Ignorance abound

There are a number of Jewish organisations who have no appreciation of their uniqueness.  Our knowledge is sadly lacking in historic terms.  I always cringe when Jewish groups mark occasions with non-Jewish customs, for example holding silence in the memory of a departed person.  It would be far better to fill the silence with noise – the noise of learning Torah in the merit of the memory of the deceased. 

Or take the Shule that sang a song to the tune of “Oh When the Saints go Marching in”.  Don’t they know how many Jewish lives were taken in massacres by troops storming into small Jewish villages to those words?

Another small example at the birthday party of a prominent Jewish identity.  The cake is cut and immediately a well meaning person calls out “Three cheers, Hip Hip Hurray”.   The origin of that phrase is from the pogroms in Germany in 1819.  The perpetrators chanted the anti-semitic slogans of the Crusaders “Hierosolyma est Perdita” meaning “Jerusalem is lost”.  The mobs shouted “Hep” as they ransacked Jewish villages.  “Hep Hep, Jude Verrecke” – Hep Hep, perish Jew!  This is the origin of the phrase.

We should do Jewish things to mark Jewish events.  Further, we should educate ourselves to be more aware of Jewish history and the culture of hatred against it that came to be accepted, and is still so today.