"The Hands of Choice, a memorial like none that has ever existed in Jewish history was installed last week in Safed, Israel. In over 3,500 years of Jewish history, no memorial has ever been created to honor Jews who chose to save Jews, even if it may have cost their own lives...Names from a more recent past are equally unknown, unremembered. Rabbi Bernard Cantor, an American, was on a rescue mission to save Jews in the Ukraine caught up in the Civil War pogroms. He was murdered there in 1920."
Asher Itzkowitz was murdered, beaten to death by enraged Muslim thugs after he mistakenly made a wrong turn in the warrens of Jerusalem’s Old City streets. He was making his unfamiliar way to the Wall to pray. It was the last day of Pesach, April 11, 1947. His crime, being Jewish and getting too near the gate to the Temple Mount.
Amid incredible political turmoil, H.R. 3250 languished. Without President Trump’s signature by January 13, H.R. 3250 would fall victim to a pocket veto. Without question, his attention was everywhere but the small enabling next step needed by the Campaign for the Rosenwald Park.
“One question. Why the rush to inoculate children if the panic is to inoculate the adults to reach some sort of herd immunity? As far as agreed upon science knows, children are not super spreaders.” “Who is benefiting by the government terrifying the public, controlling our lives, and forcing a vaccine, without any long-term testing, into children. Follow the money. Ask who is getting the power to control you, and why? Who is getting rich?”
Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out into the land of risk and death according to the media in my Blue state. We needed toilet paper. The wife said go hunt. She wants the scotched taped, large red-lettered sign I put on the toilet door – no more than two sheets/per visit, taken down. Of course, the sign was done in humor, there are only the two of us locked in the house, for our own protection the Governor says. Our dog doesn’t pay any attention to the sign. The side of the couch has become his favorite leg lifting area.
Medical advice remains constant – keep social distancing to prevent infection spread. How the infection is spread keeps changing. First, physical social distancing was 6’. Yesterday, it was 27’ when media reports picked up that the Virus could live in the air. Then it went back to 6’. Proper social distancing in the street is now 12’, but who knows. We are told to wash hands after going out. Then it was to wear exam gloves. Then a mask. Then not to wear a mask, then to wear a mask and back to not wear a mask. Wearing a mask to prevent getting Coronavirus is only good if you are a medical person, not an average layperson buying bread, eggs, and milk in the grocery. Huh!
The sun rose, beautifully, with life, even if I was not sick, and could not wash my hands at the beach for 20 seconds with hot sudsy water. The day began. I retreated to the safety of my home again, secure we had plenty of food, water and toilet paper for at least two weeks. The internet still worked, the cable was not out, my cell phone still connected. Institution after institution has shut down. Every religious institution, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and others, canceled millennia of traditions and rules fearing the Coronavirus. Group worship was canceled. All us individual souls are forced to be alone with ourselves and with God. It may have come about in our own best interest.
Is it possible that the world has gone over the deep end about the newest Coronavirus? Has the media and the obvious limits of medical science created hysteria? Is there a political motivation that has gotten out of control? The new form of Coronavirus is a new form. Our Gods of science were unable to anticipate it. They are unable to respond. Wash your hands. Do not sneeze, cough or breathe the same air as anyone sneezing, coughing or has a runny nose. The Gods of Science have no cure for viruses. We have turned to the good, pragmatic, time tested, medical practice, a very medieval practice, of building walls, barring the gates, keeping the lepers out of our cities. Is it possible that our fear is because the Gods of Science have feet made of clay? And, we are afraid?
It is now well documented; the word Holocaust is diminishing. Today, over 40% of Americans, including Jewish Americans, never heard of Auschwitz. Far fewer know or believe that 6,000,000 Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany and their allied collaborators. 6,000,000, individual men, women, and children is simply a number that is incomprehensible. It is not P.C., truthfully, around the world, knowledge or willingness to know about the Holocaust is getting worse. After 75 years, the Holocaust is receding into the deep, darkness of deliberate historical forgetfulness despite all the museums, books and documentaries that have been created. January 27, 2020, for one shining day of light, many in the world, all with solemn pomp and circumstance, will intone the proper words of memory. But…what about January 28? What about the day after?
Kellner listed 18 key elements of German National Socialism that enabled the Fascists to take control of Germany’s Democratic society. The 18 points written just one month after the invasion of Poland, today echo with horrifying parallels our contemporary society’s descent into an intolerant Politically Correct culture.
The Nazis understood the necessity of the delegitimization of the Jew. They understood to convert the German Jew into the “other” – the stranger, the enemy, they had to deny, destroy and erase the “other’s” historical memory, their commonality with Germans. Jews, once they were not Germans, or even humans, easily became “luftmenschen”. Seemingly, it would be a hard thing to do. But with millennia of antisemitism, the European belief the Jew was the “other”, it was easier than the Nazis could believe. After all the decades passed since the Holocaust, in Kazimierz, the Jew remained the “other.”
Why remember the victim when we do not remember the liberator? If it is was not for the liberator, then the victim would be forgotten. Jews have neglected to honor the liberators while crying for sympathy for being the victims. Honoring the victim is a dead end of memory. There is nothing positive in the memory of the dead unless we remember their life as a memorial to live in the future.
Anne Frank is not a fading child in the rear-view mirror she is the child in front of us that society can become if it does not remember Anne was a child. The violence Anne, and tragically too many children experience as scapegoats for adult anger, hate, bigotry, frustration, and ignorance, steer the road for tomorrow. Children are weakest, the innocents, the easiest to injure. Children, if they should live past being victimized today, will be the adults of tomorrow. They will be tomorrow.
What could I do? I wanted to protest. I did not want to be caught up in a riot amongst people who were seeking to cause societal destruction. I do not want to destroy the system. I do want to change it for the better. The answer was already in front of me. I was already trying to change the system for the better. I had not realized it.
But there is a forgotten Thank you. We don’t see them; they are rarely seen on the street. They are the watchers on the wall. They are the ones, far away from us, thousands upon thousands of miles away, standing watch, far from their family, their home, doing their silent duty looking into the scary night. They stand the cold, wet wall across from the DMZ, they service the ships upon the seas and the vessels deep under. They squeeze into cockpits and fly the skies. They crowd into uncomfortable steel tanks or patrol the road with only a rifle and prayer in their hands.
Israel is closing its borders to migrants, tourists, anyone from Coronavirus infected areas. Is Israel racist? Those who hate Israel insist Israel is racist. Bernie Sanders and his supporters affirm that loudly. Common sense to the obvious is not racism.
I had written to the “King” asking for help. The “King” was aware of the plight and had already answered. Millions of visitors to Graceland will see Gladys’ footstone. They will appreciate Elvis. He is the “King” for a reason.
I contacted one iconic, legacy, Jewish organization after another for a local Jewish chapter to associate with, the American Jewish Congress, ZOA, etc. The story was the same. In the past thirty years, the chapter structure had mostly folded.
Ilhan Omar is the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress. She was elected as a Democrat to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, November 2018. Omar, a rescued refugee from Somalia, came to the U.S. She is achieving the American dream. She has a radically different world view of good and evil both in the U.S. and abroad. Omar is smart, adept, photogenic, and knows how to manipulate the system for her desired goals. She is vociferously pro-Palestinian.
Anne sat at her desk in the Mamilla Mall looking for a home. A naked electric bulb hung over her head. She was supposed to go to a Jerusalem Holocaust museum until internal politics and money became an issue. She became homeless instead. Every year, throughout Israel on Yom HaShoah, the siren blasts are heard throughout the land. Traffic stops, people get out and stand by the side of their car for a minute of silent memory. Every year throughout the land more and more drivers use the moment of silent memory to make the traffic light instead.
Netanyahu came before a Joint Session of Congress. The Iranians are intent on becoming a Nuclear Power, they wish to kill the Jews and America he said. Organized Jews fought to silence Netanyahu and not offend President Obama. 65% of American Jews voted for President Obama. Obama and the Democrats pushed for the Iranian Nuclear deal anyway. The Jews applauded, only now some with one hand. Netanyahu is the extremist they said. He can’t get along with President Obama, the winner of the Nobel Peace prize. The leftist, liberal media complex hate Netanyahu almost as much as they hate President Trump.
Years ago, long after I had served as a Lone Soldier in the Sinai, I learned, according to the Rabbis, I might not be Jewish. It did not matter that my father had a special tattoo on his left forearm, a gift from the Nazis at Auschwitz. It did not matter that my blond, blue-eyed mother had watched her own mother, sicken and die at Bergen Belsen. It did matter to the Rabbinical Guardians of the Jewish Galaxy that my parents had absolutely nothing to prove they, nor their mothers, nor their mother’s mother was Jewish. If I had wanted to marry a Jewish Israeli girl, the Guardians said I had to prove I was Jewish first and I could not.
Between 1860 and 1930 there were more than 4,700 documented lynchings in America. Over 3,000 were American Blacks, nearly 1,500 were Whites, Hispanics, Chinese, and unknown numbers of Native Americans. The Mexican government protested on behalf of Mexicans. The Chinese Government protested. The Italian government protested the lynching of Italian immigrants. No government protested for the Jew. There was no Nation State of the Jewish People to stand up for Leo. Just 25 years after Leo Frank’s lynching, the American government did little to save Jewish lives as the Holocaust exterminated European Jewry. No government in the world did much to save Jewish lives.
With 16 simple words Stephen summarized the why of Israel. Stephen’s words were then and remain today a radical statement – Freedom for the Jewish People. American Jews are self-immolating, replacing Judaism with their new God, Tikkun Olam-ism. Tragically, thinking it a universal good, American Jews and even Israeli Jews are separating their souls from the Jewish people and Jewish National survival centered in a very tiny Jewish country. The Nation-State-Law, at its core from the founding of Zionism, never denied or denies the rights of non-Jews to live in the Jewish State. Justice is Jewish. Jewish National self-destruction is not just nor is it justice.
The placement of the pavers at the Patton Museum was the first time that a Jewish group had ever honored the liberators of Buchenwald at the museum. No Jew had said Thank You before. Why was placing the pavers important? It was important to distinguish the uniqueness of the Holocaust from the liberation of so many people across Europe and the world by the American Armed Forces. Patton is an icon of WWII memory. The simple message of Thank You and Jewish are key to the future of memory.
Brett Kavanaugh has had no evidence, no witnesses, no criminal filings presented against him. Seven FBI investigations found nothing against him. His accusers, not one, have been able or willing to present any evidence against him. But he is tried and convicted in the minds of millions of Americans because they want him to be guilty of something…even if they could prove nothing.
My aunt’s biography told how her family had been among the elites of Piotrków. They had obtained treasured work permits for Chrystman’s factory. Chrystman issued 700 permits. She said he saved their lives when he did not have to… The Jews never understood who Chrystman was or why he did what he did. I had to know who he was and why did my Aunt honor his memory.
The underwear was showing. No one was embarrassed. Everyone complained. No one was happy. The General Assembly of American Jewish Federations met in Tel Aviv. Americans blamed Israelis and Israelis blamed Americans. The divide was moderated by those who held the purse. Nothing flowed comfortably.
The marker would be seriously damaged twice by anti-Semitic vandals. The third marker was paid for and replaced by the Spokane community. They were disgusted and enraged that their community was branded as a city of hate because of a few vicious bigots. It was not the first time, nor the last that Christians were willing to tell the Jewish American story and Jews were not.
For most of us, the great unwashed, who were taught in our hallowed halls of higher education to bow down to the absolute, irrefutable, don’t you dare question the truth of evolution, or you will get an F in the class, the paper’s conclusions are cage rattling. Stoeckle and Thaler, even worse, have thoroughly upended the accepted orthodoxy of how human life evolved on the planet. The assumed tree of evolutionary diversity, survival of the fittest, the timeline, is wrong.
Stephen Norman (Neuman) grew up in a typical Viennese Jewish home. It certainly was not a Zionist household. They were Austrians, not Zionists. His grandfather, famous in some circles, had died years before he was born. To his family, his grandfather was a failure. Yet, his parents honored the grandfather. Stephen’s middle name was his grandfather’s, Theodor.
Almost every American Democrat Candidate for President has signed on to the demand that American Blacks are entitled to reparations for the original sin of slavery. I began to wonder if I might be entitled to reparations and even restitution too, only I am not Black. My father was a slave.
The price for that freedom is “to demean themselves as good citizens”. “Good citizens”? In whose eyes? Does it mean giving to non-Jewish charities? Does it mean serving patriotically in the American armed forces, or participating in America’s social, economic and political development? Does it mean being farmers, frontiersmen, educators, religious leaders and even Jewish Indian chiefs? Does it mean supporting anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist causes?
South Florida National Cemetery has many Jewish graves. Almost all of them had wreaths. A number did not. Perhaps the families objected. It is more likely that the families either did not know of the wreath gesture, had not visited the gravesite themselves in many years, did not care, or more likely wanted, like the veteran resting in the National Cemetery, they did not want to be excluded from the hard-won, commonality as Americans.
“Where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth, she has physical signs that she’s about to give birth, would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so certified?” Gilbert asked. “She’s dilating.”
I wrote to Elvis not knowing if I would get an answer. The stories are swelling daily about resurgent anti-Semitism in the U.S. and around the world. It is not that anti-Semitism has suddenly been born. It has not. It never went away. For a long time, anti-Semitism crawled under the dung heap it belonged in. The distressing thing, once again, the legitimization of the Jew as the feared and hated “other” is coming back.
Nordau, an internationally respected writer and physician spoke of the need for a Jewish State. The Jewish body and soul were sick, he said. Jews suffer from twin diseases, Neurasthenia (physical and mental exhaustion, depression, irritability) and anti-Semitism. Jews were sinking into degeneration and destruction, Nordau named the cure for the Jew’s disease.
On the wall of the garden is Stephen’s quote from those many years ago. “You will be amazed at the Jewish youth in Palestine. They have the look of freedom.” With 16 simple words Stephen summarized the why of Israel. Stephen’s words were then and remain today a radical statement – Freedom for the Jewish People.
1948, The military experts agreed, the young State of Israel would be dead the moment it was born. No cohesive military command, no air force, no armor, nothing. Yet, over 5,000 volunteers from around the world, Jews and including some Christians, came to fight for the impossible dream. They were called Machal – Volunteers from Outside of the Land. Israel was no longer completely alone. The impossible dream became real. Little David defeated the promised horrors by the Arab Goliath.
The Courage to be Alone Together “There is the kind of anti-Semitism that is open and violent. Then there is a new, more subtle kind of anti-Semitism appearing to be humanitarian in outlook. It is expressed not as hatred of the Jew, but as concern for the human rights of those trying to murder Jews. This kind of anti-Semitism does not belong to skinheads, Klansmen, or Hamas. They hate openly. This kind of anti-Semitism is expressed not in violence, but in the charade of nonviolence. It is constructed upon a perverse interpretation of human rights in which the Jew as poisoner of the wells reappears as a human rights-violator.”
Why remember the victim when we do not remember the liberator? If it is was not for the liberator, then the victim would be forgotten. Jews have neglected to honor the liberators while crying for sympathy for being the victim. Honoring the victim is a dead end of memory. There is nothing positive in the memory of the dead unless we remember their life as a memorial to live in the future.