Sign In Forgot Password

The More Things Change...!

11/07/2018 03:54:49 PM


Rabbi Reuben Israel Abraham, CDR, CHC, USN (ret)

This weekend is a weekend replete with incredible history for both the People Israel and the people of this world.  The period of Friday, November 9th to Saturday, November 10th is commemorated by World Jewry as "Kristalnacht" - the Night of Broken Glass.  In that overnight period in Germany in 1938, over 2,000 Synagogues were destroyed, thousands of Jewish businesses were vandalized, 100 German Jewish citizens were murdered, and over 30,00 German men were placed in concentration camps.  All this is well documented and well known by anyone who reads about or studies the history of that time period in Europe.  Most historians say that "Kristalnacht" was the beginning of the Holocaust culminating in what became known as "The Final Solution."  However, I would propose a different beginning of World War II which can be traced back to November 11, 1918.

This coming Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended what was supposed to be "The War To End All Wars."  We know it as World War I, and it at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that what was - up until then - the bloodiest war ever fought on this earth was brought to an end in a railroad car outside of Paris.  In fact the document that was signed gave the day its name in American parlance: November 11th became known as "Armistice Day."  But instead of creating a world which shunned war and worked for peace, November 11th is now being recognized by many historians, especially Holocaust historians, as the beginning of World War II.  The aftermath of the signing of the armistice created such open hatred of our people in Germany and throughout Europe that it seems impossible how people the world over were blind to what eventually took place over the following 20 years leading up to "Kristalnacht."  The question begs: Why was the world so blind?  The result of this "blindness" was World War II and the Holocaust.

We, the American Jewish Community and more specifically the Pittsburgh Jewish Community have seen first hand what happens when people turn a blind eye toward anti-Semitism.  I hope and pray that the result of this tragedy which has appeared to unite Jew and non-Jew will not be a spur-of-the-moment phenomenon.  On this Veterans' Day weekend during which we honor all those who have put on a uniform and stood in the way of hatred and intolerance and bigotry, I hope and pray that all people who believe in people will stay united in order to work toward that day when nation shall indeed no longer have to lift up sword against nation and when humankind will never again need to learn war.


Wed, November 13 2019 15 Cheshvan 5780