Wht it is time for Jews to get over the Holocaust

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    The below article appeared in the The Beacon which is the YU newspaper. How they can let this be published is beyond me and the author clearly has no historical knowledge of the Holocaust. Should we never talk about 9/11 again?

    Posted on 20 February 2012. Tags: Holocaust

    Written by: Binyamin Weinreich

    The following article is not an editorial and as such does not reflect the official stance of The Beacon or its editors, but is written to reflect the opinion of the author.

    Holocaust denial is considered a crime in over a dozen countries. Surely this is an overreaction. Do we arrest flat-earthers? Ancient Astronaut enthusiasts? Believers in ghosts? Why should denial of a historical event be considered a crime, something detrimental to society? Those in favor of criminalizing Holocaust denial tend to answer that it invariably masks anti-Semitic sentiment, and therefore preaching denial of the Holocaust is tantamount to incitement to commit a hate crime. I find such logic absurd.


    The Beacon is NOT a YU Newspaper. Its written by students who attend YU.

    It used to get some student funding, but due to recent events the funding was cut off and its totally independent.


    A piece so controversial that even the Beacon had to close its comments section and you want to discuss it here? Oh boy.


    That author is also in favor of abolishing Tisha B’Av, for the same reasons.


    Naisberg: And that’s what we call Motzi Shem Rah.

    The author actually explained himself quite well, or so I was told. He doesn’t like emotional responses and wants everyone to think about things logically. While he is still wrong even with his mindset (human beings should never make any decisions based purely on emotion unless they can understand them first), if you understand what he’s going for then he really only comes down to being a complete jerk and not a neo-nazi antisemite, as apparently he has been called all over campus these past few days.


    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it


    I wonder if this author had his holocaust survivor grandmother proofread it for him?

    You idiot, thats precisely why. Since it was on a grand scale is why its singled out and special.

    What makes anything an historical event if not for its scale and intent?

    Regarding holocaust denial being a crime, he may want to look some more on Wikipedia- he may actually learn something. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial

    “One cannot be punished merely for denying the truth”. Thats correct. They are not being punished for their denial, they are being punished for publicizing their denial. The countries that have classified it as a crime do not offer the same right to free speech that we enjoy in the US. They have criminalized hate speech as well.

    His argument has been rejected by the European Commission of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and surprisingly even by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

    To end- I hate these articles with all these questions in it. If you are looking for answers then go ask your LOR (Maybe not one from YU if they approved this article, but lets not turn this into a YU bashing thread).

    If you are not looking for answers and are only looking to espouse your uneducated opinion, just say so.


    who binyamin reich is I do not know, but he is so far off the way on the Holocaust that I do not know how this piece was ever published in a Jewish newspaper. We have been remembering two Temple destructions, various pogroms through ther centuries (see kinot and other local fast days) and also our triumphs for over three thousand years. And Mr. Reich just wants us to throw everything out?


    Well, in my opinion, too many who enter the careers in the media, as well as those in science, are guided by gaiva to make a name for themselves.

    Because their pursuit is usually mostly to get a wide degree of attention, their yetzer hora is not beyond exploiting almost anything to make a name for themselves.

    Hence, the author of that article had it published KNOWING it would be provoking, and that is what they were looking for to fill themselves with their little self, at the abominable expense of those who suffered.

    How they can possibly do mechila for what they wrote? I dont know. But it reminds me of the saying that the nail that sticks out is the one that gets hammered. And that author has stepped in pretty deep doo doo.

    When do Jews “Get Over” the Holocaust? Does such a question even merit being a question? The only ones who can even tolerate such a question, to my way of thinking, are those who committed the atrocities, and imbeciles.

    ha ha ha ha

    I never heard something more Riduclouse in my LIFE!!!!

    this is CRRAAAZYYY!!! What would the author hav said if HE wouldve lived through it??? like yes i lived through it it was just 4/5/6 etc. years of my life but now its over so we should forget??!!?!?!?


    The Beacon reflects nothing on YU. It is now basically a group of editors who will publish any “good writing”, no matter how controversial, and now has writers from places all over the country. It is no longer even limited to the YU student body. They YU student body’s reaction to this piece shows much more about YU than this piece ever should.


    While I think the author of the piece expressed his idea rather poorly, his point is a good one, and could actually help us better understand the Holocaust, its importance, and the ways we can try to prevent it from happening again.

    All he is saying (in between all the controversy-inducing language and hyperbole) is that we should stop thinking about the Holocaust as an historical anomaly, something unprecedented, unnatural, and inexplicable, and start thinking about it the same way we think about other historical events. American do not only morn the losses of the Civil War, they study them as an historical reality to better understand their causes, effects and continuing implications. The same is true for Pearl Harbor, or the way the Japanese think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the way Russians think about the Second World War (let’s not forget they lost over 25 million people in the war). These events are not looked at as one-time events, they or their equivalents happened before, and will happen again, and understanding them as historical processes enables us to deal with them, and address potential repetitions.

    We have not dealt with the Holocaust in this reasoned way. We have treated it as something unnatural, and inexplicable, and as a result we don’t understand it as well as we might. We have an emotional connection to the Holocaust, and it is understandable that as a result, our thoughts about the subject are highly reactionary. But that does not mean we cannot think about the Holocaust as an historical event, and analyze and understand it as such.

    In addition to understanding the religious implications of the Churban, for example, we can also understand the historical processes that led up to, culminated in, and followed events like the destruction of the Second Temple, the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Tach V’Tat, and the Holocaust.

    Again, the author expressed his ideas using some very poorly chosen words, turns of phrase, and arguments. His underlying point, however, is well-taken.

    Dare I say, the very fact that reactions to the piece have been so caustic and reactionary indicates that he may well have a point: We simply seem unable to get past our deep emotional connection to what happened in 1933-1945 so as to be able to think logically about what happened, why it happened, and what it has done.


    Moron writes a troll article, and the Beacon publishes it.


    PBA: An accurate summation.


    In addition to understanding the religious implications of the Churban, for example, we can also understand the historical processes that led up to, culminated in, and followed events like the destruction of the Second Temple, the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Tach V’Tat, and the Holocaust.

    Simply put, for all of those “historical processes”, we Yidden needed a Potch. I trust Hashem that we needed it.


    Looks like this generation might need another reminder of chairman bayis shaini… I hope and pray not!


    While it is true that our people have been the victims of countless horrific persecutions and mass murders throughout the centuries, the Holocaust is not merely the most recent, but was clearly quantitatively (and probably qualitatively as well) the worst of them all.

    To me, aside from the fact that the deep wounds of the Holocaust are still far to fresh to “put behind us”, there is a much more serious reason to NOT just relegate the Holocaust to the shelves of anti-Semitic history.

    Simply put, there are still those who would, if they could, who WILL, if they CAN, implement a new Holocaust even more devasting than the last one.

    If we let ourselves, or others, forget that, it will bring it one step closer to reality.


    Yes, it is true.

    In The Netherlands, literally 9 out of 10 events on the national Jewish calendars are Holocaust remembrance events. The Holocaust remembrance events outrank everything else.

    The main and most important thing young secular, unaffiliated Jews know about Judaism is the Holocaust. That is the primary thing about being Jewish – being a 3rd generation survivor.

    This is extremely damaging. Instead of focusing on our chagim, on happy things, they spend all their time mourning the past. For all of the remembrance days, large crowds show up: for 27 January (Auschwitz liberation day), for 4 May (Dutch memorial day), Yom HaShoah, and others.

    But where are they on Purim? Where are they on Sukkos? Where are they on Pesach?

    There is nothing wrong with remembering, but ‘Holocaust memorial day’ should be Tisha bAv, as our gedolim have always said. Some, such as Rav Shimon Schwab and the old Bobover Rebbe, and others, wrote kinnos.

    Apart from the issur on making new special days (the English-Israeli Yated Neeman has a couple of articles about this from years ago), there is the issue that we should not create more and more sadness.

    I post a link there: http://www.chareidi.org/archives5765/KDS65oyomshoa.htm Mods, I assume this really should be fine.


    Being super-rational isn’t really better than being super-emotional, you know…

    pba: +1


    RSRH : Again, I do not know you from the taxi driver in the street but your views come dangerously clsoe to the ones expressed by the author of that despicable piece. The Holocaust was a special catastrophe, as the Churban Habays was a special event. Never since the churban and never again will you have such a destruction of jews.

    And you are wrong in so many ways- did you know that many Polish jews still have a fast day to remember the Chmilniecky era?

    In addition, your comparables are totally false. the civil war is indeed still considered the biggest catastrophe in american wars and commemorated everywhere. Same for Dec 7.

    For you- ostensibly a frum jew- to fall in the trap of the Holocaust minimizers (let us be charitable) is denying the whole lesson of that terrible period.


    chassidischer gatesheader- your comments are just plain false. not even in germany (of which i know a lot) do you have “9 ot of 10” remembrances about the Holocaust.

    And, the secular do indeed celebrate all the chagim, maybe not like you but they celebrate them quite well.


    rabbiofberlin: Um, okay. Sure.


    “The Beacon is NOT a YU Newspaper. Its written by students who attend YU.

    It used to get some student funding, but due to recent events the funding was cut off and its totally independent. “

    What does this article and the “alluded to” article say about these students? Probably about as much as unorthodox has to say about its author and community.


    Oh boy, where to start…

    1. The only way I can remotely say “he has a point” is with regard to how most secular Jews relate to the Holocaust. All too often, you hear the trite “Never Again” being bandied about, like it’s the slogan of Judaism. Aside from the fact that there’s so much more to the Holocaust than that, there’s so much more to Judaism than the Holocaust. When the only argument against marrying Christina is that some relatives died 70 years ago, it doesn’t bode well. So in that sense, yes, there’s some “getting over it” to do. That being said…

    2. The Jewish people are all about collective memory. Has this guy ever read the Hagaddah? Not only have we NOT “gotten over” being enslaved in Egypt, we talk about Yetzias Mitzrayim in terms of WE- WE were enslaved, WE were taken out by Hashem, WE were brought to EY as Hashem promised etc. It’s never just our ancestors, it’s US. That can be a very difficult concept to wrap your head around, but with the Holocaust being recent enough that we still have people among us who were there, it’s a little less difficult.

    3. The Holocaust IS uniquely Jewish. Yes, other non-Jewish minorities were brutally slaughtered by the the Nazis, and yes, there have been some terrible genocides since then (including Darfur, which continues to this day), there is NO COMPARISON to what Hitler did and tried to do to the Jews. We weren’t just slaughtered, our entire religion was attacked- Torahs and other holy objects burned, tallesim and tefillin used for mockery; the Nazis knew full well when Yom Kippur was so they could davka offer starving Jews lavish meals on that day, and they knew when Pesach was so they could davka offer loaves of fresh bread. No other genocide has so systematically attacked a people down to their foundations like that.

    4. When people get offended by inappropriate use of Holocaust terms/imagery, it’s not because the Holocaust is taboo. It’s because such imagery generally trivializes the evil that went on. When an American president or Israeli prime minister is compared to Hitler ym”sh, it trivializes the level of evil that he was. No one other than Ahmedinejad (and a few choice others) comes even close.

    5. There was a recent article in the NYT by known Jewish anti-Semite Roger Cohen, who basically said we Jews need to get over the Holocaust and stop being victims, because those poor Palestinians are the real victims now. He’s not alone in this thinking. Plenty of left-wing intellectuals and politicians are calling for us to “just get over it already” and using this as ammunition against us in our struggle against the Palestinians. How quickly people forget. Although EY is ours because Hashem gave it to us, NOT because we are victims of the Holocaust, the world sees it as the latter. They gave us the scraps 64 years ago because they felt sorry for us, but now they don’t have to feel sorry anymore so they’re trying to take it away CH”VS. We CANNOT just get over it and let Europe off the hook.

    There is so much more…This is just off the top of my head…


    I just typed up a whole thing but I’m too scared to post it. Oh well.

    Avi K

    The Holocaust cannot be forgotten just as the Churban habayit cannot (until it is rebuilt bb”a). The problem is the cottage industry that has grown up around it with whole shelves in bookstores being dedicated to it. IMHO, this is obscene and counter-productive. We should be looking towards the future, building our state, always improving.

    As for prohibitions on “racist” speech, that can be a double-edged sword.As Rav Zalman Melamed pointed out, one could make a case for the Havdala nusach (“who differentiated us from the other peoples”) as falling under the prohibition. Bettter to err on the side of free speech unless there is a real danger of violence.


    What is this Reich’s given name again? Third?

    (Yes, it’s me, the ursine from Creedmoor. I messed up my last account by closing the email address it was linked to. Sorry about that.)



    “chassidischer gatesheader- your comments are just plain false. not even in germany (of which i know a lot) do you have “9 ot of 10″ remembrances about the Holocaust.”

    I am talking about things I witnessed myself. Why do you feel the need to flame/troll with “your comments are just plain false”? I guarantee you it is true. I witnessed it myself on the website “joods.nl” in 2005, which is the previous time I discussed this with others.

    “And, the secular do indeed celebrate all the chagim, maybe not like you but they celebrate them quite well.”

    Maybe secular Israelis, but not secular, assimilated Dutch Jews whose only affiliation with Judaism is in knowing they’re Jewish because their mother was Jewish whose mother was Jewish whose mother was Jewish, etc. I’ve met plenty of them, and quite a few told me they don’t want any affiliation with Judaism because “it is such a sad religion, almost everything they organize is about crying for the dead”. Some people told me literally that.


    As pba said, the writer is a moron and I will extend that designation to the editorial staff of Beacon. This type of piece is not an outlier for Beacon. I miss the days when printing was expensive and was reserved for things “fit to print”

    The only point he made that I will respond to is the one about immortality. True, we have thousands of hours of documentation given by survivors, but it will nevertheless be a loss when the last survivor is gone. Because right now we have all that documentation AND living documentation, yet this moron has the gall to tell us to “quit whining”. How much more so once there are no more survivors, we can expect to hear even louder voices telling us its been enough. And the worst part will be that no one will be around to answer back, “I was there, you moron, and it was a big deal no matter how embarrassed you are to say so.”

    This writer will either grow up to regret writing this, or end up completely disconnected from Judaism.


    And to ask for the discussion to be only logical is illogical. Persecution and genocide is not logical, but emotional. Nationalism is not logical but emotional. We don’t study history purely for logical reasons, either. So when you discuss a topic that is pertinent to the history of our nation, it is logical and appropriate to be emptional about it. It is moronic to try to divorce emotion from the topic.

    So the writer is not only moronic but also oxymoronic.


    As they say in Creedmoor: “He’s an oxymoron, give or take an oxygen molecule.”


    chassidischer gatesheader- I cannot question your quote from “joods.nl” of 2005 (!!) and I will check that. I still don’t believe that 9 out of 10 commemorations are about the Holocaust.

    On the other side, you say that “quite a few’ and “some people’ have affirmed that they don’t keep nor do they want to keep the chagim.

    I fully suscribe to that- there are way too many jews in Europe and America who are estranged from the Jewish people and religion- this is why I cherish Chabad’s work so much and this is why I support the medinah with all its warts, because the jewish people will be safeguarded there.


    Hi That Big Bear Again,

    I dont care where they say that, even if he is an oxy, you have no right to call someone a moron.




    “chassidischer gatesheader- I cannot question your quote from “joods.nl” of 2005 (!!) and I will check that. I still don’t believe that 9 out of 10 commemorations are about the Holocaust.”

    That site is long gone now. However I assure you it was true. I remember because we had a similar discussion about it there, then.


    If we do not forget a tragedy that happened to us (twice) a couple of thousands of years ago, and still mourn, why would we ever forget something horrific and tragic that mamesh happened in our own lifetime?


    I haven’t read this thread but I saw the headlines and it reminded me of a clever story:

    A group of priests were arguing with a Rabbi once. They asked him: “Why do you still go on about the holocaust, when it happened 60 years ago? Why can’t you just forget about it?”

    He answered them: “Are you mad? 6 Million Jews were murdered 60 years ago and we should forget about it? 1 Jew was killed 2000 years ago and every Christian in the world is still going on about it!”


    Never forget. Always remember.

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