Monday, September 29, 2008

Hiding and Seeking

Hiding and Seeking:Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust is a documentary that centers around one family in multiple generations. The PBS website has a good explanation of the film, much better than I could explain. But here is a VERY brief explanation of the film. Menachem and his wife, Rifka, take their two sons to Poland to discover the family history as all the grandparents are Holocaust survivors from Poland. A rabbi in Brooklyn has been teaching "hate" on gentiles. Both sons don't agree with the word hate, but don't see anything useful in the world outside their Talmudic studies. Menachem wants his sons to see the "divinity" in other peoples and the world at large.

During their time in Poland they meet the family, including two of the actual people, that hid Rifka's father. He never got in touch with them to say thank you or let them know he was alive.
"For the Daums, the encounter is steeped in unanticipated emotion — and the realization of a long unpaid debt. For the Polish rescuers, there is a kind of wistful reception of visitors long past expected."

The main thoughts that I have been tossing in my mind are about the distrust that has sprung out of the Holocaust by the younger Jews in the family to the larger world. They have the same level of distrust as their grandparents. Did the fear skip a generation? Is it true that grandparents can have that kind of influence over their grandchildren? I can't help but think that because the sons were raised in an insulating culture the words were stronger. They new nothing to contradict what they were told by their grandparents. I know that what my grandparents said, in regards to how they and their families were treated, colored my worldview. I think that it is important that I vote for those who support Israel.

Ultimately the question should be how I think of this as a Christian. Should we, as Christians, spend more time in the world or less?

1 comment:

Megan said...

That's an interesting question, Ruth. Personally I believe that we as Christians should spend more time in the world, but only when and if we are firmly living each day in close relationship with God so that the world doesn't tear us apart. Sometimes we need to take time apart from the world in order to refresh this relationship, but I don't think we should live apart from the world as a general rule. As I say this, I'm trying to be careful not to oversimplify or box God in -- but it seems pretty clear that He tells us to go out into the world and spread His good news.