First, carefully read the quote posted below…
…from today's Ynet:
…One such protest rally [against the much smaller 2008 Jerusalem Gay Pride parade] took place on Monday, in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Beit Israel. [Kabbalist] Rabbi David Batzri called on the participants in the rally to "be zealous towards the lord, and to hate those that fail and the evil that they create. Zeal is atonement for all of Israel."
Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch [the head of the Edah HaCharedit - Badatz Yerushalayim], who has headed the fight against the Jerusalem parade during previous years and succeeded in sweeping much of the ultra-Orthodox community into the protests, also spoke at the rally in Beit Israel. This year, however, he had to make do with only the few dozen demonstrators present.
"I asked my rabbi: How were so many righteous men murdered during the Holocaust – because they did not protest," Sternbuch called down from the balcony on which he stood. "Whoever does not protest is confessing with silence."
He explained the reason for the parade to his followers: "The lord is testing us in this world and wants to see if we protest. If we don't, there will be disasters. We are alone and they are many, but we are more in quality. They are evil criminals that have no place with the God of Israel."
What needed to be "protested" in 1936 or 1939?
The good rabbi does not mean gedolim should have protested Hitler or encircled 10 Downing Street or the White House demanding rescue. And he surely does not mean gedolim should have traveled en masse to Berlin to protest outside a gay cabaret.
What Rabbi Sternbuch clearly means is the gedolim did not adequately protest Religious Zionism, Secular Zionism and other forms of secularism.
He is claiming that, if the gedlolim had taken to the streets, the Holocaust would not have taken place – even if Zionism and secularism continued unabated. It was the lack of that protest that allowed the Holocaust to happen.
As for gays being, "evil criminals that have no place with the God of Israel," I recoil from the idea that Rabbi Sternbuch can so effortlessly write tens of thousands of Jews out of the Jewish people.
I think a strong case could be made that people who do so themselves have "no place with the God of Israel."
I am not willing to make that case.
But I will say this – Moshe Sternbuch seems to have been born without the requisite doses of empathy, kindness and discernment.
[Hat tip: The Beadle.]