signed the edict ordering the expulsion of all Jews from his realm. This disgraceful act was replicated by the ironically named Philip the Fair of France in 1306, and later by Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.
 
   But of course the central theme of the day lies in recalling the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, both of which fell, centuries apart, on Tisha B’Av.
 
   According to the historian Josephus, some 1.1 million Jews died at the hands of the Romans during the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and another 97,000 were taken captive. Many were either sold into slavery or fed to the lions.
 
   It was analogous to a demographic and spiritual Holocaust, one that nearly shattered the Jewish people and sparked a long and painful exile from which most of world Jewry has yet to emerge.
 
   Think about it: all the tragedies and suffering that have befallen the Jewish people over the past 2,000 years – the Crusades and the Inquisition, the Cossacks and the pogroms, on through the Nazi Holocaust – can be traced back to that fateful day, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, when the flames rose up over Jerusalem and consumed the Temple that lay at its heart.
 

   Had the city not fallen, had the Jews not been defeated, the exile might never have occurred, along with all the death and destruction that have accompanied it throughout the ages.

   So there is much to contemplate and grieve for on Tisha B’Av, which is why it has become such a central part of Jewish life.
 
   And this, of course, is as it should be. Our collective memory of the past, as well as our attachment to our heritage and our history, is what has sustained us even during the darkest of periods. Doing so ensures that we do not forget who we are, both individually as well as a people.
 
   Nonetheless, there is something that troubles me each year as Tisha B’Av approaches. I guess, to put it simply, it boils down to this: why are so many Jews still sitting by the rivers of Brooklyn as they remember Zion?
 
   With the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, each one of us has been granted the opportunity to make aliyah, a gift that previous generations could only dream of.
 
   Every Jew who does so is in effect turning back the clock on Tisha B’Av, and inflicting his own defeat on the Roman forces of Vespasian and Titus.
 
   Millions of Jews have already answered the call, leaving behind places such as Moscow and Manhattan to come and help build the reborn Jewish state.
 
   But Israel needs more Jews. It is here, and here alone, that our national destiny is playing itself out, and there is much work that needs to be done.
 
   If the Jews of Monsey and Teaneck, of Flatbush and Boro Park, of Manchester and Golders Green, would only take the fateful step and come home to Jerusalem, it could have a profound impact on the nature and direction of Israeli society.
 
   An influx of tens of thousands of observant Western Jews, committed to tradition and to upholding Jewish values, would immeasurably strengthen the country and place it back on the proper course. What a boost this would be to the people of Israel!
 
   So by all means, go to synagogue next week and sit and mourn for the Jerusalem of the past, as our ancestors have done for generations.
 

   Just make sure that once you get up from the floor, you dust yourself off and come help us to build the Jerusalem of the present, and the future.

 

  

   Michael Freund is founder of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that helps “lost Jews” return to Zion. His column appears the third week of each month. He can be contacted at Michael@shavei.org  

It’s My Opinion: Out Of The Clear Blue Sky

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Several weeks ago an 18-foot chunk from the wing of a cargo plane broke off and fell out of the clear blue sky. The plane had been flying overhead en route to the nearby Miami International Airport. The debris crashed in a mall parking lot. Miraculously, there were no casualties.

 

There was no way to anticipate the perilous ride of the plane that flew over Miami. There are, however, many times that danger could be averted if only individuals would only open their eyes and choose to see.

 

The Jews of Europe originally minimized the menace of Adolf Hitler, yemach shemo. Many thought that he was just another bigmouth Jew hater. Who could take the ranting of this little mustachioed housepainter seriously?

 

Many in the worldwide community view Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as more bluster than serious threat. His outrageous tirades are seen as hackneyed outbursts. How could a guy in such funky little jackets be seen as a real threat?

 

Adolf Hitler was forthright in his plans to annihilate the Jews. He wrote about it in his book, Mein Kampf. For the most part, European Jewry thought Hitler was just another case of a blowhard anti-Semite.

 

Ahmadinejad is up front in his plans to wipe Israel off the face of the map. He has declared his scheme openly.

 

Six million Jews died before the world woke up. The Nazi threat was real. It was vocal, and yet, sadly, very few saw it coming.

 

The Iranian threat is genuine, and yet, when and if a major incident happens, it will be as if the action came out of the clear blue sky. Perhaps it is time that the worldwide Jewish community believes the words of its enemies and takes their threats seriously.

Scratch A Leftist…

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Jay Bennish, the Colorado teacher who told his class that the U.S. “is probably the single most violent nation on planet earth” and that President Bush’s State of the Union speech “sound[ed] a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say,” was given a relatively free ride by the national news media.

Bennish’s much-ballyhooed appearance on the “Today” show amounted to a laughable attempt by host Matt Lauer to spin the controversy as one manufactured by a couple of conservative students who maliciously took their teacher’s statements out of context.

“Not only do we have Jay Bennish pretending to be a geography teacher while aiming to indoctrinate his students in radical politics,” wrote columnist Jay Ambrose, “but we have Matt Lauer…pretending to be an unbiased journalist while misleading his audience about Bennish.”

Reading a transcript of Bennish’s now famous classroom rant, recorded for the ages by an uncowed student, it becomes clear that what disturbs Bennish nearly as much as George W. Bush and U.S. foreign policy is – perceptive readers will have already surmised as much, given the bent of his political beliefs – that ole debbil Israel.

Predictably hostile to the Jewish state, Bennish also reveals himself to be an abject ignoramus on the subject of Israel and the Palestinians. Here’s some of what he had to say on the subject, historical errors and all. (Note to those who may not be all that knowledgeable about the Middle East: using reliable sources, fact-check just about everything that follows.)

“How did Israel and the modern Israeli state even come into existence in the first place?… After the Israel-Zionist movement conducted what? Terrorist acts. They assassinated the British prime minister in Palestine. They blew up buildings. They stole military equipment. Assassinated hundreds of people. Car bombings, you name it. That’s how the modern state of Israel was made. Was through violence and terrorism. Eventually we did allow them to have the land. Why? Not because we really care, but because we wanted a strategic ally. We saw a way to us to get a hook into the Middle East.

“If we create a modern nation of Israel, then, and we make them dependent on us for military aid and financial aid, then we can control a part of the Middle East. We will have a country in the Middle East that will be indebted to us….

“If you were Palestinians, who are the real terrorists? The Israelis, who fire missiles that they purchased from the United States government into Palestinian neighborhoods and refugees and maybe kill a terrorist, but also kill innocent women and children.

“The Sept. 11 attacks were, according to bin Laden, a direct response to our support of the nation of Israel, which they consider to be a terrorist regime that does not have the right to control the land that the Palestinians lived on for over 1,500 years, and they also did it because… Bill Clinton, when he launched the missile attacks into Afghanistan and Sudan and killed thousands of innocent Africans and Afghanistan people – Afghanis – that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or anything. In fact, in Sudan, he blew up the country’s largest pharmaceutical plant, which was producing medicines, alright, um, you know, that’s as far as, in their eyes, that was retaliation for those attacks.

“And so this whole idea of who attacked who first, how far back in time do you wanna go!? This is the whole thing with the Arab-Israeli conflict. Well, who was there first? Well, if you believe the Bible, you say, well, God gave the land of Canaan to the Israelites. But who was in that land when they got there? The Canaanites, who some archeologists would argue are the ancient descendants of the Palestinians. You know.

“Other archeologists say the Hebrews didn’t really come from Egypt. They were actually a group of Canaanites who decided they didn’t like the other Canaanites and developed this story afterward to justify how they killed all their neighbors and took over the land….”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/scratch-a-leftist/2006/03/15/

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