May 5, 2016

different sirens for different people

I was on a bus at 10am when the siren went off this morning to commemorate Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day. The bus driver stopped the bus and the few passengers on the bus, including myself, all stood in ceremony for the duration of the siren. The driver did not - I think he was an Arab driver, if that makes a difference, and he was fidgeting with his money machine and sorting his coins, and some people outside the bus stopped to stand still while others did not.

I heard a cute story this morning as retold from Rav Yaakov Galinsky. The story goes that he, Rav Galinsky, was walking in public when the siren went off. He continued walking despite the siren, and somebody who saw him started to scream at him.

Rav Galinsky stopped him and said "I am not religious".

To the confused expression on his interlocutor's face, Rav Galinsky explained.. when you are driving on Friday afternoon and hear the siren, surely you stop your car and run to shul, right? The man said he does not, as he is not religious.

Rav Galinsky went on explaining, so, you are not religious for that siren, and I am not religious for this siren. Each person and his own religion.





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17 comments:

  1. Without intending to disrespect in any way the memory of the learned and esteemed Rav, I must differ with his view. The Holocaust was so much a terrible occurrence, and on such a massive scale. Hitler did not differentiate between any type of Jew. Rightly or wrongly, the chikoni world looks on not standing for the siren as disrespect for the memory of the victims. If the Rav had said, I continue to walk because I do not observe the custom of the siren, but am saying tehillim in their meomeory, but to compare it the the siren of the Shabbat, important as the Shabbat is of course, will only cause further sinat chinam in our people.

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  2. Do you really that standing for the siren on Yom haShoah is more important than Shabbat?

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  3. Some people do. This is one of the big divides between Charedim and the rest of the world (including Jewish world). Charedim care little for Bein-Adom-L'Chaveiro (or perhaps they don't have any friends), to the point that they feel they can dispense with it when dealing with people who do not care for Bein-Adom'L'Makom. They somehow think that their observance matters more than others', even though there is no evidence to this. In fact, the Second Temple was destroyed for Sinas Chinam (according to the same CHaZaL that Charedim supposedly revere), but they don't see the irony in jettisoning 90% of Jews because those Jews don't keep Shabbos or Tzniyut or whatever it is that particular Charedi cares most about.

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  4. I was taught that 2 wrongs don't make a right (or that someone elde's lack of observance is not a matter for one's own)
    KT
    Joel Rich

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    1. I agree, and even if someone doesnt think the siren is a proper memorial, I do not see why he cannot be respectful of others who do and are sensitive to that. It is 2 minutes of shev (amod actually) v'al taaseh.

      but other people are entitled to see things differently

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    2. It's not a "two wrongs." If it would be, then Rav Galinsky would start standing for the Yom Hashoah siren if every Israeli started keeping Shabbos.

      He's either making a point about the importance of Shabbos (it's as important to him as the siren is to the guy who yelled at him), or making the point that the guy shouldn't get all self-righteous, as there are things he does without thinking twice about them which are equally hurtful to other people. (Or both.)

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  5. maybe when a hiloni eats chazir lehach'is --davka-- the haredi neighbor will tolerate that as well...as he is also only trying to make a point

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  6. A big Yasher Koach to the Rav. Who makes a memorial day in the Chodesh Nissin? This was purposely done!

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    1. Explain. And document the proof for your assertion.

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    2. what do you mean by purposely? obviously the date was chosen intentionally rather than randomly, but what do you mean? as an anti-religious decision?
      from everything I read it was chosen on the day o fthe Warsaw Ghetto uprising anniversary to symbolize the "new Jew", which was a big issue back then in the early days of the state. As well, it was chosen to be right before memorial day and independence day to create the linkage of the holocaust to the foundation of the state and the idf and to show that we rise from the ashes to control our own destiny.
      so, yes, the date was chosen intentionally, but they had other reasons for this day rather than to be anti-religious.

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    3. If yom Hashoah was in a different month .... Would it make a difference?

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    4. for some people it might, as one of the issues with yom hashoah is that it is in nissan. for most people that is only a minor issue and it would not matter if it were moved

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  7. I had the privilege of learning by a different Rav Galinsky. Rav Maaleh Galinsky. I am quite sure he would have found this counterproductive, offensive, and maybe assur.

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    1. Rav Malen was my principal at Yeshiva Sharei Zedek in Coney Island who had tremendous love for Eretz YISRAEL.

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  8. I wonder if there is a law that states that a bus driver may not move out of the seat while the bus is in service?

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  9. so, that argument now works in reverse. sice you do not stand for the yom hashoah siren, i will not honor the shabbos siren.... hmmm seems to make sense

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