Specific Holocaust Story

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    giggle girl

    Hello. I’m back 🙂

    I’m trying to find a specific story about a Holocaust survivor so that I make sure I get all the details straight. It was something like a survivor was in the doctor’s office and hugged a Rav and then the Rav told someone that it was okay to hug her because someone who went through the Holocaust is on a much higher level.

    Something like that. Does anyone know the whole story and who it was about? I’d really appreciate it!

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    That story doesn’t make sense. Her being on a high level (that part is true) wouldn’t make assur muttar. If she gave him treif food to eat, it wouldn’t be okay to eat, it no matter how holy she is.


    Soon people will be quoting this story as a psak that some “prominent posek” permits hugging women if it isn’t derech chiba.


    This is a famous story about R’ Moshe Feinstein. I declined from citing it in the other thread for several reasons, but the story is well-verified.

    If the mods will allow the link, http://www.aish.com/jw/s/The_Holiest_Generation.html

    If not, Google Aish.com the holiest generation

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    That is a completely different story (as far as learning any halachos from it) than the story the OP said.

    I won’t differentiate between a hug and a kiss, but there is a huge difference between saying someone is holy, which R’ Moshe did, and saying it’s okay to hug her, which R’ Moshe did not.


    I’m sure everyone noticed, as I did, that the Rav did not hug or touch the woman in question. She was the one who initiated the exchange. And he did not indicate that it was ok, or permissible, just that she was was “holier than him.”

    As a child of survivors, what I personally find much more upsetting than the possibility that our children grow up forgetting the terrible events, or not having enough information, are the narratives that are not based in fact. I am not commenting on the story on Aish, but on others I have read or heard that survivors themselves were very skeptical of. Having gone through the events, they have commented that the stories are likely fabricated or embellished.

    Two very upsetting examples of this genre of untrue holocaust memoirs are Herman Rosenblatt’s “Angel at the Fence” and Michel Defonseca’s memoir. When these are exposed, the repercussions are terrible.

    While I’m not pointing a finger at the story cited above, I do want to point out two discrepancies that I noticed. As a child of survivors, who grew up among many others of the same background, I did not notice as a child that ‘everyone had a number.’ Many who spent time in concentration camps were not tattooed with a number; I know many survivors who don’t have one. Additionally, it’s unlikely the lady identified herself as a shaygetz. A woman would have identified herself as a shiksa. (Perhaps it was the uncle who made the comment and bestowed the kiss?)

    As in all our endeavors, it is important that in our eagerness to preserve the memories of those we lost, we don’t lose sight of following the path of Emmes over the path of sensationalism.

    giggle girl

    Sam2 – thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

    To everyone else – that’s exactly why I asked for the story. Please read my first sentence in the longer paragraph. I didn’t want to say anything incorrectly. Please don’t jump at everyone for things they say in the coffee room (which I notice many people do). Thank you.


    The holocaust is not an exception in halacha, people who went through the holocaust may be on a higher madregah but they still have the same halachos as everyone else.


    There was a female Holocaust survivor (obviously with issues) who used to sit in the men’s section in the Satmar shul, and Reb Yoel told the men not to bother her.

    I read this in his biography.


    Torah, that’s a very dangerous story. Now everyone who goes through a holocaust and has mental issues will want to sit in the men’s section.

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