|The Information And Analytical Edition
Of The Jewish Confederation Of Ukraine
In Brief ...
One of the most acute problems stirring up the Jewish community of Ukraine over last months is a project of erecting a memorial community center in Babiy Yar. We asked Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich to comment on the situation.
Idealists and propagators of the Communist party used to intimidate us with this principle of a "decaying capitalism". Now we see such principle implemented in many programs has both positive and negative sides. Everything depends upon who provides funds, how well a sponsor is aware of the problem to be solved and controls implementation of a corresponding project.
OF THE DIRECTOR OF UKRAINIAN CENTER FOR HOLOCAUST HISTORY STUDIES
Babiy Yar is not to become a construction site. This is not only a place with a particular bioenergetics, specific aura or, as Lev Drobyazko puts it, an "Ulcer on the surface of the earth". This is common knowledge, in post-war years various construction plans and projects targeted at this place ended up in failures, at times even tragedies. This is not the only reason why nothing should be built in Babiy Yar.
I remember after my father's death I was taken to the Lukyanovka cemetery for the first time to see my grandfather's grave. My mother, being an absolutely assimilated secular person, strictly observed Jewish laws concerning attending a cemetery.
OF LEADERS OF JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTERS AND ORGANIZATIONS OF KIEV AND UKRAINE ON ERECTING A MEMORIAL EDUCATIONAL HERITAGE COMMUNITY CENTER.
Over 60 years the Babiy Yar tragedy remains in the focus of world public's attention not only as a Catastrophe of European Jewry but also as a concentrated expression of crimes against humanity in the XX century.
The Letter 1
The Letter 2
The Letter 3
Prophet Isaiah has wonderful lines, "And He said: You will not only become My slave to restore the tribes of Iaakov and to return the remains of Israel, but I will make you the light of peoples for My salvation extend towards the World's end" (Isaiah: 49:6). Their meaning is very deep: Jews are responsible for the entire world! That's correct as we, Jews, were granted Torah! Only to read Torah is not sufficient. We should live in compliance with it, check every our step against it!
As our elderly say, the improvement of the world ("tikum olam") is impossible without knowing the Torah, which we have already lost. The article by V.Nakhmanovich in the "Jewish Observer" about the lost Torah aroused many interesting and suggestive views from many readers. I also want to say some words about it.
Style is a great thing. But...? If everything boiled down to the style, to problems of editing in dealing with journalists who, in effect, are only on the way to become such, I wouldn't answer the letter by Mrs. Lihtman with a rhetoric title "Does a newspaper need an editor?". First of all, as an editor of two newspapers (but not of the "Jewish Observer" as the letter's author mistakenly believes), I don't consider it necessary to enter into a stylistic discussion with every opponent. But a bigger part of our esteemed reader's comment is dedicated to the analysis of my material "Is there any need to cry?" with a really demonic invention of logical (according to Mrs. Lihtman) conclusions.