Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, May 17, 2009
I wasn't going to write about the Pope, I wasn't following his trip at all, but after some discussions over the past few days I've changed my mind.

Personally, I couldn't care less that the Pope was here. He's irrelevant to my life and religion, and the most he affects my life is by making Jerusalem traffic more difficult.

But over the past few days I've heard some strongly formed opinions from a lot of people about this Pope and about his visit.

The Pope clearly turned this into a political trip and very clearly stated his political opinions - and they were the wrong ones, and from a Pope who may have been a member of Hitler Youth, he should be more circumspect.

I'm hardly an expert in Yad Vashem, but I have never heard so many (in fact, any) Yad Vashem people criticize someone who came to visit for what they said.

Yet, it was brazenly clear to those who are involved in Yad Vashem that the Pope's remarks fell so short of what should have been said, and what was expected to have been said, that it was just simply insulting to the memory of those who were murdered (he couldn't get that word out of his mouth apparently) by his fellow Germans.

(A few people did joke that he saw a picture of his younger self hanging in Yad Vashem)

I have been told that there is now an idol sitting in the Tomb of King David. I can't confirm that, but perhaps there may be an Avraham around that can.

And of course, no Jewish books or property were released from the Vatican, nor were any names of Jewish childen forced to convert during the Holocaust revealed. And considering they came demanding more property in Jerusalem, it would have been the least they could do.

On the positive side, I was so proud of Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar for wearing the huge 10 commandments (on the advice of R. Ovadiah Yosef), and to singer David D'Or who wore a huge Star of David, and to Rabbi Shaar Yashuv(?) from the Rabbanut who put on a huge white kippa.

And of course there was the Jewish choir that sang Ani Ma'amin (now that's funny).

It was a huge Kiddush Hashem on the part of all.

These people showed some self respect, and I am sure the message was not lost.

Isi Liebler has an interesting take on things.


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