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Rabbi’s Blog: "...But The Were Jews"

11/15/2023 12:28:02 PM


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Dear OZ family,


When one of the ten Nuremberg defendants who was hanged in 1946 was asked if he felt any remorse at sending hundreds of thousands of innocent men , women and children to their deaths, he answered, “But they were Jews”, as if he was still incredulous as to the question. He was raised on so many years of vicious and murderous lies about Jews that the lies normalized murder in his eyes. This can explain Oct. 7th and the reaction of Gazans and Iran supporters around the world. Equally frightening is the broad acceptance of vicious lies about Israel in academia, media, and in some political circles. Statistics show that 85% of Americans currently support Israel in her struggles but just over 50% of those aged 18-24 support Israel.


High school students who overcame the rigors of climbing the ivory tower to make it to the Ivy League, surely must have the ability to winnow truth from lies. They must surely know basic historical records. But if all the information you get about a certain topic comes from CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, UN publications, and the like, you begin to believe the lies. The UN sponsored textbooks that have been used not only in Gaza but in Ramallah as well, could rival the worst texts of the Nazi German era. No wonder that they found copies of the cursed tome, Mein Kempf, in Gaza. Its sales are brisk throughout the Arab world. If all your information about the Jews comes from Mein Kempf, then people today will also say, “But they’re Jews”.


Can you imagine if many drivers refused to pick up African Americans to an appointed destination? 900 Jews from Detroit chartered flights to join yesterday’s historic rally in support of Israel, and were stuck in Dulles because the drivers of the bus company who were hired to drive them to the DC mall, refused to drive them. The company scrambled to get 600 of them to the rally just before it ended, and 300 were stuck in the airport until 2:30am last night. Jews in Westport Ct. also found themselves without drivers at the last minute. If this had happened to any other group, it would be all over the news and front pages. But as it stands, “They were just Jews”.


Could you imagine if elite universities were told that large demonstrations of students would include people wearing white robes and hoods calling for lynching African Americans? Can you imagine the administration remaining silent in advance of such knowledge, and then after hearing such a call, explaining it away as the complications of circumstance and that it falls under protected speech? But that is exactly what so many feckless college administrators and presidents are now doing in reactions to chants of “Gas the Jews”. Of all ways of saying Jews should die, they choose gas. Would they like to bring back Auschwitz? Is this really protected speech? The silence of the college elite screams out, “They’re only Jews”.  


I just heard that on social media, that the refusal to drive Jews to the National Mall is being likened unto the refusal of some religious bakers to make cakes depicting same-sex marriage.I usually don’t feel the need to respond to mishegass, but the lies about Jews are so pervasive now that we need to respond to everything. The baker’s refusal had to do with a particular behavior, not the people themselves. The refusal of the drivers was against an entire people. For all they knew the bus could have been filled with Neturei Karta, coming to counter-protest. The refusal of the drivers targeted everyone for no other reason but they were Jews.  Another difference is that  in the case of the baker, there were many other bakers nearby who could offer the same service, but in the case of yesterday’s transportation, the people were left without recourse to get what they wanted.


It feels absurd to even have to explain such things, but we need to go the extra mile now to reveal the truth. Goebells still has very many disciples spewing out vicious lies that become murderous lies. We must be vigilant to speak truth and teach truth.


This Motza’ei Shabbat, we’re having a musical gig in support of Beit Elazraki, a children’s home in Netanya that has been taking in kids from all over Israel. It is at 7:30pm, at 50 West 96th St. apt. 5A. Please register at Bring your own instrument.


Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz



Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street

New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200



Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784