History Does Repeat Itself

A few weeks ago, a court in Germany ruled against performing circumcisions. I wrote then that it was time for Jews to leave Germany. Last week, a rabbi was beaten by four Arabs. The beating was done in front of his 6-year-old daughter. Today, a rabbinic seminary told its students not to wear kippot (also known as a skullcap) in public. Yes, this call was rejected by others, but the fact that an organization felt it was necessary is extremely troubling.

Personally, I feel that this was a stupid announcement by the seminary. The announcement should have been that their students should go home and pack. The next plane to Israel would be leaving at whatever time planes leave Germany, and they recommend everyone be on it. I know it sounds extreme – even shocking. Good. I’m glad but I do not believe that Jews belong in Germany. It is time for the community to leave.

Now, before it is too late. Now, before anti-Semitism is justified, main-streamed, rationalized. You don’t believe it could happen again? But you were wrong before, weren’t you? Weren’t we all? Then, we had an excuse. It was inconceivable that someone would round up Jews, put them in a ghetto, transport them by train, and then gas them to death by the millions. Then it was inconceivable – now is it not.

That is the eternal present that the Germans gave to the world and to the Jews. Yes, it was the Nazis – but don’t you dare attempt to cleanse what they did by calling them Nazis and not Germans. Germans are what they were; Nazism is what they believed. They were not German Nazis – as if there were other Nazis in the world; they were Nazi Germans – because not all Germans were Nazis.

It is semantics, perhaps a play on words – it is also my legacy and that of my children. When I was in Poland, I met several Jews living there and each time I asked, “Why? Why do you live here?”

I have the same question for every Jew living in Germany today. Why are you there? How can you remain there? In Poland, they told me how hard it was to leave the land where they had been born, ignoring the fact that it was also the land in which their parents and grandparents had been murdered. Enough. I’m sorry.

When a Jew cannot live in peace; when a Jew cannot wear a kippah or circumcise his or her son according to Jewish law, it is time for the community to close down. Someone contacted me from Germany to tell me that hundreds today appeared in the streets walking with kippot as a sign of unity. That’s a wonderful gesture. It really is…but my first thought was a question – why weren’t there thousands?

Why didn’t Germany itself stand up and scream against this horror. A Jew, a man in his 50s was beaten only because he was Jewish. They threatened to kill his 6-year-old daughter. Enough. They told him “I’ll f*** your daughter… your wife and I’ll f***… your God.” Enough. Someone said there was a flash mob in support of the Jews, showing people putting on a kippah.

That’s all well and good. But, the bottom line for me remains – we cannot wait any longer to see if gas chambers and ghettos will follow. Been there, done that. Just no. The only answer is a one-way trip to the airport.

 Now, before history repeats itself.

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