Praising Paris

…Sarkozy's educational bombshell.

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Comments (22)

(22) Martin, March 8, 2008 4:51 PM

French are not the only Europeans to care about recent history in their school programs

FYI: German schools have been teaching Shoa for decades now and it an unseparatable part of German consciousness, for better present and future, B"H.
Perhaps, this is a noteworthy fact at this place, esp. given Rabbi Salamon's past statements about Germans nowadays.
All the best!

(21) Tova Wald, March 2, 2008 5:32 AM

I'm compelled to comment on Rabbi Salomon's statement.."are traumatized far worse than the holocaust..." referred to in this column. If you go down to the bottom you will read that the Rabbi is a psychotherapist which would seem to give credibility to the above statement. Eleven-year-olds or even their parents are not traumatized by the Holocaust because they are today far removed from it. They are traumatized by bad events or experiences that are current to which can they relate. Even the inmates of the concentration camps who survied and are alive today cannot feel the same as when they were in the midst of
the horrible reality. Those who miraculously survived knew that their struggle was not over. Physical survival is one thing but they had to rebuild their lives also mentally. They had to shore up their capability and will power to rebuild what had been taken away. Today there are many examples of this. Holocaust survivers play an active role in our society and contribute to our daily lives. May they continue in this path and be an example for us all.

(20) Anonymous, March 1, 2008 7:12 PM

far worse than the holocaust?

I usually appreciate what Dr. Salomon has to say. When I heard "far worse than the holocaust, I was sure I had heard incorrectly. Unless I am mistaken, Dr. Salomon's father was a Holocaust survivor. I was shocked that he actually said that especially since he is the son of a survivor (possibly two survivors - I don't know) but I looked at the comments and saw that I had not mis-heard. Perhaps Dr. Salomon would care to comment.

(19) Barbara, February 28, 2008 10:04 PM

Should you be emphazing the holocaust?

I wonder if you should be placing quite so much emphasis on the holocaust and the persecution of Jews, though it certainly needs to be known. This focus can end up making people think that since God allowed that to happen you must have deserved it. The Bible does say that you will bear the scorn of the nations and that would be due to what God was seeing in Israel. (the gentiles were much worse but they didn't know God from a lump of rock) The bottom line is that this is pretty negative and there is a lot on the positive side that isn't brought out. First thing is that God has a covenant with the nation of Israel and he will not break that. There should not even be any Jews! There aren't any Caananites or Hittites or other ites around now. If they could all disappear so could the Jews... but not the Jews plus God. That ship can't be sunk. Also God said you would be called back from the ends of the earth and that is what happened. Pretty awesome! Now all the neigbors are gunning for the itsy bitsy nation and they are getting nowhere. You should stand before the world and praise God for these things. Accentuate the positive more than the negative. You aren't losers, you are God's chosen people.

(18) Anonymous, February 28, 2008 9:16 PM


lets hope that these french children learn something beyond the holocaust. let's hope they can take what they learn from the children lost in the holcaust and apply it in a larger sense. that they learn to empathize with the suffering of others and act in a way to stop it. many people, not only Jews, have suffered greatly because people are not able to see those who are different as equally human. let's hope that these children learn the importance of empathy. never forget, that Jew or non-Jew, we all have the same Father.

(17) Anonymous, February 28, 2008 1:45 PM

"far worse than the Holocaust"????

Perhaps it's a good idea for 11 year old children in France to connect to the Holocaust; but, how can R' Saloman say, and I quote: "children are traumatized by things far worse than the Holocaust - horror films, real life horrors they witness today............"!! Perhaps R' S. should read up on Dr. Mengel's experiments on women, men, twins, etc. No Hollywood horror movie can show that which the Nazis perpetuated, because they would not be able to market the movies if they did!!! I could go on for hours about the horrendous atrocities; but that's not my point. May we be zoche to a Geulah Shleima quickly.

(16) Daniela, February 28, 2008 10:14 AM

To annon. who forwarded the much forwarded email

Please note that although every word is true in the email transcribed here about the goings on in France, I read the same email as it was circulating around 2 years or so ago. Again, although true, this email was originally written before the current administration. We have to wait and see what reports come out over the next year as too whether or not the situation improves at all.

(15) toby, February 28, 2008 1:35 AM

In reply to no. 3's comment: We have read your heartrending statements of the situation. These merciless acts affect us all no matter where we live. When we look for solutions we have to look at the reality. The reality is for a Jew there is no place he can truly feel as a Jew except in Israel. Here we are more united in spirit and strength with a positive outlook. We are challenged but deep down we know we can "make it"--its G-d's will.

(14) Char, February 27, 2008 11:56 AM

When lessons aren't learned, history repeats itself

All people should be educated about the Holocaust -- most were Jews, but there were also others given the same treatment. Those who think this is only a Jewish problem need to be educated about religions whose ideology is only about their own believers' survival and death to everyone else. We know today one that certainly meets that criteria because the news media shows their vitriolic ideologies repeatedly -- death to the infidels and wipe Israel off the map -- and their goal is to establish global sharia governments. They are infiltrating every nation and as they gain populace, they start their demands.

They make no pretense -- global domination.

Together we stand, and divided we fall.

When a child grows up ignorant of past history, such as the Holocaust, and the movement that brought it to rise, they are not able to safeguard their steps to prevent it from happening again or to anyone else.

The Holocaust shows how time and complacency and a great orator can move people with a MYOB attitude until it happens to them, and then it may be too late to stop it.

This is a group the earth itself cannot tolerate. HaShem made the creation we witness today, and for a people to set themselves up with the determination to annilihate anything in its path as though HaShem decreed it is the most evil danger facing us today. We now have several leaders who reflect Hitler's ideology.

HaShem taught us that a little leaven leaventh the whole lump -- and the rabbis and breadmakers understand this verse all too well!

We must stand up and stand up now and counter with media coverage.

(13) wald, February 27, 2008 4:38 AM

I enjoy Rabbi Salomon's presentation although I may have another point of view, which is not to be construed as derogatory. Also the comments are very good and I never fail to read them and the newer ones that are entered.
I totally agree with no.12's comment..I would further like to inquire: Are there still existing, informative records on the French Jewish children that were exterminated? Is there an adult let alone an 11-year-old child that would relate, meaningfully, to someone Jewish that died about 50 years ago? This would be interesting to follow and take close note of. Yad Vashem also--are they aware of this innovative program to be implemented by President Sarkozy made before a gathering of Jews? The idea could be effective on some level if we lived in a different world in better times. The lengthy 1st comment, unfortunately, speaks for itself.

(12) Anonymous, February 27, 2008 4:07 AM

Just that you should know what exactly is going in France under Sarkozy`s supervision

I received this post from a friend in NY. One of his friends is living in France and posted this to him with the request that Andy distribute it to his American friends.

Andy prefaces with: "Once again, the real news in France is conveniently not being reported as it should. To give you an idea of what's going on in France where there are now between 5 and 6 million Muslims and about 600,000 Jews, here is an email that came from a Jew living in France.

Please read!

Will the world say nothing -- again -- as it did in Hitler's time? He writes, "I AM A JEW -- therefore I am forwarding this to everyone on all my e-mail lists. I will not sit back and do nothing." Nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France: In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil - all recently. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti- Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past 30 days.
Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews." A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France; a Jewish couple in their 20's were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France The woman was pregnant.
A Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France . This was just in the past week.

So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do, at least, these three simple things:

First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: "First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."

Second, boycott France and French products. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuff s. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are like a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of well-directed pressure.

Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your coworkers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you and the people that you care about need their help.
The number one best-selling book in France is...."September 11: The Frightening Fraud," which argues that no plane ever hit the Pentagon.

Please Pass This On,
Let's not let history repeat itself,
thank-you for your time and consideration
Brenda H. Mitchell
Executive Assistant to the Rabbis
Temple Sinai
5645 Dupree Drive
Atlanta , GA 30327

(11) Rita, February 27, 2008 1:13 AM

Yes to Sarkozy's educational plan

This should be done worldwide. I don't see how it can damage children, but only to make them understand what persecution is like. In the States, to explain the Afro-American condition before civil rights legislation, classes are divided into 2, the dominant class and persecuted class. They learn by role playing followed by discussion. This has inproved understanding and equallity among races in the US to the point of having a Black Woman as Secretary of State, and a Black Man running for president. France needs to come to grips with their role in the Holocaust. Yes there was a resisitance, but it was not to liberate or save the Jewish people, it was to rid themselves of Vichy and the Nazis. Everyone needs to walk a mile in another man's, woman's or CHILD's shoes.

(10) Jo, February 26, 2008 5:48 PM

What a refreshing change for France. I have wanted to visit for a long time and hesitated because of the level of antisemitism that existed. I think this is a move in the right direction. I also agree with your analysis of those who opposed this educational program.

(9) Lazar, February 26, 2008 4:44 PM

what about Jewish children

It seems to me that American Jewish children could use this kind of Holocaust identification exercise.

(8) Yehoshua, February 26, 2008 2:08 PM

Things can only get wierder

My guess is that things will get tougher and tougher for anyone who stands for the good. Look, the Arabs are in every country now, and increasing in number. Jew hatred is now in the form of questioning Israel's very right to exist. Even in the States, there are very pragmatic intellectuals who are for America's looking out for #1.
So truth is going to be pretty scarce as polititions fall in line with there constintuencies.
It all boils down to this: Israel will stand alone and not to be reckoned with the gentile nations. The Jews will be more and more like a sheep among wolves. Things will probably get wierder, but in the end every nation and individual will be judged in accordance to his dealings with G-d's children. They're against us? Read: They are against the Almighty.
The French surely typify that. By the way, I heard that the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory send more shlichim--emmisaries-- to France, proportionately, than to any other country. That was because the cynicism and impurity are so great there. Apparently the Rebbe had no choice but to wage major battle in order to rescue as many Jews as possible from assimilation and defilement.

(7) Chana, February 26, 2008 1:28 PM

Why not?

I do agree with Rabbi Salomon, very much! First, let's not forget that "Jewish causes" are very close to President Nicholas Sarkozy's heart......he is from Jewish decent himself!
And why should the children of France not know what happened to children their age, who also were brilliant, also were gifted, musical, talented, pretty and handsome, but were denied their chance to star and shine.......simply because they were jewish? Let all the world be reminded and let all the world remember. Perhaps it will bring back "memories" to some of these little french schoolchildren's grandparents, who perhaps did not help hide their jewish neighbors but reported them to the they did my mother's loved ones.
I praise Pres.Sarkozy, for having the guts to suggest such a program. And for the people who say that we Jews are portrayed as "victims" again I say: Yes, we were victims in World War II, millions of our people went to the gas chambers, we were humiliated, taunted, beaten and starved and I will never forget my people, ever.....

(6) Judy, February 26, 2008 12:37 PM

Are we thinking?

Yes, it is more than something to think about. It's something we should have thought about. Titbayshu lanu that the French are doing something we should have implemented long ago. Though I agree with your take on this, it's difficult to criticize the French when we know the reaction we'd get to suggesting the idea in our American yeshivas. Try it.
While we're at it, how about a formal curriculum to share the lives of survivors while we still merit having them among us? How about pairing up with children in Israel who are going through traumas today? How about learning leiluy nishmat our brothers who have given their lives in Eretz Yisrael? What actions are we taking as we go along our little American lives? Is it too late? Something to think about.

(5) stacey, February 26, 2008 12:20 PM

This is a miracle

This brings tears to my eyes, especially since it's coming from a President who leads one of the most anti-semetic countires in the world. When you think about the media being biased towards the Jewish people and the rest of the world sitting back and allowing certain Presidents to declare that the Holocust never happened, which I find more than unacceptable! By implementing this new cirriculum in schools across France, it will aid in the preservation of Zionism and in turn will teach future generations tolerance, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness for all races, cultures and nationalities. At the end of the day, what is more important than that?
Thank you Nicolas Sarkozy

(4) Dvirah, February 25, 2008 8:44 AM

Not So Sure

I am not so sure this is a good idea if the presentation of Jews as victims is the only way Jews are ever preceived by these children, undiluted by a more rounded view of Jews and Jewish culture. Though incidentally, if their parents object to their identifying with a Jewish child, they can always choose to identify with a Gypsy child - many of them were killed also.

(3) S, February 24, 2008 1:54 PM

When I heard that a conservative was running in the french election, I was thinking that maybe he will turn things around. May he continue to be a supporter of Israel

(2) Rosen, February 24, 2008 1:28 PM

open dialogue

It's important to have an open dialogue on the concerns of why one "hates" another, instead of blindly judging them based on the status of their creed. If only more people talked more to those who disagree with one another, we would have fewer wars. And, I agree with the ADL once stating that (and I'm paraphrasing) "Islamic extremists would still hate the western world, even if Israel didn't exist." Unfortunately, many of these fundamentalists find reasons to be mad and angry at someone diametrically different from them, when it is really not that personal since no one culture bears a monopoly on how to live. Furthermore, I would like to see more open dialogue from our side - the Jews whom generally have good intentions for the world, and clear up the anti-semitic distortions and lies, even if it appears in the guise of scholarly journals. There needs to be a fair dialogue such as between the UN and the Jews at why we don't want to take over the world's control and money supply, as is too easily perceived. Coexisting may not be so easy, but it is possible by expressing our concerns openly and everyone getting their issues out on the table, which can speak louder than dropping bombs on those we consider rogue nations.

(1) ross, February 24, 2008 7:53 AM

Yes, who would've guessed

He's a brave man, considering the rampant uncontrolable muslim violence in his country. The lives of the french Jews are in such danger there, and so many consider leaving or have left. Hopefully his ideas won't have any major backlash.


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