Where is Our Rage?

It is the citizens of Israel, not the Jews of Europe, who are the subjects for this new anthology. These helpless victims murdered in cold blood and their suffering loved ones are you and I.

Moshe Kahan,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
?O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
?
?For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood: I only speak right on;

?I tell you that which you yourselves do know;?? ? Mark Antony at Caesar's funeral, Julius Caesar, Act III

The Friday section of the Jerusalem Post (of September 5), under the caption ?Haredim as Israelis, in the street and in the hospital?, hosted two complimentary pieces by Jonathan Rosenblum and Barbara Sofer. Both highlighted the lofty character of religious individuals in the face of the Bus number 2 bombing on August 19th.

Perhaps because the stories were so inspiring was I drawn to recall their resemblance to some of the many published testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Take for example Yaffa Eliach?s moving Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust. One finds on the book?s jacket ?But never until the Holocaust had the faith and optimism of a people been so cruelly tested. ?Their power defies the burning furnaces and glowing chimneys of the camps, showing a will to endure which transcended the nightmarish trials a people were made to suffer.? Just exchange ovens for buses and you have what Rosenblum and Sofer are presenting.

I am disturbed. The writers are documenting our own Holocaust!

It is the citizens of Israel, not the Jews of Europe, who are the subjects for this new anthology. These helpless victims murdered in cold blood and their suffering loved ones are you and I.

This is an outrage that can not be tolerated no matter how uplifting or poignant the stories.

We are in the midst of a war for national survival against a sadistic and cruel enemy. ?The simple act of riding the bus? is not, as Mr. Rosenblum would have it, ?an act of defiance directed at those who would drive us from our Land.? Walking with heads erect to the gas chambers was an act of faith and dignity, but it was not defiance. The ghetto and camp uprisings were. Walking the streets of London during a V2 air raid was not an act of defiance. Invading France and hunting down the Nazi menace was.

We must move the heavens before we accept anything less than the complete restoration of each individual?s right to his own life and liberty. The issue is not how we can survive stoically, but how we can live unharmed.

We must return the sense of rage. If European Jewry had been truly aware of what stood before them would they have accepted their plight without resistance? It seems as if the government of Israel will stand erect and defy its enemies only after the sacrifices are bloody enough to warrant the courage required. That means that your life has no intrinsic value unless calculated alongside its effect on the media. Where is our rage over the cheapening of human life?

We also feel as do the authors that there is much to learn from these demonstrations of kindness and compassion. But we won?t need more stoicism when we have an end to murder.

Tragedies can be the catalyst to help us change for the better, but we can do well to remember that we are a righteous people rebuilding our holy land and that the murder of innocent people is the ultimate indignity. We are dealing with a sworn enemy, ruthless and sadistic, and all of our energies must be channeled to hunt him to his lair and root him out.




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