Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#112 - Holocaust Memorials - Meaningful or Worthless?

On this past Shabbat, there was an unusual phenomenon, especially for Jews living outside of Israel. You see, in most years, the Parshiyot of Matot & Mas'ei, the last two Parshiyot of Sefer Bamidbar/Book of Numbers, are read combined in order to finish the Torah on time on Simchat Torah, This is especially true outside of Israel where two days of Yom Tov/Jewish holiday is observed, and so if the second day of the holiday falls out on Shabbat, then a section of the Torah related to the holiday is read in lieu of the regular weekly Torah portion, and then the Diaspora Jews wind up being behind the Torah reading that takes place in Israel by one Parsha until there is an occasion of doubling Parshiyot. However, this year for the first time in 27 years outside of Israel, Parshat Matot was read as an only Parsha this past Shabbat, and Parshat Mas'ei as a separate Parsha will be read this coming Shabbat. Hence, some who recently got married shortly following earning a master's degree, and were never in Israel before during the summer, will for the first time in their lives be hearing these two Parshiyot being read separately, never having happened before getting married.

During most years, the day on which more verses of the Torah is read than on any other day of the year, aside from Simchat Torah when a part of the last Parsha of the Torah is read over and over again to give everyone a chance to be called up to the Torah reading, is the Shabbat on which the Parshiyot of Matot & Mas'ei are read, coming out to a total of 244 verses, aside from repeating the last three verses for Maftir! As separate Parshiyot, they consist of 112 verses & 132 verses respectively.
But we know of six other such combinations in which the total amount of verses of two combined Parshiyot don't come out to nearly 244 verses; yet these other Parshiyot are read more often as separate Parshiyot than Matot & Mas'ei. The prime example of this are the Parshiyot of Nitzavim & Vayeilech when combined are a total of 70 verses, which is still far less than the average amount of verses read on a Shabbat with only one Parsha; yet half the time, they are read on separate Shabbatot - Nitzavim as 40 verses, and Vayeilech as 30 verses, the Parshiyot with the least amount of verses in the Torah. What is the deal here?

While there is more than one reason that can be given for this, I just came across somewhere an amazing Gematria. The first verses of BOTH Parshiyot Matot & Mas'ei have the same exact Gematria - 3,324! None of the other 52 Parshiyot have this Gematria phenonemon like this. But what is also amazing is that in THIS YEAR - when you add this number 3,324 to the number 2,448, as it was Year 2448 of the Jewish calendar when the Jews left Egypt - the Exodus being mentioned once again in the first verse of Parshat Mas'ei, it comes out to the sum of 5,772; and as Hashem first created the world in Year 0 (and Adam was created on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of Year 1 according to some sources), we are in essence in the 5,772th year since Creation (though we are in Year 5771)!

So, we have here two major times in history - the Creation of the world, as narrated in the very beginning of the Torah with Bereishit Bara Elokim - "In the beginning,
G-d created the heavens and the earth", and the Exodus - Anochi Hashem Elokeicha "I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt from the house of slaves", the first of the Ten Commandments. Even so, these two events were primarily PREPARATION steps for the next step - the Creation of mankind, the one set of creatures that are expected to serve G-d while all other creations are around to help assist mankind fulfill his or her mission; and the Exodus was the beginning of the purification process for the Jews to be ready to receive the Torah. Indeed, there is an intrinsic connection between the day of the creation of mankind and the day that the Torah was given, because for the sixth day of creation when mankind was created, the Torah states Yom HaShishi - THE sixth day, not stating the word THE with the previous days of creation, to hint to THE sixth day of Sivan, the date that was slotted for the Torah to be given.


As this year, Parshat Matot is finally being read as a separate Parsha, especially outside of Israel. In most years, as this Parsha is combined with the next one, pulpit rabbbis may have a field day either talking about vows and oaths, which is in fact part of the 613 Mitzvot/Commandments, or about the war with Midian who caused the Jews to sin, or about the tribes of Reuben and Gad who prefered the pasture land that they were presently on to the long awaited Biblical Land of Israel, or some other popular theme found in the following Parsha that is normally read on the same Shabbat. However, most probably overlook the ending of this Parsha since it is usually read with the next Parsha, and so it isn't all that noticable, except to the Ba'al Koreh/Torah reader, as there is an unusual note on a word in the last verse of this Parsha.

To note, Parshat Matot consists of 112 verses, and this is my 112th Post. So, after the above being written, let us turn to this 112th and last verse of the Parsha. It states that Novach, a member of the half tribe of Menashe who joined the tribes of Reuben & Gad in settling the current land that they found themselves in, went and captured Kenat and its surrounding towns, and renamed the area Novach after himself.

Now, looking at the word Lah "for it", there is an unusual cantillation note called the Mercha Kefula "double Mercha". This seems to replace the pronounciation of this letter Hei as usually demonstrated with a dot in the midst of this letter with certain words. On this last point, Rashi notes quotes Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan, that since the name Novach didn't stick as the new name for the area, this letter is pronounced as a "weak Hei", without a strong emphasis on the pronunciation or accent on the letter Hei in this word.

The unusual Mercha Kefula note that is found on this word is shaped with two of the same symbol, with two of the Mercha note instead of just one. In Hebrew, this is called a Kefula/double note, instead of saying the "two Merchas". Perhaps the connotation in this final verse is that Novach wanted to, so to speak, duplicate something for himself so his name would not be forgotten - naming an area after himself, the same way that Yair, another member of the tribe of Menashe, who did the same thing, since he didn't have sons to inherit his land after he would leave this world. At least in Novach's case, the name did not stick for whatever reason - perhaps the name Novach didn't sound quite cool. However, the Torah seems to set aside a whole verse to mention this accomplishment of his, even though it was forgotten by others before long. In time, this turned out to be the final verse of Parshat Matot, which is read again as part of the Maftir. But even with the Torah mentioning his name, Novach seems to have a little hard luck, since in most years, this is not the last verse read for the weekly Torah reading as this is read as an Aliyah with the combination of the beginning of the next Parsha.

Now mind you, the Torah is not talking about the land of Israel proper. How holy this land was in comparison with the Land of Israel that the other nine and a half other tribes were ready to settle in, may be a question that leads to a rabbinical dispute. And while at this, the Torah seems to give special attention to Novach for one verse; but even at this, he is not even mentioned directly with the tribe that he was a part of, unlike with Yair of the previous verse. And unlike the name Yair which is a name given to some Jewish boys, you never hear of the name Novach, and with what I mentioned about Novach so far, it is probably not considered a very lucky name. Nevertheless, the Torah felt it necessary to spend 11 more words, consisting of 39 letters to mention Novach's temporary accomplishment.

Actually, for Novach himself, this was a permanent accomplishment. In fact, for most other people who help build a city in Israel, aside from the fame in this world for it, their main reward is the eternal reward for help building a place in Hashem's holy land. In Novach's case, since he lived before the Chumash was concluded, aside from taking a part in the conquest of land that at least was quasi-holy in conjunction with the Land of Israel that was clearly Hashem's holy area, he faught off the non-Jewish idol worshiping elements off the land, and then stuck a sign in the ground marking it with his name. For this, aside from his eternal reward, he got his name to be permanently etched in the holiest and most popular book in the world - the Bible, particularly the Penteteuch which is also written as a Sefer Torah - the holiest article in Judaism, as the final verse of the 42nd Parsha.


These Parshiyot of Matot & Mas'ei are ALWAYS read during this saddest and tragic part of the Jewish calendar called the Bein HaMetzarim - which literally means "Between the straits", and typically called the "Three Weeks", referring to the period of time from Shiva Asar B'Tammuz - 17 Tammuz through the date of Tisha B'Av - 9 Av, a total of 22 days. As time progresses during this period, the Halachot/laws of mourning for the events of this period increase; meaning, we follow greater stringencies as the days progress, increasing from Rosh Chodesh Av, then the week in which Tisha B'Av occurs, or from the 7th of Av, when the enemy first entered the Temple shortly before its destruction beginning with near the end of the day of Tisha B'Av. In any case, this phrase Bein HaMetzarim comes from Megillat Eicha which is read on Tisha B'Av. This phrase can also be read as Bein HaMitzrim - "Between the Egyptians" not changing any of the letters, but only the vowels.

The problem that the Jews had, especially before the destruction of the first Temple, is that they were quite assimilated with non-Jewish life, which included idolatry, not differing from the early days in Egypt where Jews also worshiped idols, but got redeemed anyways because of good qualities that they did have. However, unlike in Egypt where they were in a most spiritually polluted land without the official spiritual guidance of the Torah; in this scenario, the Jews were living on their own holy land that Hashem granted them which included the Temple and Torah scholars in their midst. This time, the Jews were held to much higher standards but failed miserably. In fact, shortly before the Temple destruction and Jewish exile to Babylonia, King Tzidkiyahu of Judea disobeyed Jeremiah the prophet and joined Egypt in its rebellion against Babylonia. However, unlike Egypt, Jeremiah gave the king and the Jews warning about the impending doom of the king of Babylonia coming to wreak destruction on Egypt - and on Israel as well if the Jews wouldn't listen to both avoiding partnerships with Egypt and following the Torah.

Time after time in Jewish history, tragic events have happened, but some Jews never quite seem to get why these things happen. Time and again, some Jews think that the way to avoid anti-Semitism is to be friends with the neighboring folks, forgetting of their own special mission as Jews who are here as Hashem's soldiers, as eloquently described in this Parshat Matot when 1,000 Jews from each tribe fought the Midianites, not for preventing Jews from inheriting land, but for causing the Jews to sin. In a more spiritual sense, this war represented the spiritual war that we constantly have with the Yetzer Hara/Evil Inclination in our attempt to do Mitzvot instead of Aveirot/sins.

Well, we know all too well what happened after some Jews in the early 1900s wanted nothing more than to be a good German, or of whatever other free nationality that they belonged to; in some cases, being more of a German or whatever other name than the Germans themselves. While it may have not been so obvious at first, but as with past Jewish history, non-Jews have hated us and attempted to harm us whenever whether there is a financial crisis or if the Jews are the main ones who have the money. And so, Hitler who made it a point to eradicate the Jewish race, reached out to non-Jews who already were not too happy with the Jews, which began with Kristallnacht. The rest is history.

After all is said and done, there are nearly 120 Holocaust memorials or museums in the world. Most countries on this list have only or two of them. Israel has five, most notably the Vad Vashem one which is right next to the offical burial place of fallen Jewish soldiers and the deceased Prime Ministers and Presidents of Israel. The United States has over 30, and guess who tops the list with over 50 - France!

It seems that the countries with the most assimilation with non-Jews are the countries with the most Holocaust memorials/museums. The United States was a hotbed for Jews to assimilate for centuries, even as Jews who reached the shores of the "Goldene Medina" threw their holy Tefillin/phylacteries overboard, for now, they could "live free". The fact that some of them worked in sweat shops some 16 plus hours for seven days a week, forgetting that they could have made life a little easier on themselves by not working on Shabbat, didn't quite shake them to think that perhaps they traveled to the wrong country, and that perhaps, they would have been a little better off calling Israel, or Palestine, or whatever it was called in those days, home. Rabbis who traveled to the United States in the 1700s and 1800s in the hope of having a pulpit found themselves quite often to be challenged by Jews who were followers of the Haskala, or what is known today as the Reform movement, which was not quite the same as the strict religious standards in Poland and Russia.

In France, Jews were also assimilated earlier on, especially with Napoleon who allowed freedom of rights, which was the green light for many Jews to spit on Judaism in this country as well. To this day, many Jews in France still quite don't get it, even as the Moslem Arabs are controlling the country more and more every day, and half of the Jewish French youth feel that they have no future in this country.

And so, it seems that the more that Jews are assimilated, the more that the Holocaust is an obsession to them. Now, of course I'm not taking about the Holocaust survivors themselves, even as there are less of them each day as they pass on. I am talking about the next future generations who didn't go through these horrors, and want to make sure that "never again", we Jews will have to endure what was allowed a mere 65-70 years ago, which included the United States turning back a ship of 900 Jews escaping the earthly Hell, only to return and perish in it.

Yes, when Rabbi Meir Kahane, may G-d avenge his blood, exclaimed "Never again", he knew exactly what he was talking about. He knew that the non-Jew (yes, there are many good non-Jews who love Jews and Israel without attempting to convert them to their religion, but of course we are talking about the average non-Jewish person) can't stand the Jew's existence. When it comes to anti-Semitism, there is no logic. It doesn't matter what the Jew intends to do to make non members of his religion to be happy. When the non-Jew looses or the Jew gains, this is all that matters to the non-Jew to make him bitter jealous of the Jew.

While some Jewish Zionists, heading the call of Theodore Herzl and Ze'ev Jabotinsky, packed their bags and arrived in Palestine before the Holocaust, escaped the earthly Hell and toiled and fought much to live in the Biblical homeland, this was only part of the answer. Even in those days, it was at best controlled by the British who were hardly better than the Nazis and hung Jews. However, this was only part of the answer because only living in Israel with observance of the Torah completes the picture as to what a Jew is supposed to be and live like. It is only in this fashion that the non-Jew respects the Jew, even if he still hates him. As we see today in Israel, most of the government, judges and police work against the best interests of the Jewish people, wishing to placate to the Moslem Arab demands, or expect to hear a tongue lashing from virtually all the anti-Semitic countries, which is just about the whole world, which includes the United States. However, if they were to follow the Torah instead, while at first Israel would hear ranting and raving, but at the end, we would gain everyone's respect, and even the blood thirsty Arabs would know that there would not be a chance, not physically or spiritually for that matter.

Even so, at least in Israel, Jews are one step closer to the truth, and so aren't obsessed with so many Holocaust memorials. After all, they are presently living in a Holocaust of their own, with the constant wars, programs, and bombings that the Arabs inflict on Jews, aside from the memory of the fallen soldiers. However, this is not quite the sentiment for Jews living in the United States and France. Far too many Jews in these countries are far more worried about who will tell the story once all the Holocaust survivors pass on than who will tell the story of the Exodus in the next generation. To this day, there are numerous Jewish families of various religious or non-religious affiliations who will have some form of a Seder on Passover night. However, we know all too well what happens in the Holocaust that Jews create today when they marry out of the faith for the first time after some 3,800 years from their great ancestor Abraham the first Jew, or when the non-Jewish spouse goes through the motions of Jewish conversion which is usually not Halachicly valid to begin with, and then on the first Christmas following marriage, there is a Christmas tree in the home which may be accompanied by the non-Kosher Chanuka Menorah (A Kosher Menorah consists of the settings for the candles to be even, and has to be lit the old fashioned way, and not electric). And so then, what is the chance of having a meaningful Seder when not everyone at the table even belongs to the Jewish faith? In time, certainly the next generation who is not Jewish or don't view themselves as Jewish even if they are because of their mom, will be doing other things on Passover night than celebrating the Seder that they never understood was about if they even attended one in their youth.

By the way, a word on having the Seder (which literally means "Order")- the whole purpose of remembering what happened to us Jews in Egypt being slaves isn't simply to celebrate the fact that we Jews were once slaves and now we are free - for many nations could celebrate the same type of thing, and for us Jews, we were enslaved time and again by other nations since then. However, more than just the physical slavery was the freedom from the forces of spiritual contamination which were near to permanently damaging the Jewish people if we would have tarried in Egypt just a little longer, and the ultimate goal of being freed from slavery was to now being a servant instead to Hashem by accepting the Torah and observing its Mitzvot, the climax of this being the day of Matan Torah/Giving of the Torah a mere seven weeks later, in effect, the Bar Mitzva of the Jewish people, being kicked off by the declaration of the Ten Commandments by Hashem. Hence, while the Torah tells us to remember the day that we left Egypt, its ultimate purpose is not simply to "remember" a piece of history, but for the ultimate reason that is represents.

Now, I can imagine the reaction of a non-observant Jew who is what I call a "Holocaust Jew", or a follower of the Holocaust movement which is about paying allegiance to the Holocaust, reading my post. "Oh yes, it's easy for you who has always been an Orthodox Jew to criticize others who aren't like you. In fact, you sound like you don't have any relatives who perished or survived in the Holocaust like I have. You think that because you are religious, you are above everyone else and feel free to criticize anyone who doesn't think like you do. For that matter, Hitler didn't care if we Jews were religious or not, he murdered us anyways, so think twice before you know what in the hell you are talking about!"

Yes, I will address this hypothetical reaction. It so happens that my mom's parents used to receive letters from some relatives in Europe before the Holocaust, but the letters stopped at one point, and it seems like they perished. However, I for one would not even be able to tell you how they were related, guess they were distant relatives. In any case, it so happens that my grandparents or great grandparents arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, so I am certainly not descended from anyone directly affected by the Holocaust.

I will say that some non-observant Jews seem to mean well. While not having been raised in what is called in an "Orthodox" Jewish background, they will not necessarily keep Shabbat, eat kosher, or follow the laws of family purity. However, they keep Judaism "in their own way". Indeed, there are some to this day, and I know for a fact because I dabbled in Jewish matchmaking at one point, who look to marry only someone Jewish, even if they themselves are clearly not observant of Judaism. I have Jewish relatives who at the very least, if not called Sabbath observant, will not only attend High Holiday services, but will have a Seder on Passover night, and follow the basic Jewish laws of marriage and burial.

The big problem is when what is considered a major thing is treated as a minor thing and the minor thing is considered a major thing. Yes, we should indeed never forget what the non-Jews have done to us, and in fact, there are three Mitzvot about the Amalekite nation alone that instruct us to remember what they did to us, not to forget what they did to us, and to wipe out their memory. However, memorials and museums only go so far in themselves. Aside from all the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars spent on these Holocaust artifacts and fancy shmancy designs to make sure that "we never forget", they can have only so much meaning without the observance of Judaism. Think of what could have done with all this money, some of which was no doubt donated by people who at least thought they wished to donate to Jewish causes, when Jews who live the life of poverty in Israel or elsewhere could have been fed or institutions of Jewish education could have been founded.

To give credit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, it has a registry that has helped Holocaust survivors to reunite with one another. However, for the most part, when people intend to memorialize the names of departed ones, while it may serve as a temporary psychological way of dealing with the tragedy of the Holocaust, it doesn't do so much, at least spiritually, of memorializing 6,000,000 Jews. If they were allowed today to tell us what they want, they would be screaming at us to learn Torah and do good deeds in their memory, especially the ones who didn't live such a lifestyle but were murdered as Jews anyways. Of course, for those who don't live much of a spirtual or religious life, this concept may not be well understood to them, but the Torah has the answer to every dilemma that we have in life.

Aside from this, many of these Holocaust followers defeat the whole purpose of memorializing the Holocaust. To begin with, it is made to sound like a religion to the next generation, and so it is hardly surprising that the BAR "Mitzva" is probably the last positive Jewish experience that the boy will experience, and the next thing you know, he's busy having sex with girls - Jewish or not, getting piercings, tattoos, drinking beer with the college guys, if not into heavy intoxicating beverages or drugs. To such kids, the Holocaust and attending services in the Temple only on the most solemn days of the Jewish calendar rather than on happy occasions other than the worthless Bar or Bat Mitzva ceremony does little good in advertising the beauty of Judaism.

There are Jews who declare "Never Again", but create Holocausts of their own. As the vast majority of assimilated Jews are liberal Democrats who pretend that they vote for a president who "loves Israel", which means that they have every intention voting for a president who is for Arabs and "Palestine" who mumbles a few words about Israel being a friend of the United States, they are for whatever goes against Judaism, you name it - abortion rights, gay rights, and what is called the "separation of church and state" rights - which in some cases, Jews will fight not to have G-d's name mentioned in the classroom.

Abortion is a holocaust on its own that doesn't seem to discriminate between Jews and non-Jews or though most unfortunately, millions of Jewish babies in Israel have already been murdered in their mother's womb. In the United States, there was this Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a Jewish doctor who died a few months ago, who led the busiest abortion clinic in the United States, who presided over 100,000 abortions and performed 5,000 on his own in the course of 10 years from 1968-1978. To note, he made two different women pregnant and insisted each time that they get an abortion, having murdered one of his own children in the mother's womb with his blooded hands. In any case, he heavily pushed for abortion to be legal in the States, and unfortunately, was most successful at the end.

In time, after retiring from his big money making murderous job, he decided one day to see what really happens to the aborted baby via an ultrasound, only to see how the live fetus fights for its life and is then torn to pieces. As a result of this, he fought for the other side, for the rights of the fetus to live. To be sure, as he was an atheist, this was not considered doing Teshuva/repentance, since his regret and fighting for the right thing had nothing to do with observing Judaism. It seems that he had guilty feelings nevertheless for what he used to do, and while he never believed in the real G-d in the form of Judaism, he had no trouble converting to being a Roman Catholic when close to the age of 70, only then believing in the fake Christian god, or believing in G-d only as part of the Trinity, in the name of attaining "forgiveness". It is true that in fact, Dr. Nathanson consulted beforehand with an Orthodox rabbi, and, using a Yiddish phrase, the rabbi "drayed him a cup" about Yom Kippur needing to atone in order to obtain forgiveness, instead of saying straight outright that by becoming an Orthodox Jew, he will have all of his sins forgiven. Yes, that good-for-nothing Orthodox rabbi, but it seems that Dr. Nathanson was not worthy of doing Teshuva after only G-d knows how many Jewish babies he murdered.

And of course, with the recent admittance of gay couples as married couples in New York City law, thanks to the self-hating Jewish billionaire Mayor Bloomberg who has been mayor for way too many years, Jewish assimilation has reached an all time low in the United States. Indeed, more than just a physical holocaust as is abortion, this is already a spiritual holocaust. As the rabbis tell us, one who causes others to sin is worse than one who murders someone, because one who murders only removes someone from this temporary world, but one who causes others to sin causes them to be removed from, or not have a share in the eternal world to come which comes with eternal reward. Like or not, as far as Judaism is concerned, based on what I just wrote here, Bloomberg is more evil than Hitler, as Bloomberg is promoting and encouraging homosexuality; for as evil as Hitler was, he was basically concerned with the extermination of Jews in this world, not caring whether they were religious or not, and didn't attempt to stop them per se from observing Judaism or force them to become Christians, as non-Jewish Christians have done for nearly 2,000 years.

While it may be legal according to the First Amendment of freedom of religion in the United States, the Christian missionaries are certainly far more evil than Hitler in attempting to convert Jews as Christians or "Messianic" Jews. Even some clearly assimilated Jews, while not having the faintest concept of what the Torah wants from them, don't want to see their own children becoming part of a different religion or cult. I know of a story that I heard from a rabbi who performed the Bar Mitzva ceremony for one boy who later joined a group of Jews for Jesus, and was on the verge of converting, G-d forbid. His father, though non-observant, told him that before making such a decision, that he should consult his Bar Mitzva rabbi. It was only after an all night discussion that made the boy realize that the Christians lied after hearing the rabbi quote the Torah where Hashem says "Israel is my firstborn" (Exodus 4:22) and not Jesus. Following this, the boy became not only an observant Jew, but a rabbi as well, and at the time of the recounting of the story, was the head of an organization in Israel that helps Jews.

Of course when it comes to rights for Jews though, there may G-d forbid be an exception to the First Amendment soon for residents of San Francisco, which will especially affect Jews and Moslems. Thanks to the anti-Semite Lloyd Schofield who gathered over 12,000 signatures against circumcision, a circumcision ban will appear on the ballot in SF's municipial election on November 8. It is true that since then, there has been a lawsuit on this, but the judge at the time around a month ago didn't decide either way. Along with this to promote this possible evil decree, the anti-Semite Matthew Hess has already put out two comic books with the hero called "Foreskin Man" who attempts to prevent boys from being circumcised by a Jewish Mohel. Yes, the United States government, at whatever level, has already proven that there is no problem about Christians attempting to snare Jews aware from their respective religion to become Christians, but it shows that there might be a problem about Jews performing circumcision, which is something that doctors perform as a routine basis on babies not having a religious circumcision in hospitals throughout the United States.

And so, before Jews, especially in the United States and France, go wacko about making sure that we "never again" forget what the hating non-Jews did to us or that we "never forget the ones who perished in the Holocaust", we have to take a deep look at the daily holocausts that take place in our very midst - both physical and spiritual. Isn't it ironic that particularly after the Holocaust, where Jews got tattooed with the number and cremated in the crematoriums, that this is exactly what Jews are doing to themselves - both in life and in death?

Loads of Israelis living in the Holy Land who have no concept of Judaism get tattooed, and the sad thing is that when some of them later become observant Jews, they have to learn to deal with the tattoos, whether when putting on Tefillin or going to the Mikva in front of others (though they can be surgically removed today, it may cost a little more than a few bucks to do this); and of all the Hollywood actors and singers, it seems that it is the Jewish ones who tend to get the most tattoos, since it is only a sin for Jews to get tattoos, so there is an evil inclination for Jews to do this.

And for cremations, Jewish people who run funeral homes have the nerve to call them "Jewish" funeral homes, while hosting the arrangements for Jews to have cremations, which is not only forbidden in Jewish law, but no Kaddish is recited or Shiva is observed because one who wills this to himself or herself eternally damns themselves to hell without a possible recourse. Of course, to the Jewish funeral owners, and the Conservative or Reform rabbis performing the "Jewish" funeral service, this makes no difference, so long as they receive their money.

Indeed, what is tragically happening with Jews today is where I say "NEVER BEFORE" has this happened, so where is the "NEVER AGAIN"? It has been proven that time and again, more than what the enemy has done to us is what we do to ourselves - both physically and spiritually. And so before bowing down to world leaders who pay mere lip service to the Holocaust while they are seaming and seething with hatred for Jews, let us think twice before realizing what memorializing is all about, and start working on stopping the present Holocausts that are surrounding us from all directions, including increasing anti-Semitism and over 600 work labor camps in the United States that are ready to house millions of people, which is just a matter of time before this happens G-d forbid (Check out www.shuva.net).

So for a first step, perhaps we should spend a little more time doing the more recent cool trend of making Aliyah, something that even many secular Jews have done for a good century since the Zionist movement had begun. At least these Jews who moved to Palestine in those early days escaped the Holocaust, so they had one less thing to "kvetch" about, since after all, by helping clearing the malaria infested swamps in Israel, they made it possible for ALL Jews - including very observant Jews, to live in a much cleaner environment with a far lesser chance of dying or becoming very sick.

Yes, let us start doing more in the way of accomplishing than just memorializing with lifeless statues and monuments. Just like remembering the Exodus is celebrated by having a Seder, but its ultimate goal is to remember our mission as Jews; so too, remembering the Holocaust is not meant to be an end of a means by itself, but to remind us that we have to behave better as Jews, and then we won't be worthy of such punishment in the future, as well as perform true meaningful acts to memorialize the souls of those who perished in the Holocaust such as Torah learning, doing deeds of kindness, and donating money to Jewish causes that will ensure the next Jewish generation, especially in the way of Jewish education. And then of course, when we do the right thing, we will be one step to building the ultimate "memorial" - the future Holy Temple that will never be destroyed again.

True, Novach's accomplishment of settling an area for Jews wasn't remembered by people for long. However, his good deed got recorded for eternity in the eternal Torah, as well as the eternal reward he received for his accomplishment.

24 Tammuz 5771

No comments: