Yom HaSho’a – Holocaust Remembrance Day

I am the son of Holocaust survivors. Prior to WWII, my parents were a successful young middle class couple with a seemingly bright future ahead in Lodz (Poland). My father was a department manager at the Ettingon Brothers textile dye manufacturing plant in town and my mother was a nurse at the Jewish hospital. In 1939, as the Nazi troops marched into town, their world was plunged into darkness and horror. The Germans tore my then 3 year old brother Yitzchok ben Yaakov (alav haShalom), from my mother’s arms and I never got to know him.

By courtesy of the same murderers – and their collaborators – I never was held by any of my grandparents, nor any of my uncles, nor any of my aunts, for neither was I to see them alive. The blood of innocent Jews has not fully dried up on European soil, yet – for the last seven decades since the war ended – there are those those who vehemently deny the stark historical truth, while survivors are still around, while Germany’s own archives record the persecution, enslavement and murders…

Yesterday, the 27th of April, was the sad anniversary of the massacre of those whose only crime was to have been born Jewish in a Europe that thirsted for a hated scapegoat, in a Europe where – in spite of a number of courageous gentiles who endangered themselves and their families to hide and save Jews – prejudice, ignorance and greed melded into one simple cause: Annihilate the Jew!

At around noontime, this past Sunday, the annual Holocaust Observance Day was held in front of the Iranian Mission to the UN on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s East Side.

Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld, opened the proceedings, as he introduced the various speakers…


Malcolm Hoenlein

Jeffrey S. Weisenfeld

Speakers included, members of a Russian Jewish organization of survivors, elected politicians, community leaders, rabbis and more. While almost everyone spoke eloquently and from the heart, two of them really stood out:

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Weiss (with whose religious hashkafot I hardly agree), spoke eloquently and forcefully about the existential danger to Israel (and Jews in general!) that Iran’s current regime represents. He reminded us that in 1994, Hezbollah (Iran’s Lebanese puppet) was directly responsible for blowing up the Buenos Aires Jewish Center (AMIA), killing 87 and wounding 100, two years after Islamic Jihad claimed credit for bombing the Israeli Embassy (in the same city) killing 29 and wounding 250.

For the record, in October 2006 Argentinian prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos formally accused top officials within the government of Iran with orchestrating the bombing and Hezbollah for carrying it out. Their indictment stated that the decision to approve the bombing was ultimately made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but other senior government members were also part of the discussion, including then-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahijan and National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rouhani (Iran’s current charming, smooth-talking-terrorist President!).

Meanwhile, diagonally across the street, Iran’s supporters had their own counter rally… A small group comprised of individuals dressed like ultra-Orthodox learned Rabbis (some were even holding talmud tractates, which they – at times – would glance into), a group – who – in reality, is nothing more than the erev rav – a fifth column; a group made up of individuals who long ago forfeited their Jewish souls as they sold themselves to that putrid Iranian little maggot – Mahmoud Ahmedinajad – in exchange for funding for their organization (Neturei Karta). There are many videos, many photos online of these guys hugging, kissing, and cavorting with the Iranian murderer of his own people (did we forget already?!?). Yes, Ahmedinajad, the very one who – as a university student – was part of the mob that stormed the American Embassy in Teheran and held American diplomats captive while humiliating them daily for 444 days (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-r04SQ97_Q). Notice, in the video, who sits directly to the right of Ahmedinajad and see the photo below…

Rabbi Beck, leader of Neturei Karta USA, and part of his group with one of them proudly waving the Iranian flag...

Rabbi Beck, leader of Neturei Karta USA, and part of his group as one of them proudly waves the Iranian flag…

As I crossed the street to photograph their infamy, one of them screamed out at me: “The Zionists killed 6 million Germans and 6 million Jews.” I’ll let you, gentle reader, draw your own conclusions about such a statement and the one who uttered it…

Rabbi Weiss compared the Neturei Karta to the Jewish kappos (Jews who – in order to save their own lives, in the concentration camps – collaborated with the Nazis, sometimes ruthlessly), for their support of Iran, their support of Hamas and Yasser Arafat (while he was alive) and the prayers on behalf of the arch terrorist as he lay dying of AIDS in a sanatorium in France. He concluded his speech by leading the audience in stirring renditions of Shlomo Carlebach‘s (Z”L) Am Yisroel Chai and Od Avinu Chai.

He was followed by an even more electrifying speaker…

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Boteach just came back from a week in Rwanda, where he was a guest of President Paul Kagame during the commemorations of the bloody massacre that took place there during the infamous Rwandan civil war. He too spoke of the existential danger to Israel, the Jews and the US, if the Ayatollahs are allowed to build a nuclear arsenal. He disagreed however with Rabbi Weiss‘ equating the kappos with Neturei Karta. However ruthless the kappos‘ behaviour may have been, they had no choice, Rabbi Boteach said, for they feared for their lives! The Neturei Karta who claim to be devout Jews, who claim strict adherence to the Torah and Hakodosh Boruch Hu‘s everlasting law, do have a choice yet they openly and proudly collaborate with our enemies for the sake of a handout…


15 Responses to “Yom HaSho’a – Holocaust Remembrance Day”

  1. 2 What Irony
    April 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Ho ironic! You use the holocaust itself to spew unfiltered hatred towards another group of Jews who are doing nothing more than exercising their free speech and are legally protesting…..


    • April 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Yes, the NK (and you included) have an absolute legal right to freely voice their opinion about anything – whether right or wrong. They (and you included) have legally exercised their right of supporting, embracing and kissing Mahmoud Ahmedinajad (there are many videos of this, online.). They, Neturei Karta, also exercised that same legal right by proudly attending (and thereby legitimizing!) his conference of Holocaust deniers – almost as soon as he became Iran’s President. Check it out if you haven’t already done so!

      Even Satmar, (who certainly can not possibly be accused of having any love lost for Zionism), wants NOTHING to do with Neturei Karta’s approach. That alone should say something to every fair minded Jew, to every fair minded human, about NK’s abhorrent behavior. Let’s face it, having the legal right to do something, does not make it morally right. Even in Halacha, we have that principle (I’m absolutely and unequivocally convinced that even Neturei Karta members, have heard of Halacha…).

      I have no problem with any Jew’s opposition to Zionism, but I have a serious problem with their openly siding with the sworn enemies of our people; I have a serious problem with Jews marching in solidarity with those who advocate the murder of other Jews. I have a very serious problem with the Neturei Karta proudly marching on a SHABBOS in LA (on a Palestinian anti Israel parade) while carrying Palestinian flags. At the time they claimed that carrying a flag that fiercely opposes the dreaded Zionist movement “is not a chilul Shabbos.” I’ve scoured the Shulchan Oruch for hours, but failed to find the source for NK’s newfangled definition of what constitutes chilul Shabbos… Frankly, Jews who defend the obliteration of Jews in exchange for handouts, have forfeited their Jewish soul!

      By the way, “What Irony”, there is nothing ironic in my referring to the Holocaust, on the contrary, as the child of survivors I earned that right by blood! But the Neturei Karta choosing that particular day to shame the memory of the sibling I never was privileged to meet, by desecrating the memory of my grandparents, of my murdered relatives, and 6,000,000 other Jews, by using Holocaust Remembrance Day to advance their political agenda, they – the Neturei Karta – are actually spitting on the graves of every one of our innocent martyrs and thereby become themselves morally complicit with Hitler. Bravo, “What Irony,” go ahead defend your ignominy, expose your infamy and hatred, for fellow Jews, to the world! Bravo, bravissimo!!!


      • 4 Sarah Leah
        April 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        NK is not representative of most Yidden – not at all (except for maybe JStreet)…I do not “observe” Holocuast Day..why? Because I don’t care about the 6 million? Because I don’t care about Jewish soldiers who have given their all to protect Eretz Yisroel and other Yidden? G-d forbid. I don’t because it is still Nissan – and eulogies, fasting (besides the wedding day fast, and the different ways this is observed between Sephardim and Ashkenazim), etc is not allowed – it is halachic. We enter these more on 10 Teves…and we don’t stand at attention (not a Jewish concept) – but we say more Tehillim, etc…for the sake of the souls of the fallen. NK and another wing nuts (besides the leftists who don’t get it at all – at least, not yet) – they are a pitiful few who get the headlines. And the media basks in the opportunity to aid in pitting Jew against Jew – supreme “sin’as chinam”. This is what use to channel our frustrations through instead of doing the “work”. This time of the Omer – when 24,000 of R’ Akiva’s students fell in a plague due to this kind of hate – this is how we should commemorate these Jews who fell al kiddush Hashem? This is a self-indulgence that has zero with remembering our fallen. It is enough that there is even one Yid who would aid the enemy, G-d forbid, let alone give so much press that that is where the focus is drawn to…just has to break every Jew’s heart…


    • April 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm


      The NK (Neturei Karta) group are self hating Jews who legitimize hatred of Jews. Poetic justice would be to find NK’s being judged either by other self hating Jews who feel that anyone wearing payos and beards marks them as a Jew and for that reason see NK’s as vermin and scum as they do all Jews, or to be judged by those Jew haters themselves who perhaps right now find NKs are useful idiots as they legitimize, enable and empower Jew haters.

      Jew haters, such as the leadership in Iran, neo-Nazis, Muslim Brotherhood supporters use “hating Zionists” as a smokescreen for their antisemitic passion and will have no problem judging NKs as they judge Zionists, simply as Jews. (And especially when such Jews are no longer useful). It is perhaps debatable as per whether Nazi Collaborators and glorifiers have the right to even assemble under the guise of “free speech”. However it is clear as daylight to me, that the NK’s to seriously question and reflect, for their own sake, the wisdom of a stupid lamb, (the NK’s) associating with deceitful and dangerous wolves.


    • 6 Refoel Rachmiel
      May 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Wooooow! You wrote:

      Ho ironic! You use the holocaust itself to spew unfiltered hatred towards another group of Jews who are doing nothing more than exercising their free speech and are legally protesting…

      Methinketh the lady doth protest too much! as Shakespeare used to say. How ironic is it, “How Ironic,” considering the HATE FILLED banners held by the NK (of which you are doubtlessly a proud member), as they shamelessly spewed “curses on another group of Jews who are doing nothing more than exercising their free speech and are legally protesting…” all the while vociferously, demanding the total destruction of the State of Israel and yet YOU venomously claim “the Zionists” are using the Holocaust wrongly?!?!

      Hhhmnnn, let’s see… The guys across the street, meanwhile, only twice mentioned you, the NKs. Once, when Rabbi Weiss briefly compared NK to kappos, and the second time when Rabbi Boteach said you were worse than the kappos. Interestingly enough, not a single curse was profferred upon your heads by those upon whom you spewed such unfiltered hatred.

      So, pray tell, “How Ironic,” is it only hatred when someone points out NKs hypocrisy and loving embrace of murderers of Jews? And yet it is merely ahavas Yisroel when YOU call Israel a “Satanic State” and curse with the vilest curses those who disagree with you?!?!? Hmnnn… interesting definitions of terms… but I dare say that Webster’s Dictionary does not agree with your definitions, neither do even the minutest amounts of fairness and common sense.

      Your obvious hatred, hypocrisy and greed for the blood money you receive is too thick, too ingrained, to allow to open your eyes to the grievous error of your ways, but the Boireh Oilom sees it all, hears it all and JUDGES all!!! Meanwhile, you once again have proven to the world your hypocrisy, your greed, your terminal idiocy.


  2. 7 Sam
    April 29, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Great heartfelt post!


  3. 8 Mark
    April 29, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    …and that makes Boteach even worse than NK. Boteach also has a choice, heck maybe that’s why he knows all about choices….
    And by the way, regardless of what “attention seeker” Boteach is taking (or lack thereof) Many of those kapos were vicious scumbags.


    • April 30, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Actually, most of the kappos were utterly vicious scumbags. As murderous, as abhorrent, as inexcusable as their actions were, they thought they could save their lives by being so horribly ruthlessly inhuman. NK has no such excuse!


  4. 10 Irving
    April 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I belong to the Holocaust generation and have learned to take the enemy’s threats seriously. An organization such as the Neturei Karta, which embraces the enemy and incites hatred toward Israel, is both evil and dangerous. They pretend to be religious Jews – their words and actions are completely antithetical to the Torah.

    Thank you for doing such a beautiful job covering this event and the issues that surround it, CS.



  5. 11 Shlomo Zalman
    April 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Neturei Karta’s chosen name is a huge misnomer, it means “guardians of the city.” Rather than guarding it though, these misguided zealots would rather give it all up to our enemies. The Neturei Karta sect would do well to learn from Ezra haSofer’s example. Coming back from our Babylonian exile, he brought to the land of Israel the intermarried, the totally ignorant, and those far from living the Torah oriented life Jews were commanded to live. With proper education those remnants, those dregs of society, blossomed into learned, Torah abiding proud Jews.

    Rather than attack the secular, N.K. must give them a REASON to return to Torah and mitzvos. As Rabbi Akiva eloquently taught: anyone who has a chance to heal but does not, will be held responsible for causing the sickness. Therefore N.K. will be held responsible for the same evil they claim to want to uproot.

    NK spreads hatred among Jews as it perpetuates negative stereotypes of the religious, thereby causing a tremendous chillul HaShem – desecration of G-d’s Name. Rather than kiss the enemies of the Jews, Neturei Karta should reach out to those they keep attacking. Let them spread the teachings of Torah to our secular brothers and sisters who were not fortunate enough to taste the sweetness of Hashem’s wisdom.

    I find serious halachic problems with NK’s position of openly siding with blood-thirsty Muslim extremists, extremists who kill each other at the drop of a hat. What do you think they would do to us, Jews? N.K. actions are in direct contravention of the commandment of all ta’amod al dam rayecho (don’t stand idle on your brother’s blood). There is also a serious violation, a total desecration of the Almighty’s name when religious Jews reject G-d’s precious gift while the more secular Jews lovingly embrace our inheritance!

    There certainly are some respected rabbinic figures who have some serious questions, some issues with the current political composition of the State of Israel, but rather than telling the enemy that Zionism is against the Torah (IT ISN’T!!! There is a greater percentage of observant Jews in Israel than anywhere else in the world. There is more Torah being taught in Israel, in more yeshivos, than anywhere else in the world), they work from within by educating and changing attitudes while fomenting understanding.

    Certainly there are some halachic grounds on which to take issue with Israel’s current political elite. One thing, however, is for sure: rather than protesting against secular Israel, if NK and their ilk are truly interested in cultivating Judaism in its purest form, they would be far more efficient, far more successful by joining the likes of Uri Zohar, Amnon Yitzchak, Breslov, Chabad, Yad L’Achim and other such organizations. These latter groups, by reaching out with true ahavas Yisroel, by patiently teaching what true Judaism is – by living example AND actual book learning – are successfully bridging the gap between the secular and the orthodox.

    Some rabbinic authorities stress the obligation of every Jew to defend the borders of Israel against its enemies, it is considered a milchomo shel mitzvoh. Regardless of which authorities one agrees with most, for the sake of unity, for the sake of Hakodosh Boruch Hu‘s honor let us all sit down – and lovingly make a lechayim as brothers, while telling over inspiring stories of our sages, as we learn some of the eternal truths of our faith and enjoy a delicious piece of potato kugel.

    As Jews we were never interested in world dominance, unlike other faiths – as evidenced by mankind’s bloody history of wars – yet we do not turn the other cheek. It is a mitzvah – a commandment to combat evil and eradicate those bloodthirsty murderers who delight in bombing pizza stores, civilian buses, yeshivas, embassies, Jewish centers and more. N.K. has a clear choice, continue to be the useful idiots of those whose ultimate goal is the DESTRUCTION OF ALL JEWS, or join in with the rest of their brothers and make a real difference.


    • 12 Yona L.
      May 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      With the exception of the ironically hypocritical words of “What Irony,” almost every comment here is well written and obviously from the heart! Maybe the blogger(s) should consider writing, at least, an occasional political post?


  6. May 1, 2014 at 9:57 am

    This is all too ghastly for words. Volumes have been written on why and how Jew haters do what they do. Millions have died for it. So how is it possible we still NEED to understand why this is happening? So, with all due respect, you are stating that the sun rises East. The reason is plain simple: We hurt Jews: It’s an old tradition! It has NOTHING to do with any particular event in time and place and history, least of all the Palestinian “plight”. It’s been going on since the inception of the world. It’s our tough reality.
    If we are going to use our energies on the subject, I suggest the following, if I may: Redirect all the energy spent on identifying what makes Jew haters tick, and using it in being VERY proactive in combatting hateful literature, hateful slogans, BDS etc…. Here’s the catch: this heavily involves duking it out with some bleeding heart Jewish Organizations, whose misguided idea of kindness and egalitarianism perversely includes and welcomes the perpetrators and excludes and condemns the victims! this is what hurts the most! That it is engineered mostly by JEWS! How then would we expect our enemies NOT to feel empowered??? It will get steadily worse UNLESS this shift takes place!


  7. 15 Moishe Dovid
    May 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Shlomo Zalman’s comment was very nicely written; he exposed Neturey Karta’s hypocrisy while extending a friendly hand. Too bad they, Neturey Karta, will never accept that friendship they’d rather foster disunity and hatred it seems. Their actions only serve to accentuate their hypocrisy, their greed and their commitment to murderers of Jews….


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