Calvaries, Ancient and Modern

Some years ago while making a "pilgrimage" to Auschwitz, the Pope declared that place "the Calvary of the modern world." He may have been more right than even he realized.

While much has been written and said about the "Holocaust revisionist" industry, little to nothing has been said about a blasphemy equally great--one that does not deny Churban 'Europa' but both de-Judaizes it and makes it a centerpiece of a non-Jewish worldview.  And as each of these diametrically opposed movements feeds off the other and nourishes the other it is only appropriate that we take the time to see the result of this second blasphemy--the transformation of Churban 'Europa', a part of the same Jewish history that includes the slavery of Egypt and the Revelation of Sinai, into the unique "calvary" of secularism.

This particular view holds that the Six Million 'Emunim (may HaShem avenge their blood) were not so much the heirs of Moses and Joshua, of Elijah and David, of Isaiah and Ezra, but of a people redefined as the suffering "christ" figure of secularism.  Every insult to which every Jew has been subjected after the beginning of the chr*stian era (secularists cannot make use of the sufferings of Biblical Jews at the hands of pagans and they do not like to give any creedence to Biblical historicity, so these examples are ignored), every burned Torah Scroll (G-d forbid!), every pogrom, every exile, was not a blasphemy against the Creator of the Universe that screams to High Heaven for vengeance but the patient redemptive suffering of a servant specially chosen by fate or "the iron laws of history" or evolution or random chance to teach mankind the unspeakable evils of religion.

If the sufferings of the Jewish people during the past two thousand years (the only ones not deemed mythological) constitute atheism's self-proclaimed "passion" at the hands of "religion" (portrayed always as gentiles, never Jews), then indeed Churban 'Europa', given the ironic and ultimately isulting name "the Holocaust" (actually the Greek for the "whole burnt offering" of the Torah) is modern man's "calvary."  In the ashes of Auschwitz "religion" (represented by the accursed Natzim, yimach shemam vezikhram!), like the "satan" of chr*stianity, attempted to destroy its "enemy" once and for all but instead destroyed itself.  For, according to secular mythology, the "new humanity" born out of the ashes of Auschwitz would be so horrified by what "religion" had made it do to the Jewish people that it would strip that "accursed" relic off itself and never look to it again.  Indeed, the secular world demanded that this uniquely sacral event that had "redeemed" humanity at such a price be commemorated always, not as a part of Jewish history, but a unique event that gave "religion" its death wound once and for all.

In secular states that would never erect a statue (which is contrary to Halakhah anyway) or a memorial to the Jewish children drowned by the Egyptians or the Jews murdered by the `Amaleqites, Canaanites, Midianites, Pelishtim, Babylonians, Persians, Antiochans, or Romans the commemoration of "the Holocaust" is seen as absolutely essential to the secular worldview.  It is furthermore considered perfectly appropriate for commemoration by any and all countries, places, peoples, and cultures because the Jewish people are still somehow the unique archtype of humanity--almost a "priestly" people--chosen not by G-d but by the randomness that is behind all things precisely to bring secularism to the world through its sufferings.  A new date in the calendar, set in the month of Nisan--in violation of Halakhah--is established to commemorate it so it will be thoroughly disassociated from the "mythical" Biblical Jews (even though great Sages have ruled that Churban 'Europa', like all the "mythical" tragedies of the Bible, are to be commemorated on Tish`ah Be'Av).    The secular mentality insists that the victims of that one massive massacre died not `al qiddush HaShem (for the sanctification of G-d's name) but to free the world from religion.  And that claim (usually implied but sometimes made explicit) has dire consequences for both the Jewish people and the entire world.

It is an undeniable fact that the persecution of Jews is never interpreted as the oppression of "religion."  It is also unfortunately true that the freedom of Jews to observe Torah is never seen or presented as a glorification of G-d and a triumph for G-dliness but only as a constant reminder of what "religion" persecuted for the two thousand years of non-mythological Jewish history.

Amazing.  This tiny and, by any rational standard, insignificant people has been the target of attempted annihilation by the mightiest empires in history on numerous occasions, and after surviving these attempts despite all the odds against them for over three thousand years (or, for the secularists, two thousand), yet another madman arises with the most martial army and most modern technology in history at his command, they miraculously survive yet again, and even come to flourish in their ancient homeland (where their "mythical" ancestors lived), and the rest of the human race is supposed to look at this incredible, miraculous history and conclude that it is "stupid" and "irrational" to believe in the Jewish G-d!


And, human nature being what it is, there are "religious people" who are full of resentment--resentment toward a fundamentalist religion (Orthodox Judaism) that supposedly enjoys the favor and protection of people who hate religion, toward leaders of this fundamentalist religion who write commentaries asserting that there were "ten generations from Adam to Noah" but who only speak to the non-Jewish world of the dangers of "religious fanaticism," even resentment toward Holy Torah Scrolls whose desecration (G-d forbid!) is decried as "religious bigotry" by atheists and liberals who spend much of their time attacking the Book of Genesis.  Why does this monumental desecration of the Name and the Honor of the G-d of Israel continue?  Why in Heaven's name doesn't someone speak out?

Because, you know, it doesn't have to be this way.  In fact, it won't always be this way.  But how long do we want to let it continue being this way?

In fact, there is one thing in our favor.  There is one thing in Jewish life today that has not existed since they offered sacrifices and bought concubines.  That thing is a sovereign Jewish State in the Land of Israel.  Even people who resent the supposed "favorable position" religious Jews enjoy in the eyes of secularists have no trace of resentment for Israel.  The State of Israel is by its very nature a step back from secularism and toward the healing and restoration of the world, even if it was founded by secularists and even though today the two most cited reasons for supporting it are democracy and "the second coming."  But despite this self-evident truth, there are people who claim that their resentment of the status of Jews as the "favorite religion" of militant secularists in the Diaspora leads them to be hostile to its antidote.  There may be some people who are sincere in this position though it is hard to believe.  And certainly anyone who claims that modern Israel has no connection to the Theocracy of old who then screams bloody murder at the thought of the ritual slaughter of a red heifer (as though a veritable plague of Decadent Modernism would spew forth from the incision and transform the entire world into one huge Weimar Republic) is an obvious hater of true Judaism and not of any supposed modern forgery.  But despite the presence of these critics, even more heartbreaking are devout, pious Jews who feel they must distance themselves from Zionism and the Jewish State in order to distance themselves from a liberalism whose roots are in the Diaspora.  Again, incredible.

But in the end, as HaShem Alone rules all things, even this tremendously confused ideological situation can bring about some good.  After all, ironically, the secularists do have a point.  Not all religions are good.  In fact, most religions are not good.  They are so not good that they are forbidden and worthy of the death penalty.  No, actually one and only one religion is good.  And which is it?  It is the one that no one can recognize as a religion.  It is the one every religious searcher passes over (no pun intended) after remarking what a service it did the world by teaching it the dangers of "religious fanaticism."  Dang.  Could a better way of obscuring the Truth be conceived?

And perhaps it is completely logical that the atheists, in contemptuously swatting at other religions like flies, go out of their way to treat this one with respect and claim they want to defend and protect it.  After all . . . it's the only one they're really afraid of!