Why didn’t the tremendous zchus of the tzaddikim in the time of the Holocaust save six million Jews? The kehillos in Europe and the Torah learning was its peak.
Oy-yoh-yoy! How many times do I have to repeat this? I see people are living in such darkness. But you can’t blame them because there are a lot of rabbonim who are fellow conspirators in promoting this darkness.
Judaism in Europe was not at its peak! It was approaching the peak of the bottom! I’ll give you an example. In Lithuania, there were daily Jewish newspapers; one for the Left Zionists called the Tze-Es; Zionist Socialists, a daily newspaper. There was a daily newspaper for the general Zionists, a daily newspaper for the Revisionists and another daily newspaper – I forget which one. Daily newspapers for Jews to read. These were newspapers for Jews, not for the gentiles.
But for Orthodox Jews, there was no daily and no weekly and almost no monthly. A little thing was published once a month at a precarious existence; it was published by the Tzeiri Agudas Yisroel and even that didn’t appear regularly.
Now the question is who was doing all this reading? Human beings were reading it. And not Lithuanians, not gentiles. Jews! Jews were doing all this reading! Now, what was in those newspapers, the daily newspapers? Hostility to Judaism. Attacks on rabbonim. Ridicule of Torah and mitzvos. It was filled with hostility and ridicule. And that means that the Jewish nation in Europe before the Holocaust was reading newspapers every day with poison against Torah, against da’as Torah. They were being poisoned.
Where did the roshei yeshiva or the tzaddikim that existed have an opportunity to say anything? Once a month in that tiny little newspaper of Agudas Yisroel. So it means that the ear of the public belonged to the reshaim, which means that the masses of the Jewish people were going lost.
What are you saying that Judaism in Europe was as its peak?! A yeshiva man, if he walks out, let’s say, in Staten Island in some very assimilated Jewish neighborhood, will Jews call him names? Jews might not take to him, they might consider him alien, a stranger, but that’s all. But in Lithuania, a yeshiva bochur in many places was called names by the Jews! They looked down on him! They called him patron! They called him a parasite. You don’t realize how far the Jews in Europe had moved away from Judaism. There was a lot of chillul Shabbos! There was a lot of atheism. The youth had no longer any connection with Judaism.
What kind of talk is this?! It’s really a nuisance to have to repeat this again and again. The Jews in Europe were not tzaddikim. There were some tzaddikim in Europe, but it was very far from the peak and they never were as bad as they were before World War II.
TAPE # 215 (April 1978)