Israel Forever

For the week ending 26 March 2005 / 15 Adar II 5765

Hill, Hole and Willing Executioners

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The president of the German Republic publicly apologized, at the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, for the crimes committed by his people against the Jewish People.

The role played by German civilians in these atrocities has already been described by an historian who referred to them as "Hitlers willing executioners".

This sharing of guilt for planning genocide recalls the parable of our Talmudic Sages for describing the collaboration between Haman and King Achachverosh.

One man had a field whose cultivation was obstructed by a huge hill in its midst. A neighbor had a field with a deep hole in it. One day the latter offered to buy the hill from the former in order to fill his hole. The response was that he could have the hill for free since he wanted to get rid of it anyway.

In similar fashion Haman offered to pay a handsome sum to the king for the right to eliminate the Jews. Permission was granted by the king who also hated the Jews and the money was returned.

Purim reminds us that in addition to the Hamans and Hitlers of history who try to initiate "final solutions", there are the "willing executioners" who actively or passively aid them. Purim also reminds us that despite such widespread opposition Israel will remain forever.

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