Well, look what we have this time! A most irreverent Letter to the Editor and, hence, in the public domain, to our heart's content!
The Germans have a word for it - "Narrenfreiheit" - which, loosely translated, means the freedom accorded to a court jester to say things to the King or Queen in public other mortals dare not say.
When I asked Ernst who Mordecai Richler was, I was told that he is one of Canada's most famous novelists and writers, much promoted by the left-lib media and power elite.
"After this," Ernst wrote back, "how long will he enjoy his Narrenfreiheit?"
Good question. The person Richler takes on is none other than the venerable Dr. Karen Mock - she who announced with a voice all but strangled with fury in front of national media that there would ***be*** a way to stop Mr. Zundel from doing what he does so well, chip-chipping at the Holocaust.
Here's Richler versus Mock:
Self-hatred has its advantages | Mordecai Richler
National Post (firstname.lastname@example.org) | July 24, 1999
There are worse traumas than running free while others pray
My very own version of the Lord's Prayer would say never mind our daily bread or forgiving us our trespasses, but please, O Lord, spare us the bilge proffered by some officious psychologists.
Take, for instance, the tiresome Dr. Karen Mock, director of the League for Human Rights of B'nai B'rith Canada, who recently pronounced on non-Christian kids in Saskatchewan being forced to recite the Lord's Prayer in school or are obliged to excuse themselves from this daily routine. As a consequence, she thinks Jewish kids feel inferior to their goysy classmates and might begin to hate themselves. This outrage, she recently ventured in Saskatoon, can result in loss of self-esteem, depression and may ultimately lead to self-hatred: "Kids will go home to their parents and say, 'Why do I have to be Jewish? I don't want to be Jewish.' "
According to a book I have, there were in 1991 all of 615 Jews suffering the racist hotbed of Saskatchewan, surviving without benefit of decent bagels or a vintage delicatessen. I cannot speak for this oppressed minority, which was obviously dealt deuces when the diaspora cards were being handed out.
However, some of my best friends are Jews, and I know none who have grown up twitchy, lacking in self-esteem, and charged with self-hatred because their "normal cognitive development" was interfered with during the days they were excused from classes while sleepyheaded Christian kids mumbled their morning prayers. On the contrary, in our Montreal case we felt blessed, running free in the hall. While the less fortunate goyboys fulfilled their tribal functions, we could catch up on the sports pages, tell dirty jokes, play nearest-to-the-wall with bubble-gum hockey cards or just horse around. Of course, had B'nai B'rith's resident shrink been available then, we could have profited from trauma therapy or grief counselling, but alas, we had to manage without.
In Montreal, where I was born and bred, we used to have a confessional school system. Protestants and Catholics were educated separately, as were English- and French-speaking kids, which enabled members of our distinct society to grow up suspicious of one another, possibly the one lasting accomplishment of our so-called educations.
In my time, our bunch was enrolled in schools answering to the Protestant School Board; in our case, Baron Byng High School, whose student body was something like 99% Jewish. We felt privileged because on Jewish holidays, while the other goyboys and girls at Montreal High and other Protestant schools continued to suffer algebra and geography, we were cut loose. Come Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Hanukkah and Purim, we were out on the streets. With hindsight, I sometimes wonder whether, as a consequence, our gentile schoolmates, charged with envy, grew up suffering from a loss of self-esteem. In any event, the freedom our religion entitled us to take in triple features at the System Theatre and to work on improving our snooker games at various pool halls. It also meant we could catch Lili St. Cyr doing her memorable Leda and the Swan act in a matinee at the Gayety (sic) Theatre of blessed memory.
The overreaching Dr. Mock has compared the Saskatoon School Board's defence --that it has the right under the Constitution to oblige kids to recite the Lord's Prayer -- to that of the South Africans pointing to their own legislation to justify the continuance of apartheid.
Responding to this charge in a TV interview, a Saskatoon mother protested, "Ours is a Christian country."
No, it isn't: or not quite, any more. These days, our once pristine native land is infested not only with Jews but also Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans and other religious deviants. Taking this development into consideration, I think B'nai B'rith vigilantes should not protest the quaint Lord's Prayer ritual in schools. Instead, if only out of a sense of noblesse oblige, they should honour the admirable Jewish tradition of _rachmones_, that is to say pity, compassion.
In _The_Joys_of_Yiddish_, Leo Rosten noted: "This quintessential word lies at the heart of Jewish thought and feeling. All of Judaism's philosophy, ethics, ethos, learning, education, hierarchy of values are saturated with a sense of, and heightened sensitivity to, _rachmones_.
"God is often called the God of Mercy and Compassion: _Adonai_El_Rachum_ Ve-Chanum_."
But I would like to point out to the concerned Dr. Mock that my "normal cognitive development" was interfered with in primary school by a ditty we were forced to recite every morning:
"I am a teapot short and stout,
This is my handle
This is my spout,
Tip me over,
Pour me out."
Short and stout I may very well be, but at my advanced age, suffering as I still do from a loss of self-esteem, I often wake at 3 a.m., screaming, "I am not a teapot. I don't want to be a teapot. I want to be Jewish."
Thought for the Day:
"Wisdom is never dear, provided the article be genuine."
Back to Table of Contents of the July 1999 ZGrams