The Passion of the Rosenbergs

Given my last name, it’s quite common for many people to assume I’m Jewish.

This is because, in decades past, many people changed their names to common Anglo-saxon last names because names like “Finkelstein”, “Goldberg” or “Rosenbaum” carried a death sentence and persecution in certain parts of the world.

It really never phased me. And when you find salesmen offering you better deals and bargains… you never seem around to get around to correcting their assumption either. :0)

Here in our resort/community, the entire resort has been bought out for Passover by a very wealthy and strict Jewish sect from New York (It’s less of a hassle than preparing their houses.)

This also means hiring gentiles (non-Jewish folks like us) in the community for babysitting their children (and elderly) as they go to their services in the resort’s chapel… and paying handsomely for it.

Well, I can’t speak for God… but they are definitely MY Chosen People at this moment. :0)

And, given our name, we are offered somewhat more of an “inside circle” position than the others. There’s a bit of favoritism with us, we’re trusted, and it drives the rest of the residents a little nuts.
Ya gotta love it. :0)

At the same time, it’s rather sad. It’s obvious to me that a lot of anti-semitism (and hatred of anyone different for that matter), stems from the fact that bigots obviously never take the time to understand the people they hate so much. Perhaps it’s the closed-in and distrusting nature of Jewish people (and can you blame them?) that drives haters to believe blatant lies like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, rather than take the time to know them?

I don’t know. The ones we met this week have been warm and friendly, and all too happy to share their beliefs, traditions and life experiences with us. It’s the side of Jewish people I wish everyone saw. It was quite a learning experience for us, too.

With Max and Ida Rosenberg*, you walk away with almost a century of knowledge and wisdom. Max is the 95 year old father of the Rabbi leading this week’s celebration of Passover. He’s here and (naturally, as favorites) our family was assigned to keep him and his wife company.

It’s also widely believed this will be his last Passover.

Max is also a Holocaust survivor. As he napped, Ida showed the burns on his arm to my wife where the Nazis tried to tattoo him.

He woke up later and Ida and my wife found him sobbing. At first she thought it was the nightmares (which never went away), but instead he felt he needed to tell her how much he loved her and even with 65 wonderful years of marriage together, he was sorry he couldn’t give her more.

True Love.
How many people can claim they’ve ever experienced that?
Everyone in that room had tears in their eyes.

There’s been quite a fear of a rise in “Holocaust denial” and anti-semitism since Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”. Personally, I don’t blame the movie. I blame the “Christian” idiots who missed the entire point of the Passion. It wasn’t about “who’s to blame”, it was about “humanity’s redemption”…

From the Christian perspective, it’s believed that Passover was a foreshadowing of the fate of the Messiah. The blood of the lamb in Exodus causing the Angel of Death passing over a house, and the blood of the “Lamb of God” in Christianity to pass over Judgment from those who accept it.

Not a terribly difficult concept to grasp, is it?
No TRUE Christian will ever use this event as an excuse to hate.

If we’re going to play the “blame game”, then why not beat the crap out of Italians too? After all, it was the Romans who did a large part of the dirty work… It’s my belief that these kinds of people will use any excuse to justify hatred. It was in them long before the movie was even filmed.

With people who have seen the tattoos, the eyewitness accounts, the newsreels, all the photographs and STILL chose to deny the Holocaust ever happened… I can’t think of anything that will convince them, short of hopping a time machine and sticking them in Auschwitz, Treblinka or Baden-Baden personally.

Currently there are groups going to schools educating kids about the Holocaust. Here in the Poconos a group consisting of two survivors and an American G.I. who liberated a camp tell their stories and presents tons of photos as evidence.

Why? Because this will be the last generation to give an eyewitness account. After they’re gone, it will be up to the history books and a lot of anti-semitic propaganda for people to decide what is truth.

With all of their incredible history of survival as a people: Slavery by the Egyptians, destruction by the Romans, near extermination by the Nazis, and the rebirth of Israel…

…nothing will inspire me more than the experiences of the 20th century Jewish people. Their first-hand accounts of facing pure evil and sharing a lifetime of horror, triumph, traditions and even the true love… we’ll never forget them and we feel richer for just knowing many of them.

… and when they’re all gone, the world will be poorer for it.

*Needless to say, Max and Ida Rosenberg’s names were changed.

Eric Brooks

Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.

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About Eric Brooks

Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.
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  • Kate S.

    Thank you for introducing us to the “Rosenbergs” Eric. That was very sweet of you. I wish I could give them both a hug and a peck on the cheek.
    With all this denial going on, I too worry about the last eye witnesses leaving this plane. They are the last hope to convince. But … in a perfect world, we shouldn’t have a need for them to convince, should we? So you are right, nothing will change the racism and denial and blame game. In the end they are all just looking for any excuse to spend their huge bank accounts of hatred on, even purchasing tiny pieces of the tunic or cross from cons, if it looks like it will sit pretty on the mantelplace. Symbols to keep the snarling, drooling dogs of Pavlov juiced up on hatred.
    Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Life

  • -=e=-

    Thanks Kate.
    Upon reading about Holocaust Denial, it seems like they pick flimsy straw man arguments to claim the Holocaust was impossible… the sad part is that these folks REALLY DO know that the Holocaust was real, but it gives them a sense of “empowerment” knowing they can inflict this pain and make Jews relive a nightmare. Sick stuff.

    All the best to you and your family Kate, Happy (all of the days listed above) to you too!

  • Dr. D.

    I don’t feel any well thinking human being, Christain or not should go around carrying hatred for people because of what their forefathers did/might have done. At the same time that I say this, I might add that it may be easy for me to say so, as I am not aware that my forefathers experienced any sort of injustices from others, but I could be wrong.

    Yes, slavery as it existed in the Caribbean was unfair to black people. But, individuals need to transcend these issues (not necessarily forget them, they did happen) and learn to accept people for what they are. I don’t think it is right to raise children with the idea that all whites are wicked because of slavery.

    I agree with you that the Passion of the Christ should not result in an upsurgence of anti Semitism. Mel Gibson just wanted to make a very graphic representation of what occurred and he succeeded. It wan’t meant to target anyone.

    Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy whatever you call it. Let’s strive for a world where we can learn to respect the beliefs of others (even if we may not agree with them), and stand up for what is right and good for all. (Naturally, this is an ideal situation that is far easier said than done.) More good thoughts here -=e=- 🙂

  • Sue

    Happy Easter, Eric. Sometimes i think people just look for excuses to breed hate and malcontent towards groups of people who do not think exactly as they do. Instead of respecting anothers position, or at least trying to see it, it apparently is easier to attack, deny something happened, and then spew nasty words and hateful thoughts.

  • Wulfgar

    Simply said, well put, e.

  • Lambchop

    That was an incredibly touching post! (See? I knew you were a Jew at heart! *g*)

    But if you keep it up, you’re going to grossly destroy your reputation as evil incarnate on the blogosphere – and then what will the (bloggy) neighbors think? Oy!

    Happy Easter, my friend – to all of you! And extra {{HUGS}} for the kids!

  • Maria

    Beautifully put Eric, and straight from the heart! I agree with every word! The story of the Rosenbergs was so sweet!! {{Hugs}} Happy Easter to the Brooks family!!!!

  • Sandee

    Sweet 🙂