TUESDAY
May 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 85
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

BOOK ACCUSES WORLD WAR II RABBIS OF IGNORING SUFFERING OF JEWS
To Save a Few Hundred Scholars, Sacrificed Millions

    NEW YORK, APR 30 (ZENIT).- A new book, "The Response of Orthodox Jewry in the United States to the Holocaust," contends that the ultra-Orthodox elements of the Jewish community in the U.S. were so concerned with saving the lives of a small group of Talmudic scholars that they ignored the cries for help of millions of other Jews.

    The rabbis of the Rescue Committee feared that if this tiny group of Polish scholars were lost, the Jewish religion would have vanished with them. Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff claims in the book that the rabbis worked at cross purposes to other Jewish groups, which sought to influence American politicians to save as many Jews as possible.

    Members of the Orthodox branch of Judaism, like Rabbi Menahem Porush, defend the actions of their predecessors, who were only trying to rescue those close to them. "No one has to teach us, who live according to the Torah, the meaning of 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' " he said.

    Zuroff shows in his book how the rabbis funneled scarce funds to the scholars even after they were safely in exile. The funds were used to support their full-time studies, even as other Jews were being executed in the camps. The author claims that these funds were extorted from mainstream groups and transfered to Europe by shady means.

    The author does not, however, blame the Rescue Committee for the deaths of Jews. "What actually cost the lives of Jews was that Nazis and their collaborators murdered them," he explained to the Associated Press. However, he contended that their "tunnel vision" had hindered rescue efforts.

    The book will be officially released this Tuesday to coincide with Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day. ZE00043021

          

May 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 85
NEWS & VIEWS

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