Monday, September 7, 2009
The Cyclone, Coney Island, Summer of '44...
Schneur commenting on Circus Tent: ויהי בשבעים שנה
Tzig: You are correct as far as you go, but you are not going the distance.You seem to place all the responsibility on the parents. If the 2nd and 3rd generation were dependent on their parents and grandparents for instruction in Yiddishkayt (Jewish religion) ochen vay!! We would all be lost, and anyone growing up in the 1950s and early 1960's knows what I am speaking about. Except for a small group of Chassidim and perhaps a few Hungarian Jews all the Shearis Hapleita Jews, including those now walking about in bekishes and beards, were very shvach in Yiddishkayt and not just in minhogim. It was the Orthodox schools that saved the day.
So what transmitted Yiddishkayt? our schools; the day schools, yeshivas, chadorim etc. There Jewish values and dinim were taught. That together with the Jewish culture in their homes created our new world of Orthodoxy. So Reb Tzig, why was the Holocaust not taught in day schools and chadorim of all stripes ? Why is it still not taught? Why in schools where the day starts before 9 Am and ceases after 6PM can 50 minutes weekly not be found to study the Holocaust. Why in summer camps can this not be studied. Are the menahelim scared that their camps will be turned into the type of camp where the grandparents of the kids spent their "good" years.
The question stares us in our face, why are we ignoring the Holocaust? The secular Jewish community started coming to terms with the events in 1980 and earlier, we seem just to be starting, at least certain groups seem to be. Do our "Gedolim" have theological problems? Are they worried about their emunah? Or could it be that most of our present day Gedolim and their parents were in America in 1939 and perhaps feel guilty about having done almost nothing to help their brothers in Europe.... About 10 years ago Rav Moshe Meiselman the grandson of Rav Moshe Soloveitchik wrote an excellent piece about the Holocaust in his journal called Oraisa, and among other things he stated that no generation of Jews ever responded to catastrophe with silence. Not the Churban Bayis Sheni, nor the events of 1492, or the events of 1648-1658 or other gezeiroth. Why the silence???
IN another area; go through years of issues of magazines like Jewish Action, the JO, KFAR CHABAD, Jewish Life (came out until 1973 by the OU) and you find very few articles about the Churban. Only Dos Yiddishe Vort edited by Reb Yosef Friedenson covered the Churban as it should have been. Amazing. In the 1950's and 1960's the survivors were alive and magazines from the whole rainbow of Orthodoxy ignored the Holocaust. I include the Jewish Life, Tradition, Di Yiddishe Heim (I can hardly recall more than a few pieces here) and the JEWISH PRESS. What we did have were pieces by R. Hutner blaming the Zionists for the Holocaust. There was, and to a degree still is, a conspiracy of silence about the Holocaust in the Orthodox world. Thank G-D in many chugim it's changing.