Ukraine’s Past Should Be Remembered
Letter writer Avi Goldstein expresses (“Merciful Children of the Merciful,” Letters, April 1) dismay over some individuals raising the specter of Ukraine’s murderous past aiding and abetting the Nazis YMSM.
He correctly points out that not all Ukrainians participated in the slaughter of innocent Jews, and there were even righteous among them that saved Jews.
The preponderance of the population, however, joyously and wantonly killed Jews with greater zeal than even the Nazis. This is an indisputable fact.
That being said, yes, of course we as decent Jews and human beings shudder at any form of genocidal activity. We do not condone or wish to see any people subject to what the Ukrainians are enduring now. This notwithstanding, there is nothing wrong with bringing up the sordid past of centuries of antisemitic pogroms carried out by this Jew-hating country.
Furthermore, even now as Jewish refugees are attempting to flee the horrors of the Russian attacks they are attacked by the local populace who you would think had better things to do, like flee for their own lives. But no, they must attack Jews, who they feel are guilty of deicide. I am the child of Holocaust survivors who had to endure going through the selection process by the monster “Dr.” Mengele at Auschwitz, and the subsequent murder of most of my forebears whom I never got to know and love. So please don’t lecture about how the Ukrainians’ past should be discounted.
I wish Mr. Goldstein, Klal Yisroel and the world a return to peace, safety and security, and may Moshiach come painlessly and speedily in our times.
Further Reflections on Kaddish
As I near the completion of the 11 months I have been saying Kaddish for my father, I feel the emptiness in the pit of my stomach that David Glickman (“Emptiness and the Kaddishel,” April 8) describes. Yes, I started the year of Kaddish with trepidation, understanding the stress I would be dealing with in trying to “catch a flight” three times a day no matter when or where I may be. Yet, as I reach the end of the year, I now feel the same sense of fear and loss that he describes. Most importantly, for those of us who have lost a parent but are fortunate enough to still have a remaining mother or father, there indeed is much left to help us with this emptiness. There is no greater tribute to my late father, who had a fairy tale marriage to his soul mate for over 63 years, than to honor my mother and make sure I take care of her and cherish her as much as possible, with kindness and compassion. I feel his presence when I spend time with my mother, and I sense he is smiling.
L’zecher Nishmat Alexander Yaacov ben Yitzchak.
The response, or the lack thereof, by BDS supporters to the recent Palestinian attacks on Israel (cover photos, last two issues) shows how utterly phony the BDS movement is. You’d think that a group that prides itself on being concerned with human suffering would condemn the cruel murdering and maiming of innocent civilians. Not a chance. The phony supporters of BDS and the “squad” – Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) – have not said one word to condemn the unprovoked murder spree by Palestinians.
Even Bahrain and the United Arab Emirate found the attacks on Israel to be barbaric and strongly condemned them. But supporters of BDS apparently don’t find the butchering of human beings inhumane enough to speak out against it. Their silence makes it obvious that BDS supporters are cold, heartless people who don’t actually care about human suffering but are basically bigoted antisemites. A slight modification of an old axiom would be in order here: “The road to hell is paved with the pretense of good intentions.”
Furthermore, the unfortunate situation in Ukraine, ironically, shows how dishonest the Palestinian claims of Israeli mistreatment are. In the short few weeks of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, a mountain of video and first-hand evidence has accumulated on Russia’s atrocities. With the Palestinians’ phony accusations for many years of alleged Israeli atrocities, there should have been enough evidence of these incidents to fill many libraries. Where are they? For Palestinians to resort to staging mock funerals of Israeli “victims” and making outrageous false claims of Israeli genocide, both of which they’ve done in the past, they obviously don’t have enough evidence to substantiate their lies.
The only ones who believe that Israel regularly mistreats Palestinians are bigoted antisemites and useful morons who aren’t intelligent enough to understand when they’re being duped.
The Baseball That Was
April 15th marked the 75th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson playing his first major league baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was a milestone for integrating the sport. It was a time when working and middle-class men and woman of all ages, classes, races and religions commingled in the stands rooting for Jackie Robinson and his team mates, regardless of ethnic origin, game after game.
Ordinary Brooklyn natives could ride the bus, trolley or subway to Ebbets Field to see their beloved Dodgers. Everyone could afford a bleacher, general admission, reserve or box seat. Hot dogs, beer, other refreshments and souvenirs were reasonably priced.
Just as Jackie Robinson fought racism in the 1950s, Detroit Tigers Hank Greenberg had to do the same with antisemitism in his time. Robinson and Greenberg both document the long-lasting relationship between African Americans and Jewish sports fans standing together for decades in support of each other.
Great Neck, NY
Injustice, Not Justice
“Justice, justice, shall you pursue” (Deut. 16:20). Why such double injunction? As per one commentator, it’s that justice must only be pursued by just means. That’s not what Tzedek Chicago, a newly designated “Anti-Zionist” synagogue, is doing. In decrying Israel’s creation as “injustice against the Palestinians,” it does great injustice towards fellow Jews. No Ahavas Yisroel from it, either for the state or the people.
What then does it propose? Should Israelis depart for the once-envisioned sites of Madagascar or Kenya, where they clearly wouldn’t have belonged? Should the Mizrachi return to the dhimmitude of their native Arab lands? Should others just scatter worldwide, seeking safe spaces? Should they choose to stay, but submerged among generations of original refugees primed over decades to kill or expel them?
There’s no going back to a pre-Balfour world. Israel is here to stay. It’s time for the Palestinians, and Tzedek Chicago, to recognize that. Jews should celebrate, not denigrate, that modern miracle. Israelis have been victimized overwhelmingly more from the Palestinians than the reverse. They have repeatedly offered peace, only to be summarily rebuffed by Palestinian “leaders” who are now joined by renegade Jews unwilling to recognize Israel’s legitimacy. Our greatest enemies, indeed, come from within (Isaiah 49:17).
Richard D. Wilkins