Saturday, October 06, 2007

The 'Galut Mentality'

I was 16 when I was introduced to the Zionist ideology of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and the actions of the Irgun and Lechi. One item that was most difficult was what we termed 'Galut Mentality'.

It was difficult for two reasons. The first is that in describing it, it was clear to us that we were talking about a special weakness that caused us shame. And secondly, the people involved were, in many cases, our own family or distant relatives.

I just read of a French priest wandering the Ukraine and doing holy work by interviewing witnesses to the killings of Jews during the Holocaust. In the story, here, I found this horrific example of 'Galut Mentality':-

In Buchach in 2005, Regina Skora told Father Desbois that as a young girl she witnessed executions.

“Did the people know they were going to be killed?” Father Desbois asked her.


“How did they react?”

“They just walked, that’s all. If someone couldn’t walk, they told him to lie on the ground and shot him in the back of the neck.”

Vera Filonok said she was 16 when she watched from the porch of her mud hut in Konstantinovka in 1941 as thousands of Jews were shot, thrown into a pit and set on fire. Those who were still alive writhed “like flies and worms,” she said.

'Galut Mentality' meant that due to the long period of exile and the suffering of pogroms and worse, Jews, bereft of a normal national standing - with a country, a government and an army - deteriorated to the extent that even when presented with an opportunity to fight back or resist or otherwise be active and not listless, apathetic or passive in the face of danger to themselves or to other Jews, they chose to revert to the weak status of Jews in exile.

That excerpt from the story brings it all back home.


mnuez said...

It's long ponderings on matters such as these that found me allied with and appreciative of the struggle to arise

migov rikavon v'afar such that yukam lanu geza gaon v'nadiv v'achzar..

Kol Tuv and MAZAL TOV! on your growing family ~


YMedad said...