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Israel - The Myth of the 93 Cracow Girls Who Took Their Lives in the Holocaust Exposed

Published on: April 27, 2009 12:16 PM
By: VIN News By Ezra Reichman | Maariv
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A small street in south Tel Aviv bordering on the streets of Mordechai Analewitz (commander of the Warsaw ghetto) and Chana Seresh (the Hungarian Jewish parachutist who was brutally murdered by the Nazis) was called The 93 after the righteous girlsA small street in south Tel Aviv bordering on the streets of Mordechai Analewitz (commander of the Warsaw ghetto) and Chana Seresh (the Hungarian Jewish parachutist who was brutally murdered by the Nazis) was called The 93 after the righteous girls

Israel - Which girls attending a Bais Yaakov school hasn’t heard the story of the courageous 93 girls from Sara Shnirer’s Cracow seminary who preferred to take their lives rather than submit to the Nazis’ despicable plans? A small street in south Tel Aviv bordering on the streets of Mordechai Analewitz (commander of the Warsaw ghetto) and Chana Seresh (the Hungarian Jewish parachutist who was brutally murdered by the Nazis) was called “The 93” after the righteous girls. A book was written about them called “Chaya Feldman’s last letter” recounting the tale of courage.

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But 60 years of research have concluded that the story was a fraud.

Who created the myth and why?

The beginning of the chilling story was in New York in 1943. Meir Shenkolevsky, the secretary of the world Bais Yaakov movement and a member of the Central Committee of Agudas Israel in New York, received a letter from Chaya Feldman just before she gave up her life: “I don’t know when you will get this letter and if you still will remember me. When this letter arrives, I will no longer be alive. In a few hours, everything will be past. We are here in four rooms, 93 girls ages 14 to 22, all of us Bais Yaakov teachers. On July 27, Gestapo agents came, took us out of our apartment and threw us into a dark room. We only have water to drink

“The younger girls are very frightened, but I comfort them that in a short while, we will be together with our mother Sara [Sara Shnirer’, the founder of the Bais Yaakov Seminary]. Yesterday they took us out, washed us and took all our clothes. They left us only shirts and said that today, German soldiers will come to visit us. We all swore to ourselves that we will die together. The Germans don’t know that the bath they gave us was the immersion before our deaths: we all prepared poison. When the soldiers come, we will drink the poison. We are all saying Viduy throughout the day. We are not afraid of anything. We only have one request from you: Say Kaddish for 93 bnos Yisroel! Soon we will be with our mother Sara. Signed, Chaya Feldman from Cracow.”

The letter also reached Israel, was published in the Davar newspaper and the New York Times, and was the inspiration for songs, articles, assemblies, prayers and poems. A memorial booklet was even issued in memory of the women, who were symbols of bravery, purity and modesty.

Chaya Feldmans last letter recounting the tale of courageChaya Feldmans last letter recounting the tale of courage

The one problem with the story: After 60 years of comprehensive research, Yad Vashem says conclusively that it never happened. The 93 women were a Holocaust myth, without a basis in reality.

The street in south Tel Aviv was called “The 93” after chareidi organizations, including the administration of Bais Yaakov and Agudas Israel, asked the municipality to commemorate the girls and call a street after them. The Name Committee accepted the request, based on the “The 93” book which was published by the “Committee to Protect the Honor of a Bas Yisroel” (published in Iyar 1943) which contained articles, prayers and songs in memory of the undefiled girls who took their lives.

Atty. Naomi Levenkron, an expert on women-trafficking and the director of “Mishna”, a non-profit dedicated to studying social law in the Administration College, happened to come across the story. “As one whose occupation revolves around prostitution and rape, I was astonished how come I had never heard this story before.”

Levenkron turned to Yad Vashem and received the laconic reply that the story wasn’t true. The response shocked her. “I heard about Holocaust deniers, but I never met Holocaust inventors,” she said. She even suspected Yad Vashem’s attitude to the story was based on apathy towards abuse of women.

But there were annoying question marks hanging over the story long before Atty. Levenkron got involved. Prof. Judy Tidor Baumol-Schwartz, the head of the Contemporary Jewry Program in Bar Ilan University, had asked, “How could Chaya Feldman’s suicide letter arrive from a room in the closed ghetto, in occupied Europe, to the rabbis in New York? Where did the women acquire such a large quantity of expensive poison? How come none of the Holocaust survivors had heard of this story, which occurred in a relatively small ghetto? Why was the Yiddish letter written in a Hungarian dialect, while Chaya was from Poland? The large number of girls proves that the story was impossible.”

Chareidi Holocaust researcher Esther Farbstein, the head of the Holocaust Studies Center in the Michlala, and author of the book “Hidden Thunder”, confirms that from the point of the Nazis, the story is illogical. “It’s hard to believe that an organized group of Germans planned an action which opposed the Nazi racial laws, which forbad relations with Jews, and all the more so to do it in public—even though it is possible that similar events took place in less public circumstances and in different numbers, such as when the soldiers serving in the Wehrmacht felt themselves unhampered by the regulations to maintain their race.”

Despite the hard questions, the chareidi community continues to celebrate the story. Sarit Yechimowitz, who learned in a Bais Yaakov school, recalls that on the day of the 93 girls’ yahrtzeit, the girls in her school had an assembly, the principal spoke, and an important rav visited who spoke about the girls’ courage and their dying al kiddush Hashem.

Yechimowitz explains, “The story had a strong impact on us, even me, who was known as a rebel. The line that was taught is that it was ‘:yaharog v’al yaavor. When you hear again and again about these women’s courage, you think to yourself, ‘How can I dare go with a short skirt, when 93 women died al kiddush Hashem to be sure their bodies weren’t violated?”

Esther Ettinger, the author of “Wonder in the Night”, an account of her childhood and youth in a Bais Yaakov school in Tel Aviv, says she also remembers the story of the 93 girls. “This story sanctifies the goals and important values we were educated to in Bais Yaakov—maintaining our modesty and purity,” she says. “It shows the greatness of faith and the desire for Kiddush Hashem.” Nevertheless, Ettinger says that she had also heard that the story was a myth.

“A Holocaust survivor, who taught in Bais Yaakov, told me that she has her doubts about the story and therefore doesn’t teach it,” says Prof. Baumol-Schwartz. “She told me that there are enough stories of true bravery by Jewish girls in the Holocaust, but if someone wants to use this story of the 93 girls, let them.

“I find a dark side to using a fabricated letter about a story that never occurred, but the people who created it probably had good intentions. The story has elements that are poignant to all of us.”

Ms. Farbstein says that the story became famous after the war, when ghetto fighters and partisans were prime heroes in Israeli society. “All the others, particularly the religious, had to defend themselves for going like sheep to the slaughter. There was need for a story of courage that could compare with a ghetto revolt.”

After researching the case, Atty. Levenkron wrote an article which appeared in the Theory and Review journal tying the myth to the shame and guilt suffered by raped women.

“Throughout history,” she explained, “the occupying army not only conquered the enemy country but also its women’s bodies. When the war was over, the suffering of the women victims didn’t end either. Their community, who should have been supportive of them and help their rehabilitation, accused them of consorting with the enemy. Norwegian women who had relations with German soldiers as part of the German plan to improve its racial purity, were treated viciously and with hostility. Women who were raped in Darfur are similarly treated shamefully by their communities.

“During my research I discovered only a few references to sexual abuse or sex in exchange for food during the Holocaust. Even when such cases occurred, they were never retold in first person. Holocaust researchers preferred to deal with other questions focusing on femininity rather than sex. A discussion of this kind in reference to the Holocaust is viewed as eroticizing the genocide.”

Mrs. Levenkorn believes that the message which the story of the 93 girls conveys is that whenever a Jewish woman is in danger of being raped, she has the choice to commit suicide or live a life of shame.

But this may be a misunderstanding. Perhaps the message of the story is that where a woman is likely to be killed anyway, she should take her life in purity rather than first become a rape victim and then be killed.


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Read Comments (70)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 27, 2009 at 11:27 AM Anonymous Says:

My grandfather a halucaust survivor told me long ago that this story was made up and it never happend lot of holucaust survivors say this.

2

 Apr 27, 2009 at 11:45 AM Charles Hall Says:

Mass suicide did occur in Germany, but in the time of the rishonim, in order to avoid forced conversions at the hands of the crusaders.

3

 Apr 27, 2009 at 11:22 AM gevaldig Says:

what a message....we all need none....gevaldig

4

 Apr 27, 2009 at 12:11 PM Anonymous Says:

There was a girl in the war that the last thing her mother gave her was a necless with the star of david on it, she had it under her dress, but when she had to run for her life she wanted to open her dress so they won't think she's a jew, but she said to her self I won't do anything againts the halocha and then be killed with some sin, so she didn't open her dress, when she got somewhere to hide for the rest of the war she reminded her self of the necless with star of david on it, yet if she would of opened her dress they would for sure kill her they would of seen the necless, so doing the right thing of tzenious she got saved.

5

 Apr 27, 2009 at 12:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Yet another example how myths can go viral in a closed society. How many other bubbah maysahs were passed off as maysas shehaya in chinuch?

6

 Apr 27, 2009 at 12:07 PM Anonymous Says:

who has proof either way? why do we suddenly beleive MAARIV? i beleive it is a true story and not a hoax so there.

7

 Apr 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Tell Atty. Naomi Levenkron she can go to Iran, there she will have more people who will believe her findings.

8

 Apr 27, 2009 at 01:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Logic has long been an undeciding and irrelevant factor when stories of the Holocaust years are examined and analyzed. The whole holocaust was devoid of any logic.

9

 Apr 27, 2009 at 01:03 PM Dov Says:

When too many bubba maases and Rebbe stories are propegated, those stories which are true suffer from lack of credibility.

10

 Apr 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM Agent Emess Says:

Is this the second myth story that we are finding out about after the truth came out on the herman rosenblatt apple throwing story?
Boy are we looking great these days.

11

 Apr 27, 2009 at 12:48 PM True Says:

While this in specific story may not be true, there was a very similar story with the daughter of the Mashgiach of Gerrer Yeshiva, R' Godel. Ask almost any old time gerrer and he'll tell you the whole story.

In short, his daughter came and told him about a very similar story as described above and asked him if commiting suicide is the right thing to do. He told her no, rather she should stand up and say no and let them kill her, that's what the mitsvah of Kiddush Hashem is. Later on he heard that his daughter did exactly as she was told. When a yungermen once told him that has "good news" about a pay raise in the Yeshivah, he repeated this story and he said "This is what I call good news, not money".

BTW the polish guards were not bound to the race law.

12

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:09 PM Tanna Kamma Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Yet another example how myths can go viral in a closed society. How many other bubbah maysahs were passed off as maysas shehaya in chinuch?

And how many actual acts of sacrifice that were not witnessed and remain unknown until this day?

13

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:08 PM Pashuteh Yid Says:

I think we should give the benefit of the doubt that the story did occur, since reliable information was almost nonexistent in the holocaust. We still only know about half the names of all the six million. If we deny it, we could chas vsholom be degrading the memory of the kedoshim, if it turns out to be true.

However the story about the Chazon Ish being an expert in neurosurgery is much more doubtful, and is harmful as well. Nobody seems to know the name of the doctor or patient or hospital or any corroborating information, other than I saw it in one book, so I will repeat the story in another book. Since the Rishonim did not have accurate knowledge of today's science and astronomy, and they were far greater than the generation of the Chazon Ish, how could the Chazon Ish have had some miraculous knowledge of neurosurgery.

The reason why that story is so harmful is that it legitimizes the ban on secular studies for boys older than 13 in Israel. They are taught you can know all you need to know from learning Torah alone. This causes a cycle of terrible poverty and suffering and now juvenile delinquency among the Chareidim. Chayav odom llamed es bno umnos, vchol mi sheino milamed es bno umnus melamdo listus. Let us not be smarter than Chazal.

14

 Apr 27, 2009 at 01:41 PM Anonymous Says:

I went to two pretty religious girl's schools in NY and never heard this story once.

15

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:25 PM tzvi frankliner Says:

"All the others, particularly the religious, had to defend themselves for going like sheep to the slaughter. There was need for a story of courage that could compare with a ghetto revolt."

Hard to believe such a motive

After what they went true

16

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

I think we should give the benefit of the doubt that the story did occur, since reliable information was almost nonexistent in the holocaust. We still only know about half the names of all the six million. If we deny it, we could chas vsholom be degrading the memory of the kedoshim, if it turns out to be true.

However the story about the Chazon Ish being an expert in neurosurgery is much more doubtful, and is harmful as well. Nobody seems to know the name of the doctor or patient or hospital or any corroborating information, other than I saw it in one book, so I will repeat the story in another book. Since the Rishonim did not have accurate knowledge of today's science and astronomy, and they were far greater than the generation of the Chazon Ish, how could the Chazon Ish have had some miraculous knowledge of neurosurgery.

The reason why that story is so harmful is that it legitimizes the ban on secular studies for boys older than 13 in Israel. They are taught you can know all you need to know from learning Torah alone. This causes a cycle of terrible poverty and suffering and now juvenile delinquency among the Chareidim. Chayav odom llamed es bno umnos, vchol mi sheino milamed es bno umnus melamdo listus. Let us not be smarter than Chazal.

I know the son of the man whom it happened to. The man since passed away, and lived in Lakewood.

17

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Dr.rothschild of the maaney hayeshua hosp. in bnei brak has a diagram of the
skull that the Chazon Ish made for the neurosurgeon directing him from where to
operate.dr. rothschild stated only someone with vast medical knowledge could
have drawn the diagram.check it out with him.

18

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:57 PM Askupeh Says:

Reply to #13  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

I think we should give the benefit of the doubt that the story did occur, since reliable information was almost nonexistent in the holocaust. We still only know about half the names of all the six million. If we deny it, we could chas vsholom be degrading the memory of the kedoshim, if it turns out to be true.

However the story about the Chazon Ish being an expert in neurosurgery is much more doubtful, and is harmful as well. Nobody seems to know the name of the doctor or patient or hospital or any corroborating information, other than I saw it in one book, so I will repeat the story in another book. Since the Rishonim did not have accurate knowledge of today's science and astronomy, and they were far greater than the generation of the Chazon Ish, how could the Chazon Ish have had some miraculous knowledge of neurosurgery.

The reason why that story is so harmful is that it legitimizes the ban on secular studies for boys older than 13 in Israel. They are taught you can know all you need to know from learning Torah alone. This causes a cycle of terrible poverty and suffering and now juvenile delinquency among the Chareidim. Chayav odom llamed es bno umnos, vchol mi sheino milamed es bno umnus melamdo listus. Let us not be smarter than Chazal.

Umnos doesn’t mean secular studies, Umnos means a trade. You don’t have to be a Mar Bar Rav Asheh to learn a trade.

Now regarding the Chazon Ish, it is actually true, not a myth, and not a fairy tale. We have today Rabbi Landau, the Tosher Dayen in Boro Park who is familiar with all facets of medicine as to astound the doctors.

19

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:49 PM Askupeh Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Yet another example how myths can go viral in a closed society. How many other bubbah maysahs were passed off as maysas shehaya in chinuch?

This closed society is extremely open minded, on the other hand the open world at large is extremely closed minded. There are myths everywhere in open societies and in closed societies.

20

 Apr 27, 2009 at 02:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Ask Rabbi JJ Schachter of Yeshiva University . He has the proof that it was made up. He knows who made it up and how. Pretty sad that this story has lived so long. Comments from people who have no proof or idea what happened are just stupid,

21

 Apr 27, 2009 at 04:09 PM Gadolwannabe Says:

I think the following thought says it all:

The Real Victim of Holocaust Veneration is the Truth

"According to one of the worldwide leading Holocaust scholars, Yad Vashem Prof. Yehudah Bauer [right]: 'The story of the 93 girls in the Beis-Yaacov Girls School in Krakow, who in 1942 preferred suicide over falling into the hands of the Nazis, is not necessarily a lie. It just didn't happen.' [...] However, no explanation about the origin of the myth of 'the 93' will satisfy Mr. Leathon. 'It is extremely important that the story of the Holocaust not be sullied by absurd untruths' he writes to the synagogue in protest. 'If we want the world to believe the testimony of the survivors, we have to make certain that we do not allow sensationalistic myths to continue."

22

 Apr 27, 2009 at 04:09 PM AGUDA FAKED IT Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

Ask Rabbi JJ Schachter of Yeshiva University . He has the proof that it was made up. He knows who made it up and how. Pretty sad that this story has lived so long. Comments from people who have no proof or idea what happened are just stupid,

Read the story again:

The story reads:

..."and a member of the Central Committee of Agudas Israel in New York, received a letter from Chaya Feldman just before she gave up her life"...

The same shameless AGUDA which now protects Sexual Child Molestation in the Yeshivos (by blocking needed legislation) - is the same AGUDA who made up this HOAX "sticking out their CHAZER FEISLACH" to show how supposedly "holly" they are or were....

23

 Apr 27, 2009 at 04:05 PM esther Says:

feminists like levenkorn see history and current events through a warped world veiw ..certainly comparing the treatment of women in darfur to any jewish women is simply ridiculous.

24

 Apr 27, 2009 at 03:41 PM Anonymous Says:

it is true the details are probably false- i doubt it was 93 of them, that there was poison, they were locked in a room for a day before etc- these kinds of details are probably what make it into the inspirational, touching tale that it is. but don't worry if this really is a myth- it is most certainly based on the truth that many bnos yisroel throughout those years, in the ghettos and the camps, were taken to be defiled by the nazis and allowed themselves to be killed al kiddush hashem rather than be defiled. why do we need a maaseh about 93 and a mass suicide? i am just as inspired to be meticulous in matters of tznius knowing that even one died for the sake of it.

25

 Apr 27, 2009 at 03:28 PM halacha question Says:

Are you permitted to committ suicide in this case?

26

 Apr 27, 2009 at 03:21 PM MP Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

Ask Rabbi JJ Schachter of Yeshiva University . He has the proof that it was made up. He knows who made it up and how. Pretty sad that this story has lived so long. Comments from people who have no proof or idea what happened are just stupid,

I have not read here any proof that this story is fabricated.


Doubts, yes. But I still don't see why this story must be a lie.

27

 Apr 27, 2009 at 03:20 PM Anonymous Says:

I went to BY of BP elementary, hs and sem and never heard this story.

28

 Apr 27, 2009 at 04:51 PM Dave Says:

How about, when you are dealing with something as serious as the Holocaust, especially with the active community of Holocaust deniers around the world, don't claim unsubstantiated stories as truth. Not only is there no need, but any case where falsehoods (or "it could have happened" stories) are being claimed as truth plays into the hands of the Holocaust deniers.

There is a tremendous body of evidence of what happened; don't add questionable stories to it.

29

 Apr 27, 2009 at 04:32 PM Anonymous Says:

I like the way she calls it a holocaust fabrication .
that's exactly what holocaust deniers say and have yad vashem call for them to be jailed.
but as soon the holocaust has anything to do with yiddishkeit and mesiras nefesh, the zionists call it fabrication .
incidentally, Yad Vashem is a creation of the israeli government as a political tool and the zionist were against saving jews who werent young and zionist during the war.
Read Perfidy.

30

 Apr 27, 2009 at 05:27 PM MYTH deffies HALACHA anyway Says:

Reply to #25  
halacha question Says:

Are you permitted to committ suicide in this case?

Comment # 25 asks "“ Are you permitted to commit suicide in this case?”


The Answer is obviously NO - see comment above # 11

This it's self proves the HOAX since this would mean that 93 TEACHERS (not students) were ignorant of Halacha which does not permit suicide in such a case.

Proven even more so by noting the fact that the majority of these imaginary 93 girls aged 14 and above were not married women and such forced relations with a Goy especially if they are not married does not require Yehoreg Veal Yaavor and certainly it is FORBIDDEN to Kill ones self against Halacha in such a case.

Proof is that every small child knows that Ester Hamalka was not doing anything against Halacha since Ester Hamalka was forced and Ester knew she would be Killed if she did not have relations with Achashverosh and so the Gemara says it was permissible for Ester.


If every Cheder Child knows the halacha of Ester Hamalka, then how can 93 "TEACHERS" be such Ama Haaratzim and publicly violate the Halacha together, a well know Halacha prohibited suicide.

One person can make a mistake but it's unthinkable that 93 Amaharatzim should go against halacha BETZIBUR and no one "TEACHER" (not children but TEACHERS) not one single teacher knew a darn halacha and they call them "TEACHERS" yet ! ! !

Ad the Biggest Am Haaretz of all is not the Beis Yaakov Girls, since this story never happened (remember it was a HOAX" the only real AmaHaaretz in Halacha, is the "prominent" AGUDA member who perpetrated this fraud and HOAX and he made up this stupid story only because he was an AmHaartez Himself - not knowing that his presumed fictional "PRIDE" actually reflects his SHAME of going against Halacha - 93 Am Haaratzim Together and this is "TEACHERS", which Agudah is proud of, that they collectively went against Halacha and not even one of them knew, that they were dead wrong in Halacha.

To ad Insult to Injury AGUDA actually teaches this OPPOSITE OF HALACHA, til this day to all current Girls in School that our new generation girls in school should also violate Halacha if Chas Vesholom faced with potential rape and they are not even married they should TODAY kill themeselves if not married faced with potential rape?

And even further AmaHaaratzus and further Bizoyon for AGUDA for making up this FRAUD story - is the STUPIDITY of Aguda today, to keep repeating this false Halacha to all Girls they educate today.

What kind of stupid Am Haartez in charge of an AGUDA School TODAY would willfully teach girls today that they all go against Halacha and Kill themselves if they are UN-MARRIED and face potential rape by a Goy.

Did todays AGUDA girls schools and EDUCATORS not learn anything from Ester Hamalka? - Something that every Bar Bei Rav Dechad Yoma, knows? - What value is their in the AGUDA education if they teach their Girls, things, opposite of Halacha? ! ? !

31

 Apr 27, 2009 at 05:27 PM FVNMS Says:

Reply to #18  
Askupeh Says:

Umnos doesn’t mean secular studies, Umnos means a trade. You don’t have to be a Mar Bar Rav Asheh to learn a trade.

Now regarding the Chazon Ish, it is actually true, not a myth, and not a fairy tale. We have today Rabbi Landau, the Tosher Dayen in Boro Park who is familiar with all facets of medicine as to astound the doctors.

Actually there is much reason to support her findings. Do a little homework and speak more intelligently and with more authority. Of course my gut wants to believe this story, but since emmes has greater value than mere visceral satisfaction from shekker, some thought and logic is called for. I didn't read all the comments yet so I hope I am not parroting someone who beat me to it, but punishment for Rassenschande was official Nazi policy. The punishment in question was death, incidentally. The likelihood that officials were planning to commit Rassenschande on a grand scale is slim. Don't react like a yenta who only cares about emotion, not reality, and marginalize someone who knows what she's talking about. It makes you, and by extension many of us, look foolish.

32

 Apr 27, 2009 at 04:37 PM Askupeh Says:

I don’t understand why everybody is getting so riled up. Most of us never heard this story, I didn’t, even though my mother and sisters went to Bais Yaakov; so now we know that a story we never knew isn’t true. Fine, but let’s not make believe as we just witnessed an earth shattering event. What’s the moral of the story? That the Agudah is a fake? Then maybe Reb Moshe and the Chazon Ish were also a fake? Give me a break! At worst, one person made up a story, or exaggerated a story, probably good intentioned, and that is all.

33

 Apr 27, 2009 at 05:48 PM Niskatnu Hadoirois Says:

When I heard the story as a teenage there were four hundred girls and they jumped off the roof.Or was that a different story that really did happen?

Now you see why the emes has to be total emes and why there are no lies that are OK just because the person telling it has good intentions?

34

 Apr 27, 2009 at 05:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #32  
Askupeh Says:

I don’t understand why everybody is getting so riled up. Most of us never heard this story, I didn’t, even though my mother and sisters went to Bais Yaakov; so now we know that a story we never knew isn’t true. Fine, but let’s not make believe as we just witnessed an earth shattering event. What’s the moral of the story? That the Agudah is a fake? Then maybe Reb Moshe and the Chazon Ish were also a fake? Give me a break! At worst, one person made up a story, or exaggerated a story, probably good intentioned, and that is all.

If you don't see the problem with a false story going around about the kedoshim you my friend need to take some time off and think about the koach of sheker and how once it is reeleased the person who released it has no control over what and where it attacks next.

The kedusha of the korbanos that were slaughtered during the Holocaust makes it even more important that no sheker attach itself to the emes and weaken the emes a ki hu zeh.

35

 Apr 27, 2009 at 05:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Not surprising if it isn't true.

Even in the age of the internet and cell phones and instant communication with anybody, anywhere, anytime the story of Rav Shach's shoes in Slutzk keeps coming around and around and around, even if it couldn't possibly have happened.

Makes me wonder about the flying horses......

36

 Apr 27, 2009 at 08:11 PM merkin Says:

in our circles, we look sometimes for legends and stories. I remember when 9- 11 happened and flyers asked people for miracle stories. This is the wrong approach and makes us look like silly people. There is even a book of Holocaust legends written by a female professor at Brooklyn College. It is full of silly stories such as Chasidim flying into the air over the fire pit and other nonsense. We should not believe these stories and we should not teach them to our children as they make us look very silly and gullible. Such as the story that Rachal Iemeinu was in Gaza directing IDF soldiers, which was published as fact on VIN>

37

 Apr 27, 2009 at 08:01 PM Common Sense Says:

While I have doubts about the veracity of the story and tend to believe it is myth, if it did happen, I don't think the suicide was against halacha. Why? Because this was a matter of preserving Jewish honor, and in such cases my understanding is that one should not, if possible, submit to the enemy. The defenders of Masada could have surrendered the fort and allowed themselves to be taken as slaves to the Romans. Instead they chose suicide. Let me say, I am not an expert in halacha, this is just my understanding.

In any event, we should teach our children there were many forms of resistance to the Nazis, and to anti-semites throughout the centuries. Some fought physically and militarily; others resisted spiritually. Both forms of reistance were an authentic Kiddish HasShem and should be honored. The real myth of the Shoah is that the Yidden went like sheep to the slaughter. They did not. Those who resisted spirtitually, and went into the gas chambers singing Ani Ma'amin were heroes too.

38

 Apr 27, 2009 at 07:55 PM Realist Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

I went to BY of BP elementary, hs and sem and never heard this story.

I too went to Bais Yaakov of Boro Park and I do remember hearing a different form of this story. Very vague, however. (in the BY style)

39

 Apr 27, 2009 at 07:36 PM Poshuteh Yid Says:

Reply to #18  
Askupeh Says:

Umnos doesn’t mean secular studies, Umnos means a trade. You don’t have to be a Mar Bar Rav Asheh to learn a trade.

Now regarding the Chazon Ish, it is actually true, not a myth, and not a fairy tale. We have today Rabbi Landau, the Tosher Dayen in Boro Park who is familiar with all facets of medicine as to astound the doctors.

I am not familiar at all with the Tosher Dayan, but do you really believe someone who never went to college could pass an exam on molecular biology or biochem or neuroscience or physiology, etc? I never know what to make of these claims. Would the Tosher be willing to take the exams that MD's or PhD's have to take? If not, are we required to believe claims that can easily be proven or disproven with a simple exam?

40

 Apr 27, 2009 at 07:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Anonymous Says:

Not surprising if it isn't true.

Even in the age of the internet and cell phones and instant communication with anybody, anywhere, anytime the story of Rav Shach's shoes in Slutzk keeps coming around and around and around, even if it couldn't possibly have happened.

Makes me wonder about the flying horses......

I once heard the story of Rav Shach's shoes, but don't remember it at all now. Could you remind us?

41

 Apr 27, 2009 at 07:26 PM Anonymous Says:

"This closed society is extremely open minded, on the other hand the open world at large is extremely closed minded. There are myths everywhere in open societies and in closed societies."

Yeah, and there are myths in closed societies that they are open-minded.

42

 Apr 27, 2009 at 07:23 PM Anonymous Says:

"When too many bubba maases and Rebbe stories are propegated, those stories which are true suffer from lack of credibility."

Don't worry, there are very few of those.

43

 Apr 27, 2009 at 08:39 PM HT Says:

24_

" it is most certainly based on the truth that many bnos yisroel throughout those years, in the ghettos and the camps, were taken to be defiled by the nazis and allowed themselves to be killed al kiddush hashem rather than be defiled. why do we need a maaseh about 93 and a mass suicide? i am just as inspired to be meticulous in matters of tznius knowing that even one died for the sake of it."



Hu? You think they were givin the option of rape OR death?

For most it was both.

44

 Apr 27, 2009 at 08:36 PM esther Says:

Reply to #36  
merkin Says:

in our circles, we look sometimes for legends and stories. I remember when 9- 11 happened and flyers asked people for miracle stories. This is the wrong approach and makes us look like silly people. There is even a book of Holocaust legends written by a female professor at Brooklyn College. It is full of silly stories such as Chasidim flying into the air over the fire pit and other nonsense. We should not believe these stories and we should not teach them to our children as they make us look very silly and gullible. Such as the story that Rachal Iemeinu was in Gaza directing IDF soldiers, which was published as fact on VIN>

you are totally misrepresenting the story in the book you're referring to.it's called Chassidic Tales Of The Holocaust and it is a wonderful book.there are miracle stories in it but the majority of the stories are about the unbreakable emuna of the yidden.

45

 Apr 27, 2009 at 08:59 PM Rippin Pinchas Says:

"Prof. Judy Tidor Baumol-Schwartz, the head of the Contemporary Jewry Program in Bar Ilan University, had asked, "How could Chaya Feldman's suicide letter arrive from a room in the closed ghetto, in occupied Europe, to the rabbis in New York?"

As difficult as things were, it was possible to smuggle things in and out of the ghetto. Just because it is difficult does not make it impossible.

"Where did the women acquire such a large quantity of expensive poison?"

Good point but the poles were probably more than willing to supply the Jews with poison to kill themselves

"How come none of the Holocaust survivors had heard of this story, which occurred in a relatively small ghetto?"

People did not gather together in large groups in the ghetto right before an Aktion. They did not have cell phones or internet in those days.

"Why was the Yiddish letter written in a Hungarian dialect, while Chaya was from Poland?"

Perhaps her parents were originally from Hungary.

"The large number of girls proves that the story was impossible."

It is possible that they got cyanide and killed themselves.

"It's hard to believe that an organized group of Germans planned an action which opposed the Nazi racial laws, which forbad relations with Jews, and all the more so to do it in public."

That statement I agree with. In Slovakia, the Nazis stopped the deportations for over 2 years because the Jews promised them money. The Nazis believed their propaganda that the Jews controlled the banks so the Slovakian Jews would come up with the money. Logically, the Nazis believed in their propaganda with the 93.

Did it happen? Probably not. I never believed because of the last statement. Might it have happened? Sure. This study proves absolutely nothing to me.

46

 Apr 27, 2009 at 09:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Pashuteh Yid Says:

I think we should give the benefit of the doubt that the story did occur, since reliable information was almost nonexistent in the holocaust. We still only know about half the names of all the six million. If we deny it, we could chas vsholom be degrading the memory of the kedoshim, if it turns out to be true.

However the story about the Chazon Ish being an expert in neurosurgery is much more doubtful, and is harmful as well. Nobody seems to know the name of the doctor or patient or hospital or any corroborating information, other than I saw it in one book, so I will repeat the story in another book. Since the Rishonim did not have accurate knowledge of today's science and astronomy, and they were far greater than the generation of the Chazon Ish, how could the Chazon Ish have had some miraculous knowledge of neurosurgery.

The reason why that story is so harmful is that it legitimizes the ban on secular studies for boys older than 13 in Israel. They are taught you can know all you need to know from learning Torah alone. This causes a cycle of terrible poverty and suffering and now juvenile delinquency among the Chareidim. Chayav odom llamed es bno umnos, vchol mi sheino milamed es bno umnus melamdo listus. Let us not be smarter than Chazal.

the story about the Chazon Ish being an expert in neurosurgery. i can get you the names

47

 Apr 27, 2009 at 09:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Some young Jewish ladies were taken by the Nazis for immoral purposes and never heard from again.

As for the halachic issue, it is complex, but passivity may be different than active behavior in znus.

What halachos apply in a time of milchama, and the ramifications of submitting or refusing to submit to marauders and barbarians, are also complex. Anyone who posts halachic 'decisions' here should be suspect.

The real shame in such crimes should be cast on the perpetrators, and those who protect abusers and criminals from prosecution.

48

 Apr 27, 2009 at 10:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
MYTH deffies HALACHA anyway Says:

Comment # 25 asks "“ Are you permitted to commit suicide in this case?”


The Answer is obviously NO - see comment above # 11

This it's self proves the HOAX since this would mean that 93 TEACHERS (not students) were ignorant of Halacha which does not permit suicide in such a case.

Proven even more so by noting the fact that the majority of these imaginary 93 girls aged 14 and above were not married women and such forced relations with a Goy especially if they are not married does not require Yehoreg Veal Yaavor and certainly it is FORBIDDEN to Kill ones self against Halacha in such a case.

Proof is that every small child knows that Ester Hamalka was not doing anything against Halacha since Ester Hamalka was forced and Ester knew she would be Killed if she did not have relations with Achashverosh and so the Gemara says it was permissible for Ester.


If every Cheder Child knows the halacha of Ester Hamalka, then how can 93 "TEACHERS" be such Ama Haaratzim and publicly violate the Halacha together, a well know Halacha prohibited suicide.

One person can make a mistake but it's unthinkable that 93 Amaharatzim should go against halacha BETZIBUR and no one "TEACHER" (not children but TEACHERS) not one single teacher knew a darn halacha and they call them "TEACHERS" yet ! ! !

Ad the Biggest Am Haaretz of all is not the Beis Yaakov Girls, since this story never happened (remember it was a HOAX" the only real AmaHaaretz in Halacha, is the "prominent" AGUDA member who perpetrated this fraud and HOAX and he made up this stupid story only because he was an AmHaartez Himself - not knowing that his presumed fictional "PRIDE" actually reflects his SHAME of going against Halacha - 93 Am Haaratzim Together and this is "TEACHERS", which Agudah is proud of, that they collectively went against Halacha and not even one of them knew, that they were dead wrong in Halacha.

To ad Insult to Injury AGUDA actually teaches this OPPOSITE OF HALACHA, til this day to all current Girls in School that our new generation girls in school should also violate Halacha if Chas Vesholom faced with potential rape and they are not even married they should TODAY kill themeselves if not married faced with potential rape?

And even further AmaHaaratzus and further Bizoyon for AGUDA for making up this FRAUD story - is the STUPIDITY of Aguda today, to keep repeating this false Halacha to all Girls they educate today.

What kind of stupid Am Haartez in charge of an AGUDA School TODAY would willfully teach girls today that they all go against Halacha and Kill themselves if they are UN-MARRIED and face potential rape by a Goy.

Did todays AGUDA girls schools and EDUCATORS not learn anything from Ester Hamalka? - Something that every Bar Bei Rav Dechad Yoma, knows? - What value is their in the AGUDA education if they teach their Girls, things, opposite of Halacha? ! ? !

I was the one who wrote post # 11. I believe that even though in abstract they were not required to commit suicide, the gemora (I belive in sanhedrin) where there were 400 hundred girls that were kidnapped and were going to be sold, they committed suicide and the gemora calls it an Aveirah Lishmah. In other words their are certain times when the yidishe neshmah cannot tolerate to hashems name being defied in such a way.

49

 Apr 27, 2009 at 10:43 PM Sarah Says:

I got all emotional
Tears for slidding down from my eyes
When I read the letter. And then all of a sudden the denial part.
This is sick

50

 Apr 27, 2009 at 10:37 PM Anonymous Says:

If you never heard the story and claim to have gone to BY, then you might have been sleeping in class. Were you not at the yahrtzeit in Madison Square Garden??? It's told every year on the yahrtzeit but in a delicate manner, just as story of Tamar is skipped over... they wanted to play "nasty games" with the girls. One of the girl's father's was reportedly a pharmacist... and so they sat in a ring placing their heads in the lap of eachother as a matter of tznius, a barrier to raising the others skirt.

Many survivors admit to knowing girls were being taken in early years for this purpose and the uproar when it was discovered. Racial laws? Did it really matter if they knew they were going to kill them anyway?

For the commenter who says you can commit suicide if know will shortly be killed anyway, do you not know "we come from a nation that doesnt give up even when the sword is on my neck."

51

 Apr 27, 2009 at 10:35 PM DizzyIzzy Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

I know the son of the man whom it happened to. The man since passed away, and lived in Lakewood.

what's his name?

52

 Apr 28, 2009 at 04:23 AM shlomo zalman Says:

Even assuming the Bais yakov story is fabricated, the formal Halacha is not always necessarily the proper option. Rabbonim who have keen intellectual and emotional insight have pointed this out. One example. Eating human flesh is at worst a bitul aseh and possibly an issur d'rabbonon only. It is a lesser transgression than eating pork, a definite lav d'oraisah. However, given a forced choice where there is nothing else to eat, would any thinking person perform cannibalism instead of eating a nonkosher food? I think not.

53

 Apr 28, 2009 at 04:07 AM shlomo zalman Says:

I would love to believe the Chazon Ish neurosurgery story if someone , any one, would just offer some identifying details, as suggested here by others.

The reason I want to believe it as that would be proof that the Chazon Ish studied medicine privately on his own, a breath of fresh air from the obscurantist Harry Potter yiddishkeit that is taught in chareidi institutions. Only a moron can believe that neuroscience can be learned from traditional Talmudic sources.

54

 Apr 28, 2009 at 03:29 AM matzahlocal101 Says:

the story was first questioned in the late forties by people who had sisters in the BY and was debunked by the 50's. This is old news. It is even possible that the original receipient faked it in order to arouse world condemnation of the Nazis.

My first problem is the number. 93 people hiding anywhere takes alot of space and requires a lot of food. It's likely unheard of that so many peopel hid together. Secondly which frum persons prepare poison (enough for 93 people) in advance? where did they get it from and what were they expecting to use it for? That aside, thousands of people in Germany did commit suicide in the pre-kristalnacht years but they were largely frei and the reason was depression caused by the economic sanctions, not religious zeal. (the war against the Jews -L. Dovidowicz)

The BY story allegedly happened in Poland.

55

 Apr 28, 2009 at 01:10 AM Dr. Sigmund Snood Says:

Reply to #29  
Anonymous Says:

I like the way she calls it a holocaust fabrication .
that's exactly what holocaust deniers say and have yad vashem call for them to be jailed.
but as soon the holocaust has anything to do with yiddishkeit and mesiras nefesh, the zionists call it fabrication .
incidentally, Yad Vashem is a creation of the israeli government as a political tool and the zionist were against saving jews who werent young and zionist during the war.
Read Perfidy.

Wow, pure paranoia.
You need help.

56

 Apr 28, 2009 at 12:11 AM Sephardi Rav Says:

Reply to #33  
Niskatnu Hadoirois Says:

When I heard the story as a teenage there were four hundred girls and they jumped off the roof.Or was that a different story that really did happen?

Now you see why the emes has to be total emes and why there are no lies that are OK just because the person telling it has good intentions?

Gittin (57b): It was taught: There was an incident in which 400 boys and girls were captured for prostitution. They realized what their captives wanted and they asked, “If we drown ourselves in the sea will we get the World to Come?” The most important of them interpreted Tehilim (68:23): The L‑rd said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring again from the depths of the sea.” This means that G‑d will bring again all those who drown in the sea. When the girls heard this they all jumped into the sea. The boys drew the follow conclusions from this. They reasoned that if the girls committed suicide to avoid being forced into a normal sexual intercourse then in the case of boys shouldn’t they commit suicide to avoid unnatural sexual intercourse? They then also jumped into the sea. Concerning them Tehilim (44:23) says: For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are considered as sheep being slaughter.

Tosofos(Gittin 57b): All of them committed suicide by jumping into the sea – In contrast it says in Avoda Zara (18a): ‘Let Him who gave me my soul take it away, but no one should injure oneself.’ [Thus one should not commit suicide even to avoid sexual abuse!] The answer is that in our case concerning the 400 children they were afraid that they were going to be tortured as it says in Kesubos (33b): If they had beaten Chananiya, Mishael and Azariah they would have worship the idol. Thus they would have tortured the children but not killed them.

57

 Apr 28, 2009 at 01:20 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #30  
MYTH deffies HALACHA anyway Says:

Comment # 25 asks "“ Are you permitted to commit suicide in this case?”


The Answer is obviously NO - see comment above # 11

This it's self proves the HOAX since this would mean that 93 TEACHERS (not students) were ignorant of Halacha which does not permit suicide in such a case.

Proven even more so by noting the fact that the majority of these imaginary 93 girls aged 14 and above were not married women and such forced relations with a Goy especially if they are not married does not require Yehoreg Veal Yaavor and certainly it is FORBIDDEN to Kill ones self against Halacha in such a case.

Proof is that every small child knows that Ester Hamalka was not doing anything against Halacha since Ester Hamalka was forced and Ester knew she would be Killed if she did not have relations with Achashverosh and so the Gemara says it was permissible for Ester.


If every Cheder Child knows the halacha of Ester Hamalka, then how can 93 "TEACHERS" be such Ama Haaratzim and publicly violate the Halacha together, a well know Halacha prohibited suicide.

One person can make a mistake but it's unthinkable that 93 Amaharatzim should go against halacha BETZIBUR and no one "TEACHER" (not children but TEACHERS) not one single teacher knew a darn halacha and they call them "TEACHERS" yet ! ! !

Ad the Biggest Am Haaretz of all is not the Beis Yaakov Girls, since this story never happened (remember it was a HOAX" the only real AmaHaaretz in Halacha, is the "prominent" AGUDA member who perpetrated this fraud and HOAX and he made up this stupid story only because he was an AmHaartez Himself - not knowing that his presumed fictional "PRIDE" actually reflects his SHAME of going against Halacha - 93 Am Haaratzim Together and this is "TEACHERS", which Agudah is proud of, that they collectively went against Halacha and not even one of them knew, that they were dead wrong in Halacha.

To ad Insult to Injury AGUDA actually teaches this OPPOSITE OF HALACHA, til this day to all current Girls in School that our new generation girls in school should also violate Halacha if Chas Vesholom faced with potential rape and they are not even married they should TODAY kill themeselves if not married faced with potential rape?

And even further AmaHaaratzus and further Bizoyon for AGUDA for making up this FRAUD story - is the STUPIDITY of Aguda today, to keep repeating this false Halacha to all Girls they educate today.

What kind of stupid Am Haartez in charge of an AGUDA School TODAY would willfully teach girls today that they all go against Halacha and Kill themselves if they are UN-MARRIED and face potential rape by a Goy.

Did todays AGUDA girls schools and EDUCATORS not learn anything from Ester Hamalka? - Something that every Bar Bei Rav Dechad Yoma, knows? - What value is their in the AGUDA education if they teach their Girls, things, opposite of Halacha? ! ? !

"The Answer is obviously NO...
This it's self proves the HOAX since this would mean that 93 TEACHERS (not students) were ignorant of Halacha which does not permit suicide in such a case.
...certainly it is FORBIDDEN to Kill ones self against Halacha in such a case."

Who told you it's forbidden? What about the 400 boys and 400 girls who jumped overboard at the time of the churban?

58

 Apr 28, 2009 at 08:21 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
Dave Says:

How about, when you are dealing with something as serious as the Holocaust, especially with the active community of Holocaust deniers around the world, don't claim unsubstantiated stories as truth. Not only is there no need, but any case where falsehoods (or "it could have happened" stories) are being claimed as truth plays into the hands of the Holocaust deniers.

There is a tremendous body of evidence of what happened; don't add questionable stories to it.

I think this is a very important point. Has anyone read the recent Jewish Observer? There is an article about the Jewish bochurim in Japan & the importance of sticking to fact rather than rumors. The author cites the story of the 93 girls & makes the same point you make here: that propagating stories as true when they are not lends credence to Holocaust deniers, who can then cite it as an example of a widely-believed story that was proven false.

59

 Apr 28, 2009 at 09:26 AM Moriya Says:

Reply to #36  
merkin Says:

in our circles, we look sometimes for legends and stories. I remember when 9- 11 happened and flyers asked people for miracle stories. This is the wrong approach and makes us look like silly people. There is even a book of Holocaust legends written by a female professor at Brooklyn College. It is full of silly stories such as Chasidim flying into the air over the fire pit and other nonsense. We should not believe these stories and we should not teach them to our children as they make us look very silly and gullible. Such as the story that Rachal Iemeinu was in Gaza directing IDF soldiers, which was published as fact on VIN>

Silly stories? Legends? That story happened to the holy Bluzhever Rebbe who recounted many of his Holocaust experiences to Prof. Eliach who wrote the book.

60

 Apr 28, 2009 at 10:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
MYTH deffies HALACHA anyway Says:

Comment # 25 asks "“ Are you permitted to commit suicide in this case?”


The Answer is obviously NO - see comment above # 11

This it's self proves the HOAX since this would mean that 93 TEACHERS (not students) were ignorant of Halacha which does not permit suicide in such a case.

Proven even more so by noting the fact that the majority of these imaginary 93 girls aged 14 and above were not married women and such forced relations with a Goy especially if they are not married does not require Yehoreg Veal Yaavor and certainly it is FORBIDDEN to Kill ones self against Halacha in such a case.

Proof is that every small child knows that Ester Hamalka was not doing anything against Halacha since Ester Hamalka was forced and Ester knew she would be Killed if she did not have relations with Achashverosh and so the Gemara says it was permissible for Ester.


If every Cheder Child knows the halacha of Ester Hamalka, then how can 93 "TEACHERS" be such Ama Haaratzim and publicly violate the Halacha together, a well know Halacha prohibited suicide.

One person can make a mistake but it's unthinkable that 93 Amaharatzim should go against halacha BETZIBUR and no one "TEACHER" (not children but TEACHERS) not one single teacher knew a darn halacha and they call them "TEACHERS" yet ! ! !

Ad the Biggest Am Haaretz of all is not the Beis Yaakov Girls, since this story never happened (remember it was a HOAX" the only real AmaHaaretz in Halacha, is the "prominent" AGUDA member who perpetrated this fraud and HOAX and he made up this stupid story only because he was an AmHaartez Himself - not knowing that his presumed fictional "PRIDE" actually reflects his SHAME of going against Halacha - 93 Am Haaratzim Together and this is "TEACHERS", which Agudah is proud of, that they collectively went against Halacha and not even one of them knew, that they were dead wrong in Halacha.

To ad Insult to Injury AGUDA actually teaches this OPPOSITE OF HALACHA, til this day to all current Girls in School that our new generation girls in school should also violate Halacha if Chas Vesholom faced with potential rape and they are not even married they should TODAY kill themeselves if not married faced with potential rape?

And even further AmaHaaratzus and further Bizoyon for AGUDA for making up this FRAUD story - is the STUPIDITY of Aguda today, to keep repeating this false Halacha to all Girls they educate today.

What kind of stupid Am Haartez in charge of an AGUDA School TODAY would willfully teach girls today that they all go against Halacha and Kill themselves if they are UN-MARRIED and face potential rape by a Goy.

Did todays AGUDA girls schools and EDUCATORS not learn anything from Ester Hamalka? - Something that every Bar Bei Rav Dechad Yoma, knows? - What value is their in the AGUDA education if they teach their Girls, things, opposite of Halacha? ! ? !

It's called the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, Harav Yochanan and Harav Simcha, and all the other "self made, self important" Haravs....

61

 Apr 28, 2009 at 10:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #41  
Anonymous Says:

"This closed society is extremely open minded, on the other hand the open world at large is extremely closed minded. There are myths everywhere in open societies and in closed societies."

Yeah, and there are myths in closed societies that they are open-minded.

I see that I hit a raw nerve. I'm glad I got you thinking.

62

 Apr 28, 2009 at 10:44 AM Askupeh Says:

Reply to #37  
Common Sense Says:

While I have doubts about the veracity of the story and tend to believe it is myth, if it did happen, I don't think the suicide was against halacha. Why? Because this was a matter of preserving Jewish honor, and in such cases my understanding is that one should not, if possible, submit to the enemy. The defenders of Masada could have surrendered the fort and allowed themselves to be taken as slaves to the Romans. Instead they chose suicide. Let me say, I am not an expert in halacha, this is just my understanding.

In any event, we should teach our children there were many forms of resistance to the Nazis, and to anti-semites throughout the centuries. Some fought physically and militarily; others resisted spiritually. Both forms of reistance were an authentic Kiddish HasShem and should be honored. The real myth of the Shoah is that the Yidden went like sheep to the slaughter. They did not. Those who resisted spirtitually, and went into the gas chambers singing Ani Ma'amin were heroes too.

You are correct, this going Al Kiddush Hashem of a women for these circumstances isn’t at all simple in Halacha. While it is true that they are “Karka Oilom” and therefore are not Begeder Yeherag Ve’al Yavor, but we have many instances in history which teaches otherwise. In Megilas Eichoh we read about 400 boys and girls, captives of Rome who threw themselves out of the Roman galley carrying them to Rome intro the sea to drown in order not to sin. We also have the legendary story (some here will call it a myth) of Maimon’s wife the mother of the Rambam throwing herself into the sea when they fled Cordoba, Spain because she knew that she would be sold into someone’s harem. There are many such stories, but the one in Megilas Eichoh , which I think is mentioned in the Gemora needs special attention.

63

 Apr 28, 2009 at 11:07 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #49  
Sarah Says:

I got all emotional
Tears for slidding down from my eyes
When I read the letter. And then all of a sudden the denial part.
This is sick

Sechorcho Harbeh Me’oid. You will get a lot of Schar for every tear that you shed. Hakodosh Boruch Hu takes these tears, and every tear shed for Hashems sake and puts it in a “Noid”, in a special jar, and put in a special place; so Choshuv and special are those tears that you shed to Hashem, even if it shall turn out that this particular story isn’t true or exaggerated. You tears were well placed because you heart reacted Vi Ah Yiddeshe Neshoma. Be proud of it.

Rachmone Libe Boya, Hakodosh Borich Hu wants a heart. Machsoveh Tova, Hakosodh Boruch Hu Mitztaref Lemaseh. If a good intention is considered to Hashem as if the good deed was actually done, then good intended tears even if the story didn’t happen, is considered by Hashem as if they were tears for an actual story. Askupeh

64

 Apr 28, 2009 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

all the questions on this story have only reinforced my belief that the story is authentic and true. I can find you many questions to prove that the holocaust never happened but they don't change the fact.

65

 Apr 28, 2009 at 03:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
merkin Says:

in our circles, we look sometimes for legends and stories. I remember when 9- 11 happened and flyers asked people for miracle stories. This is the wrong approach and makes us look like silly people. There is even a book of Holocaust legends written by a female professor at Brooklyn College. It is full of silly stories such as Chasidim flying into the air over the fire pit and other nonsense. We should not believe these stories and we should not teach them to our children as they make us look very silly and gullible. Such as the story that Rachal Iemeinu was in Gaza directing IDF soldiers, which was published as fact on VIN>

The book you are reffering to is "Chassidic Tales of the Holocaust" by Prof. Yaffa Eliach a distinguished historian and a founder of the Holocaust Memorial (Museum) in Washington, DC. All of the stories in her book were carefully researched and corroborated.

66

 Apr 29, 2009 at 06:06 AM Sephardi Rav Says:

Reply to #62  
Askupeh Says:

You are correct, this going Al Kiddush Hashem of a women for these circumstances isn’t at all simple in Halacha. While it is true that they are “Karka Oilom” and therefore are not Begeder Yeherag Ve’al Yavor, but we have many instances in history which teaches otherwise. In Megilas Eichoh we read about 400 boys and girls, captives of Rome who threw themselves out of the Roman galley carrying them to Rome intro the sea to drown in order not to sin. We also have the legendary story (some here will call it a myth) of Maimon’s wife the mother of the Rambam throwing herself into the sea when they fled Cordoba, Spain because she knew that she would be sold into someone’s harem. There are many such stories, but the one in Megilas Eichoh , which I think is mentioned in the Gemora needs special attention.

Actually this is not found in Eichah. As both a sofer and Rav, I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is not there. Eichah was written by Yerimiyahu, 200yrs before the Roman kingdom was founded, and 400yrs before they came to Israel.

67

 Apr 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM Askupeh Says:

Reply to #66  
Sephardi Rav Says:

Actually this is not found in Eichah. As both a sofer and Rav, I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is not there. Eichah was written by Yerimiyahu, 200yrs before the Roman kingdom was founded, and 400yrs before they came to Israel.

I made a mistake, Medresh Eichoh not Megilas Eichoh.

68

 Apr 30, 2009 at 01:39 AM matzahlocal101 Says:

Reply to #36  
merkin Says:

in our circles, we look sometimes for legends and stories. I remember when 9- 11 happened and flyers asked people for miracle stories. This is the wrong approach and makes us look like silly people. There is even a book of Holocaust legends written by a female professor at Brooklyn College. It is full of silly stories such as Chasidim flying into the air over the fire pit and other nonsense. We should not believe these stories and we should not teach them to our children as they make us look very silly and gullible. Such as the story that Rachal Iemeinu was in Gaza directing IDF soldiers, which was published as fact on VIN>

Merkin,
I direct you to the current Bluzhover Rebbe who was the 6 year old zvi mentioned in the book. Much of the book is about him, his brother and his mother. If you look at the references in the back of the book, you will see that Prof Eliach went out of her way to verify the stories to the maiximum extent possible. As a side note, the story about "The holy book" while the train was being bombed, the book was gemara. Told to me by Vera Landau A"H's son. She was the little girl in the story.

69

 Apr 30, 2009 at 01:25 AM matzahlocal101 Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

I was the one who wrote post # 11. I believe that even though in abstract they were not required to commit suicide, the gemora (I belive in sanhedrin) where there were 400 hundred girls that were kidnapped and were going to be sold, they committed suicide and the gemora calls it an Aveirah Lishmah. In other words their are certain times when the yidishe neshmah cannot tolerate to hashems name being defied in such a way.

It's a medresh. After the capture of Jerusalem there 300 girls who jumped ship and drowned rather than be used for immoral purposes. 300 boys who saw this (same ship probably) made a kal vichomer that the girls died rather than submit to such abuse even though male female relations are normal, seeing they were in line for the same, they jumped and died as well.

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 Apr 30, 2009 at 01:14 AM me Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

There was a girl in the war that the last thing her mother gave her was a necless with the star of david on it, she had it under her dress, but when she had to run for her life she wanted to open her dress so they won't think she's a jew, but she said to her self I won't do anything againts the halocha and then be killed with some sin, so she didn't open her dress, when she got somewhere to hide for the rest of the war she reminded her self of the necless with star of david on it, yet if she would of opened her dress they would for sure kill her they would of seen the necless, so doing the right thing of tzenious she got saved.

That "girl" is now a great grandmother that lives in monsey.

71

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