Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rav Yitzchok Hutner: Holocaust Jewish Observer 1977

9 comments :

  1. This article was controversial to say the least. It does not really have great substance to it. And the claim that somehow Zionism was the hidden hand, which pushed the Mufti to turn the german regime anti-semitic is historically false.
    The link for Kaplan's critiques is actually another essay he wrote about another article by R'Hutner.
    The translator, a rabbi Feitman, took 11 years to respond to Prof Kaplan's original critique of this article. However Feitman was just relying on the Daas Torah of rabbis of every generation, and concluded by calling prof Kaplan "evil". In other words, just non scholarly nonsense that was written on the Jo and now in Yated.
    Back to the article, it seems to be attacking the idea of a Yom Hashoah, and the choice of name. There is also a kind of question of entitlement, can a body outside of Gedolei torah institute a memorial day? Why not?
    In sum, I don't see the article as saying much of value, and it is not of the usual high standard of the author, who was a major Talmid Hacham.

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  2. @Eddie, In this case I think I agree with you - its not correct to claim that Zionism somehow created Muslim animosity to the Jews. Muslim hatred and persecution of the Jews existed long before Zionism.

    "NO GREATER ENEMY HAS THREATENED US, AND NO NATION HAS DONE MORE TO SUBJUGATE AND HUMILIATE US ... KING DAVID SAW THROUGH RUACH HAKODESH ALL THE TROUBLES SLATED FOR ISRAEL, BEGAN TO WAIL AND LAMENT THE WICKED ISHMAELITE NATION ... ‘WOE IS ME, THAT I SOJOURN WITH MESHECH, THAT I DWELL BESIDE THE TENTS OF KEDAR!’ (TEHILLIM 120:5) ...THE PSYCHOPATH MOHAMMED WAS DESCENDED FROM KEDAR ... DANIEL ONLY MENTIONED OUR HUMILIATION AND SERVITUDE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ISHMAELITE KINGDOM, MAY IT SOON BE CRUSHED … WE ARE STILL SUFFERING THEIR ENSLAVEMENT, PERFIDY, AND LIES, WHICH SURPASS THE BOUNDS OF HUMAN ENDURANCE." (Rambam, Igeret Teman, 12th century C.E.)

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  3. Thank you so much! I have been looking for this article online for a while.
    Do you have access to a follow up article published a few weeks later entitled "chazaras hashiur"?

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  4. How in the world am I supposed to read the entire JO article if I can't download it or print it out. It's so irritating to try reading all these pages online. Grrr...

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  5. Rav Hutner hinges his Biblical exegesis on the words of the Targum "ta'avas amemayah", which he translates as "the desires of the nations." As far as I know ta'avas would then be written with a taf and not with a tet. Also, the Targum often translates idolatry as ta'avas, which means abomination. Why understand the word differently in this parsha.
    Also, to say that the nations constantly reneged on human rights seems inaccurate. Except (albeit a big except)for Nazi Germany, the Jews of the West have enjoyed increasing human rights for the past 150 years and so far continue to do so. I do not think that Nazi Germany led to distrust of the non-Jew in all Western countries. As for the teshuva renewal, it is not restricted to the Jews as we see from the rapid rise of Muslim fundamentalism in recent years. The teshuva movement is largely a backlash to the crass materialism of recent decades.

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  6. This Oct 1977 "shiur" of Rav Hutner's on "Daas Torah" hashkafa regarding the "Holocaust" became a longer, sustained discussion. As posted here, it remains incomplete.

    From Prof. Lawrence Kaplan's original 1980 response in Tradition, it's apparent that we're missing at least quite few components: The Rav Hutner was published in the same issue as, and thus practically in conjunction with, a complementary essay by Joseph Elias. The two together seem to seek to lay out some kind of Agudas Yisrael anti-Zionist position on the Holocaust. The position was soon critiqued independently by at least two other rabbis, R' Schubert Spero & R' Chayim Zimmerman, which were of enough force that 3mos later R' Yaakov Feitman issued a defense to the criticism. And it is to this revised Hutner-Feitman, refracted in an anti-Zionist light via Elias, that Kaplan evidently responded 2-1/2 years later, citing Spero & Zimmerman. And now we learn from Eddie's Comment above that there was a Feitman rejoinder several years after calling Kaplan "evil".

    The Hakirah essay & interview are, by contrast, much more recent, more retrospective, & thus less contentious in substance.

    Hutner, Elias, Spero, Zimmerman, Feitman, Kaplan, Feitman2, Kaplan2 = 8 pieces, of which we have posted here only the 1st & last.

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  7. Finally finished Rav Hutner's article. I agree that Hitler did not need the Mufti's input to decide on the Final Solution, although the Mufti did at one stage discourage the sparing of a number of Jews he was afraid might end up in Palestine. I also don't follow the article's argument. Just because the Holocaust is part of the flow and ebb of Jewish history does not mean that it was not the greatest catastrophe of modern times and worthy of a distinguishing title. You may as well object that it is wrong to call Rav Eliyahu of Vilna the "Gaon," for was he not merely one talmid chacham among thousands in the transmission of the Oral Torah? I sense that the real motive of the article is to oppose a label imposed upon an event by secular Jewry.

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  8. "Larry Kaplan iz nisht meiner a talmid, efsher iz er mishpacha mit Mordechai Kaplan, veile er klohr farshteit mir nisht."

    "Ich hob gezogt dem maamer in Yiddish, un meine tzvei talmidim, Harav Dr, Chaim Feuerman and un Rav Yankel Feitman hob ich gebeten dos ibber tzu teichen oif Einglish. Di ganzte zach vos me hot gedrukt iz nor a teich."

    Translation:

    Larry Kaplan is not a student of mine, maybe he is family with Mordechai Kaplan because he clearly does not understand me.

    I said the speech in Yiddish, and my two students Rabbi Dr. Chaim Feuerman and Rabbi Yankel Feitman I asked to translate it into English. The whole thing that was printed is only a translation.

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  9. This article, for Haredim every day of the year is yom hashoah.

    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/11/ART2/458/244.html?hp=11&cat=1102&loc=6

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