Earlier on Facebook I came across a post in which people criticized Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau for his comments regarding the recent ban on circumcision. The comment that was criticized was as follows: “I didn’t see such German sensitivity to Jewish blood during the Shoah (Holocaust).” The following was my reply in the post in which other’s criticized Israel’s former Chief Rabbi and Holocaust survivor.
It is easy to criticize a man like Rabbi Lau, but any one of us in his position with the same experiences may have responded the same way. Yes I realize that it is a different Germany today and that not everything relates to the Holocaust, but those who went through that time are justifiably sensitive to behaviors that remind them of that time, be it due to the actual behavior or the people responsible for the behavior. It is easy for most of us who have not experienced that sort of terror to put the focus on someone like Rabbi Lau, who in fact in his commitment to the Jewish people since 1945 has been somewhat heroic despite the suffering he saw at a young age. I have tolerance for the people of Germany today because I feel this generation has earned it, but I will not make that tolerance come before the tolerance I have for an elderly Jewish man, a great man, who reacted to something that struck a deep emotional chord.