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comment by mk
mk  ·  2454 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Elie Wiessel, the "Messenger of Mankind" died this weekend.

    I find it hard to lay any sort of blame at the feet of Wiesel or the Jewish people. They have repeatedly earned, in blood, our respect and sorrow.

I am mostly Polish, and I have been told that a significant number of Jewish Poles converted at one time or another to Catholicism, some to avoid persecution. For all I know, my Jewish ancestors suffered for their religious heritage.

If so, am I or am I not able to identify with their suffering?

Wiesel earned our respect and sorrow for what he faced. IMHO, one should be judged by what he or she faces and their own response. Of course, what one's ancestor's faced is likely to still exist, but there is an important distinction between inheriting adversity, and inheriting the respect from how one's ancestor's faced it. Each generation must be judged independently for their actions, as there is no choice in what we inherit. It means that we can move forward, it means that we can empathize, and it means that we can forgive.

user-inactivated  ·  2454 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Each generation must be judged independently for their actions

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think I could ever name a situation in which it was that cut and dry. Historical context just matters too much.