Thanks, Whoopi! Why Holocaust Education Is Mostly Counter-Productive - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Thanks, Whoopi! Why Holocaust Education Is Mostly Counter-Productive
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Really, as one thinks about it, could it be any other way? If you take kids from age 7 or 10, and you don’t give them Chumash (Torah studies) or meaningful real Shabbat (Sabbath) or a kosher home or meaningful substantive history of modern Israel … and the only Jewish identity you give them is a narrative about terrible people who slaughtered 6 million of their forebears … and those forebears did not fight back and no one helped … and the same thing has gone on for 2,000 years of getting murdered by miserable people while no one comes to help …

Well, how in the world will that inspire kids to say, “When I grow up, I want to marry a Jewish spouse, even if I meet someone else who seems more compatible, because I want to hand this legacy of victimization and martyrdom to my future generations”?

So a fortune is spent by American Jewish secular organizations on museums, school curricula, and Holocaust centers, while the assimilated Jewish leaders of the ADLs and Federations avoid confronting that they are not themselves suited for their roles and are failing their future generations. Before they know what hit them, they are coming to rabbis like me, begging rabbis to convert the non-Jews marrying their kids. We meet with those non-Jewish prospective spouses and find they are sweet and delightful enough but, really, don’t want to convert, are happy as they are. “Rabbi,” they tell us, “I don’t believe in the Torah. I don’t believe in Jesus either. I don’t believe in G-d. I just believe in love.”

Despite 50 years’ proof that Holocaust education accomplishes almost nothing, tens of millions of dollars keep flowing to Holocaust programs — museums, monuments, college courses and university Holocaust centers, Hollywood movies — because some kind of “common wisdom” has taken hold among the assimilated Jews who lead “Jewish” organizations like HIAS, ADL, and most cities’ Jewish Federations that the Holocaust is the way to inspire Jewish kids to remain and marry Jewish. They presume a supposed guilt that will overwhelm their kids’ consciences that they dare not be the generation to end the family’s Jewish generational chain extending back three thousand years to the time of Abraham and Moses. The guilt assumes they will perceive that Hitler ultimately wins if their kids end up non-Jewish. Thus, instead of Hitler gassing and incinerating their kids — most unpleasant — they will accomplish the same Gentilization for him, albeit with gentility, as all their offspring not Jewish. End of line. End of story.

By 2022, with data among non-Orthodox Jews now confirming nearly 80 percent intermarriage, clearly Holocaust education has not mattered, perhaps because today’s younger generations of all creeds and ethnicities in the Age of Obama — Jews, non-Jews, Blacks, Whites, Browns, Blues, Jews, Christians, Agnostics, Atheists — do not feel guilty about anything. Rather, they feel entitled.

A Mezvinsky sees Schindler’s List but still marries a Chelsea Clinton, basking in pride even though that line now will be Judaically extinct.

The other arguments advanced by Holocaust education funders is that, at least, such education “protects” Jews and Israel by teaching whatever it teaches. And yet we find that premise faulty, too:

1. Although she is a fool in the way she processes facts, Caryn Johnson (“Whoopi Goldberg”) is intelligent and absorbs a wide variety of information. Her job of many years at The View requires her to be well read and able to discuss all kinds of issues. Yet she still knows absolutely nothing about the Holocaust after all these years. If Hitler was anything, he was a racist. She somehow missed that, reminiscent of the kid in sixth grade history class who is asked: “What year did Columbus set sail?” And the kid answers: “I was absent that day.”

2. For all the Shoah education that Ocasio got, she likewise uses information only to pick and choose what suits her. She sees ICE shelters where they provide food, water, clothes, and shelter to people who do not even belong here because they have entered illegally — and her take-away is that she has just seen Dachau and Auschwitz, and ICE are Nazis. This is precisely what Holocaust education has become. Woke professors and their minions specialize in “deconstructing” all history, promoting false narratives. The entire Critical Race Theory of American history — the phony 1619 Project — is built on the same premise: take a few facts and lie about them, deconstruct the true history, and reconstruct a false narrative.

3. People opposed to mask- and vax-mandates wear Yellow Stars. Even for those who believe that KN95 and N95 masks are vital, and who believe unequivocally that the Moderna, Pfizer, and other vaccines and boosters have saved countless lives, there is a growing sense that government mandates to wear those blue, flimsy, layered Chinese and similar cloth masks are pointless and anyway infringe on personal freedom. Nothing is more infuriating than media photos showing the government mandaters themselves promenading without masks: Ocasio in Florida, Newsom and Pelosi in California, Whitmer in Michigan, De Blasio in New York City, BoJo in London. Yet, anyone who dons a Yellow Star in protest of such mandates manifests extreme misunderstanding of the Nazi-era Yellow Star. In brief, if a Jew did not wear a Yellow Star on the street under Nazi occupation, he could be shot to death on site. He certainly could be carted off to a death camp, a girl or woman raped. The Yellow Star informed all non-Jewish passers-by that, if they beat the guy or woman to death right then and there, consequences would be minimal. An injection of a COVID vaccine is different from an injection by Dr. Mengele of a known death toxin for the purpose of seeing how many minutes the toxin needs to cause death or to gauge how intense its side effects are.

At best, all Holocaust education accomplishes little or nothing and, at worst, gives talking points to ignoramuses for their unrelated agendas. In its most ubiquitous form, Holocaust education results in “Godwin’s Law,” which posits that every argument on social media sooner or later finds one adversary calling the other a Nazi.

I personally know and pastor to Holocaust Survivors and their offspring. For most, the Shoah singularly defined the rest of their lives. Of course it did — and no decent person would tell them: “Get over it.” Rather, their understandable life calling is to bear witness. Moreover, Holocaust Denial eventually emerged as its own new form of anti-Semitism as memories faded, evidence vanished, and Survivors died. So it became even more compelling for Survivors to relate their personal experiences and show the branded numbers on their wrists. The truth must be known.

Nonetheless, it is time to rethink the “common wisdom” that tens of millions must be budgeted on general Holocaust education. A time comes when people need to see what works and what not. Black America’s tragedy is that their institutions refuse to learn that the premises underlying Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” were false. Instead of increased welfare handouts raising Black incomes, they bred a culture of dependency and promoted a horrible wave of Black men abandoning their families, resulting in Black boys reared without fathers. That led to a generation of more incarcerated Black male youths. And that of course led to yet another even more damaged generation.

I can suggest but lack authority to command Blacks as to the right track. I can urge them to turn away from the race hucksters who prey on them like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Joe Biden. But at the end of the day they must decide whether their Democrat slave masters may define for them whether “you ain’t Black.”

By contrast, I can tell Jews that 50 years of Holocaust education has not brought young Jews closer to Judaism. Rather, it has driven them away. It does not inspire observance of Shabbat or kosher dietary practice. It just makes kids feel bad and determined not to grow up to be sheep and martyrs. Young Jews don’t want that in their lives, and they think they can run away from it.

Finally, even much worse, for pathological haters among non-Jews, Holocaust education ultimately inspires a deadly inference: If a hater despises several groups and wants to murder people in at least one of them — Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Asians — Shoah education proposes that Jews are easiest to murder without payback. Blacks, Mexicans, Asians might have illegal hand guns and shoot back. But Holocaust education propagates that Jews apparently are pretty easy and safe to kill. They don’t seem to carry guns but briefcases. They seem to go like sheep. So the imagery actually is counter-productive. You watch The Godfather or Goodfellas, and that teaches you never to start up with Italians. But not enough focus is directed to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising or the armed revolts in places like Treblinka that show Jews fighting back.

Indeed, that is partly why some people cannot process the idea of Israel fighting back when attacked. It has been so ingrained that Jews do not fight back that, when the one Jewish polity in the world actually does, the woke cannot handle it. Well, tough noogies.

If we do not reallocate our Holocaust education funding to educating Jews instead about their culture and religion, we will end up with history museums recounting what Jews once were.

Read Dov Fischer every Monday and Thursday in The American Spectator and follow him on Twitter at@DovFischerRabbi.

Image: This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., a high-stakes litigation attorney of more than twenty-five years and an adjunct professor of law of more than fifteen years, is rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. His legal career has included serving as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerking for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then litigating at three of America’s most prominent law firms: JonesDay, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. In his rabbinical career, Rabbi Fischer has served several terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, is Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, has been Vice President of Zionist Organization of America, and has served on regional boards of the American Jewish Committee, B’nai Brith Hillel, and several others. His writings on contemporary political issues have appeared over the years in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, National Review, American Greatness, The Weekly Standard, and in Jewish media in American and in Israel. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit.
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