[By Rabbi Yair Hoffman]
As many people have seen, there was a story on YWN last week, where inaccurate information concerning the victims of the holocaust was conveyed in a Youtube video by a kiruv Rabbi. At times, well-meaning people might inadvertently convey inaccurate information – and these words can hurt people. I had reached out to the Rabbi with the correct and accurate statistics. Below is a retraction and an apology that was made after the Rabbi was shown the correct information, but first – a quick thought.
There is a concept in Torah called zeh le’umas zeh.. That there are parallel opposite forces that exist in the world. When there is great kedushah there is also great tumah. The greatest evil of the past century, of course, was the manifestation of the Nazi beasts who roamed Europe, and virtually wiped out European Jewry. The evil that was the Nazis was a force of tumah impurity – that threatened the entire world. How was the world cleansed of this dark and sinister tumah?
We are maaminim bnei maaminim, and we have no explanations for the loss of the six million Jews. But the holy Klausenberger Rebbe zt”l does explain (Shefa Chaim Vol. II p.239) how the Tumah was removed from the face of the earth. He writes that this Tumah was removed from the earth on account of the six million kedoshim, the holy six million who died. The power of the tumah was broken and removed – preparing the way for eventual redemption.
The six million Kedoshim hy”d, all of them, according to the Klausenberger Rebbe zt”l, were the cause of the removal of this dark evil tumah from the world. Their holy memory should always be remembered in kedushah.
At the same time, we must realize the important role of the sheris hapleitah – the survivors. I remember one such survivor who used to tell me that in his town in Czechoslovakia the shul had been a virtual minyan factory with thousands of people in attendance every day – immersed in Tefilos. After the holocaust, he went back to the shul. He and his friend plus eight others were the only survivors. And then he said, “Now people complain about the noise of children in shuls. To me they are the most beautiful and joyous sounds in the world.”
The survivors of Churban Europe, came to these shores and rebuilt. They built yeshivos, day schools, shuls and a Torah-true infrastructure where Judaism and Torah could once again thrive. They also raised families – children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. These survivors and rebuilders are truly “the greatest generation.” It is for these people as well as the six million hy”d – that the effort was made to correct the erroneous statistic.
Below is the apology and retraction of Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi, a man who has also built and brought numerous people back to a Torah lifestyle. It was emailed to this author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I wish to apologize for my incorrect statement regarding the six million Kedoshim that were tragically murdered in the Holocaust. In the video that was shown that was from years ago ( it was not current ) only part of what I said was displayed in the entire lecture that was 2 hours I said that “I don’t know and used the word maybe 5 maybe 3 maybe 1 million we will never know. But now, I have been shown the accurate statistics and I realize that those that were not halachically Jewish were a very small minimal number. I do not wish to offend any of the holocaust survivors or their family members it has never ever been my intention. The Kedoshim of the holocaust need to be remembered and sanctified in the most honorable way possible those who know my lectures over the years know that I published many stories of kidush hashem from the Holocaust. My goal was to wake up our nation to the silent holocaust that is happening now which is the increasing intermarriage cases in usa and the rest of the world.
(Rabbi Yair Hoffman – YWN)