25 July 2014

Carrying the Burden of the Holocaust

27 Tamuz 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

We were a peaceful, peace-loving, culture-admiring, loyal citizenry in all the countries where we were dispersed. We improved and enriched every place where we were allowed to live. We suffered persecution and pogroms and never lifted a finger in our own defense. We just ran to the next place of refuge.

Then came the unthinkable, the unimaginable Holocaust. And finally, we stood up and said - NEVER AGAIN! 

But, in fact, it hasn't stopped. The nations dug through the ashes of the Holocaust and gathered the remnants of hatred and antisemitism and they wrapped it up into a bundle which they then strapped to our collective backs and they've made us carry it for these past seventy years with the admonition, "Now, what was done to you, you must never do to others!" 

Who could have imagined the horror of horror reflected? Of the ongoing victimization of the victim by the very crime which was perpetrated against him, as if he were guilty for what was done to him and must be punished forever?

Finally, God extended mercy to His children and brought them home again - home where we could be free at last from the whims and curses of the nations. But, the thirst for Jewish blood still was not satisfied. 

An enemy arose from our midst, sworn to our destruction, pledged to our annihilation. We were mindful of the burden of the Holocaust which the nations forced us to bear. So, we fed them and clothed them, educated and employed them and attempted to befriend them, hoping to win them over by peaceful means. And they answered our efforts with bloodshed and terror. 

"Enough!" we shouted. "Enough Jewish blood stains the earth! We will defend ourselves!" And the nations rose up en masse - those who perpetrated the Holocaust and those who stood by and watched and they shouted back: "Nazis! You're making a Holocaust!" And they reminded us of the burden we carry: "You're worse than the Nazis because it happened to you and you know what it's like. How can you do to another people what was done to you?" 

There is nothing in the world more obscene than perpetuating the Holocaust by using it as a means to force the Jews to sacrifice their own lives rather than kill the enemy who is attacking them. NOTHING!

My dear fellow Jews - THERE IS NO COMPARISON BETWEEN US AND THEM. The truth is, if the Jews had done to the Germans in Europe what the Arabs have done to the Jews in Israel, the Holocaust would have been justified. But, we didn't. And that is all the difference in the world.


To paraphrase Jewish wisdom and Jewish law: "If they come with weapons to destroy and annihilate you, rise up, take up weapons and destroy and annihilate them first." And that's really what this week's parshah is telling us - destroy them or they will destroy you.


  1. Devash - this one is one of your very best. What else can be said?

    The nations are certainly taking our values and turning them on us. The only way we can stop them is to call them out for the hypocrites they are - and don't apologize or back down from what needs to be done.

    Shabbat Ma'asei Shalom.

    CDG, Yerushalayim

  2. Thanks, CDG. I only wish it weren't true.

    Shabbat shalom! Chodesh tov!

  3. Yes, my dear beloved friend,Israel. you must defend yourselves! Please G-d you said you are their help when in trouble. We depend on you and only you to be your peoples defender of righteousness and truth. No more Jewish blood no more tears HaShem.

  4. Incredible insight. Stripped to the bare bones.