Rabbi Aviner: Visiting Nazi Death Camps Forbidden

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dv-09-09-07-img011_aEducational school trips to the Nazi death camps in Poland have become common among most Jewish sectors in Israel, but Zionist Rabbi Shlomo Aviner recently says that they are in fact forbidden for halachic reasons, and urged schools to cancel them. Answering a reader’s question on the subject in the “Ma’ayaney Hayeshua” journal, Rabbi Aviner stated that trips to Poland were “not good” due to the halachic ban on leaving Eretz Isroel, and because they “provide livelihood to murderers.” In a conversation with Ynet, Rabbi Aviner explained: “As is well known, leaving Israel is permitted only for the sake of mitzvah, while visiting the death camps is not defined as a mitzvah by the halacha. There are important figures and great rabbonim who have not visited there.”Clearly what happened in the Holocaust must be remembered, but this can be done using films, books, the Yad Vashem museum and there are even the testimonies of survivors who are still alive,” he stated.

“I once told educators that in any case the impression vanishes after six months, like any other emotional experience with a short shelf life. They smiled and said that it actually fades away after three weeks.”

Rabbi Aviner also said that the trips have not been proven to have an “educational value.” “For some this experience is very difficult and they come back utterly distraught,” he added.

Another argument against visiting the camps, according to rabbi Aviner, is the fact that the Polish people “collaborated with the Nazis” and were now making a living off of these visits. “I’m not busy holding a grudge against the Poles, but we shouldn’t provide livelihood to people who allowed death camps to be built on their land and who are now making a profit out of it.

According to Rabbi Aviner, it was not accidental that the Nazis chose to erect the extermination camps in Poland. “They knew that the people would do nothing. One person was enough to blow up the railroad tracks. Why wasn’t this done? Because they all said, ‘good,’ smiled and waited for what needed to be done to be done by the Nazis.

“Many Jews who escaped from the camps were later murdered outside by the Polish resistance. When the Jews came back to the city their housees were inhabited and they faced a pogrom. To this day trials are being held against Poles who stole houses,” he concluded.

{Ynet/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. I’m confused. The camps existed up to 1945. It’s now 2009. Few of the people who were alive at that time are now alive. Most of the Polish people now living were born after the war. How are they implicated? It makes about as much sense as the Christian claim that we killed their deity. The people now living in Poland had no say about the camps. We complain about people charging us with collective guilt, perhaps we should not charge other people with it?

    Some of R’ Aviner’s other objections may be valid, but that one isn’t.

  2. We must all be wary of “rabbis” with national ideologies.
    The final product is like a Cholent with distorted thinking, based on competing values

  3. How come the Poles were suddenly supposed to be able to stop the death camps when they began to be used for killing Jews, when they were incapable of stopping the camps when they were initially used to hold (and kill) Polish political prisoners????

  4. I am a child of survivors. I went with Horav Paysach Krohn tour this summer and it was a trip that changed my life! Every frum person should go.

  5. You will never get me to go to visit, sleep over in blood-soaked Poland, and support the children who grew up with Jewish hatred in their milk.
    Listening to Rabbis who have a belief in the Nation of Israel are as credible as any other Talmid Chochem, Lipa.

  6. If the Poles have Jewish hatred in their milk then why did so many Jews choose to live there for so long??? Masochism????

  7. 1. Rachel R is correct; it’s 2009 and Poland is relayable Israel’s ally.
    2. For Aviner there is no difference between Poles and Ukrainians, with the latter being much worse, cruel and actually participating in massacres. And, Rachel R, many perps in the Western Ukraine are still alive and well, r’l

  8. I guess when R. Aviner says to vote in Israeli elections during shivah, the olem goes nuts. When the next day, R. Shteinmen gives a pasock to vote even during the shivah week, the olem pauses and accepts. A bunch of hypocrites you are, respect Torah from where it comes from.
    Joseph, You are so beyond the pale it is laughable.

  9. IF WE DONT GO OR TALK ABOUT WE WILL FORGET WE MUST NEVER FORGET I AM A SON OF A SURVIVOR
    I ONLY WISH I WENT TO POLAND BEFORE MY FATHER DIED SO I COULD ASK HIM QUESTIONS NOW WHO WILL I ASK IF WE DONT GO THERE OR TALK ABOUT IT,

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