Tuesday, May 08, 2007

V-E Day

Today, May 8, is V-E Day. Victory in Europe. Hitler defeated. Liberation for Jews and others left alive in his hell. Time to reflect on the sacrifices that made victory possible, and to thank God for people like my father a"h who proudly wore the American uniform in World War 2. And time to ask ourselves some disturbing questions. If the war had to be fought with today's press coverage, today's instant-gratification ethic, today's unwillngness to sacrifice, would we have seen it through to victory? Would we have had the stomach to see burning German cities on the six-o'clock news (the mayor of Hamburg called it a "fire typhoon")? Would we have been able to handle the staggering casualty figures - several thousand on D-Day (June 6, 1944) alone? Think of the kind of world it would be - the kind of world we would not be living in - if the answer had been no.
B'khol dor v'dor omdim aleinu l'khaloteinu. In every generation people rise up to destroy us. In our parents' time it was the Nazis ym"sh. When we were growing up it was Communism. Now the enemy is Islamism, and it seeks to replace our way of life with a seventh-century theocratic nightmare. But the existential question is the same. Will we continue to live in freedom? If so, then we must steel ourselves for more sacrifice, because freedom is never free.

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The face of evil - almost triumphant


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that Jews go all crazy over Yom Haatzmuat- and never a mention of the day the War ended. isn't the saving of all those from concentration camps an event to commemorate, kind of weird don't ya think.

Wed May 16, 11:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Zev Stern said...

We "go crazy" over Yom Ha'atzmaut because the existence and vitality of the State ensures that nothing in the nature of the Holocaust will ever happen again, not to mention a flowering of Torah not seen since the Amoraim.
We do comemmorate the end of the war (and pray for an end to all wars) on occasions like Memorial Day and Veterans Day. But how many yeshivot make a big deal, or any deal, out of those (mine did)?

Sun May 20, 01:32:00 AM EDT  
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