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ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION

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JEWISH VALUES

Written by Alexander Kimel - Holocaust Survivor.

To hate a man is like hating God. -- Talmud.

The Jews as a group lived very close to the universal teachings of the Prophets; Thou shall know war no more. The values stresses were " The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence-these are the features of Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars I belong to it." (Albert Einstein- The World as I See It.) The Jews stressed the value of democracy:

" We [Jews] must not appoint a leader in any community without first consulting the people ( Talmud: Berakhot, 55a)
Justice: Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel had said: "The world rests on three things: On justice, on truth, on peace."
Said Rabbi Mona: "But these three are one and the same: for if there is justice, there is true, and if there is truth, there is peace." ( Perek ha-Shalom.)

Close connected with the idea of martyrdom, is the idea that God punishing his Israel for their transgressions. It is an old idea, forcefully voiced by ancient prophets, like Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The Prophet Ezekiel said: And when I passed by thee and saw thee wallowing in thy blood, I said unto thee: In thy blood live; Yea, I said unto thee in thy blood live! (Ezek. XVI: 6). Even today some religious Jews believe that the Holocaust was God's punishment of Israel for the transgression. This belief in God's Will among the orthodox Jews also hindered organizing resistance.

One who expressed this point of view was Rabbi Zishe Friedman, in the Warsaw Ghetto.

"The Lord giveth and the lord taketh away" was his motto. We were not permitted to endanger the lives of the Jews in Poland. Inasmuch as the enemy has established collective responsibility, we could not raise a hand against the Germans, and so bring about the murder of hundred of thousands of Jews".
The sufferings of Jews in one year could not be recorded even if all the seas were full of ink, and all the reeds were pens, and all men were set to work writing the story. ---Adapted from Midrash: Megillath The'anith.

Calamity may be blind, but it has a remarkable talent for locating Jews. A Jewish proverb. The Jews are not hated because they have evil qualities; - -Max Nordau.

FAMILY TIES.

A nobleman thinks o his horse and dog; the Jew thinks of his wife and child. (A Jewish Proverb.) The survive, the Jews in the required the creation of strong family ties and a communal spirit to give the individual the feeling of belonging and the moral and economic support, necessary to offset the uncertainties of everyday life. The Ketuba the basic marriage contract, spelling out the rights and obligations of the wife and husband was introduced. The Ketuba - the marriage contract recognized the woman as an equal partner, and thus laid the foundations for the Jewish family as we know it now. It is possible that the Jap, the Jewish American princess was created in Babylon. The Ketuba insulated the Jewish family from the influences of the surrounding people, and the inferior status of the women.
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