I looked and looked but couldn't find the connection. And after falling asleep at the keyboard more times than I'd care to remember, I heard a tiny voice: "Well, maybe it is a bit of a stretch. After all, linking the 68th commemorative observance of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz to the Weberman sexual abuse trial in New York, I 'dunno', seems like a long shot."
What do you think?'
As for me, I think it's arguable.
First, an essential clarification: The Allies: the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and more specifically President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Stalin knew very well what the Nazis were doing to the unarmed, peaceable and peaceful Jews of Europe. Only a miscreant, Jew-hating liar would tell you anything different.
The question "Why then did the Allies not undertake a massive bombardment of the camps and the rail lines leading directly to the gas chambers and furnaces?" is an important one but for another time.
When the Soviets broadcast film footage of what they had found inside, I think it fair to say no one, including veteran, battle weary solders and front line generals had ever before witnessed such absolute degradation and unfathomable disregard of human life. It is said of General George S. Patton, nicknamed "Old blood and Guts, that he became physically sickened by the sight of hundreds of decaying bodies strewn about.
Lest we acknowledge our failure
What could I say that hadn't already been said countless times by far better writers than I? Would it do anyone any good if I were to shout NEVER AGAIN from my roof?
Sitting, staring at the screen.
My son Guri (born 12/18/12 together with his twin sisters Zmira and Hallel) readjusted his comfort zone between my shoulder and neck.
And then the answer came to me as if an epiphany.
We failed to live up to the obligation to remember that every Jewish survivor and each of his descendants is an ambassador for every Jew whose life the murderers of B'nai Yisroel stole.
Perhaps he would like to, but the Jew cannot forsake his history.
With no animus toward any Jew, from those non-orthodox coreligionists to those who've apparently never given much thought to the broadcast symbolism of wearing a kippah, I have only to say: settle your business between you and yourself, then between you and your neighbor. Save G-d for last. He does not count the days.
The conviction this last week of Mr. Weberman in New York State court is a serious blow to the rest of us.
Anxious that what we've seen thus far is but the tip of the iceberg, many fear any further meltdown will show that which many mistook for the absence of sexual criminality within the orthodox community was not quite, well ... the whole truth.
Posing as teachers, tutors, counselors and therapists and shielded by "religious" officials who "counsel" parents against notifying police upon suspicion of sexual abuse of minors, these same abusers have gotten off "scott free" for far too long,
It is painful having to revise so many definitions.
The man behind the beard is not necessarily a tzaddik, a righteous man. Remove his mask: his hat and black suit. Behold a regular-looking fellow like anybody else of whom we have no appearance-based expectations.
There is no man whose closet is free of skeletons or of even the tiniest bone fragment. Even Moshe Rabbeinu, Moses our teacher, was called to account. Anyone you know or know of in our Jewish history whose claim to perfection is greater than that which we attribute to Moses?
It’s high time we stopped relying upon book covers and pictures. Read the book together with your family.
With the coming of Purim (evening of February 23 through sundown of the 24th) may we (re)discover that a tzaddik, who is as he appears and does what he says, is as inseparable from his Torah, mitzvos and gemilius chasadim* as is the sexual abuser of children from his mask.
*Torah, mitzvos and gemilius chasadim: Jewish learning, fulfilling G-d's commandments and acts of kindness