The Jewish people are a nation recovering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), where memories of trauma flood our national psyche and can trigger emotional (and even physical) symptoms. Whether fear of the next “evil decree” against the Jews, to another pogrom of crazed rapists and killers rampaging through a Jewish town, or even of genocide itself, the Jewish people have known plenty of deep-seated persecution and have to deal with the accompanying fear and anxiety of being the quintessential “strangers in a strange land,” almost everywhere in the world and over a very long period of history.
PTSD is very real not only for our suffering veterans, and for individual people that have been sexually abused or experienced physical violence, but it can also be a national psychiatric disorder based on collective trauma that affects our mood, anxiety levels, and behavioral reactions to events. Suffering from exile, persecution, and helplessness from thousands of years does not go away in a generation or even a century. It is a long road for our national recovery where we can learn to once again live healthy and productive lives absent from the fear and anxiety of another bad Tisha B’Av.
600 Holocaust Survivors and their descendants sing “Chai” (Life) by Ofra Haza.
Hope is not yet lost.
I live. I live. I live.
I cried my eyes out watching this.
The Jewish people not only survived the Holocaust as most of the world sat by and watched the genocide of six million men, women, and children with a soulless indifference, but G-d has kept his promise and restored the Jewish people and returned them to the Holy Land and made it flourish again!
(Thank you to my sister, Roz, for sharing this with me)
Borrell’s Jew hate apparently goes all the way back to when he was a child and participated in a sickening pogrom in the 1950s where he yelled “To Kill Jews.”
Can you imagine that this is who the European Union selects to be their High Representative AND what does this say about the EU after all the atrocities they committed against the Jews: the Holocaust, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, expulsions and pogroms?
The EU should very publicly dump this anti-Semite Borrell and place him in the trash bin of history where this type of disgusting behavior and hateful sentiment belongs. 😉
Despite our redemption from slavery in Egypt (1312 BCE), we continue through cycle after cycle of enslavement and exile.
In Kabbalah, we learn that the Jewish soul reincarnates until it reaches its spiritual enlightenment and fulfills all the mitzvot. Similarly, the soul of the Jewish people is reincarnated and relives painful destruction, slavery, and exile until we learn, grow, and finally become what we are destined to be as servants only of Hashem and as a light unto the nations. This has been our fate, but also it is one that we are finally nearing the end of with the return to the Promised Land and perhaps even the arrival soon of Mashiach.
I just finished reading a most gut-wrenching book, Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli. I came across this book after learning that my wife’s grandmother had been selected by Dr. Josef Mengele (may his name be forever cursed) for torturous experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust. This New York Times Bestseller is a vivid eyewitness account by a Jewish forensic pathologist, who worked directly for Dr. Mengele, and tells of the unspeakable cruelty and horrors at Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp vastly accounting toward the twelve million people exterminated by the Nazis, six million of them Jews.
From my experience, once you pick up this book, you cannot put it down until you finish it completely, and I urge everyone to make this a must-read, especially as there will soon be no more Holocaust survivors to tell us, in-person, the hell that they lived through.
Sometimes, when they bark, they don’t bite. But other times, the bark is the prelude to the bite. I don’t think you can judge intentions by the bark, and I am certain you need to always be ready for the bite. Dogs and people are not really that different. Over millennia of history, Jews have been threatened and persecuted–barked at and bitten, and they have not been mutually exclusive.
The Jewish people are few in number and with a small but miraculous and wonderful country–we know that rabid dogs that bark against us, also can bite ferociously, and we must take every threat seriously for our very survival.
In Egypt, the Jews rose to the highest ranks, with Joseph being second only to the Pharaoh, and “Israel settled in the land of Egypt in the region of Goshen; they acquired property in it and they were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” (Genesis 47:27) But then: “A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Exodus 1:8) Similarly, in Europe, the Jews had risen to the highest ranks of society, they were free and prospered. They prospered and thrived religiously, and built synagogues and yeshivas to worship and learn in. Moreover, the Jews thought they were Germans (and other European nationalities), like everyone else, and that they were fundamentally safe. That is, until there arose a “new king,” Adolf Hitler (may his name be cursed forever), “who knew not Joseph.”
What will happen in America that we all love–will the pendulum swing once again to hate and anti-Semitism, where there comes a new king that does not know Joseph?
When politicians are extremists (Alt-left or -right) and want to get rid of “farting cows” and airplanes, then who knows what or who is next on their genocidal list (and with the elimination of cows being all too reminiscent of the notion of Jews going “like sheep to the slaughter.”)
Bigotry, hate and extremism is unbecoming of a Congressional Representative like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and they should be resolutely rejected– it hurts an important environmental cause and needs to be rejected for the cows and for us. 😉
Coming out of the museum, my daughter asked how anyone could actually do something like this to another human being. I had no answer to this…just like I have none to the Holocaust or any of the other incredibly cruel, sick, and wicked things that people do to each other.
Hopefully we can all have a brighter future without slavery and without genocide. 😉
Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “It wasn’t a Final Solution.”
My Uncle Freddie reached high up to the tippy-top of a tall bookcase in his small, but cozy room, and pulled down an old book. It had accumulated years of dust, and we had to wipe it off. The book, published by the Germans themselves, was one that I was familiar with having seen my own mother with a similar one documenting what happened to her family in the Holocaust. It had lists and lists of Jews that had been deported by the Nazis from my uncle’s city as well as where they sent them for liquidation.
Hope you appreciate this true story of survival amidst the horrors and death of the Holocaust.