Friday, February 15, 2008

...And Then There Were None

I was taken to task by a commenter on another blog for "getting a tad too excited" about the wig store controversy. After all, what did it really matter to me? Why would I even care? Why? Read on.

The poem that follows is credited as having been written by Martin Niemoller. There is some doubt about whether he actually wrote the words, and if he wrote them, whether he wrote them in the form shown below. Whoever wrote them, I believe they give an answer to why none of us can afford to say "Let the other person do it." I believe they give an answer to "Why activism?" I believe they give an answer to why I, and many others, get a "tad excited." Substitute words like "yeshivish," "MO," "chasidish," "ashkenaz," "sephardi," and all the other labels of frum judaism and I think you'll get the point.


First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe one problem is that none of the frum groups believe that anything is ever going to happen to them--maybe to the other groups but never to them. Problems that come to one group will never come to them. And there is that little bit of satisfaction for some groups that something happened to one of the other groups, proving that that group is not as good as they are.
C"V that anything really horrendous should ever come up to threaten frum jews. They don't know how to work with each other or care about each other.

Allan said...

I'm not that alarmist. I think if anything really horrendous came along that all the groups would suddenly pull together. But why do we have to wait for that? It's on the smaller things that are still important that the groups don't see themselves as part of a bigger group. It seems to be every man for himself, or every group.

Avi said...

Unduly pessimistic don't you think? The various groups of frum people don't always agree with each other or support each other but it's more like siblings in a large family. They can fight with each other but a let a stranger try and mix in and they unite immediately.