Do you think the gedolim were punished in Eastern Europe for not helping the assimilated Jews with the Holocaust?
Do I think that the gedolim were punished for not helping the straying Jews in Europe?
Now, you’re asking me a question that’s too big for a little man like me. I should tell you about gedolim? Or even about ketanim? But there certainly was a responsibility. The Chafetz Chaim already had issued an alarm. He said there’s a fire burning now. It’s not like it used to be, he said. We have to go out and save the Jews. No question.
By the way, the Lubavitcher did it in America when they came here but the Novardhoker already did it in Europe. The Novardhokers had sixty yeshivos. They went into towns where there was nothing and they founded yeshivos and saved a lot of boys. And Beis Yaakov! Sarah Schenirer saved a lot of girls in Europe.
But if they did it sufficiently, that’s a question. I’m sure they could have done more but I’m not going to pass judgment on anyone.
But this we must know. It’s a very big responsibility. It’s an onerous responsibility, a heavy and burdensome responsibility. The Chovos Halevavos says we have to worry always that we’re not sufficiently fulfilling our duty of הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך. Always that’s a problem that troubles us.
And even people sitting in yeshivos and learning and kollelim are concerned about that. They’re always asking should I go out and save Jews? Should I do things for our brothers who are straying? That’s a question. It’s not simple to answer that because after all we can’t all give up the study of the Torah. We can’t stop developing Jews who are talmidei chachamim. And so the question is what to do. It’s not easy. But you must know it’s certainly one of the factors that there is a responsibility. There is a kolar, a heavy chain around the necks of the Jewish people for not going out and helping their fellow Jews come back to Torah.
TAPE # 534