Haredi Shoah survivors - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Matis
    • 09.01.12 | 04:05 (IST)

    One cannot criticize survivors for speaking out or remaining silent-- their trauma is unfathomable to non-survivors. But I do object to several things about this article. 1. Farbstein is quoted as saying "Haredi survivors are always asking: Why did I survive. That's not a question that all the survivors ask." Assuming the quote is accurate, is is patently false (in fact, survivor guilt commonly is a struggle for survivors of all types of catastrophes). And it's offensive by its implication that Haredi survivors are somehow more reflective or philosophical about the Shoah. 2. The article doesn't address the larger problematic relationship of Haredim to the Shoah -- the fact that most of the Haredi leaders insisted on remaining in Europe because they couldn't imagine Jewish life anywhere else, including Palestine. Their ideological obstinance led directly to the devastation of their community-- a community that even today cannot acknowledge the historical facts of the last century. Indeed, this refusal to acknowledge history--and to falsify it in the name of Yiddishkeit, the "Da'as Torah", "Torah True Judaism" etc.--leads to enormous problems when adjudicating Halakhic issues. Halakha (Jewish law) divorced from reality is as authentic as the Haredi garb commonly found in Haredi portrayals of Biblical heroes. I see a direct line between these issues in today's Haredi culture. If there is to be any type of reconciliation between the various Haredi and non-Haredi Jewish communities (which I pray for), it will take tremendous courage to face up to the historicity that they've been working so hard to erase.

    from the article: A quiet drama is taking place among ultra-Orthodox Holocaust survivors
    First published 01:54 09.01.12 | Last updated 01:54 09.01.12
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