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Hitler killed six million Jews. Rabbi Meir Kahane, HaShem Yikom Damo, famously said NEVER AGAIN. What is the Torah attitude towards espouse misguided viewpoints such as the one recently portrayed by the article recently published in the Beacon magazine? Here is the article: http://thebeaconmag.com/2012/02/opinions/why-its-time-for-jews-to-get-over-the-holocaust/

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Why is this a bad question? –  avi Mar 1 '12 at 10:02
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This doesn't seem like a question that can or will get objective answers. –  Isaac Moses Mar 1 '12 at 10:02
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@IsaacMoses Are you saying that there is no objective "Torah attitude" or that the wording of this question won't elicit them? –  avi Mar 1 '12 at 10:22
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@avi, let's start with the latter. If the question's to be constructive, it shouldn't be asking for, as it is now, a general Torah-tinted review of an article. It should detail the particular information or attitudes that the author is interested in evaluating. It should then ask a something more specific that "What's the Torah attitude toward this?" which is quite vague. Instead, it could ask (e.g.) whether the specificed attitudes are consistent with Hashkafot expressed in the sources and give some indication of why the author suspects they may be or may not be. –  Isaac Moses Mar 1 '12 at 11:12
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... Note that it may be difficult for this to be a constructive question if the author doesn't actually have any doubt about what the answer is. –  Isaac Moses Mar 1 '12 at 11:14
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closed as not constructive by Isaac Moses Mar 1 '12 at 9:58

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In many ways the author of the article is correct.

The holocaust is just one of many Jewish tragedies that ever after changed the course of Jewish history and Jewish practice.

The article makes mention of the first of such historical events, such as the attack of Amalek against the Jewish people, which was the first time that the Jewish people were in a war of their own fighting.

Other similar historical events were the destruction of the beit Hamikdash, the exile from Israel, the Crusades, the inquisition, the many expulsions from various countries around the world, and the assimilation of the Jewish people into surrounding cultures, before these tragedies occurred.

However, the article is wrong in many points as well. Any objective observer who is not ridden by certain feelings can recognize that the Holocaust is a very unique event, which never happened before, and has not happened since. Similarly, all the great historical tragedies that I mentioned, also had not happened before, and except for the crusades which lasted over a 400 year period, and the destruction of the temple for the second time, these events have not been repeated.

Many Jewish observers have noted that the Gd of the Jews is the Gd of history. Gd uses history to shape the Jewish people, and it's practices over time. Most events in history which do this are good and pleasant ones, but some are seen by us as negative and we wish for them to never happen again.

In my experience, the orthodox world has never really been one that lived "in the shadow of the holocaust", and so most of what the author writes does not apply to Torah focused Jews. Each tragedy in the history of the Jewish people is important, and it's important to know and learn what Judaism was like before and after those events. It is also important to never let those tragedies happen again.

For many Jews, if there was no holocaust, we would still be living in the shadow of the Inquisition, which caused many Jews to believe that you must act one way in public, and another way in the privacy of your home.

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Thanks avi for answering! –  Adam Mosheh Mar 5 '12 at 1:51
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