Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Holocaust, Apropos Nothing

Out of the blue, for no particular reason, Michael Handelzaltz dedicates his weekly column to the story of the death of his grandmother in Warsaw in September 1939. The story was related by his grandfather, who saw himself as the survivor of a tragedy, and his woe echoed down to his grandson on three different paths, as told in the article. The real irony, of course, is that the grandfather didn't survive, he merely died later, and almost the only thing his grandson knows about him is how he mourned the death of his wife.

This underlying theme of contemporary Jewish life, which will not disappear anytime soon, is an illustration of the depth of the Jewish trauma of our age. Our critics (including the home-grown ones) love to mock us for being so caught up in memories of the Shoah, but that which they mock is merely human nature. Perhaps because they aren't interested in human nature.

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