Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'll Pass on the Cocoa

"Turn Back Turn Back Perfect One, Turn Back Turn Back That We May Observe You"
"What Can You Offer the Perfect One that Equals the Circling of the Camps?"
(Song of Songs 7:1)

It's that time of year when our mailboxes are flooded with catalogs selling enough nostalgia to make Norman Rockwell a bit cynical. Happy children on a rug in front of the fireplace playing with their new found gifts, parents in cozy sweaters smiling at each other... the perfect family... Rockefeller Center skating, Macy's window on Fifth Ave... even the snow, an extra shade of white.. in the spirit of the purity of the day...the holiday songs seemed to be playing at Temple Starbucks before the turkey was even carved ... it's just so beautiful.

So alluring is this image that one bright Jewish chap and his girlfriend decided to keep the commercialized version of the Holiday last year and write about it in the New York Times. The article was labeled "silly", "stupid" and "sad" by most reader's, but this year Id like to call it what it is - a sickening betrayal.

In the not too distant past Jews would surely bolt their doors and hide, for when Christmas Mass was over - the angry mobs were ready to avenge the death of their Lord's only son. Over the course of history the blood of hundreds and thousands of Jews spilled like water, the ground ran deep with the blood of our own . Old helpless men and woman struck down and beaten to death, young men and their sons were slain, woman and their daughters raped and killed... there was no mercy for our people .. no mercy for our people .. no mercy at all.... the cocoa drinkers celebrated the birth of their saviour by avenging his death... from people that lived thousands of years later...

Yet we, less than two hundred years after the slaughterings of our own family, forgive and forget... for what? For the promise of hot cocoa and a cashmere sweater...

Am I calling for revenge, shall we G-d Forbid take swords in our hands and strike babes from their mother's arms and slit their throats as the mother's cry in horror only to join a similar fate moments later - as was done to us - NEVER!! G-d Forbid!

But how dare we forget the darkness of the day - the impurity of the day.. in an age of multiculturalism we are all expected to hold hands and sing... Less than sixty five years ago.. the church sat by and let your grandfathers, your grandmothers, your uncles and your aunts be led to the slaughter in the Camps. They sat by in front of the fireplace drinking cocoa in cashmere sweaters with sweet holiday songs playing joyfully in the background... so beautiful... while the cries of six million, think about the number, six million were slaughtered. Their cries ignored by a church that knew quite well what was going on... holy night... peaceful night....

So what is this crazy blogger saying? Whats his point? He's a fanatic, he's old fashion, he's just trying to be shocking. Givald I'd love to be able shock some people from their crazy hypnotic slumber... I'm begging you that this year on Dec. 25 perhaps after dark ... take your children, and tell them our story of this night... how Zeidys and Bubbys were slaughtered after Midnight Mass but they died with the name of Hashem on their the modest daughters of Zion in protection of their purity jumped from windows rather than be defiled by the animals... how young scholars died clutching their seforim, their holy books... tell your children how lucky we are to live in this land, how grateful we must be to the United States and to G-d, that tonight we can wear a kippa, tzitzis and learn Torah.... then open any Jewish book of your choosing and learn for five little minutes... learn in memory of those killed by the sword.. so we wont have to mourn those lost to the promise of hot cocoa and cashmere sweaters...

In the verse sited above... the commentator Rashi explains that it refers to the nations of the world asking the children of Israel to turn back from the service of G-d and promising us peace and honor- We answer "what can you offer us that equals the circling of the camps" - to me tonight the meaning is - the Camps of Auschwitz and Burchanu. What little trinkets, what imagery can you lure us with when we saw what you truly let happen to us... when we were round up like animals, shot, gassed, burned and eliminated like dung - cast into pits. Tonight we'll stay with our G-d and with our own people, and for the memory of Zaidy and Bubby, the six million, and the thousands throughout history that died at the cross - I'll pass on the cocoa tonight.


  1. very well said g-d bless! happy holidays- jk.

  2. the truth burns like spilt cocoa.

  3. So beautifully written and well said…your article is a shining light of clarity in our sometimes misguided life