Why May 8th should be celebrated by Jews and people who love freedom!
Today is May 8th. This day should be a day of celebration in the Jewish world. What I am going to write next may sound cold-hearted and horrible, but bear with me. Today is the day the German army finally destroyed the remaining fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. So why, you might ask, should this be a day of celebration and not remembrance? Wait, Yehuda, aren’t you a Jew? Don’t you go by The Pew Pew Jew on Twitter? The answer is yes! So let me explain.
I believe today should be a day of celebration. In the 1940s, when the Nazis entered Warsaw, where 300,000 Jews lived, no one knew what would happen. Sadly, the Nazis killed most of those Jews. But a few changed their fate and decided they would not be led like sheep to a slaughter.
Not to get into the long and intricate story, but a man named Mordechai Analiewicz became the leader of a group of Jews who tried to defend themselves against the might of Hitler’s army. At inception, the Jewish Fighting Organization had zero firearms since Hitler had Jews register their firearms, eventually leading to confiscation. (Yes, gun control does work). After ambushing German patrols and smuggling other firearms into the Ghetto, a war broke out between the Nazis and the Jews. What made this so significant is that the Jews of Warsaw lasted longer than both the Polish and French armies did against the Germans. On May 8th, after weeks of combat and with the death of their leader, Mordechai Analiewicz, the uprising was over. So why celebrate?
While we usually mourn the loss of life, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising brought hope for the Jewish people. The last message that Mordechai Analiewicz put out to his resistance fighters was a flyer that read, “To fight, to die, for the honor of our people.” Understand this; the Jews were not just defending themselves so they could live to see another day. They were fighting and dying because they took pride in their Judaism. They understood that Jews were being symmetrically murdered because they were Jews and decided to take up arms to defend their God.
How can one not celebrate that? How can we sit there and say this should be a day of mourning when only 70 years ago, Jews banded together and said, we are with God today? I call that inspirational.
The members of the Jewish Fighting Organization were the first armed Jewish group in nearly 2000 years since the siege at Masada. We hear about these great Jewish leaders from long ago who were willing to give up their life for God. But we need not look that far back when just today, on May 8th, 1943, a group of Jews came together to fight against a sadistic army hell-bent on their destruction. Today is a day to celebrate these heroes and not mourn them. In remembrance, we should talk to our kids about their courageousness and unnerving stance against the Nazis. It should be a message for all groups worldwide to be able to stand with their heads held high, look evil in the face, and say “Never Again” because we are going to do something about it.