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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘legacy’

Obama’s Cultural Rape

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Rape is an ugly word, an even uglier deed. I don’t use the word lightly or easily. Rape is a crime of violence, not passion; of destruction. The intent is to take the soul, destroy the body. It is an injustice beyond measure, a violation of humanity. No, I’ve never been raped but I know women who have been.

When someone uses the word “holocaust” – even without the capital letter, it bothers me because too often it is thrown around easily and rather than elevate the crime, it diminishes, just a bit, the Holocaust. I think rape is the same way – people use the word so freely, it takes away from when a real rape is inflicted on a person.

And yet…and yet, I’m going to use it here because it is the only word I can think of that applies, and the man ultimately responsible for this rape, this cultural rape – is Barack Hussein Obama – and yes, I’m using his middle name because he felt fine using it in Cairo and other places. And perhaps, just a little, that middle name plays a role in what he is about to do.

The full story, credit for it, comes from and goes to Caroline Glick in her article in the Jerusalem Post, “Our World: A miracle and an Outrage.” The gist of it is – by some miracle, 2,500 years of heritage, of holy books and more survived the devastation and the almost entire complete exile of the Iraqi Jewish community. Saddam Hussein (yeah, there’s that name again), stole over 2,700 Jewish books and writings from the Jewish community. He stored them in some basement to rot and by some miracle, invading US troops found the waterlogged remains.

Amazingly enough, the troops and leaders realized the magnitude of what they had found and the collection was taken to the States, refurbished, renewed, reclaimed at a cost of $3 million dollars. I don’t know how, but I’m willing to raise the money to pay the Americans back for this kindness.

But…here comes the outrage about which Caroline Glick wrote. The American government proudly put their accomplishment on display. Good for them. The exhibition at the National Archives runs through January – that is the scheduled date of the cultural rape about to take place. On or around that time, Obama and the State Department feel it is their responsibility to return the archive to its rightful owners. And I commend them for this decision as much as I condemn them for being too stupid to know who those rightful owners are. No, Mr. President

I believe that the Israeli Ambassador to the United States should request an immediate meeting with the United States President. I believe our Prime Minister must, in no uncertain terms, make it clear that the owners of the archives are the Iraqi Jews – who live primarily in Israel and that to send the archives, these holy books, “back” to Iraq is tantamount to destroying them. Obama might as well blow them up in Washington for all that sending them back to Baghdad will accomplish.

It is hard to believe that caring human beings would not do all in their power to stop a rape they know is about to take place – well, here’s our chance. We know where, we know when – now it is up to each of us to stop it.

Obama – what do you want to stop this travesty? Do you want 3 million dollars? We will raise it. You want a request from the Iraqi Jewish community – I’ll see to it. You want the Israeli government to request it – Bibi, please, do this before it is too late.

Just was what was stolen by the Nazis has long been recognized as belonging to the victims of the Holocaust, the archives belong to the Jews from whom Saddam Hussein stole them. They are not, and never were, the legacy of Iraq – rather, they are the legacy of a small community that was all but hounded into exile, only to re-establish themselves in Israel.

The archives should be donated to the community here in Israel, to a museum they established as a true legacy to what was once a thriving Jewish community. These holy books never belonged to the Iraqi government, Saddam Hussein, or the greater Iraqi people. To deny the rightful owners, to turn these books over to the Iraqis is an abomination, a cultural rape of 2,500 years.

Please help – write to Washington and demand that the archive be given to their rightful owners, the Iraqi JEWISH community, largely represented in Israel and no where else.

Please write to your Congress representatives and ask them to add their voices against this injustice.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

In History’s Footsteps: A Family’s Roots and Legacy

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Two months ago I was standing on a single dirt road in a tiny village in Ukraine. No cars were in sight; horse-drawn wagons passed by. People were pumping water from wells in front of their homes. Horses were pulling plows in the fields. The town was Maydan, where my father grew up. My sister and I had returned to our roots.

My father, Meyer Tannenbaum, who died nine years ago at the age of 93, told many stories of the old country. Maydan, at that time, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although my father was not a romantic, the cherries were sweeter, the forests were thicker, the water was purer than anything we had experienced.

These stories were supplemented by Chana (my Tanta Anna), three years younger than my father, who will, God willing, celebrate her 100th birthday on July 7.

My dream was always to return to my father’s birthplace.

My father was the youngest son in a family of five boys and two girls in Maydan. They were one of three Jewish families in a village of 65 Ukrainian and Polish homes. His parents operated a tavern, which had been leased to the family for generations by the government. In addition to the tavern, they owned rich farmland, fruit trees, livestock, and were quite comfortable. Running the tavern required hard work and long hours.

In recounting stories, my father would invariably touch upon the benevolent Franz Josef, emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for more than 60 years. Much beloved by the Jews, Franz Josef provided them with unusual protection against the growing forces of anti-Semitism in the region. He began his rule in 1848, and continued until his death in 1916.

The family’s favorite story about Franz Josef is told by my aunt. Prior to our trip, my husband and I spent hours visiting with my aunt and videotaping her memories. She speaks Yiddish, Polish, Ukrainian and English, and sand to us and recited poetry in all those languages. Her most memorable even occurred when she was six years old and the emperor visited the town.

How extraordinary it must have been for the people of Maydan to have had Franz Josef come to their tiny village. Chana was given the honor of offering him a cup of water from the well that made the town famous. Franz Josef drank the water, bent down, and kissed my aunt on her cheek.

The nearby village of Gologory had a Baron Hirsch School that my father attended between the ages of six and ten. He walked three kilometers every Sunday afternoon to the school with a loaf of his mother’s home-baked bread, boarded for the week with the rabbi, returning Friday afternoon for Shabbat.

He always spoke fondly of those early school years, as he was one of the brightest pupils and the family talked about sending him to the university to study medicine.

At school he learned German, Polish, mathematics, literature, as well as all the Hebrew subjects. But the school closed at the start of World War I, effectively ending my father’s very promising formal education.

My aunt Chana went to the local Ukrainian school across the street from her house. She knew all the stories of the local population, was very well liked by her teachers, and worked hard in the tavern to help her mother. She was famous for making the best potato pancakes in Galicia, something I can confirm because years later she disclosed her secret and taught me to make them, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Then there were the hushed-up stories, the ones that were supposed to stay within the family confines. Now, almost 100 years after the incident, I still tell this one in a whisper; it was to dramatically alter the fate of the family:

Betty Salz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/in-historys-footsteps-a-familys-roots-and-legacy/2007/07/04/

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