Hareidi Editor: Holocaust Memorial Day Not For Us

Hareidi news editor hits back at furor over yeshiva students' accused of 'desecrating' Holocaust Memorial Day.

Moshe Cohen,

Barbecues and soccer in Sacher Park (file)
Barbecues and soccer in Sacher Park (file)
Flash 90

Haredi Israelis, like all Israelis, commemorate the Holocaust, but they do not necessarily do it on Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Day, the editor of the Bechadrei Haredim news site wrote in an editorial Monday. The editorial came in response to reports that hareidi groups had desecrated the day by holding barbecues in Jerusalem, and at a Holocaust memorial in northern Israel.

The editor, Avi Greenzweig, criticized those who held the barbecue, saying that it was at best “in poor taste on the eve of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Day, when many Israelis remember those killed in the Holocaust.”

However, he said, those activities were far less damaging than those of the media that jumped on the story, “looking for blood.” Referring to the secular media sites that turned the barbecue into a top story on Hebrew news web sites Monday, Greenzweig wrote that “the usual crowd of hypocrites is feasting on the blood of the 'ugly hareidi,' and the fact that they trumpet this over anything else is a horrible desecration of the memory of the martyrs.”

The secular media, Greenzweig wrote, “must learn that the hareidi sector did not have anything to do with the establishment of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Day. We see no need to remember the Six Million specifically on this day, and we certainly do not agree with the childish way you commemorate it, by closing stores and standing at attention, while your photographers snap pictures of hareidi Jews eating and talking while the sirens sound,” he added.

Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Memorial Day is held annually on the 28th of the Hebrew month of Nissan, coinciding with the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Hareidi rabbinical leaders have not embraced the day for several reasons, among them the fact that it takes place in the month of Nissan, the same month as Passover, in which eulogies and mourning are forbidden.