08 June 2018

Holocaust - Part 2

25 Sivan 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Shelach - Mevorchim
As the nation stood at the threshold of Eretz Yisrael and Moses told them that it was time for them to conquer it (Deuteronomy 1:21), a pivotal incident took place. Twelve of the truly great leaders of the nation, one from each tribe, went to survey the Land - and came back with a report that demoralized the people and caused them to lose faith in their ability to occupy their Divinely ordained inheritance. As a result, the entire generation was condemned to death in the Wilderness and Israel's entry into the Land was delayed for nearly thirty-nine years. (Source: Commentary to the Stone Edition Chumash)
This is the Shabbat when we announce the new month that begins next Tuesday night through Thursday - Tamuz. Only a bit more than two weeks into that month, we begin the period of The Three Weeks, culminating in Tisha b'Av - a date which is immortalized in this week's parashah.

Yechezkel HaNavi prophesied that we would repeat this error in the time before Mashiach comes. And before anyone says, "Bad prophecies don't have to happen," let me remind you that every horrible prophecy given about our future has come to pass until now - because we don't ever seem to learn our lessons. Why should we expect that to change at the last moment - especially when we are at rock bottom spiritually?

This is what the prophet of God says...
...I will take you out from the nations and gather you from the lands to which you were scattered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath; and I will bring you to the wilderness of the nations* and I will contend with you there, face to face. Just as I contended with your forefathers in the Wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I contend with you - the word of the Lord Hashem/Elokim
...I will separate from among you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me; I will take them out of the land of their sojourning, but they will not come to the soil of Israel; then you will know that I am Hashem. (Yechezkel 20:34-38)
*The commentary says regarding wilderness of the nations: "You will be punished in a deserted area, so that your enemies do not witness your downfall." This is reminiscent of the reason our sages tell us that the four-fifths who didn't make it out of Egypt died during the plague of darkness.

Where is this "wilderness" today? According to a famous story concerning Rav Aharon Kotler, it is America.
Rav Aharon ultimately emigrated to the United States via Siberia in 1941 to join Rav Moshe Feinstein in building post Holocaust Yiddishkeit in America. It is told that he performed a Goral HaGra to help determine if he should move to Eretz Yisroel or America. It took him to the Pasuk in Shemos 4:27 "And Hashem said to Aharon go towards your brother Moshe in the desert." The desert referring to America which was desert compared to the lush and fertile grounds of the European Yeshiva world. His brother Moshe he understood as Rav Moshe Feinstein. (Source)
Everyone wants to believe that the ultimate redemption will come with mercy. What if it is, but we have failed to recognize it? What if two-thirds were condemned to die and the entirety of the "West" - Europe and America were doomed, but Hashem separated it into two parts with 70 years as a grace period in between? Clearly, the warning went out to European Jewry and they failed to make the appropriate response. Here we are still in the shadow of that horrendous event with warning sirens blaring all around us and still - still - literally millions of Jews are still failing to make the appropriate response. 

Don't say you didn't know.
 I will take them out of the land of their sojourning, but they will not come to the soil of Israel....
Like the original "scouts," who perished in the wilderness, but it did not have to be!

It does not have to be!!


  1. Very interesting about Reb Aron Kotler and the Goral HaGro, but Yecheskel Hanovi says that 2/3 will die in the Midbar so that the goyim won't see, if the midbar is Europe and America, the goyim will definitely know about it.
    Wasn't it Rav Ahron Kotler who was on the same side as Reb Elchonon Wasserman Hy'd, regarding opposing the Establishment of the Israeli state ? This explains why he preferred America.

  2. First of all, the 2/3s figure is borrowed from a different source. It is Zekhariyah who says 2/3s, not Yechezkel. I should have made that clear in the context. Second of all, if Iran makes an EMP on America, or if Yellowstone Volcano pops off or if a giant meteor hits New York or a nuclear bomb takes out LA, information will not be as readily available as it is right now. Don't expect that tomorrow, everything will be working the same way that it is today. That's a big mistake.

    Regarding the rest, the whole point of the story is that Rav Kotler believed Hashem had directed him to America as there was a need there that he could fill. As Hashem's faithful servant, I don't think his personal feelings or opinions had any bearing on the decision at all.

    Seventy years later, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see now 100% that Israel is here today because HKB"H willed it. To deny that in the face of all the evidence now is just perverse.

  3. There is a silent Holocaust going on in America. The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) study http://jppi.org.il/new/en/article/english-raising-jewish-children-research-and-indications-for-intervention/english-introduction/ shows that among all non-Orthodox Jews in the 25-54 age group, just 15% were married to a Jewish spouse and had Jewish children and that does not even touch on Jewish education of the lack of it. According to the Pew Research Institute survey of American Jews http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey/ US Jews are not having children. The majority of Jews in the US are now over 55. Someone asked what the future holds; Not too different from today. A lot of empty Reform and Conservative temples, a lot of full Jewish cemeteries and a lot of non Jewish Cohens and Levis at the local Episcopalian church.

  4. H' yerachem!

  5. We are seeing the end stages of the American Holocaust. It's past time to call it what it is. 50+ years of massive assimilation are reaching their end as non-Orthodox American Jewry breathes it's last breath. WIthin 20 years the only Jews left in the Western world will be Orthodox of various stripes. This is even with all the massive kiruv. So yes, most Jews won't make it out of the American tumah (and yes thats what American culture is if you are Torah sensitive) just like most Jews didn't make it out of Egypt.

    In many ways, the American golus is the hardest golus. We are quite literally loved to death by our gentile neighbors. The end result of this? The most pervasive wholesale destruction of literally MILLIONS of Jewish neshmos lost to assimilation OF ALL TIME.
    Thats even with the massive heroic efforts of kriuv organizations.

    Anyone with a sensitive soul who looks at the US Jewish assimilation numbers since the late sixies cant help but cry. These people had Yiddishe Bubbes and Zaides. All those small towns and cities across the American landscape had Jews in them. Believe it or not. It's basically all gone now. The Reform and Conservative temples are filled with non Halachic gentiles at this point. Go to any Reform and Conservative gathering and you will see what I mean. They are basically all Gentiles. Maybe a few older Halachic Jews in a few places.

    This loss for the Jewish people merits a new kinus on tish bAv. Yes I said it. We just lost several million Jews in a silent Holocaust since the late 60s and no one says a peep. Gone. These Jews aren't coming back.

  6. To Anonymous @6:52 am, a big yasher koach to you. Wish your comment could be posted everywhere where there is a Jewish community, religious and even the seculars. Maybe it would have some worth as a wakeup call to, at least, some Jews.

  7. @ anonymous12/6/18 4:55 PM

    Thanks I guess. Having been born at the tail end of the American Jewish Golden Age, I've only read about the massive Jewish communities that existed all over America. Every major American city had a sizable Jewish neighborhood on par with boro park or flatbush. Places that you would be shocked that there were Jewish communities. Every small town had a Jewish owned dry goods store. Jews were widespread. What happened?

    The majority of the Yidden died in the plague of darkness in Mizrayim. Why? Because they wanted to stay in Mizrayim as spiritually toxic and perverse as it was. Those Jews thought the going was good and better than anything else possible. But that wasn't the Divine plan for the Jewish people and so they had to die as discreetly as possible. Only those Jews who wanted to be part of the divine plan would exit Mizrayim, receive the Torah and enter Eretz Yisrael. And so it was.

    As the article points out, the plan was delayed because of the cheit Meraglim. An entire generation had to die off including Moshe Rabbeinu, in order for the Jewish people to enter Eretz Yisrael. Again like in Mizrayim, there was a seperation process of the Jewish people.

    And on a on throughout Jewish history. Every time the Jewish people goes through a national disaster, a select few survive to carry on the flame until Moshiah. Some might call it a national birur. It certainly looks like it when you really examine Jewish History.

    In the very recent past, the Jewish people experienced a massive birur process during the Holocaust. It's only really recently, we can really talk about that period of history due to such emotional content, and for good reason. But after WW2, only a small hard core remnant of the European Jewry survived. Why only certain souls survived and so so many others did not is known only to Hashem.

    And so it is with the American Holocaust. What we are now seeing is a very small remnant left over from the many millions who once lived in America and totally assimilated. This is the core group that will greet Moshiach in Eretz Yisrael.

    Why it had to happen this way with the American Holocaust is known only to Hashem. Maybe Hashem knew the Jewish people couldn't take another overt WW2 type of birur and gave a sort of soft birur of sorts via assimilation. In any case, American Jewish Assimilation is a tragedy. The worse thing, is that the Jewish people really have not yet internalized what just happened to non Orthodox American Jewry in the past 50-60 years.