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April 15, 2012

Updated: Haredi Rabbi Lies About The Holocaust – Again

Meir Wikler"According to some experts, between 50%-70% of those murdered by the Nazis, were "traditionally religious Jews." There is no reason to assume the percentage of survivors who were religious was any less."

Meir Wikler
Rabbi Meir Wikler

Yad Vashem only honors Holocaust's secular victims
Haredim have authored their own Holocaust history books, developed their own curricula to teach it to their children and are building their own museums to memorialize the martyrs.
By Meir Wikler • Ha’aretz

When Yad Vashem in Jerusalem opened its new wing, known as The Holocaust History Museum, in 2005, it was much ballyhooed as a state of the art, multi-million dollar Holocaust museum to top all others. While praise for the new museum wing has poured forth from dignitaries and laymen, the unified opposition of so-called ultra-orthodox, or Haredi Jewry, has stuck out like a sore thumb. Why have Haredim been so upset?

While Jewish religious life before World War II is illustrated at the museum, the testimony of haredi survivors is largely missing.

According to some experts, between 50%-70% of those murdered by the Nazis, were "traditionally religious Jews." There is no reason to assume the percentage of survivors who were religious was any less. But in the rooms of Yad Vashem only one of the 50-60 video monitors playing taped testimonies of Holocaust survivors shows a Haredi Jew. By choosing to record and display taped testimonies of mostly secular Jews, Yad Vashem is giving a distorted picture of the religious affiliations of the survivors. This gives the false impression that few ultra-orthodox Jews survived the Shoah.

The spiritual heroism of the Holocaust is almost completely overlooked. The abundant examples of incredible courage to study Torah and perform mitzvot despite unspeakable suffering and incredible hardships are relegated to footnote status and all but eliminated from the museum. The clandestine yeshivot and Torah study groups in the ghettos, the lighting of candles on Channuka, the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashana and the daily donning of tefillin in the concentration camps - all under the penalty of death - are not mentioned at all.

The massive rescue work of Haredi Jewry has effectively been purged from the historical record of the Holocaust as presented by Yad Vashem. Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl, for example, and the heroic efforts of his Working Group, are impugned and dishonored. Instead of crediting them with successfully delaying the transports from Czechoslovakia by bribing and outsmarting the Nazis, the paragraph written about them makes it sound as if they were the ones who had been duped.

Yad Vashem's responses to queries on this subject have been disappointing. At one meeting, the Yad Vashem representative requested that the discussion be kept “off the record.” The institution's written responses to published critiques have attempted to obfuscate the issue. The spokesperson cited, for example, the online services available to the Haredi community. They also pointed to the special Orthodox division of their tour guide training school and they emphasized how many Orthodox students make use of Yad Vashem archives for research purposes.

Yad Vashem’s underlying motives for all of this are open to speculation. Some Herdim believe that Yad Vashem feels that dealing more favorably with ultra-Orthodox Jews is antithetical to their secular, Zionist agenda. Others see this as a reflection of the anti-Haredi bias of some segments of secular Israeli society. And still others suspect that Yad Vashem simply suffers from the, “We know best,” mentality, so prevalent today in Jewish establishment circles.

However, there have been a few improvements made to the new Museum wing. For example, the immodest pictures of victims which were originally on display when the museum opened have since been removed. In addition, while the new building opened with no videotaped testimonies from any Haredi survivors, now there is one.

Unfortunately, these changes fall far short of what is needed. As the premier Holocaust museum under Jewish auspices, Yad Vashem dishonors the memory of the six million by continuing to present a distorted and incomplete record of the Shoah. No, not all those who perished in or survived the Shoah were Haredim. But many more Haredim did survive than the 2% represented by the one videotaped testimony currently on display.

In spite of the extremely rare but highly publicized Haredi use of Holocaust imagery against the State, the overwhelming majority of Haredim today take Shoah remembrance seriously. Yad Vashem, however, is seen by many as irrelevant. As a result, Haredim have authored their own Holocaust history books, developed their own curricula to teach it to their children and are building their own museums to memorialize the martyrs.

If many ultra-Orthodox Jews see Yad Vashem as irrelevant, why are some so outspoken in their criticism of the new Holocaust History Museum? Millions of visitors, both Jew and non-Jew, stream through Yad Vashem each year. The vast majority of them would never visit a Holocaust museum under Haredi auspices. Yad Vashem needs, therefore, to make further corrections to the new building for those visitors. And world Jewry must insist on it.

Yom HaShoah observances are designed to memorialize the martyrs. Nothing would honor their memory more, however, than being remembered as they would have wanted. We cannot save a single life that was lost in the Holocaust. We can, however, protest the distortions at Yad Vashem that dishonor the memory of religious victims because they can no longer do that for themselves.

Dr. Meir Wikler is a Brooklyn based psychotherapist, author and lecturer.

Meir Wikler is dishonest. He's also a fool.

As I noted in May of last year in response to an 'interview' of Wikler in The Jewish Week [the quotes are from that 'interview' but are similar to what he wrote now above]:

1. "At least half, if not more, of all survivors were haredi." This is complete hogwash. At the dawn of WW2, 2/3 of Warsaw's Jews were secular. The number of secular Jews was even higher in Paris, Amsterdam and Denmark. And most of Budapest's Jews were secular, as well. Even smaller cities like Munkatch had large secular populations. And all these areas had large populations of what we would call Modern Orthodox or Zionist Orthodox Jews, as well. The vast majority of Europe's Jews in 1939 were secular or non-haredi Orthodox. There are to my knowledge no studies, no academic research, and no evidence to back up Wikler's claim. But there is much evidence against Wikler. Satmar, Bobov, Klausenberg, Chabad and other American hasidic groups were broken by the Holocaust. Most of the people who today call themselves hasidim are descended from people who were secular or non-haredi-Orthodox after the Holocaust, but who were recruited by hasidic leaders, many of whom had difficulty getting a quorum for prayer in 1946.

2. "The description of Harav [Rabbi] Michoel Dov Weissmandel, of blessed memory, [who led an effort to save Jews from the Holocaust] depicts him as having been naïve and duped by the Nazis. The truth is just the opposite. He was a brilliant rabbinic leader who outwitted the Nazis at every turn." All available evidence shows Rabbi Weissmandl – the Slovakian rabbi who was courageous and tireless as he tried to save Jews from the Nazis – was, in fact, duped by the Nazis and achieved little. The only way to interpret the evidence differently (besides lying, of course) is to say that the Allies would have allowed American and Palestinian Jews to give the Germans tens of thousands of trucks and other war supplies in exchange for Jews in the middle of war they were fighting against those Germans

 3. "There are videotaped testimonies of only two haredi survivors in the New Wing of the museum. Compared with the 50 or 60 testimonies of non-haredi survivors, it gives the mistaken impression that hardly any haredi Jews survived, and by extension, that haredi Judaism did not survive the Holocaust." I've known dozens of Holocaust survivors on three continents. They include parents of friends, Jewish communal leaders, Holocaust educators, simple Jews, and even a Nazi hunter. Only one or two could be honestly described as being haredi after the war. Before the war that number would be four or five, at best. What Wikler does is define haredi in terms so broad the word no longer has meaning. Therefore anyone with a onetime connection to the haredi community, no matter how tenuous it may be – even if that 'connection' comes from grandparent's affiliation only, or even if that 'affiliation' comes from Wikler defining non-haredi Orthodoxy as haredi for the purpose of his argument – is defined by Wikler as haredi. That pumps up his numbers and allows him to  lambaste Yad Vashem for, in effect, following the normative definition of the word and then acting on it. On top of Wikler's behavior, there is the overall behavior of the haredi community that did survive the war. Their leaders generally refused to cooperate with Yad Vashem, which means haredim are underrepresented there – but not to the degree Wikler claims. The fault is not Yad Vashem's – it is Yoel Teitelbaum's and the other haredi leaders who refused to cooperate with it.

4. It isn't just that haredim do not commemorate Yom HaShoah. For years, they did things that flew in the face of it, just as for years haredim refused to stand still and be silent for the one minute of silence observed for Israel's fallen soldiers.

Past all this, Wikler ignores key facts that surely influenced and continue to influence Yad Vashem:

A. Haredim propagated and continue to propagate the most base and bizarre conspiracy theories to 'prove' Zionists collaborated with the Nazis and to delegitimize Israel. The 'facts' these conspiracy theories are based on are largely false, and the little that is true is taken out of context. They do this because the existence and success of the State of Israel is an existential threat to the validity of their theology.

 B. Any fair representation of haredi behavior during the Holocaust must include the behavior of hasidic rebbes who ordered their flocks to stay in Europe and then fled, leaving their followers to die horrible deaths. The Satmar Rebbe did this. So did the Belzer Rebbe and his brother. So did the Lubavitcher Rebbe. And then there was Rabbi Elchanon Wasserman, a non-hasidic haredi leader who forbade his followers from fleeing Europe, even telling students not to accept offers to study at Yeshiva University in New York. Wasserman hated YU because it was Zionist and because it was Modern Orthodox. On a visit to New York, Wasserman himself turned down a teaching position there and went back to Lithuania. He and many of his students were killed by the Nazis shortly after.

C. There were rabbis – some haredi, some hasidic, some Modern or Zionist Orthodox – who refused to leave their followers and accompanied them to the killing fields and death camps. Most of them who survived came out of that hell as Zionist or Zionist leaning.

D. Scholars who study the haredi reaction to the Holocaust – including at least one haredi academic, Esther Farbstein – note that haredi rabbis' strong opposition to Zionism before the war, coupled with Israel's subsequent success and the poor behavior of the rabbis noted in section B above, largely account for the haredi community's rejection of Holocaust studies and Holocaust memorials and its ambivalent and sometimes hostile relationship with Yad Vashem. And, as I noted in section A above, it is this cognitive dissonance that is the foundation for the bizarre anti-Israel and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories common in haredi communities.

Wikler lies with appalling regularity.

The sad thing is that haredi leadership and the haredi rank and file don't even care.

Update 12:22 pm CDT – Here's Yad Vashem's response to Wikler's lies:

Yad Vashem responds: We do pay tribute to Holocaust's ultra-Orthodox victims
Meir Wikler's op-ed that the museum is biased toward the secular Jews who perished in the Holocaust is full of misinformation, writes Yad Vashem spokeswoman.
By Iris Rosenberg • Ha’aretz

Meir Wikler’s latest article on what he perceives as bias against Haredim at Yad Vashem is replete with misinformation.

For example, Wikler says there is only one testimony of a Haredi survivor in the Holocaust History Museum; this is not true. He claims that blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, donning tefillin, lighting candles on Hannukah “are not mentioned at all”. Again, this is false. Rabbi Weissmandl and the Working Group’s efforts, under impossible circumstances, to rescue Jews are respected by Yad Vashem and all the guides trained here. It’s unfortunate that Wikler chooses to see insults and slights where none exist.

To state that “spiritual heroism of the Holocaust is almost completely overlooked” is wrong and misleading, demonstrating a perception unrelated to reality. Yad Vashem seeks to meaningfully impart the story of the Shoah in all its complexity and variety with a special emphasis on spiritual heroism. The activities of Yad Vashem - its museums, exhibitions, online material (viewed by over 12 million people last year), educational approaches, publications, and more - prove the contrary.

Wikler says that Haredim have authored their own Holocaust history books, developed curricula and teach their children. Indeed, for nearly a decade, an ultra-Orthodox department in Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies has been working closely with Haredi educators and leaders to prepare educational material such as the multi-volume textbooks Years Wherein We Have Seen Evil in Hebrew and English and seminars - at Yad Vashem and elsewhere - serving Haredi educators and students throughout Israel. Sincere dialogue between Yad Vashem and the leadership of Haredi Jewry and their representatives over the years has resulted in productive educational activity with the Bais Yaacov and other Haredi educational systems, and many Haredim participate in seminars at Yad Vashem, in genuine partnerships with Agudath Israel of America and the Belz community in Israel, to name just a few.

To claim, as his headline does, that “Yad Vashem honors only Holocaust’s secular victims” is outrageous and can only be a result of an unfounded bias.

I invite Haaretz readers to join the hundreds of thousands of people, including Haredim and other Jews and non-Jews of all backgrounds, who visit the Holocaust History Museum, and other sites at Yad Vashem, and experience it for themselves.

Iris Rosenberg is the Spokesperson at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

Related Post: Haredi Rabbi Lies About The Holocaust.

Comments

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a jew is a jew is a jew

this man is beyond horrific.

Like their evangelical counterparts, the Haredim are busily engaged in historical revisionism. These people wouldn't recognize objective reality if it walked up to them and introduced itself.

Isn't there anything in the Talmud about shutting the fuck up when you don't know what you're talking about?

I Facebooked this one.

Dr. Meir Wikler is a Brooklyn based psychotherapist

That's the best part. How does a Haredi study psychology in college, anyway (assuming he got a heter to attend in the first place and wasn't just handed a "diploma" by his rosh yeshiva)? When he takes an exam that asks him to explain Freud's view of human sexuality, what does he answer - "It's a massive chillul Hashem!"?

A religious fanatic lies? How ... usual

"Dr. Meir Wikler is a Brooklyn based psychopath"
It sounds better.....

Dr. Wikler has a DSW ( Doctorate in Social Work) and BSD ( Board Certified Diplomate in Social Work) as his credentials. These require university and college work as well as writing of thesis and doctorate.
========

Wikler writes: For example, the immodest pictures of victims which were originally on display when the museum opened have since been removed.
=====
What was immodest?

A picture of someone being sent to the gas chamber without clothing? Maybe he would be happier if the women all had their hair covered and the rest of their bodies spray painted.

The holocaust was immodest. His belief system is immodest.

Maybe obscene would be a better choice of words.

I think it's time to create a Museum of Idolatry to document the history and destruction of mankind by religions such as the one Wikler worships.


The sad thing is that haredi leadership and the haredi rank and file don't even care.

they do and permit and tell these lies because they can

they could lie and tell in yeshiva they died for being frum being frum was the reason and not because they were simply Jews. and then use the guilt trip how could you not be frum when your grandparent or now great grandparents died for being frum.

2. as per yoeli (I will call him with his title when satmar uses rebbie title when they talk about MO, reform or Conservative rebbies, until then NO) the frum where punished because of the secular and Zionist (if one believes that god controls all this, maybe they died because of the hate the frum had because of yoeli and others, towards other jews) if they where only a very small percentage questions could be asked what could they have done? but if they where the majority then one could argue they could have done something.
3.the need to lie to hide or distort history to hide embarrassing acts by their holy leaders. They cannot and will not admit, that some acted badly, satmar Ger, beltz since they are great and simply can do no wrong. and they cannot even admit that some simply erred in judgment. remember to many their leaders are infallible

4. They cannot admit that the secular and the Zionist where working to safe Jews and to get them out of a country to safety and the frum leaders where telling their followers to stay and god would not something like that happens.

5. they simply do not like to deal with reality when it becomes uncomfortable instead of dealing with it they will make history fit their believes and philosophy

@Litvish- it's also reasonable to believe that the majority of the pictures he deemed immodest were photos of women. This might lead to a revisionist claim that the majority of the Jewish population in Europe were men. It woukdn't be surprising considering all the doublethink in their belief system.

The perfect description of hareidim hassidim fools of the first order perfect fools this article describes them perfectly they dupe themselfs into beleiving thing that are tottaly untrued and they keep repeating the same nonsense with this 10 thousand trucke for jews who in their right mind would beleive it in the middle of a war transferring this many truck to an enemy reality by them is lie and lie is reality by theese fools

Really, that this moron is allowed to practice "psychotherapy" in the first place is an indictment of our health care system.

when i look at this person i feel lice infecting my scalp.simply put this man is a joke ; an a- hole becomes a rabbi. only in hardei new york/ new jersye could this probably happen. Who is this little monkey anyway that you bother to give him even two minutes of exposure. A weasel with glasses. probably grow up to be another frumm pervert.

Just googled this twerp on the net, he deals with problems, funny he is the problem,he has not attempted to even approach how to overcome being the nerd he is. probably beaten up or molested at school.

Please provide some source material for the claim against Rabbi Wasserman.

irony: WikiLeaks was born a chazir fresser, and later became BT. Now he is the voice of the Agudah. Deserve each other.

The hatred against Zionism in Chassidish circles when we grew up after the war was pathological, but of course we did not know it.

Looking back with the above explanations it makes sense. The whole thing is a coverup for cowardice and false prophecy, which can't stand the light of day and logic.

So the best answer: demonize them , keep the populace ignorant, and make hatred a cornerstone of your religion.

As what you people classify as extreme orthodox fundie,that's me. I am a son of holocaust survivors and I can explain why there were also religious Jews murdered by the nazis. First we must make it clear like smarya pointed out most Jews were not chareidim prior to the holocaust. I asked my mother if there were any secular Jews in her home town in Hungary. She said of course there were and we religious kept to ourselves. I then asked if Jewish stores were open on shabbos and she said,"yes". Why did not the frum Jews either protest or reachout to these secular shabbos violators. The result they both perished in the holocaust. We are one people. It is not enough the Jew in Brooklyn being religious while the Jew in the village is not. I as a child of holocaust survivors do extreme outreach wherever I go. Recently on my plane ride back from Israel I bought about twenty pocket size hebrew tehillim psalms from the on flight merchandise magazine and distributed to all the Israeli secular stewards,stewardes and pilots. Some broke down in tears and expressed their deep spiritual yearnings. The co pilot was so moved that he was willing to put on my tfillin. The souls of millions of secular Jews are crying out in anguish to taste the sweetness of Torah.

Posted by: Flatbusher | April 15, 2012 at 08:49 AM

did you go to the same yeshivas that i did

in boro park

the Zionist caused the holocaust they where to blame for it

"According to some experts, between 50%-70% of those murdered by the Nazis, were "traditionally religious Jews."

maybe i will email him and ask him to name 2 experts that say that

Posted by: heshyfriedman | April 15, 2012 at 08:51 AM

Why did not the frum Jews either protest or reachout to these secular shabbos violators. The result they both perished in the holocaust.

these two facts have nothing to do with each other

another delusion by the frum, to try to shift the blame or the reason for the holocaust that Jews where not frum.

I understand that you must come up with some reason that fits your philosophy, since you cannot just admit

God does not exist
or
God was a sleep at the wheel
or
God is cruel

or god is a child molester (we are his children per te Torah)

I am a son of holocaust survivors and I can explain why there were also religious Jews murdered by the nazis.

BECAUSE THEY WHERE JEWS PERIOD


Posted by: Rebitzman | April 15, 2012 at 09:12 AM

nice i am happy they did not mince words and called him a liar

seymour -Jew were murdered because they didnt have a country period without a country you dont get respect in this world.also because they were easy scapegoats for the germans and most rest of the anti semites in short they were easy orey for murderers anyone telling you its because they were not religious is just trying to play a mind game on us all the dummest of the dumnd are those that say they know exactly why jes were killed.

Posted by: jancsibacsi | April 15, 2012 at 09:45 AM

I do not think that was the reason they where murdered i think that was a reason that they could be murdered

they had no where to run

but of course the ultra do not see that, and say because we wanted to have a place to run that is why god killed us.

Of course god killed us since he/she controls everything and allowed it to happen

of course if one believes in a god

(Rebitzman, thank you for the link.)

I suggest Iris Rosenberg give Meir Wikler a personal tour of the museum, because in the rebuttal it sounds like Wikler either didn't see the contents of the museum or simply misrepresented it.

the overwhelming majority of Haredim today take Shoah remembrance seriously

The sad fact is that even on Tisha B'Av (dubbed by Haredim as the "real" Yom Hashoah), kinnot for the Shoah are said only at the most liberal of Haredi shuls, and even then as a sort of afterthought. The Haredi world cannot even bring itself to turn part of Tisha B'Av into a fitting Shoah remembrance. Yet during Sephira we mourn for nearly four weeks over the deaths of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students...

Conclusion: The Haredi world is in a state of acute paralysis, unable to create an institutional commemoration either of the highest joy (self-governance in our own land) or deepest anguish (the brutal murder of millions). Why? Because these are contemporary events, and "who are we" to institute new commemorations? We're not Chaza"l! Well... Chaza"l would surely scold us for our weakness and pigheadedness, and congratulate secular Israelis for taking the lead where there were no leaders.

heshyfriedman:

Your triumphalist crowing is codswallop. I find your numbers highly unlikely, and, in any case, once those who do consider themselves ba'alei teshuvah in the charedi context discover they are bnai niddah, forever second class Jews, and that their children are "unacceptable", they will be disillusioned in the most literal sense.

Others, who attached themselves to the more modern groups among the Dati Leumi and others stand a better chance of surviving the transition. However, they, too, will discover the bait-and-switch as Torah takes a back seat to "Rabbinic Wisdom" and social claptrap labeled halacha.

The damage that kiruv has done to Torah by pretending to represent it is immeasurable. There is Torah for the Jews, but what comes from the "extreme orthodox fundie" camp is not it. It's a cult developed very recently and called eternal. Torah is not the ossified narrishkeit you practice. At one time, your milieu might have been one of the shvi'im punim l'Torah but your overreaching killed it and now it is nothing but a cadaver dressed in black and white.

Some broke down in tears and expressed their deep spiritual yearnings

Yes, I'm sure that's what happened.

@JEFF The only moron here is you. What a idiotic statement to make ”How does a Haredi study phsycology in college” What a DUMB statement to make as there are plenty of well respected individuals in the phsycology field that are Haredim.

But after reading some of the other garbage you write in your comments its obvious you are a dimwit!

I suggest Iris Rosenberg give Meir Wikler a personal tour of the museum, because in the rebuttal it sounds like Wikler either didn't see the contents of the museum or simply misrepresented it.

That would require him to talk to a woman! You'll go to gehinnom merely for suggesting such a toevah!

The Haredi world cannot even bring itself to turn part of Tisha B'Av into a fitting Shoah remembrance. Yet during Sephira we mourn for nearly four weeks over the deaths of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students...

That's because they were observant Jews and true Torah Chachmim. Frei yidden don't merit remembrance, apparently.

Perhaps they don't want to deal with the Shoah, Yad Vashem, and other Holocaust museums because then they'd have to face the fact that their devoutness -- and their mezuzim -- didn't protect them?

heshyfriedman-

Recently on my plane ride back from Israel I bought about twenty pocket size hebrew tehillim psalms from the on flight merchandise magazine and distributed to all the Israeli secular stewards,stewardes and pilots. Some broke down in tears and expressed their deep spiritual yearnings. The co pilot was so moved that he was willing to put on my tfillin.

This is a TERRIBLE time to do kiruv. Your co-pilot is rather busy trying to make sure you don't die. Let him put on tefillin another time.

As Shmarya pointed out above, many haredim died because they believed in their duplicitous rebbes who not only deceived them but in many cases ( Satmar+) left them all to die while they and their families made it out.

The haredim do not worship hashem; they worship rebbes. It was true then and even worse now.

And that leads to the greatest avodah zora imaginable.

Many died precisely because they refused to use the heads that hashem gave them and, instead, put their emunah in corrupt, ignorant fools .

"Yidn we are being attacked. Time to say thillim!!"

Based on my reading over the years, historically America and Israel have tended to have different primary narratives when it comes to Holocaust experiences. American historians and institutions emphasize survivors and Israeli ones tend to emphasize fighters. Of course, there is overlap, and the past decade-plus have seen a lot of improvement in researchers, historians and writers on the subject expanding their scopes, but this dichotomy of perspective has been a big piece of the cultural gap between the two countries when it comes to talking about the Holocaust.

So with that background, I would not be surprised if there might be more emphasis on your "standard" Israeli Holocaust narrative at Yad Vashem, which may not be synonymous with your standard Haredi narrative. It may be institutional bias, it may be cultural bias, or it may be a bit of both. However it sounds like the situation is more complex than Wikler is portraying it.

The fact that the Haredi population has spent decades teaching its own Holocaust curriculum (chock full of God knows what information) is probably also a factor here: if someone comes to Yad Vashem expecting everything to be about the rebbes, Hasidim and yeshivot, they're going to be in for a surprise. While those stories may need to be told more or told better, the disconnect is not specifically Yad Vashem's fault.

At the end of the day, I believe that Yad Vashem, as a well-regarded historical and educational institution, has a vested interest in making its information and content as accurate as possible. If this is presently lacking, there are better ways of solving this issue, such as by working with the museum, than accusing them of dishonoring the memory of the six million, as Wikler so grandiosely and cavalierly does.

my grandfather was a gerrer chasid..
one of his 8 children married a vishnitzer.
fuck the gerrer rebbe.
my grandfather followed his advice.
my grandfather and 8 year old aunt, devorah, were
taken from the warsaw ghetto together.
my mom was the only survivor.
warsaw ghetto and auschwitz.
fuck the gerrier rebbe.

although i believe i was a bracha child from the gerrer rebbe after the war. i don't know what to think.

seymour-exactly i meant to write it is a reason its like a perfect storm came toghether not having a country made it much much worse,for theese hassidim reality is their enemy if it is true or real they have to twist it to make it confusing and obfuscate the whole history to their liking.

What a DUMB statement to make as there are plenty of well respected individuals in the phsycology field that are Haredim.

Heh! Yes, I'm sure.

"Doctor, I hate my parents."

"Vos? Chos v'sholem you should say such a thing! It's your yetzer hara talking! You need to say tehillim immediately! B'ezrat Hashem you'll have a reufuah shlemah and not go to gehinnom for your reshais!"

Yeah, I'm sure there's an academic paper in there somewhere.

Thanks to Zionism a big portion if not the majority of Jews were secular before the war.Interesting how come they the secular frei yidden didn't flee Europe since they didn't listen to the rebbes who told "everyone" to stay.Were they too "duped" by the rebbies?


All available evidence shows Rabbi Weissmandl – the Slovakian rabbi who was courageous and tireless as he tried to save Jews from the Nazis – in fact, duped the Nazis and achieved alot.He kept Wisclenciny in suspense with all kind of tricks for months.
As per his writing in Min hametzar and per the people who helped him he held back for two years the killings of thousands of Slovakian Jews.

Chardei Jews were always accused by secular Jews of being money hungry schnorers and lying.

Zionism's philosophy was that the more Jews killed by the Nazis the easier it will be to achieve their goal in getting a Jewish Zionist state.

If you want to be honest with your readers you should quote the dozens of quotes by Issac Grunbaum Ben-Gourion,Sally Mayer,Nathan Schwalb and a whole bunch of others how they ignored and made sure Jews are not rescued all because they had a goal to get a state. Shame on them and let them rot in hell.

The Satmar rebbe and many other orthodox people especial from Budapest raised loads of money in trying to save Jews.

Rabbi Wiesmandel had one goal:to rescue Jews no matter religious or secular.The Zionist machers had other goals and even when other Zionist like the Irgun tried saving Jews the Hgagna for their dirty politics mad sure the Irgun to fail.You should mention this also to your naive readers.

@JEFF There you again that last comment was so childish and immatture in its nature which leads me to believe two things about you. Firstly you probably suffer from some sort of mental retardation, second you probably have family issues where you did not receive any love from your parents . I pity you.

Either way keep comenting as its actually quite hillarious watching you make a ass out of yourself.

One more thing maybe you should go to someone like Dr, Wikler or a non religious doctor for your issues. Just go to someone!

Posted by: Deremes | April 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM

"Satmar good, Zionism bad, blah, blah... ." Always the same drek.

A trained parrot has more intelligent things to say.

One more thing maybe you should go to someone like Dr, Wikler or a non religious doctor for your issues. Just go to someone!

Posted by: chuck | April 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Why are you posting comments here, consorting with apikorsim? Shouldn't you be learning Toyreh?

You need to do teshuvah!

Rabbi Wiesmandel had one goal:to rescue Jews no matter religious or secular.The Zionist machers had other goals and even when other Zionist like the Irgun tried saving Jews the Hgagna for their dirty politics mad sure the Irgun to fail.You should mention this also to your naive readers.
Posted by: Deremes | April 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Fact: Kastner, a Zionist and representative of the Zionist Yishuv saved Yoilish and hundreds of others.
Fact: Halberstam (Klausenberg) and other Rebbes from the Satmar/Maramuresh area who knew FULL WELL what was in store for their followers stayed with them and went to the camps instead of running away like Yoilish.
Fact: The rise of secularism among European Jews preceded the Zionist movement by decades and was entirely independent of that phenomenon.

"..... Some broke down in tears and expressed their deep spiritual yearnings. The co pilot was so moved that he was willing to put on my tfillin."

I'll bet some broke down in tears when they realized that they were a captive audience, and the co-pilot would do anything to make him go back to his seat.

@JEFF Actualy I was watching the knick game you freak. You sound so bitter go call ur mother for some love. When posting my comments here I am trying to get idiots like yourself instead of commenting here so that at least I won't be consorting with stupidity.

Get a life bro!

Get a life bro!

Posted by: chuck | April 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Do your parents know you're using the internet?

and the co-pilot would do anything to make him go back to his seat.

Posted by: Michael from Lakewood | April 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Heh! I'm sure that was it. Any other airline would have just thrown him off the plane. Only El Al gives in to these lunatics.

Posted by: SkepticalYid | April 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I cant expect a different response from a yid who is skeptical about Judaism.

Fact:The satmer rebbe was saved by the brainstorm idea of Rabbi Wiesmandel that the Nazis can be bought.
The Satmar rebbe did NOT want to go on the train that was called the Kastner train becuase he did NOT trust the Zionist.
Chaim Roth had to convince him that all is ok.
Kastner had to be convinced by his father in law to take along the satmar rebbe.
This and much more then you will ever hear I personally heard from Chaim Roth who was from the the orthodox leaders in Budapest.
He and Kastner met with Eichman about the satmar rebbe.

Fact:Most people including the rebbes you mentioned wanted desperately to flee but didn't had the chance.
On another thread a while back i think it was you Mr.SY that mentioned a big tzadik and you claimed that he choose to be deported. I told you then that you have no clue and he wanted desperately to flee but for some reason he missed it.I heard it from his son who passed away a few years ago and there are many grandchildren that tell the story.

Posted by: Deremes | April 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM

You wouldn't know a "Fact" if it bit you on your cholent-fed behind.

I will take a contrarian view here and say that I largely agree with Wikler for two principal reasons.

One. I don't think the percentages matter. There were clearly vast multitudes of orthodox jews who perished in the holocaust from poland russia lithuania as well as czechoslovakia hungary and the austrian-german region. There is a compelling narrative to be told about how they dealt with their faith in the face of the holocaust. In no way does the recitation of that narrative detract or lessen the sacrifice made by all jews or non-jews for that matter. Similarly, no one would suggest that Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's stories detract from other victims. Every Holocaust narrative bears repeating and remembering.

Two. Yad Vashem is a Zionist institution created primarily to further the argument of Israel's founders that the historical imperative for the State of Israel is that it arose out of the ashes of the Holocaust. (Thats the why the Palestinians are such fervent holocaust deniers). The Zionist State of Israel was also created specifically to replace the national character and identity of the jewish people from being religion based to one anchored in statehood and with a very general jewish culture. (thats not Satmar 101 but basic Zionist ideology of Herzl, Weizman Ben Gurion etc)

It is, therefore, inevitable that the Orthodox narrative would be completely omitted by Yad Vashem. The Orthodox narrative served no useful purpose in furthering the Zionist agenda. Indeed, if anything, it would have set back that agenda by raising all kinds of other notions as to what the Holocaust meant to the Jewish people.

It is, therefore, inevitable that the Orthodox narrative would be completely omitted by Yad Vashem. The Orthodox narrative served no useful purpose in furthering the Zionist agenda. Indeed, if anything, it would have set back that agenda by raising all kinds of other notions as to what the Holocaust meant to the Jewish people.

Posted by: chaim yankel | April 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM

If you're truly interested in being objective, read the rebuttal to which Rebitzman provided the link above:

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/yad-vashem-responds-we-do-pay-tribute-to-holocaust-s-ultra-orthodox-victims-1.424419


@ JEFF Thank g-d unlike you I do not live in mommy and daddys house anymore.

One question for does your mom know know her little Jeff is not taking his medication?

Posted by: chuck | April 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM

I'm trying to see if you can stand not having the last word.

And about the topic of this thread - the truth hurts, doesn't it?

It may be true that the majority of Jewish victims of the Holocaust were traditionally observant. But its a stretch to say Haredi. Polish Jewish life was very different than what we have today. For example, what would you say about a socialist who was virulently anti-religious politically but kept the Sabbath (at least in public)? Haredi? MO? Or none of the above? How about the Poalei Agudah which pressed for people to use Jewish workers and not goyim, against mainstream agudah which said you can just sell 1/7th of your factory and keep it open on shabbat? Ultra Haredi or ultra marxist or ultra nationalist? I think Haredi or proto Haredi Jews did exist for example in Galicia, Hungary and parts of Lithuania. But in the latter two cases they were a small minority. More common even amongst Orthodox Jews were either traditional Jews or cultivated urban Jews with a connection to Orthodoxy. Neolog in Hungary also seems to have been closer to our "MO" than conservative. Really this game is stupid. Religious life before the war was just different and you need to take it on its own terms rather than assume the same political fissures which are unique to the Israeli state inhered in prewar Poland or Lita.

The brutal role the Zionist played during the war:

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/antisemitism/holocaust/index.cfm

Also,the "Ten Questions To The Zionist" that Rabbi Wiessmandl asked in a pamphlet which he had distributed all over NY shulls but he did not sign his name on it because he feared for his life from the Zionist thugs becuase they knew what he wrote is 100%true:

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/rabbi_quotes/weissmandl.cfm

What hurts is seeing a asshole like yourself with the inteligence of a child posting on this blog. Everyone is entitled to their view and opinion however when someone like you comments it brings down the whole inteligence level of this site.

Do us all a favor get a life and get back on the medication!

I saw "True Torah" and didn't bother to go any farther.

Bring us an article from a tenured professor at an Ivy League university, then I'll pay attention.

Posted by: Jeff | April 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM

I never respond to your ugly diatribes.

But you right that you refuse to read becuase you are brainwashed.

I've never been to Yad Vashem, I wonder if they will also include the story from 1943 and the orphans, mostly from Poland,religious I believe, escaped thru the Soviet Union, ending up in Teheran Iran...(the whole story) I'll look for it while I'm there..

The brutal role the Zionist played during the war:

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/antisemitism/holocaust/index.cfm

Also,the "Ten Questions To The Zionist" that Rabbi Wiessmandl asked in a pamphlet which he had distributed all over NY shulls but he did not sign his name on it because he feared for his life from the Zionist thugs becuase they knew what he wrote is 100%true:

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/rabbi_quotes/weissmandl.cfm

Posted by: Deremes | April 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM

It must be nice being an cretin with the education of a small child. You don't have to worry about facts or truth or reality.

But, moron, the rest of us do.

And as I and others have told you and showed you many times over the years, your Satmar anti-Zionist PR isn't even remotely true.

We have the facts – from Slovakian archives, Hungarian archives, Nazi archives, Jewish archives, etc., and those facts prove you wrong.

Wiessmandl was a broken man who did not have access to most of those facts and who hated those who could not help him.

He was sick, he was mentally ill, and he was very wrong.

At least he had excuses for his errors.

You and that evil thug you follow, Yoel Teitelbaum, do not.

>they will be disillusioned in the most literal sense.

Yaakov, did you personally go through this disillusionment? And for precisely that reason?

>it brings down the whole inteligence level of this site.

Chuck, you're joking....right?

@JEFF it scares me to know what you saw but it definitley was not the true torah or any sort of truth!

Chuck, you're joking....right?

No, he apparently has a problem with me.

And, apparently, has to have the last word.

But you right that you refuse to read becuase you are brainwashed.

Posted by: Deremes | April 15, 2012 at 01:58 PM

In addition to what Shmarya said, I'll merely add what I always say.

Fundamentalists have absolutely no sense of irony.

Deremes, the Hareidi attitude to the Holocaust reminds me of Satmar's photoshopping of the Hilary in the situation room photo. It misses the central point that the situation of the Jews became untenable in Europe because the the non-Jewish majority in countries were large number of Jews (especially 'backward' Jews) were present where not prepared to allow this large 'foreign' presence to continue.

The following statements were made not by Nazis, but by liberals and progressives.

Voltaire who was considered as a champoion against tyranny wrote that Jews 'were the greatest scoundrels who have ever sullied the face of the globe ... They are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts, just as the Bretons and Germans are born with blond hair. I would not in the least be surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race ... You [Jews] have surpassed all nations in impertinent fables, in bad conduct, and in barbarism. You deserve to be punished, for this is your destiny.

He wrote 'the Jew does not belong to any place except that place which he makes money; would he not just as easily betray the King on behalf of the Emperor as he would the Emperor for the King?" (Katz, 44). Thirty of 118 of Voltaire's essays in his Dictionary of Philosophy address Jews, usually disparagingly. Voltaire calls Jews "our masters and our enemies ... whom we detest ... the most abominable people in the world."

Montesquieu (of separation of powers fame) wrote "Know that wherever there is money,there is the Jew"

Prof David Sorkin notes, "Jews were roundly condemned for "their ritualistic religion, national character or economic situation which, separately or together, prevented them from being moral. Enlightenment thinkers almost without exception subscribed to this image of Jewish inferiority" (Sorkin, 85). "The ghetto," Enlightenment intellectuals argued, "had produced an essentially unacceptable culture. Jews were utter strangers to Europe. Social isolation had created traits in need of drastic transformation: Jews harbored within them hatred of the Christian nurtured by centuries of Talmudic and rabbinic indoctrination, they were religious fanatics, parasitic in their economics and dishonest in their dealings"

Alan Dershowitz,

the virulently anti-Jewish statements of intellectuals throughout history? Their numbers included H. L. Mencken ('The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of'); George Bernard Shaw ('Stop being Jews and start being human beings'); Henry Adams ('The whole rotten carcass is rotten with Jew worms'); H.G. Wells ('A careful study of anti-Semitism, prejudice and accusations might be of great value to many Jews, who do not adequately realize the irritation they inflict'); Edgar Degas (characterized as a 'wild anti-Semite'); Denis Diderot ('Brutish people, vile and vulgar men'); Theodore Dreiser (New York is a 'kike's dream of a ghetto,' and Jews are not 'pure Americans' and 'lack integrity'); T. S. Eliot (a social as well as literary anti-Semite, even after the Holocaust); Immanuel Kant ('The Jews still cannot claim any true genius, any truly great man. All their talents and skills revolve around stratagems and low cunning ... They are a nation of swindlers.')

Prof Pawel Spiewak, speaks in similar terms:

We find the representatives of almost every ideological orientation [who were anti-Semites] ... Enlightenment thinkers (Voltaire), arch-conservatives (de Masitre, de Bonald), socialists and communists (Fourier, Proudhon, Marx, Sobel), and the great Romantics (Goethe). These writers seem to differ in everything -- their relation to religion, the idea of progress, authority, feudalism, and capitalism, the concept of knowledge and human nature -- but they are united in a spirit of dislike and hostility towards that strange tribe, the Jew

The Nazis didn't make distinctions between observant and non-observant Jews, so it seems silly to start another unnecessary squabble. I do remember reading about one important rabbi from Eastern Europe (whose name I forget) who decided to take his books rather than some of his followers. Even his Christan rescuers were perplexed. Is this a true story? Since when do books take priority over people?

Ok we have a revisionist historian who claims that the Zionist establishment did indeed rescue hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Jews from being killed.

The fact that documents proofs differently doesn't matter.

The fact that the Zionist leaders of that time didn't deny why they refused in rescuing Jews,doesn't matter.

The fact that Andrew Steiner who was a secular Jew who was part of the working group(i think he lived in Atlanta after the war)said that what rabbi Wiessmandel said is 100%true,doesn't matter.

The fact that Rabbi Wiesmandel feared for his life from the Zionist thuggish establishment in signing his name to the "Ten Question To The Zionist",doesn't matter.They could of just brushed it off saying he is lying and mentally ill.But no,they know its true,but all that does not matter.

The fact that rabbi Wiessmandl was answered by the Jewish agency "Rak B'dam Tihyu Lanu Haaretz” (only through blood will the land be ours),doesn't matter.

The fact that reform rabbi Stephen Wise publicly announced a boycott against Germany and Wisleciny told Rabbi Wiessmandel "how foolish you Jews are in angering the Germans more then they are already",doesn't matter

What matters is Charadi Jews lie,cheat,steal and had a hand in killing hundreds of thousands of Jews during the war.

The truth always prevails.And the truth is that Zionism only grew and was successful with Jewish blood on their hands.But after so many years we see that even with it a so called Jewish state is it the most unsafe place for Jews to live because 'Sheker ein Lo Raglaim.

Daniel Pipes observes, "virtually every major figure in the early history of socialism -- including Friedrich Engels, Charles Fourier, Ferdinand Lasalle, Marx, and Joseph Proudhon -- showed a marked antipathy to Jews".

Proudhon wrote "The Jew is by temperament an anti-producer, neither a farmer nor an industrialist nor even a true merchant. He is an intermediary, always fraudulent and parasitic, who operates, in trade as in philosophy, by means of falsification, counterfeiting, and horse-trading"

Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin declared that Jews were "one exploiting sect, one people of leeches, one single devouring parasite closely and intimately bound together not only across national boundaries, but also across all divergences of political opinion ... [Jews have] that mercantile passion which constitutes one of the principle traits of their national character"

Bernard Lazare,the French Jewish thinker wrote in 1894:

Wherever the Jews settled [in their Diaspora] one observes the development of anti-Semitism, or rather anti-Judaism ... If this hostility, this repugnance had been shown towards the Jews at one time or in one country only, it would be easy to account for the local cause of this sentiment. But this race has been the object of hatred with all nations amidst whom it settled. Inasmuch as the enemies of Jews belonged to diverse races, as they dwelled far apart from one another, were ruled by different laws and governed by opposite principles; as they had not the same customs and differed in spirit from one another, so that they could not possibly judge alike of any subject, it must needs be that the general causes of anti-Semitism have always resided in [the people of] Israel itself, and not in those who antagonized it.

Yoelish's and those like him had no response to the fact that non Jews be they left wing, right wing or liberal, were not prepared to tolerate Ghetto Judaism was to stick his fingers in his ears and intensify the fanaticism the non Jews found so offensive in the superstitious believe it would save Jews.

Hareidi refusal to recognize the obvious and blame Zionist is just a symptom of cognitive dissonance

My father's Polish relatives who lived in a shtetl in Galicia at the outbreak of WWII were undoubtedly far more observant than I am these days. In 1937, their lives were probably not much different than the people described by Joseph Roth in his book "The Wandering Jews". Almost all of them perished in the war and their names were forgotten until one of my cousins developed an interest in genealogy and I did too. When Yad Vashem put its data base on line a few years ago, I was able to put together a list of family victims and how they were related. My relatives will be able to pass it down to their children and grandchildren if they care to.

Deremes, if I offered the Yoelishers some winterized trucks and substantial quantities of tea and sugar, to give up Metzizah be'Peh so as to save a few Jewish lives, do you think they would consider my offer?

Barry'la, L'chaim,.how is the vodka

Jeff

it is a time honored tradition
maybe that is a stretch that Orthodox or rebbies did discuss matters with apikorsim reb meyer did from the talmuld

another thing

herdiem and any fundamentalist have a different meaning to the word fact


most people it means something that actually exists; reality; truth

to herdein anything that they can say that backs up their believes and it dies not really have to exist or be true


deremes nobody says all frummmas are crooks and so on, what we are saying that some of your holy men really where not that self sacrificing

at least the betlz rebbie ask for forgiveness for his actions during then holocaust

the satmar could not bring himself to do that his hate for Zionist and secular clouded his faculties


@JEFF You are right I got a big problem with you, as you are not just stating your opinion you make ridiculious statements as well.

And your the one that keeps on commenting after I post so I guess so who again needs the last word?? You pathetic piece of scum!

seymour,Nobody says that all secular Jews refused to rescue Jews.The working group had many Zionist secular Jews who rescued Jews.
And btw,you only repeat what others tell you.Go read for yourself and get out of your brainwashed mind when it comes to religious Jews.You so brainwashed that you cant even think straight and see the facts and therefore you repeat the lies.

Posted by: barry | April 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM

Gee, thanks a lot!! Was that supposed to be helpful?

You know, I strain to hear anything rational in the Jew hatred. It seems the hatred comes first, then look for something to pin it on. That's why it seems the stereotypes are something contradictory. And this is how hostility is generated, in general.

chuck-Youre calling jeff scum just whos how low you are as the saying goes .it takes one to know one so you chukky baby are a lowlife scum as i see it since you hold youreself to be on a highter madreige kenst gain kishen dem tohes of dain rebbe.

@JANCSIBACSI I am actually not Hasidic so nice try I know you probably thought you delivered a knockout line with the last line in yiddish so sorry to burst your bubble.

I do not hold myself to be on a higher level then anyone, a higher inteligence level then you well obviously but hey that is not saying much.

Posted by: Deremes | April 15, 2012 at 03:33 PM

sorry i grew up believing the same lies you where told

after reading and thinking I found out who really lied

the same people who lied to you

This is a riot, Jeff, "Fundamentalists have absolutely no sense of irony." I want to see this on every bumper. Honestly, I appreciate your wit knocking around inside your posts. Copyright this one. It's great.

Chaim Yankel said: --- There is a compelling narrative to be told about how they dealt with their faith in the face of the holocaust ---

Not only is does this story not detract from the story of Eli Weisel, it IS the story of Eli Weisel. Eli Wiessel would definitely have been classed as a "traditional Jew", even a haredi Jew, before the Holocaust. I recommend you reread the first few chapters of his book Night. In fact most of the major post-holocaust non-haredi theologians and social activists had religious backgrounds: Eli Weissel, Martin Buber. Abraham Joshua Heschel, Leo Strauss, Emil Fackenheim, among others.

I agree it would be a compelling story, but it would be impossible to tell if you restricted that story to those whose lives began and ended wearing black hats and wigs. If you only told the story of traditional people who believed in a Haredi way both before and after the Holocaust you wouldn't be telling how people deal with their faith. You'd simply be telling the story of one possible theological response to the Holocaust.

Emil Fackenheim's grandfather was the town rabbi. Fackenhiem continued his grandfather's Jewish commitment but was ordained as a Liberal Rabbi in Berlin. For Winkler to get to his 50-70% he'd have to include religious and secular-observant Jews. I suspect that would include Fackenheim (European "Liberal" Judaism is closer to US conservative or left-wing MO).

Almost immediately after he was interred for three months in a concentration camp. He somehow managed to be released and fled first to Scotland and then to Canada where he spent most of the remainder of his life working as a professor. Don't let his liberal ordination lull you into believing he was some sort of faithless am-ha-aretz without a religious story.

Despite all he lived through His emotional investment in his faith was so great that for at least one of his students, Victor Shepherd, the experience of hearing him talk honestly about his own belief in G-d took him beyond words and thoughts to an awareness of God's presence:

--- “Shepherd, enough about philosophy.  Let’s talk about GOD.” (Never having spoken with him before, I had no idea how he had learned of my interest in theology.) .... “Shepherd,” Fackenheim continued after another noxious exhalation, “modernity thinks God to be vague, abstract, ethereal, ‘iffy’. God, however, is concrete, solid, dense with a density beyond our imagining.  There is nothing ‘iffy’ about God; but there is a great deal that is ‘iffy’ about you and me.”  Dumbfounded at the spiritual assault (albeit benign) from a world-class philosopher, I was still reeling when he launched the next salvo. “Shepherd, in view of the horrific depredations of our century – crowned by the Shoah – there are huge question marks above humankind.  But concerning God there is no question whatever.  Never forget”, he concluded, “We do not demythologize God; God demythologizes us as God exposes the groundless myths by which humankind is enthralled.”  I staggered out of his office, the topic of my philosophy essay all but lost in the aura without, and the awe within, that have never evaporated --- http://www.victorshepherd.on.ca/Other%20Writings/emil_fackenheim.htm

This is the sort of story you hear about rebbes and g'dolim. However, this man never set himself up as a rebbe. He simply taught and lived. I never met him but he lived his latter years quietly in the apartment below one of my best friends. No crowds. No courts. No black hat. But probably more faith than most of us will ever have.

One of Fackenheim's points was that unlike other Jewish persecutions, Jews weren't asked to have another faith. They were asked to die. The kiddush haShem in this case was to refuse to die and to refuse to stop believing in Jewish hope for a better world, no matter how much life hurt. Thus his famous 614th commandment: "Thou shalt not hand Hitler posthumous victories. To despair of the God of Israel is to continue Hitler’s work for him."

So if Wikler wants to tell the religious story and highlight spiritual heroism, great! However, I didn't get the sense from his essay that he was really interested in that story. Rather he wanted to tell a pretty-up'd story of Hassidic hagiography where Judaism was reduced to a willingness to risk one's life to wear tefillin, shofar blowing and Hanukkah candle lighting.

If he had spent more than a few minutes seriously listening to the stories of many of the hatless men and women wearing their hair in full view, he might have realized that every single survivor was in one form or another a spiritual hero with the potential to inspire us.

Far from standing up for Haredi rights, he merely showed how shallow his own definition of spiritual heroism was.

"Dr. Meir Wikler"

Me thinks his degrees are suspect

stinky would be the word

Not that they are totally made up

but I would like to see where he got his three degrees.

I do not have the time or money to do this

herdiem and any fundamentalist have a different meaning to the word fact

most people it means something that actually exists; reality; truth

to herdein anything that they can say that backs up their believes and it dies not really have to exist or be true

Yep, that's about it.

@JEFF You are right I got a big problem with you, as you are not just stating your opinion you make ridiculious statements as well.

And your the one that keeps on commenting after I post so I guess so who again needs the last word?? You pathetic piece of scum!

Posted by: chuck | April 15, 2012 at 03:26 PM

If you really thought I was wrong, you wouldn't bother with me. I've hit too close to home.

Posted by: Isa

He advertises one degree: DSW ( Doctorate in Social Work). The other one, BSD ( Board Certified Diplomate in Social Work) indicates, I believe, that he is board certified in social work. Analogous to a physician claiming to be board certified in, say, psychiatry.

Obviously, he had to have earlier degrees before he took the doctorate but he doesn't list those on his site.

We are told that he is a BT so he may have attended college before he drank the kool aid. However, there are many frumiks who attend college. He also might have gotten a degree on-line. I just don't know the details.

This is a riot, Jeff, "Fundamentalists have absolutely no sense of irony." I want to see this on every bumper. Honestly, I appreciate your wit knocking around inside your posts. Copyright this one. It's great.

Posted by: dh | April 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM

Thanks, but it's just an observation. I don't think I'm the first to say it. ;)

BSD ( Board Certified Diplomate in Social Work)is not a degree, as I wrote above. It means that he passed certain examinations to demonstrate competence in his field.

Isa:

Dr. Meir Wikler earned his masters and doctoral degrees from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and has served as staff therapist and consultant for the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in Brooklyn, NY. A former professor at Wurzweiler, he is now in full time practice of psychotherapy and family counseling specializing in the treatment of Orthodox adults and children.

In addition, Dr. Wikler serves on the Board of Govoners of the association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, the Board of the YittiLiebel Help-Line and he is a National Officer of the Agudath Israel of America. He has authored and published 8 books and over 70 articles in various clinical journals, as well as lay periodicals and prestigious publications including The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Observer and Mishpacha Magazine. He is listed in Who's Who in World Jewry.

The Wurzweiler School of Social Work is at YU, and it is accredited.

Thus his famous 614th commandment: "Thou shalt not hand Hitler posthumous victories. To despair of the God of Israel is to continue Hitler’s work for him."

I remember that, although I don't remember it being Fackenheim who said it - but you may be right.

In any case, I've never agreed with it. I can't see any point in maintaining an allegiance to a belief system one finds untenable merely so the Nazis don't somehow "win".

Isa: Irnoic that the Agudah's Rabbonim would call anyone going out of Kolell getting these degrees (all treyf esp. in the psych area esp. fro a man, who has to watch hirhur more than a woman according to the Zohar) a Shaygetz.... Guess that's why he has to suck up.

Looking at articles that show up in google scholar, his specialty is two fold (a) cultural issues regarding Orthodox clients (b) peer review of psychotherapists. He also appears to focus on family therapy i.e. interpersonal problems. (based on his advertised practice areas and his Aish column).

He's a bit out of his area if he's venturing into the field of trauma, i.e. the Holocaust. This has nothing to do with him being Haredi. It is just that a lot of people think that their work with families qualifies them to do good work with crime victims and survivors of terrorist attacks and it doesn't. Family counselling and trauma counselling are about as related as tax law and criminal law or protology and brain surgery.


Brushing him off because he is haredi isn't really fair. I do know a Haredi guy who is very good with trauma: war, crime, abuse, etc. He specializes in PTSD and he and I have talked several times at the Shabbat table or at Seudah Slishit about the challenges helping people deal with trauma within the limits of the Haredi world. But I also think he would be more concerned about the person's mental health than he would about keeping them in the fold even though obviously to him the best resolution would be to have both mental health and continued life in the community.

Speaking more from a psychology point of view this guys conflation of Haredi/formal ritual with spiritual heroism does not show him off as a social worker or therapist in the best possible light.

this guys conflation --> Wikler's conflation

Let's take this logically. The Nazis did not care about observance or non-observance. They didn't care about halachic definitions of who is a Jew. They wanted to wipe out a notional "race".

Charedi Jews now frame this as "wiping out Torah", which they claim as exclusive property. Therefore, if we don't all become charedim, they claim "Hitler wins".

But we can see that the Nazis didn't distinguish by observance, and certainly didn't ask if the victims believed in da'as Torah or some other docrtrinal point. They simply wanted to be rid of Jews as a general thing.

If Jewish identity vanishes today it will be with the great assistance fo the charedim who are both chasing off Jews from Torah and making themselves anathema to those who cheat, defraud, and dehumanize.

Beth Frank-Backman:

I think this is just apologetics, and he is credentialed, well-known, and writes well. He's just taking up the standard.

His "doctorate" is smoke, in this case. It's implicit argument from authority.

Beth Frank-Backman

I appreciate your honest intellectual approach to this discussion in contrast to the majority of the comments which are designed to impugn Wikler's credentials and motivations rather than the issues he raises. I completely agree with you that the challenge of faith in the face of the holocaust is by no means limited to the orthodox or the performance of orthodox rituals. By the same token, the story of the orthodox jew in Auschwitz who risked death to light the menorah carries with it a universal message of devotion and faith that all can and should learn from. Wikler's issue, that those stories are not represented in Yad Vashem is a legitimate one which needs to be rectified.

Yaakov,

no doubt about it being apologetics.

--- His doctorate is smoke ---

If you want to say that it is irrelevant to the op-ed, I'll agree, but I don't think putting it in quotes to imply it is a fake degree is justified. A DSW is a real degree and the YU program is very well respected. Depending on the school or track it adds an extended public health, clinic management, social work theory, or social work education/supervision component to the MSW.

Yaakov-If Jewish identity vanishes today it will be with the great assistance fo the charedim who are both chasing off Jews from Torah and making themselves anathema to those who cheat, defraud, and dehumanize.
To me the word dehumanize has meaning even you yes even you yaakov dont know how right you are i experienced it first hand and not just once but for over a half decade in my younger years, the key key word is dehumanize you hit the nail on its head.

Beth Frank-Backman:

The intention of the quotes was to show it was irrelevant to the discussion. I work in academia and all of my colleagues with PhD's are loathe to use "Dr." anything outside the narrow speciality of their work.

Here, his doctorate is irrelevant and so becomes a "doctorate". He could be a PhD in physics, a JD, or anything else. Why use the title? Because it confers (false) legitimacy. So I am not saying it is not "real", I am saying it is not "true".

Beth Frank-Backman:

Frankly, I don't care if people have any particular title. Doctor, Rabbi, it's all irrelevant in the context of argumentation. I don't care if his degree is good or bad. I actually defended it here, posting his CV and mentioning that he comes from an accredited institution.

I do care about the abuse of authority in the charedi world. If you are "Rabbi" you are magical, if you are "doctor" your opinion trumps any secular intellectual. It's really a matter of sophistry, which is what I am against.

Academic credentials are meaningful only in light of the work of the person that has them. I know many doctors who are without merit in their own field, and many who have very narrow abilities. So, throwing titles around sets off alarms for me. It's a sign, particularly in the charedi milieu, that the opinion of the person is authoritative. There is no understanding that people's opinions are just that, opinions. Argumentum ad verecundiam is not considered a fallacy in the charedi mind.

jancsibacsi:

In dehumanizing others, they, of course, throw away their own humanity as well. We see this over and over with supremacist groups, and Jewish supremacists are not immune. Ideologues who hold some set of rules above people don't care who they destroy if the rules are followed.

Yaakov, your meaning wasn't clear to me from your original expression. Thanks for the clarification.

Yaakov wrote: "If Jewish identity vanishes today it will be with the great assistance fo the charedim who are both chasing off Jews from Torah and making themselves anathema to those who cheat, defraud, and dehumanize."

Well put.

Chaim Yankel,

Yes, we ned to hear these stories, but the Yad VaShem rebuttal says that they do in fact tell such stories.

But how is telling such a story "orthodox"? Risking life to light a menorah, was something done by all sorts of people. That wouldn't be an exclusively haredi or orthodox story and it would distort the Holocaust to portray it as such.

If your real interest is to tell the story of the Haredim and only the Haredim, then you have to tell the whole story, not just the pretty stories but also the really tough painful in your gut choices. Otherwise one would distort the Holocaust, spirtually as well as historically.

What I object to in Wikler's essay is that the menorah heroic genre of story seems to be all he wants to hear. Making them into the main thing, really misses the nature of the evil in the camps. In fact, I think focusing on things like Menorahs and laying tefillin is really a way of avoiding the challenges of the Holocaust. it is like singing daiyenu to drown out the Akeida or celebrating Purim when one is sitting in the belly of the whale with no known way out.

Many haredim don't tell their stories because there is no honor in the Haredi community for the person who had to violate kashrut to stay alive, or serve as a prostitute to stay alive or other disgusting (to the person) choices. Adding to the horror s/he felt at the time for the choices s/he had to make is the shame s/he expects to be piled on her for her/his "sin".

One of the worst parts of evil is that it deliberately puts people into situations where there are NO choices without sin or gevious loss. The mere fact one has the opportunity to light a menorah, albeit at risk to life and limb, indicates the possibility of at least one acceptable choice. That was a lot better than many concentration camp survivors often got. To really understand the faith journey of a survivor, I think you need to explore the stories where there were NO good choices.

Several years ago I had a small personal window into the hell of the holocaust where I played dead during a murder attempt (to prevent another attempt) and for my pains was raped, on Rosh haShannah no less. Towards the end of the attack I was so certain that I wouldn't get out alive I began saying the shma.

I didn't spend years thinking what a sign of hope that I can remember God in the darkest moment. It is fairly easy to see why I remembered the Shma. I'm a religious Jew. That's what religious Jews do.

The real challenge was how to live with the choices I made that night and the reality of what I witnessed. How do I make emotional and spiritual sense of Rosh haShanna when it is also the anniversary of being attacked every year? How do I believe in my own power, when so much was taken from me against my will? How can the God who says "I set before you life and death" in Deuteronomy allow someone to take a life from another human being? Allow someone to set up a situation for another person where all choices are sins or at least a gross perversion of what is true and right and good in the world? How do I reconcile intense suffering with a deep deep sense of the presence of God I felt in the worst moments of that attack? There were no angels whisking me away. To imagine God in that moment almost feels like blasphemy, Jeremiah, Jonah and Psalm 23 not withstanding.

If my 30 minute attack raised so many potent questions, imagine what 4 years in a camp or in hiding or separated from one's parents would do?

Others have different questions but just as difficult and seemingly unanswerable. Some never get answered. Some will have answers that will be too personal for retelling. Others will get filtered into intellectual responses like my first one. But if you want to know the real story of faith, in my opinion, it lies in those questions not in lighting menorahs.

Posted by: Beth Frank-Backman

You are very eloquent.

Well put.

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