As the punchline for some jokes goes:
"The alternative is death."So, if we're alive, we or some ancestors made the right move and was in the right place at the critical time. That goes for all Jews, whether European, North African, American of either continent or Jew from any other part of the world. Somebody made the right decision and some or various points in history.
And of course, not only Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
All of my grandparents left Eastern Europe about a hundred years ago. Even my father's grandparents left their homes in Poland and White Russia. New York was their haven and heaven. My parents never heard any nostalgic yearnings for their old lives and homes from their parents. The general feeling was "good riddance." Whatever difficulties they had in America were worth the trouble, considering the alternative.
I grew up innocent and ignorant of Holocaust stories.
Unlike many of my peers, I've always found it difficult to feel personally connected to the Holocaust. I also never had that grateful feeling to the United States of America which keeps many Jews from looking at that country and its policies objectively.
I've always been suspicious of the USA's supposed goodness to Jews. I went to New York Public Schools and even in the most Jewish of neighborhoods, it was very clear that it's a Christian country. Jews have been tolerated, discriminated against and milked for all they could contribute.
When I learned about Zionism, האסימון נפל, ha'assimon naffal, everything suddenly made sense. As a Jews there was a place I could call home, where I belonged, where Jewish Holidays were national holidays and not working on Shabbat wouldn't be a hindrance.
I had no trouble leaving America. Of course, I can't say that my parents and other family members felt the same. They couldn't understand me, but then again, they also had even more trouble accepting my decision to lead a Torah Jewish life when I was in high school.
Even though I don't feel very personally connected to Holocaust stories, I have no problems imagining such a thing happening again. I see too many parallels in policies and attitudes, prejudice against Jews and Israelis all over the world and even here in Israel.
- Why else would a man like Col. Shalom Eisner be condemned for reacting like a normal human being when attacked?
- Why are Arab terrorists sympathized with and their victims condemned?
- Why are Israeli citizens so restricted in our own Land?
- And why are Israelis expected to live silently when Arab terrorist missiles are launched at them?