Dec 14, 2011

Defining Judaism By The Nazis (gender-segregation)

I have heard of defining Judaism by the Holocaust in the past. I remember it as having been in the sense of "He was Jewish enough for the Nazis to kill.." to determine jewishness. An editorial in the Yated Neeman took the idea to a new low.

P Hovav writes a letter, as if to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, regarding the concern over the removal of women from the public sphere. She makes a number of points, most of which I will not address. Hovav's final point is the shocker.

Hovav says the Nazis proved how basic the gender-separation is. She says it is so basic that the Nazis herded men into mens chambers and women into womens chambers without even discussing it. Men and women were kept in separate barracks, without even thinking about it.

That is how basic the concept of gender-segregation is, at least to P Hovav and the Yated Neeman. Even the Nazis considered it a basic concept.

I would suggest that if one looked at the Nazis, in their own lives, their was no gender-segregation. You would not see gender-segregation at Nazi rallies. You did not see it in the public transportation of Germany. Women sang in public in Germany. The fact that they treated the Jews like this, applying gender-segregation while mass-murdering us, should perhaps actually be seen as another form of dehumanization. I would say it proves exactly the opposite of the point that P Hovav was trying to prove.

That, however, was not the main point I wanted to make. What I really want to say is that if we are going to learn from the Nazis what is appropriate behavior and conduct, we might come to the conclusion that it is a basic, a given, that all Jews must be killed. They also did that without the blink of an eye. Why only learn one thing from the Nazis, and not from everything they did?

I find it deplorable that P Hovav and the Yated Neeman would lower themselves to learn from the Nazis and the Holocaust how basic gender-segregation is. Perhaps it is indicative of how weak their actual arguments are.

And the truth of the matter is, I am disgusted that they had the chutzpah and insensitivity to print such a thought. Even to come up with such a thought is shocking, and then to print it??!! I am disgusted that I have to write about something like this.

10 comments:

  1. Besides your points, the whole "proof" is ridiculous - the barracks were dormitories, and there weren't separate rooms for each family. It would seem that everyone would agree that in such a case the sexes should be separated.

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  2. shkoyakh. well put

    But just to give you some insight into the warped mind that came up with this i imagine (without having read the actual piece)that this was a kind of krum kal v'khomer.

    mah dukh the Nazis who goy everything else totally wrong still had the rudimentary intelligence to get this right, we Sharfeh Yiddishe Kep, who get EVERYTHING right should certainly get it.

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  3. playing devil's advocate, I think you are wrong. The nazis gave outhhouses. Imagine some school not providing outhouses. Would it be krum to say "mah dukh the nazis understood that outhouses is a must, we should do so as well"? Or take clothing for an example. Would it be krum to make a kal vechomer from the nazis providing cloths? So in Hovev's mind we make the same kal vechomer for segregation. Seem even the nazis protected female honor by segregating them!

    (of course, I disagree that segregation protects female honor. But I understand her viewpoint).

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  4. Rafi, I think this is beyond anything.
    Don't even try to find any kind of sense in the argument. It has none, nor any basic understanding of logic, humanity, evil, sensitivity, morals or anything else you can think of.
    Probably the most warped thinking I've ever read.

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  5. I respectfully disagree. While it is true that we do not define Judaism by what the Nazis thought or did, and this understandably hit you the wrong way, this is not at all the intention of the author. He simply means that even the Nazis y"sh understood gender separation; this, he reminds Clinton that it is quite more modern of a concept to allow chofshi mixing of genders, and definitely to view a request to preserve separation as an affront to women's rights.

    In this assertion I believe that he is factually correct; I remember learning that in the fifties non-Jewish schools had separate entrances for boys and girls, etc. This actually went beyond gender separation into general decency; the same source IIRC said that in that time a man would be given a fine for appearing in public without a shirt. Obviously the world has changed since then, and in my opinion, not for the better.

    I agree with a previous comment that the kal va'chomer is not technically valid because separate sleeping quarters are something that is more understood and abided by, even today; however, the kal va'chomer in this case is le'ravcha de'milta, i.e. expressing more strongly a point which remains true without the kal va'chomer, as I have described above and which can presumably be researched as a matter of fact.

    As a unrelated but important point, I would like to point out that the article made some other very good points, and the Nazi reference nonwithstanding, I do not see why this should be a subject for discussion, unless it is to generate interest and get people excited.

    I feel so pained when us Jews are faced with a common enemy or problem and instead of standing together on the 97% that we agree on, we must pick on each other's mistakes and focus on differences. This is like the incident in which an major opposition MK bashed Bibi Netanyahu for his conduct on the flotilla (or similar) when we needed all the internal and external support we could get to stand against the world's condemnations and threats. Instead the world got to see that even Israelis believe what the world fabricates, and its work is now done for it, often with tragic results.

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  6. Yated in the Torah is a Mobile Military LatrineDecember 15, 2011 3:33 AM

    Uhm, genocide includes keeping the sexes apart so they won't make more babies. It's not even the Nazi acting on a basic level in a natural way. It's just the way you conduct genocide.

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  7. Aharon - I agree with that. Much of the article was fine, and discussion-worthy. It was that paragraph about the nazis that was over the top.

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  8. http://www.ladaat.net/forum/index.php?topic=61849

    here is the article

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  9. Obviously the world has changed since then, and in my opinion, not for the better."

    yes, it was much better when there were no child labor laws and blacks could be lynched without reprisal and women couldn't vote jews lived in ghettos (by force of law) until we were carted off like animals to slaughter.

    Yup, I sure do miss the good ol days.

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  10. "The Way" --

    Is my comment not clear that the improvement mentioned refers to the specific improvement which I discussed?

    (At least someone's reading my comments :-) )

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