How do you understand the fact that babies were killed in the Holocaust?
You’re asking why babies were killed? So why don’t you ask why adults were killed? It’s the same question. Why were babies killed and why were adults killed? It’s the same question, right?
Well adults maybe deserved to be killed; maybe they were being punished?
You say adults were killed because of punishment? Not necessarily. There were some adults who were killed not because of punishment. So it’s a question either way.
However, if you want a full-dress explanation of this from me, I’m willing to do it but not now because it takes time to explain that. I’m ready to spend a whole evening on this one subject. And I’m willing to fight with you because there are a lot of people who have wrong ideas on it and nobody has ever corrected them. In fact, rabbis are reinforcing the people’s errors constantly.
And that’s why you have the foolishness of the celebration of Yom Hashoah V’HaGevurah. They have made out of this event a heroic uprising; all about the heroes who fought in the Warsaw ghetto. The whole thing is a distortion of all the issues. What Hakadosh Baruch Hu wanted by this is overshadowed entirely; it’s concealed by the propaganda.
Here’s a young man who is a talmid of mine but he works in a certain institution that makes propaganda about such things. And so he was given the task of organizing materials for Yom Hashoah V’HaGevurah. He just now came to me for ideas. So I told him the whole thing is foolishness. The whole thing is keneged the emes because the whole purpose of the churban Hitler was nothing but a summons to teshuvah. And it’s a summons that was unheeded! And we, instead of utilizing the propaganda of the Zionists who want to make out of this a demonstration of heroism and fighting, we should know that in reality the Holocaust was a demonstration of the ruination caused by assimilation, the ruination caused by forsaking the Torah. And Hakadosh Baruch Hu was then issuing a call to the world: “Repent and come back to the Torah.” But rabbis don’t say that because rabbis are afraid of the people who pay and contribute –
Quiet. Let me talk now. I’ll give you a chance some other time. The rabbis are afraid of the people who pay and contribute to their salary. You see, I don’t get a salary from you so I can tell it to you like it is. It’s lucky you came here tonight – you’ll hear a little truth once in your life. When we had nevi’im so they said the truth. But the generations today are led by shakranim with big beards – some without beards – shakranim who preach to the people to tell them what people want to hear. But I’m not interested in telling you what you want to hear so listen to me. The churban of Hitler was sent by Hakadosh Baruch Hu as a punishment. Now this has to be explained bi’arichus. We can’t do it now. Now I’m just taking short questions. But the reason why Hakadosh Baruch Hu caused children to be destroyed is the same why He caused adults to be destroyed and the reason will be explained bli neder at a different opportunity.
Now I know that people are angry with me. I once had a case here. I once spoke about this. So a man called me up. His son had told him what I had said. This man was a refugee type. He was a boy when this happened in Europe and he had never learned much anyhow. And he was raging on the telephone. So I said, “So come over to my home and I’ll give you some time and I’ll explain it to you if you wish.”
He said, “I won’t listen to an American rabbi.” He has a rabbi in his shtiebel. That’s who he listens to. That rabbi can’t make a living unless the fifteen or twenty Jews come to his place and so he speaks to them what they want to hear. But I’m not interested in making a living from any Jews so I can tell them the truth.
So if you want to hear the truth, we can’t do it tonight because it takes time and justice wouldn’t be done to it. We’ll come at the beginning of the evening and I’ll start k’seder. We’ll go from one point to the other. And then you can tear into me and ask me all the questions you want.
TAPE # 29 (January 1974)