Most did nothing to save fellow Jews
After weeks of reading about the rescue of Jews from Germany, Czechoslavakia and Austria in the run-up to Holocuast Memorial Day, is it possible to find hard facts? The majority of Jews in the free world did nothing to save other Jews. My aunt, cousins and uncle endured the occupation in a Paris suburb. My family did nothing to help them. They were not invited to London.
Although some Jews protested about the treatment of Jews in Germany, The Daily Mail was opposed to allowing refugees into the UK. Whereas writers in Hollywood spoke out against the Nazis, the studios and distributors kowtowed to the German film industry. The US department prevented relief organisations from rescuing Jews, even when Himmler offered a deal. Stephen Wise, involved with Jewish rescue, refused requests from Rabbi Weissmandel to save Jews in Slovakia. French resistance did not get underway until it was obvious that the Germans would lose the war.
The Vichy government and the police in Paris rounded up Jews who were deported to Drancy and then Auschwitz. Italy’s army, on the other hand, saved thousands of Jews in Greece, France and Italy, at a time when only Truman spoke out against America’s lack of interest is saving Jews. What of my own involvement in Jewish rescue? I was nine when the war was over, but when war broke out in Bosnia in the 1990s and Jews were trapped in Sarajevo, I did what I could, helped by a small number of friends and this newspaper.
Jews in Stamford Hill in the so-called frum community showed scant regard for my efforts. In the media, Michael Mendoza on Jewish radio was totally supportive. I cannot say the same for World Jewish Relief. If the UK government wants to put up statues and monuments to assuage guilt, fine, but how about putting money into Jewish education? The Holocaust Educational Trust does a fine job, but far better to plant scorn on how little was done than heap praise on the few who did something.
Noach Bright, Stamford Hill
The Inaccuracies in relating midrash
Please exclude Midrashim from your newspaper. They are not for us commoners, only those knowledgeable looking for meaning. In his Sedra column in Jewish News of 28 January, Rabbi Zvi Solomons stated: 1. That Pharoah was attended by three great foreign advisors. However, the timing of each is contradictory, so could never have happened. 2 Further, he states that Yitro was a sheikh, in which case all the locals would have helped in watering his daughters’ flocks. 3 How fine were the two sons of Moses, as they are barely mentioned. Also there must have been some altercation between Moses and Yitro, for it states he was sent away. Please do not print anything that can so easily be contradicted.
Mike De Haan, By email
DR Gish considered the key evidence
I refer to a letter by Fraser Michaelson in Jewish News of 28 January, concerning the age-old creation versus evolution debate. The late Dr Duane T Gish had a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. In his lecture, The Origin of Life (ICR video), Dr Gish discusses the requirements for one instance of one protein macromolecule (in this case, ribonuclease) to be formed by chance. He states that this enzyme consists of 124 amino acids. He makes life as easy as possible for the evolutionist, by considering that there are only 20 amino acids in the primordial soup and that these are all (except glycine) left-handed (as they have to be). He then demonstrates, by mathematics, that this relatively simple enzyme must have been deliberately and intelligently designed and created.
This is just a single, sober, clear example of the absurdity of the belief in organic evolution, and is the mark of a real scientist and researcher. If anything, it is The Origin of Life that should be necessary viewing material for the fresh and fertile minds of our youth, rather than the dull nonsense of evolution that is force-fed to them by decree. I view with amusement Fraser Michaelson’s statement that Dr Gish “was a leading creationist for 20 or so years, despite having a genuine doctorate in biochemistry”. Evolutionists often display a religious fervour when defending their belief system. Dr Duane Gish considered the evidence. He was more than ably qualified to consider it. He rejected it and, most importantly, listed many, many strong reasons for doing so.
Dr Neville Jones, Scotland
Explanation for terrorism in israel
While I do not usually write to this newspaper about matters published elsewhere, I read an extremely insightful article by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher in the Torah Tidbits (Yitro), published by the Orthodox Union’s Israel office. I feel it might be of interest to a far wider audience in throwing light on the current wave of terrorism in Israel.
In it, he explains the need for the Jewish people to ‘see’ the Asseret Hadibrot [Ten Commandments], as stated in last week’s Sedra (Ex. 20,18), rather than merely to hear the ‘voice’ of the Almighty. He points out that the prohibition ‘lo tirtsach’, if only heard, could be misinterpreted as meaning ‘For His sake, you shall murder’ should the word ‘lo’ be understood as spelled ‘lamed vav’ rather than ‘lamed aleph’, both of which being pronounced precisely the same. He points out that this mistake may underlie the fact that Arab terrorists make a ‘berachah’ by shouting ‘Allahu akbar [God is great]’ before carrying out their murderous attacks. Martin D. Stern Salford
Israel is not yet a light unto nations
I was interested to read the comment by Roslyn Pine in a letter published in Jewish News on 28 January, which boldly claimed: ‘Israel stands out as a light unto the nations.’ As far as I am aware, Israel is the only country in the world which currently has a democratically-elected former prime minister and former president serving time in prison. While I share Ms Pine’s aspirations that Israel should be ‘a light unto the nations’, I would contend that the country is currently still very much a work in progress. Martin Saffer North Finchley
Grand old Jewish community in York
What a shame that in her otherwise excellent review of York in your issue of 28 January, Louisa Walters didn’t include: “Pray: join the York Liberal Jewish Community for Shabbat at their home at the Friends Meeting House on Friargate. Established a mere 18 months ago, the now thriving community attracts around sixty people – aged from 0 to 90 – for monthly services and other regular educational, social and cultural events. It’s a must for any Jewish visitor to the city. Check out their website at jewsinyork.org.uk Anyway, that’s my impartial recommendation. Ben Rich Chair, York Jewish Community