Maccabee's Wars

A venting rage against the ills of our society with some hopeful observations.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Pope’s Visit to Auschwitz – What Can One Expect?

A Holocaust survivor, who lost her family at the death camp, met with Pope Benedict, asking the Pope to apologize on behalf of the German people and, one would expect, on behalf of Christianity as well. It was not forthcoming. One should not be surprised. Neither has the Church truly recognized Israel, nor the return of it’s people as rightful heir to their land, though the previous Pope did visit Israel and prayed at the Western Wall.

Moreover, just as we find that current Islamic and Arabic regimes find Israel and Judaism to be an anathema to them, so has Christianity long held their Jewish origin in contempt.

Commenting on R’A. I. Kook’s concept of ‘Orot Genuvim’ (Stolen Lights), R’Bezalel Naor in his translation of Orot makes reference to the idea that the nations of the world will abandon the notion of the “Judean-Christian” tradition because they will recognize that the Judean traditions which they have incorporated into Christianity is antithetical to their own religion.

This will result in a massive increase in anti-semitism whereby the Jewish element of their religion will be thrown out. As a result, Judaism will ‘take back’ what rightfully only belongs to Judaism. In turn, the mass of Jews who abandoned their Judaism will find their faith, and Jewry as a whole will become stronger.

In a letter written in 1947 by R’ Kook’s disciple, R’ Ya’akov Moshe Charlap to Holocaust survivors, one can see how the above has come into fruition. Yet as R’ Naor interprets R’ Kook’s statements to ‘Ha-Milhamah’ (The War) to include World War II as a continuation of World War I, what is to prevent us from including in this amalgam the current Israeli-Arab conflict as well as the War on Terror?

If one examines the following excerpt from R’ Charlap’s letter and adjusts the Christian references to Islamic, one can see how R’ Kook’s ‘predictions’ still hold true today. We can only hope that in ‘the end of days’ the Jewish people will be the better for it.

“At that time they will be nauseated by every glimmer of light and will choose to live in darkness and the shadow of death. They will vomit that which was bestowed on them of Israel’s influence and discerning light. The beginning of their way of folly will be shaking off all contact they had with Israel – blow after blow, in order to be separated from Israel and all its qualities. This itself will be their curse, for every disengagement from Israel is a disengagement from life. For us, Israel, His holy people, it will be a blessing. Thereby will be fulfilled the prophesy, “I shall separate you from the people to be Mine.” To be separated from them and their multitudes, and also to salvage all the good, the pleasant fields of Israel, which were damaged and spiritually lessened by entering into the territory of strangers; to purify them and return them to the source of their holiness.”

The Charlap Letter, Imrei Noam, Jerusalem: Beit Zevul, 5707/1947, pp.14-16, pgs. 253-254

note 135 to page 109 of Orot, the Orot Inc. Edition, 2004