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What's left?

צילום: פלאש90

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Yesterday, it was as if Jerusalem had become the capital of the entire world. In one span of twenty-four hours, the world agreed to admit that it had made an inestimably bitter mistake by allowing Nazism and communism to reign as absolute truths that would claim the lives of millions. Yet the Jewish nation, which both of these ideologies wished to destroy, is alive and well. Let’s focus on one moment carrying one message from yesterday’s events: Putin unveils Leningrad siege monument in Jerusalem, honoring the 1.5 million victims, including tens of thousands of Jews, who died during the Nazis’ siege of Leningrad. The historian Dr. Yossi Lundin described the significance of this moment as follows:

“The city of Leningrad no longer exists in Russia since the name of Lenin has been erased. Stalingrad also no longer exists since the name of Stalin, the dictator, has been expunged as well. So what remains and what has changed? The spirit of communism has left the world, practically without a trace. The great belief in compulsory ‘equality,’ compulsory secularism, and elimination of religion – has not left much behind other than bereavement and failure. So what’s left? The names of the battle sites. Those places constitute a memorial to the people who died in defending their national identity. Leningrad was a place where the Russian masses joined together to eradicate the Nazi monstrosity. This is not a memorial to the legacy of Marx and to the ethereal thoughts of socialist philosophers who were completely detached from reality. Instead, this is a memorial to patriotism and nationalism, to religious belief and family ties. These are the feelings and the values that have accompanied human beings in every era and in every place from the beginning of time, and they are still with us today. It is appropriate that the eternal city, the capital of the eternal people, should be the place to dedicate a memorial to the people who fought defending the honor of these feelings and values, which are eternal.”


Shabat Shalom!


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