Monday, September 7, 2009

Teach the young

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.


Anonymous said...

You have some valid points, but in Di Yiddishe Vort there isn't anything to read besides the Holocaust. That's why it will stop printing shortly.

schneur said...

"Illu "the DOS Yiddishe Wort just printed its articles on Jewish life in Eastern Europe DAYENU ! DAYENU and DAYENU.
And just for your info the sister publication in English with its great hashkofa articles written in a gutten Amerikaner Engelis the JO has just died and YBLACH Reb Yosef shlita is keeping his magazine alive and well.
By the way if you are a Yiddish reader amy I recomend the following old issues of the Forvers for your shund novels, DER YID for anti Zionism Nayes Bericht for skarbove news. But if you wish to read abut Jewish Life in Poland Lita, Galicia, Hungary, Germany about gedolim like REb Elchonon , Imre Emes, Red Mayer Don, Rabbiner Hirsch, Chofetz Chaim etc go to the back issues of DOs Yiddishe Vort and thank Reb Yosef for not being like other yiddishe editors.

Not Brisk said...


What article are you refering to? I don't recal RYH blaming the Zionists. He wrote how it was part of a larger tzurah...

evanstonjew said...

I fully agree with Schneur on the great value of Dos Yiddishe Wort. I habe been a constant reader these many years. I also agree with his remarks about the Shearis Hapleita Jews as he calls them and the role the yeshivas played. These same Jews are now called Orthodox Lite or some other such appelation, but that's another story. I don't agree with Schneur's views on Holocaust Education.I have expressed some of my reservations when his comment first appeared.

A common theme here seems to be that as the older generation passes away Orthodoxy is becoming Americanized. Yiddish in its non yeshivish version, some accurate sense of how we are rooted in Europe, what those shtetlech and cities were like are all being lost and replaced with imaginary homelands. And to top it off, the sense of Jewish life here in America from the 30s to the 70s is beginning to fade. For a community so rooted in history and memory, contemporary Orthodoxy seems to float, unmoored from its origins, creating its past to suit its present.

Anonymous said...

Besides the Anti Zionist emunah,our kids got very sophisticated in all legal terms and maneuvering by reading the Der Yid and Der blatt the last 2 decades.Appellate,Stays etc..

Anonymous said...

The great Yiddishe Vort all it this in recent years is photocopy old articles of himself, and being so lazy as to not even retype it (as most other publications would do). So if you have been reading the Yiddishe Vort for some years you will still remember the first and second print of the same article.

Benny said...

You're wong about The Jewish Press. A few years ago I did a research paper on Jewish publications and went through all the old bound volumes of the Jewish Press from 1960 through the late 1980s. The paper always had a heavy focus on the Holocaust and Holocaust-related events and personalities. Articles, columns, book serializations -- it was quite extraordinary, actually.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Schneurs reason that our rabbis don't have the answers to the faith doubts that will arise from discussing that delicate subject is the real reason?
90 percent of people omit the shar hayichud(of the chovas halevovas ) and the morah nevuchim from learning, even tough the do have answers.

Anonymous said...

There are 3 gedolim that offered clearcut answers on the holocaust big question Lomo Osu Hashem Kocho?
Satmar Rov, the Zionist are the cause according to his midrashim
Aim habonim semachu,(munkatcher chosid) because we didn't help the Zionist with binyan horetz, according to his midrashic sources.
Rav Elchonon Wasswerman, because of reform and assimilation,

Anonymous said...

and sdly all three blasphemed for presuming to know the mind of the kadosh barukh hu who did not speak to them as He spoke to the nevi'im. a true believer does not need the prophylaxis of human speculation to be and to remain a believer.these three demonstrate ought but the frailty of their faith in presuming to explain the ultimate mysteries of life.a believer, like a loved one believes and loves unconditionally.

Anonymous said...

If someone bases his theology on Chazal, he has all the rights to say his theory(eventough these people said it with full confidence as if you dont agree with them you are a kofer outside of the Pishtiyaner may hashem take revenge for his blood)
I don't think you have to be a Prophet.