Still Fuming At Rabbi Belsky And Mishpacha

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  • #621544

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, I’ve read it. In fact he advised the kehila they would be saved. So it demonstrates no such advanced knowledge. The masses were surely unaware of the pending doom.

    #621545

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq – Pardon my curiosity, but I’m wondering how a Hungarian Yid as yourself uses the Sefardic havara, as you refer to “Shabbat” above (rather than Shabbos)?

    If rabbiofberlin is still eavesdropping, I also wonder where your minhug of writing “MatisJahu” instead of MatisYahu stems from.

    #621546

    cantoresq
    Member

    Joseph

    Member

    cantoresq, I’ve read it. In fact he advised the kehila they would be saved. So it demonstrates no such advanced knowledge. The masses were surely unaware of the pending doom.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Saved from what? People knew what the Germans were up to. As I said before Hungarian Jews hoped they would be spared. But they full well knew of the annihilations that had taken place in Russia and Poland. More than anything Kasztner was accused of doing or not doing, it may have been this speech and (perhaps) other such “reassurances” from rabbanim that molified the Jews of Budapest into inactivity. Certainly the Belzer Rebbe and his brother the Rav of Bilgoray, who had come form Polish Galicia, knew what was happening in Poland. Why did they not arouse the Jews to do something? And before all you start to flame me, this is not my complaint. R. Teichtal in the Eim Habanim Smeicha made the same accuastion.

    #621547

    cantoresq
    Member

    Joseph

    Member

    cantoresq – Pardon my curiosity, but I’m wondering how a Hungarian Yid as yourself uses the Sefardic havara, as you refer to “Shabbat” above (rather than Shabbos)?

    If rabbiofberlin is still eavesdropping, I also wonder where your minhug of writing “MatisJahu” instead of MatisYahu stems from.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    The standard form of transliteration in all English scholarly literature is in Sephardic. That’s why I use it was well. I daven with an Ashkenazic pronounciation, when not in Israel.

    #621548

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantor, Why do you choose to follow the transliteration of English scholarly literature as your havara?

    #621549

    cantoresq
    Member

    catoresq: who are you but a little pipsqueak and dust at his feet to condemn, or speak in in condemnatory tones, about R. Elchanan Wasserman ztk”l? You and rabbiofberlin originally posted as if the Rabbonim of Europe prevented masses of people who had the ability of escaping, from escaping. When asked for examples, after hemming and hawing, you could come up with one purported Rav advising one purported talmid in one purported instance. And when asked for a source? “A famous letter.”

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Zalman:

    Do you think I’m mistaken with this? If you do, say so, and I’ll go through the trouble of finding the source. But I think you know I’m accurate in my description of R. Elchanan Wasserman’s attitude on the subject. Indeed I may be a “pipsqueak.” But that does not make me wrong.

    #621550

    Zalman
    Participant

    CantorEsq:

    My point isn’t the one instructions to one student. Any number of factors could have been involved. Perhaps he foresaw that this particular student if he went to secular America would lose his religion, and better for him to risk losing his life than risk losing his soul.

    You made the clear insinuation that many Rabbis prevented many people who had the ability, means and authorization (i.e. exit and entry visas) to leave Europe from doing so. Answer this if you will: How many and which Rabbis prevented Jews (with the ability, means and authorization to leave Europe) from doing so? On what scale? With what means? And how do you determine that these people otherwise had the will to leave Europe AND had the aforementioned ability? Which country/countries were willing to accept MASS number of Jewish refugees? Even if every Jew in Europe wanted to escape, where could all those Jews have gone to?

    I’d like to see evidence of that claim, since I know none exists.

    #621552

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    Well, after a long weekend, just a few comments,as my name has been mentioned a few times.

    Dear zalman- I too have a job and I am not retired (for the ones who might know me-this is a real laugher). I do object to matisjohu writing something (about women/girls learning gemoro, for ex.) and then disappearing without backing it up. This is (in Rush Limbaugh’s words) akin to the ‘drive-by media”, a play on the horrid incidences of ‘drive-by’ murders. Chas vecholilo, I am not accusing matisjohu of drive-by murder-G-d forbid, but this is typical of people on this website making a wild statement and never bscking it up. I don’t know where he (Ma.) has disappeared to and maybe he will come back but for now, maybe it is incumbent upon YOU (who quoted him) to bring me some sources.Maybe it might make a good opportunity of looking into some Rambams. (there is a clue…)

    As far as the discussion between Cantoresq and others, this debate has truly become sterile and futile. But it is absolutely true that many ( maybe not all) Hungarian Jews knew about Poland, the ghettos and the camps. This I know from MY father A”H who told me that there were numerous Jews who were able to flee Poland to Hungary ad told everyone: “me harget yidden- antloift!” (they are killing Jews, FLEE!). Amongst those who were in the middle of the Nazi persecutions and passed through Hungary include the Belzer rebbe and the Bilgurayer rebbe (his brother) and the Bobove rebbe. It is inconceivable to believe that they (and others) did not tell the Jews wherever they went that the Nazis were exterminating Yidden. Hungarian Jews knew but ,sadly, for whatever reason, did not fully react to the danger.

    As for some other snide remarks- I,personally, have never attacked ANY Godol, Rebbe, Rov or Rosh yeshiva for their conduct pre-war or during its years. I try to adhere very closely to the maamar chazal: ” Al todin es chavercho at shetagya limkomo” We are ALL human beings and we can only make decisions based on what we see here and now and I sure have no idea how I would have reacted.

    I have, however, also maintained that no Godol is infallible and the fact that their advice to many jews pre-war and during the war is proof that even they can make mistakes. By the way, there are numerous stories of Jews being told by their Rabbonim or rebbes not to leave Europe. Justc ask some survivors. It is not only a solitary letetr by Reb Elchonon Wasserman HY”D.

    Lastly, I spell matisJohu and not MatisYohu because I think this is the correct way. It is Jom Hashishi, not Yom hashishi.

    #621553

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    I just re-read on of Zalman’s answers to a posting, concerning the so-called anti-Zionism of the yeshivos I mentioned in an earleir post.

    dear zalman, again, you have missed the point. I have said a number of times that I consider the yeshivos In Eretz ysroel, the chassidische courts and others ,crypto-Zionists.

    By that I mean that they have an absolute belief in the further prosperity and survival of Israel, ‘the evil medinah”. They will NEVER consider the present medinah “treif” and, on the contrary, they support it, pray for its survival and have a major input in its development. They would call it absurd to believe that Arab rule -G-d forbid- would be better. In my opinion, that is “zionism”. Living and working and learning there and developing Eretz ysroel.

    They may be strongly anti- SECULAR ZIONISM, but they are pro-Eretz ysroel, pro-medinah, pro-alyah.

    I suggest you speak to some of them before you call them anti-zionists.

    #621554

    cantoresq
    Member

    Zalman

    Member

    CantorEsq:

    My point isn’t the one instructions to one student. Any number of factors could have been involved. Perhaps he foresaw that this particular student if he went to secular America would lose his religion, and better for him to risk losing his life than risk losing his soul.

    You made the clear insinuation that many Rabbis prevented many people who had the ability, means and authorization (i.e. exit and entry visas) to leave Europe from doing so.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    As I recall it the student did in fact come to america and remained a very Orthodox Jew. So much for your notion of forethought. I made no such insinuation, and defy you establish such.

    #621555

    Joseph
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin:

    “Lastly, I spell matisJohu and not MatisYohu because I think this is the correct way. It is Jom Hashishi, not Yom hashishi.”

    Out of curiousity, where did you pick up this as being “the correct way”, as you put it? I ask, since it is a most uncommon English transliteration or pronounciation. Please elucidate.

    Regarding your comment that “I have, however, also maintained that no Godol is infallible and the fact that their advice to many jews pre-war and during the war is proof that even they can make mistakes. By the way, there are numerous stories of Jews being told by their Rabbonim or rebbes not to leave Europe.” can you address the questions posed by Zalman in the comment immediately preceding your last, on this issue?

    What country did your father reside in pre-war?

    #621556

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    gosh, joseph, and I was on my way out…

    As to your grammatical question- When you read “Jom’ in hebrew, it has a ‘yud” – a consonant, and then a “Yud’, a vowel. “Y” is a vowel and “j” is a consonant. Hence, when using the English letter in transliteration, I follow the rule.( Interestingly, matisYohu may be more correct in this case) But really, this is an obscure discussion that is not exactly at the top of my agenda.

    Concerning where my father A”H lived during the war. He lived in Transylvania- then Rumania- and was saved for the simple reason that part of Transylvania became part of Rumania after WWI. The other part remained Hungarian and the Jews were deported -unfortunately- in 1944.Many members of my family were part of these Kedoshim. My father A”H knew many of the people I mentioned. It was quite common to cross from Romania to Hungary before the end of the war, as both supported Nazi germany till rumania made a volte-face in 1944.

    I imagine that you refer to Zalman’s question concerning the people who were told to stay in Europe in WWII. I have personally spoken to Survivors who told me that most rebbes and Rabbonim advised them not to leave Europe for Eretz ysroel or even America, a sensible advice during those times. Sadly, it had tragic results. By the way, if you have a chance to read the (uncensored) Bilgurayer rebbe’s words to the Hungarian jews in the name of his brother of the Belzer rebbe zz’lin in Budapest, you will see the same pattern.

    If you speak to Rebbes today and ask them the question as to how was this possible (that gedolim could not see the truth), they will tell you that Hakodesh Boruch Hu took away the capacity of Gedolim to know and see the truth. It was a “hester ponim” for which we have no answer. This has been a civil dialogue so I will not explore the reasons given POST-war for that “Hester ponim” by various people.

    Well, there may yet be hope for us Yidden, as we have been able to have a civil discourse!

    #621557

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, I don’t know what you believe regarding the matter or not, but the canard that the “European Rabbis” somehow prevented European Jewry from escaping is one of the major so-called “defenses” of the zionists for their WWII activities.

    rabbiofberlin, Why don’t you ask any of those Yeshivos/Mosdos/Chasiduses if they consider themselves “crypto-Zionists”? Either they’ll burst out laughing or they’ll feel real bad for you. In any event, you have a very unconventional definition of zionism, something it clearly does not mean. Based on your redefinition, many of the Yeshivos/Mosdos/Chasiduses including Hagoen Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, the Satmar Rebbe, Neteurei Karta, etc. would be zionists since they are based in Eretz Yisroel. The mere fact that an institution compromised and agreed to participate in the functional organs of the medina (i.e. elections and financing) hardly makes them zionists. Nevertheless, I hardly expect you to allow yourself to be convinced of this obvious.

    #621558

    Joseph
    Participant

    And I absolutely agree with you regarding the absolute necessity for civil discourse. One important point to always bear in mind, is we are debating IDEAS not PEOPLE.

    #621559

    cantoresq
    Member

    If you speak to Rebbes today and ask them the question as to how was this possible (that gedolim could not see the truth), they will tell you that Hakodesh Boruch Hu took away the capacity of Gedolim to know and see the truth. It was a “hester ponim” for which we have no answer.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    The hester panim explanation resolves nothing. Why should an average yid seek the advice of a gadol on any issues if there is the possibility that G-d is “mastir panav,” and therefore the gadol has a distorted view of the world? More poignantly, since G-d knows that Jews will seek the guidance of gedolim, perhaps He skews their understanding and not that of more pedestrian people so as to achieve His goals? Might that be p’shat in the ma’amar Chazal that bizman hazeh prophecy is the purview of lunatics and children? They see clearly when G-d blurs the sight of the gedolim?

    #621560

    mariner
    Member

    Joseph, how is it with a “j”. It english not spanish! That is hilarious that you think transliterating into a “j” sound not found in typicall english is correctm your name is Yoseph, jot Joseph. J is eith Jah, Jeh, silent, sometimes weh, as in Juan, bu never yah!

    #621561

    cantoresq
    Member

    Joseph

    Member

    cantoresq, I don’t know what you believe regarding the matter or not, but the canard that the “European Rabbis” somehow prevented European Jewry from escaping is one of the major so-called “defenses” of the zionists for their WWII activities.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Until the discussion about the Bilgoray Rav’s spech in Budapest, I concerned myself only with r. Elchanan Wasserman’s position on the issue. I concnetrated on that becuase there is a documented letter from him stating that it is better to die a physical death in Europe rather than immigrate to America and die a spiritual death. This BTW fits in well with his reported last words before being executed, where he exhorted people to repent so they could be more perfect korbanot and save klal Yisrael that way (which raises a whole host of theological issues). As to other rabbis giving similar advice, it may have happened. I don’t recall seing anything along those lines published however.

    #621562

    Joseph
    Participant

    mariner, Exactly. Joseph would be English and Yoseph Hebrew. So too Matiyahu would be the correct Hebrew spelling (in the Latin alphabet – also known as the Roman alphbet), rather than Matisjahu. And Yom (not Jom, as rabbiofberlin uses) the correct Hebrew spelling using the Latin alphabet. But the good Rabbi disagrees.

    #621563

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, reading the Belzer’s brothers speech in question, I saw no exertion to remain in Europe.

    rabbiofberlin seems to say there was a widespread prevention of European Jewry from escaping by MANY Rabbis. I’d like to see any evidence of that (but am confident there isn’t any.) Zalman (above) asked some poignant questions to this assertion.

    #621564

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    well, a quick comment to joseph about the so-called laughter of those mosdos….Sorry to disabuse you, but I HAVE talked to many of these yidden (gerrer chassidim. vishnizter chassidim ,mirrer jungeleit…etc) and “peh echod’, they will echo MY words in reference to the medinah. You are correct that they would not conside themselves “zionists” in the traditional sense, but ALL are steadfast in their support of the “medinah”,building the mosdos hatorah and trying to spread yiddishkeit. Some of them even have read Rav KOOK….

    My view may sound “unconventional” to you but Eretz Yisroel has been unconventional for decades now….I prefer to look at the results and I don’t get too hung up on labels..

    Your comparison to Rav chaim Sonnenfeld is spurious because he was niftar long before the medinah and who knows what he would have said? For your information, his relationship to Rav Kook was very cordial.

    As far as the Satmarer rebbe and the neturei karta go, there you are right. They cannot be considered crypto-zionists at all. Remember, reb Joelish zz’l told his chassidim in the fifties to LEAVE Eretz Yisroel.I know because I knew some of them! He was implacably opposed to the medinah and he was never for building anything there and satmar still has not built much there, unlike Ger and Vishnitz and Belz,etc. the same goes for the neturei karta,even the old “sane” neturei karta, who was content to live under Turkish rule.

    As an aside, do you realize that hundreds of original jerushalmis left Meah Sheorim to fight in the 1948 war? And many,many more have rejected the “neturei karta”s extremist (to me) view.

    #621565

    Joseph
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin, I suggest asking the leadership, not Joe Chosid. I am confident they will be appalled at the suggestion that they are “crypto-zionists”, or any type of zionists for that matter.

    The original (and only true) Neterei Karta (ala Hagoen Harav Amrom Blau ZTV’L) were resident of Eretz Yisroel long before the zionists. And they remained residents after the zionist influx. Nevertheless it is a stretch by any imagination to refer to them as zionists, despite the residency in the holy land.

    Bottom line is I don’t see how your redefinition of zionism is plausible nor a widely held definition.

    #621566

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    to cantoresq and ,parenthetically to joseph,

    The Holocaust raised gigantic theological questions. I just don’t want to start another long drawn-out debate on this here…the only thing that can explain that catastrophe is “hester ponim” to the N’th degree.

    Concerning the asking of advice,questioned by cantoresq.It is natural for everyone to do so. I have said consistently that one does NOT have to check his sechel at the door when asking advice.You don’t HAVE to follow the advice if you feel differently. Hence, the Jews who asked for advice from gedolim of all kind before the war but did NOT heed their word (like your talmid of reb Elchonon)did what their own intuition told them. This does not invalidate the aspect of asking advice from rabbonim, gedolim, or family members for all I know.My point is that their advice is human and they are not infallible and G-d did not make them infallible either! It is a warped attitude that was born very recently (daas torah,etc..)This has been amply proven by Rabbi Alfred Kaplan and others. So, it is incorrect to ask the question you asked, because Hashem Yisborach NEVER intended US to believe in their words blindly. We still have bechirah!

    #621567

    feivel
    Participant

    Sometimes, the letter y is a CONSONANT, and other times it is a vowel. The rule for telling the two apart is simple: The letter y is a consonant when it is the first letter of a syllable that has more than one letter. If y is anywhere else in the syllable, it is a vowel.

    Examples of Y as a Consonant

    * yes

    * yam

    * yell

    * yellow

    * yogurt

    Examples of Y as a Vowel

    * gym

    * my

    * cycle

    * baby

    * hairy

    * sky

    #621568

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    Joseph, Did you read the original- UNCENSORED- speech? In it, the Bilgurayer explicitly states that there will NOT be a catastrophe in Hungary and this was his brother’s berocho ( the belzer). His speech ahs been censored in later editions. I am absolutely serious about this!

    I did not say there was a “widespread prevention” from “escaping”. I did say that , when asked, most Rabbonim advised to stay in Europe, BUT this was before the war started. Obviously, once the war started, everyone tried to escape. See Mirrer yesivah, see all the Jews who fled to Siberia,etc.. Although the Bilgurayer rebbe’s speech may have helped to lull some people into a false sense of safety. AGAIN, I am not painting any nefarious picture of the speech, just that even the belzer rebbe ‘zz’l ,who was a zaddik amongst zaddikim, did not necessarily see or know everything.

    #621569

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    This seems to be a two-way debate between joseph and myself, ref. zionsim. Actually, I am pleased that it is ,indeed, a civil discussion.

    Whether anyone would call themselves zionists or not is truly irrelevant today. The great majority of Chareidim in Ertezt Yisroel today participate in the “medinah’ politically and financially. They built towns everywhwere, they are amongst the most conservative people as far as compromising on the land, and, SHCOK!, mnay even go to the army! (especially the chassidim). They never call the medinah evil and they certainly never say that Eretz Yisroel would be better under Arab rule, chas vesholom.

    A very small minority may still talk the old way but, as is normal in history,they vast majority has accepted ‘medinat Israel” de facto and many have done this ‘de jure’.

    On a personal level, I ascribe to the miracle of Eretz Yisroel theological perspectives, and many of the chareidim do too. I consider them all crypto-zionists, because, as time goes on, they will become more and more a part of the fabric of the medinah. In mnay ways, they alreadyare !

    YOu, and some others, disagree. This is your right but I suggest you go to Eretz Yisroel and speak to some of these rabbonim. You might get a different perspective.

    #621570

    cantoresq
    Member

    rabbiofberlin

    Member

    to cantoresq and ,parenthetically to joseph,

    The Holocaust raised gigantic theological questions. I just don’t want to start another long drawn-out debate on this here…the only thing that can explain that catastrophe is “hester ponim” to the N’th degree.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    I’m also not itnerested in discussing theodicy as related to the Holocaust. The theological issue to which I referred has to do with R. Elchanan Wasserman’s reported last words, that he would be a korban through which klal Yisrael would be redeemed. I have difficulty with that concept. Around 2000 years ago another Jew said much the same thing before he was executed. We’ve had nothing but trouble ever since.

    #621571

    mariner
    Member

    joseph, you are worng, joseph is an english version of the hebrew name yoseph, just as sam is irish for george. yoseph spelleh that way, and matisyahu, is a transliteration, a english spelling, with a henrew pronunciation. no-one has the name in america, or anywhere i have ever heard, as matisjahu, with a jah sound where the yah sound belongs. youre logic is very wrong in thinking the proper spelling would be with a j. moshe is moses, ahron is aaron, but that is not the way to spell the hebrew name moshe and ahron, that is the way tpo spell the english names of moses and aaron.

    #621572

    Joseph
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin,

    Indeed I have read the full transcript of the Bilgurayer. My point was in response to cantoresq seeming suggestion that the speech acknowledged a widespread knowledge amongst Hungarian Jewry of the Nazi ym’s annihilation of European Jewry outside of Hungary. This speech made no such indication. And indeed Hungarian Jewry was oblivious to the systematic annihilation, otherwise the Vrba report would have not been so shocking, as cantoresq himself acknowledged earlier in this thread. If the masses were aware of the fate awaiting them, they would not get onto the deportation trains to Aushwitz. Which human being would walk onto such a train with that knowledge?

    The speech itself did not advocate remaining in Europe, but rather was chizuk for the Klal. Indeed what means would the Klal have had to emigrate from Hungary even if they wanted to? Which country would accept them? At best, had they been aware of the systematic annihilation (had Kastner so informed the public what he knew from Vrba), they could merely hide, attempt escape, or resist deportation making the Germans/Hungarian Arrow Cross deportation/annihilation effort that much more difficult and less succesful. They would not have been able to murder 400,000 kedoshim so systematically and easily.

    BTW, the Satmar Rebbe and R’ Amrom Blau did not advocate returning the land to the Arabs. No sane person does. In fact, the Satmar Rebbe would call off protests against the zionists if he ever got wind that any Arabs intended to “join” the protest.

    If you asked the Gerrer Rebbe, Vizhnitz Rebbe or the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir if they are crypto-zionists, what do you suppose their reaction would be? “Gabbai, der yid darf a Tylenol!” Financial and political acceptance/participation to the de facto facts on the ground may be something other authorities disagree with, but it does not make them any less anti-zionists than they will tell you they are.

    #621573

    Joseph
    Participant

    mariner, your disagreement is with rabbiofberlin, not me. rabbiofberlin writes Matisjahu, not Matisyahu.

    #621574

    cantoresq
    Member

    There is a section of the speech in which R. Mordechai of Bilgoraj rhetorically addresses a claim that people might bring about having been advised by rabbanim not to flee the churban in Europe. The only way such a passage would have made sense to the audience is if they knew what was happening to other Jews in europe.

    #621575

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, War was raging throughout the continent. Jews are always the first scapregoats. Atrocities were clearly being committed against the Jews. But Hungarian Jewry had an inkling about ANNIHILATION and CREMATORIAS?

    Why was the Vrba report so shocking?

    #621576

    mariner
    Member

    joseph, sooree, so sooree

    #621577

    mariner
    Member

    rabbiofberlin: the message i mistakenly left for joseph i will repost for you:

    you are wrong, joseph is an english version of the hebrew name yoseph, just as sam is irish for george. yoseph spelled that way, and matisyahu for that matter, is a transliteration, a english spelling, with a hebrew pronunciation. no-one has the name in america, or anywhere i have ever heard, as matisjahu, with a jah sound where the yah sound belongs. your logic is very wrong in thinking the proper spelling would be with a j. moshe is moses, ahron is aaron, but that is not the way to spell the hebrew name moshe and ahron, that is the way to spell the english names of moses and aaron. just because that are the english bibles translation, doesnt make moses the proper spelling of moshe.

    #621578

    Joseph
    Participant

    mariner, np. out of curiosity, are you married and about how old are you?

    #621579

    cantoresq
    Member

    Joseph

    Member

    cantoresq, War was raging throughout the continent. Jews are always the first scapregoats. Atrocities were clearly being committed against the Jews. But Hungarian Jewry had an inkling about ANNIHILATION and CREMATORIAS?

    Why was the Vrba report so shocking?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    I’ve let you mis-charachterize my words for too long. I only referred to the Vrba report as being incredible in the hypothetical sense, as a possible reason for supressing it until its contents could be further verified. Please do not confabulate that comment into more than it is. As to your question, yes I believe the Jews of Hungary knew, should have known, could ahve known, about the annihilation of their brethern. The Nurenberg laws were well known. Dachau and other camps in Germany were no secret. Jews from Poland and Galicia poured into Hungary with stories of gehttos and deportation. In Hungary itself, anti-Jewish laws, like the Numerous Clausus and subsequent Numerous Nulus, the expulsion of Jews from the professions, the ascendancy of the Nyilas Party, the ban on shechitah and the forced enlistment of Jews into the munkaszalgolat brigades all very clearly demonstrated that Hungarian Jewry was in for singular and devastating persecution, all prior to the German invasion.

    #621580

    mariner
    Member

    yes, 30

    #621581

    Joseph
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin, first comment on this page you categoricaly state “when asked, most Rabbonim advised to stay in Europe” before the war. What is your source for this assertion? Especially the “most” part. And specifically how many Rabbonim can you identify allegedly providing such instructions? And what is your source?

    And where could the Jewish masses have gone to had they been advised to leave? Which country were masses of Jews able to gain entry to? Are you aware that Mr. Stephen Wise, American zionist (and Reform) leader rejected a British overture to resettle European Jewry elsewhere? (Amongst the many traitorous crimes committed by Wise during the holocaust.)

    #621582

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, to claim that Hungarian Jewry was well aware of the death camps (and went on the trains like sheep to the slaughter) is patently absurd.

    #621583

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    As I said much earlier, this debate , on the intricacies of the war and Kastner, by itself is a sterile and futile debate as no one really knew what went on. At best, it is of archival and historical relevance and , at worst, it is used as a club to make political points. Nonetheless, I will try to answer some of the more specific questions of Joseph.

    Obviously, I do not have a list of rabbonim and rebbes who advocated remaining in Europe. Even less do I have written words or letters. So, if you don’t want to accept this news without more concrete evidence, you can rest easy. I, however, have spoken with many Holocaust survivors who told me that, when the various Rabbonim and rebbes were asked PRE-war, they certainly did not advocate leaving Europe. This happened in Poland and certainly in Hungary.

    But Joseph, you miss my point. I will repeat, for the umpteenth time here, that I have never, ever accused or burdened any Rov, Godol, Rebbe with decisions made PRE-war. Decisions were made and advice given based on the facts known at the time. In short, many Jews realized that the Jews of Germay were persecuted and so were jews in Russia, Hungary, Romania and more. Everyone thought that this was in the category of another pogrom or ,at worst, like Girush Sefard or other exiles of the Middle Ages. NO ONE imagined the extent that the Nazis YM’S would go to exterminate our people. Based on this thought pattern, most rabbonim did indeed advice to ride out the “storm” and not panic and leave everything behind.

    Unfortunately, something monstrous happened, something that occurred once in history- the systematic attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. (Other attempted genocides were never that systematic,well, Purim may be the other one). This just was not thought of, or ever imagined. And, although I think that many Hungarian jews did know about the many killings and the camps, there again, they hoped to ride out the storm. Remember,Hungary (and Romania) were Nazi allies but had their own governments. Unfortunately, Hungary was taken over by the nazis in 1944 and the Jews deported. Right next door, Romania, another early ally of Germany, did not give over their administration to the Nazis and, indeed, the Romanian jews were not deported. There were other atrocities (work camps,for ex.)and only on the East side of Romania, occupied by the germans early in 1941, did mass killings occur. Romania switched sides and its jews were not delivered into the clutches of the Nazis.

    I am given you this short history to show that the advice of rabbonim and rebbes PRE-war and even during the war had a certain basis of logic. Where I differ from you is in affirming that their advice was the right one and should never be questioned. The fact is that this advice ultimately was not the right one in those CHANGED circumstances. Do I condemn those Rabbonim and gedolim? Absolutely not! But neither do I accept their word as “halocho lemoshe misinai”. Even the greatest of our leaders make mistakes and are fallible. This , by the way, is how this whole debate (on Rav belsky) started.

    Where you and I differ is in evaluating the advice or the opinions of various gedolim. You accept these words as the ultimate truth and hence, you cannot accept that advice given during the war years were wrong. I, on the other hand, do not have this ’emunas chachomim”. I freely admit it(leave the debate on that for another day)and I can accept that the biggest Gedolim make mistakes. Hence, I can say that their advice during the Holocaust was not the right one. In my eyes, this does not take anything away from their “gadlus” but I do not have to accept their word as the ultimate truth.

    This is why I, personally, do not accept their view on Eretz Yisroel or the geulah or other matters of the Klal. History is the only real arbiter of earlier opinions. The Holocaust , sadly, proved their earlier advice as being erroneous. THIS DOES NOT DIMINISH THEIR GREATNESS because,very simply, they do not always have to be right.As far as Eretz Yisroel and yes, Zionism, goes, history wil tell.For now, I am pretty satisfied with the early returns.

    #621584

    Joseph
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin, Do you dismiss the Gedolim as when someone seeks guidance from a Rebbe whether to utilize life support on a c’v terminally ill patient? Do you say as you do above, that he should make a personal decision after speaking to a doctor, and not ask a Rebbe what to do? Do you think as crazy those who do follow the Rebbe’s instructions in this matter? Since, as you state above, you “do not have this emunas chachomim” and “that the biggest Gedolim make mistakes.” You wouldn’t want a Godol to c’v “make a mistake” in a life and death situation, would you?

    #621585

    Joseph
    Participant

    rabbiofberlin, Regarding your previous claim that the German Jews survived in far greater numbers than others (as some sort of defense), I found this statistic:

    Of the 750,000 Jews in Germany and Austria in 1933, only about a quarter survived. Although many German Jews emigrated before 1939, the majority of these fled to Czechoslovakia, France or the Netherlands, from where they were later deported to their deaths.

    #621586

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, What defense, if any, had Brand provided for Kastner?

    #621587

    cantoresq
    Member

    Joseph

    Member

    cantoresq, to claim that Hungarian Jewry was well aware of the death camps (and went on the trains like sheep to the slaughter) is patently absurd.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Why, because it doesn’t “fit” with the way you want to history to read? I assume you are very willing to accept that the Allied government knew about the Holocuase as early as 1942. Most chareidim believe that Stephen Wise tried to supress that information, but it was known, it was reported about in the Times and other papers. Why do you assume that Hungarian Jews were in the dark? Besides, I have an eyewitness (my father z”l) who told me that the annihilation of European Jewry was well known in Hungary.

    #621588

    mariner
    Member

    joseph, btw, why did you want to know my age and marital status?

    #621589

    Joseph
    Participant

    mariner, curiosity. 🙂

    #621590

    Joseph
    Participant

    cantoresq, with all due respect, I too have an eyewitness who told me it was far from common knowledge, and in fact the masses lacked the knowledge.

    #621591

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    joseph…as far as the statistics of german Jews surviving, you have to give me the place you found that statistic. As far as I know, the Jews who were non-citizens were returned to their place of origin (Poland, Chzechsolvakia,etc..) The ones who were German citizens spread out throughout the world and.as far as I know, mostly survived.So, please supply the origin of that statistic.

    As far as the terminal patient.I don’t understand yoru question. If it is a halachic question (turning off a respirator,taking away the feeding tube..etc) it is a halachic decision and, as said numerous times, you follow the HALACHIC decision of your Possek. If it is a question of ADVICE, then a rebbe or Godol’s advice is what it is. YOu can accept it or reject it. Chassidim today will follow their rebbe’s advice rigourously. There are many cases that such advice was wonderful and there are many cases that the advice did not help. And, if one feels that the reccomendation of a doctor is better and follows that advice, then so be it. I don’t think it detracts from ’emunas chachomim’, as I understand it, if you veer away from the general advice of a Rov. If you are a true “maamin’ in THAT Rov, then you do it at your peril. If you don’t think it makes sense, you are on your own. And I have said in another context that I do believe in the “yeshuous’ of Rebbes (even so-called Litvishe rebbes).

    The above discussion does not take away my contention that, at times, even gedolim make mistakes. Long, long ago, on this webiste, this was the discussion about Rav Belsky’s words and whether he could be mistaken. The ones who supported the criticism on his article believed that his status as a real Godol does not make him immune to mistakes. The ones who defend him vociferously think he cannot make a mistake, at least not on this matter.

    #621592

    cantoresq
    Member

    Joseph, we have thus argued these issues to a stale mate.

    #621593

    squeak
    Participant

    About the “j” vs “y” thing: My Hebrew name begins with a Yud. I have German relatives, who though they pronounce my name correctly (with a Yud sound) nevertheless spell it with a J. This is because the “j” in German makes the same sound as a Yud in Hebrew. Thus Joseph is pronounced the same as Yosef. Jacob is pronounced as Yakob (which is the Sephardic pronounciation of Yaacov). Therefore rabbiofberlin (assuming berlin is as in the city in germany) is correct in transliterating a Yud with a “j”.

    This does not explain why he would change the spelling of someone’s handle.

    #621594

    mariner
    Member

    joseph, i can prove you wrong very simply. the jews knew what was coming, that is why my grandparents got the heck out. they were here in america before teh war started because they saw the anti semitism getting worse after ww1. thats both sides, hailing from hungary, belarus, lithunia, and poland. so all my grandparents knew to get out. how? because they used their judgement. that is all that was said. that just because reabbonim in their communitites said to stay, they didnt, because it wasnt halacha to listen, as it was in the spirit of suggestion. they chose, thank god, not to listen, and left. what was being said was that what rabbonim say, when not in regard to halachic practice, does not have to be listened to on the same level as a halchic decsion. this was common practice until very very recently, past 20 years or so. this whole nonsense of rabbonim not making mistakes reaks of christianity, and must be stopped dead in its tracks. its thuggish, and keneged halacha, to tell people because they dont want to listen to the “advice” of a rov, that they are not following halacha.

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