Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Iyar 5763 - May 7, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Remembering on Yom Hasho'a

To the Editor:

It's 5:05 in the morning, the sky is still dark as dawn approaches. A bearded ultra-orthodox Jewish man is walking to synagogue for his morning prayers wearing a black kippa and tallis over his head and shoulders. The streets are empty and quiet, except for the Jew and a lone man, bare- headed, walking down the street in the opposite direction, taking his dog for its early morning walk. Not another soul in sight.

The men, on the same side of the street, walk silently and steadily towards each other, one hardly noticing the other. As they approach, the Jew looks up at the old man anticipating perhaps a good morning or a greeting nod. The old man looks up at the Jew.

Immediately, without a word exchanged, the old man again looks down, twists his head to gain momentum, twists back and spits at the Jew and begins to shout at him curses and insults: "Dirty Dog!!", "Parasite!", "Stinking...!!"

The dog starts barking as the old man looks around, searching -- unsuccessfully -- for a rock to throw. As the Jew keeps walking, quickly distancing himself, the old man turns back the other way and continues walking his normal course, cursing and groaning under his breath.

The street is once again empty, silent and still.

What happened? An echo from prewar Berlin? Another act of hate on the streets of modern-day Paris? Perhaps anti-Israel sentiment in Buenos Aires?

Not at all, my friends. That Jew was me and the old man was not a gentile. He was a non-religious Jew. Today is Sunday, May 5, 2003. This happened less than 24 hours ago in the heart of Jerusalem's Ramot Alef neighborhood on the holy Sabbath day. We are now several days after the secular Holocaust Remembrance Day of 2003.

We all want the gentiles to learn the lessons of hatred after the Holocaust. But it seems that there are lessons to be learned much closer to home.

Ariel Malamud


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