Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beyond the Pale

I am usually not one to join in the politics-laden fray; I try to live by the quote from Rav Kook reproduced at the top of the blog to the best of my abilities. However, the events occurring over in the Holy Land in and around Ramat Beit Shemesh have been escalating at an alarming rate. As of last night, the situation has gotten even worse, and for my own sake, I feel the need to protest - to not say anything would be remiss, as inaction often speaks louder than anything else.

There was a hafganah last night in Jerusalem, protesting something about negative attention cast on the chareidi community. I'm not quite sure who organized the rally, what sparked it (although I assume it had something to do with the Beit Shemesh debacle), and what was supposed to be accomplished, but I was dismayed when I saw the images from the rally prominently displayed on several new sites.

I cannot think of any cause that would justify the use of Holocaust imagery in such a perverse manner. Little children dressed in perfect replicas of concentration camp prison wear, striking poses similar to famous portraits from the war, etc. In one evening, we have completely marginalized and trivialized the Holocaust (I knowingly use the collective "we" for the obvious reasons. As I stated above, our silence is one form or another of compliance. At this point, our dissent is post-hoc and lacking any real significance.); we have sullied the memories of those who perished, and taught our children that nothing is sacred; we have shown the world that we are opportunists who will do and say anything to make our point, thereby "proving right" those very accusers who would have our land torn from our grasp. I am sickened, and disheartened.

What makes this worse is its obvious premeditation: a glance at the photos show professionally made looking costumes. these weren't hasty signs or thrown-together rags at the last moment, this was a planned idea.


The masterminds behind this egregious display of insensitivity will have to stand in din and cheshbon for this, on top of many other things.

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