Monday, April 24, 2006

Darfur: "Never Again" Again

Rabbi Mayer Schiller
And They Shall Judge the People with True Judgement
(f.y.i. i disagree with his critiques of l.w.m.o. in the article)
[The humanistic, universalistic] outlook is one of the greatest losses that the eclipse of Torah im Derekh Eretz has brought about. We have come to limit our chesed, our empathy, our social concern (be it physical, moral or spiritual) to Jews only. This limitation of kindness seems impossible to achieve. Can we turn on and off kindness? And, if it can be achieved, at what cost to our hearts and souls?

We are called upon to emulate the Creator who made the world as an act of
chesed and "whose mercies are upon all His creatures."

The current posture of insular
chesed limited to Jewry ruins our souls, destroys our credibility as a people and ends any hope that our exile will favorably influence mankind.

דן פגיס (Dan Pagis)
כתוב בעפרון בקרון החתום — Written in Pencil in the Sealed Boxcar

 כאן במשלוח הזה Here in this transport 
 אני חוה I am Eve 
 עם הבל בני with Abel my son 
 אם תראו את בני הגדול If you see my older son 
 קין בן אדם Cain son of Adam 
 תגידו לו שאני Tell him that I 

יום השואה והגבורה
six million jews
eleven million human beings

How many more numbers will be added to the totals of the Devouring Calamity? How many more Genocides will stain humanity's history books? It's up to us to stop it from happening again.

שופך דם האדם, באדם דמו יישפך — כי בצלם אלהים עשה את האדם


Blogger Amishav said...

Wow, lots to comment on in your post. Just to let you know, I'm going to blogroll you. You have a lot of interesting things to say and as a fellow teacher I'll never expect you to share you lesson plans-

Ok- "chesed limited to Jewry" - if only we could get some chesed for Jewry- with all the hatred between our various factions, if we could only love our fellow Jews we might be able to then show some real chesed to others- until then- perhaps we ought to get our own house in order.

I've seen that short poem before- is it in the Holocaust poetry anthology? Frankly it's one of the most powerful short poems I've ever seen- thank you for posting it.

And the ongoing Genocide in Darfur- what do we say about that? I've mailed my postcard- I've spoken to my students about it- and still I feel completely horrible every time I think of it- that I should be doing something more.

Thank you for the thought provoking posts- I'll be stopping back regularly to see what is new in the Hall of the Goblin King!

4/24/2006 11:49 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Thanks! You're already on my blogroll, as תלוי ח"י על ציפיות.

I'm all for getting our own house in order, but i think the idea that R' Schiller is trying to fight is the all-too-often (in some circles) position that if someone's not Jewish, we have no reason to — or even shouldn't — care about their problems.

I'm sure the poem is in many Holocaust poetry anthologies. I learned it some time in high school Hebrew class, if i remember correctly, and have a copy included in an Israeli anthology of Modern Hebrew poems on Biblical figures called Lanetzahh Anagenkha ("i will play you for ever", 'play' as in musical instruments).

I'm hoping to go to the Darfur rally in DC on Sunday, but it's a bit closer to NYC than it is to Colorado.

4/25/2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Mike Koplow said...

Steg, I'm with you on this. When I saw that both OU (with participation in the rally) and Edah (with a seder insert) were talking about Darfur, my reaction was "B"H, O"Js protesting a genocide where we're not the victims." Maybe this just means that I'm cynical rather than that O"Js (at least institutionally) don't care that much. I can't make it to the rally, but please hold up an effigy of me so I can be counted by proxy.

4/25/2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Lab Rab said...

Many local communities are also holding simultaneous rallies at their state capitiols. Including Minnesota, for example. Those of you who are too distant to attend the big rally in Washington can probably still participate some way on April 30.

As usual, Steg, Yishar kochacha.

4/25/2006 11:15 AM  

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