Friday, September 2, 2011

Jews Call for Madame Tussauds to Make Hitler Look Defeated

Call for Tussauds to Make Hitler Look Defeated, read the headline in the Evening Standard this week. The previous day's reported: Tussauds Puts a Guard on Adolf but Visitors Still Give Heil Hitler Salutes:

“Madame Tussauds has been forced to employ a guard to prevent tourists making offensive Hitler salutes next to a waxwork of the dictator. But London's most popular tourist attraction today had to admit the move has failed - as these pictures show. Visitors to the Marylebone Road attraction were repeatedly seen making the Heil Hitler gesture even though the staff inspector was nearby.”

I am not sure if this 2008 Daily Mail report presents a better option: “A man has torn the head from a controversial waxwork figure of Adolf Hitler on the opening day of Berlin's Madame Tussauds museum today.”

Which brings us, believe it or not, to this week’s Torah portion. In it, we read: "You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities."

Rashi comments on the verse: "Judges, Magistrates who render legal decisions. Police officers, who compel the people to abide by their instructions by administering corporal punishment with cudgels and whips, until they accept the judge's decision."

Rather than looking defeated, perhaps the security guards should have whips, ready to hit those entertained by giving the Nazi salute? Maybe that's what the country needs as it deals with the some 1500 rioters, who clearly weren’t afraid of cudgels.

But another solution can be found in a small inconsistency hidden in a prophesy, discussing the peaceful, crime-free and non-violent Messianic times.

Isaiah prophesises: "And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning." Notice the difference with this week's reading: counsellors vs. law enforcement officials,

Simply, in a peaceful world there will be no need for law enforcement officials; no need to enforce the orders made by the law. So what about the counsellors or advisors? What is their position in restoring law and order?

Herein lies an important message in dealing with people that commit audacious acts.

The difference between a judge and counsellor is that a judge decrees a verdict from a position above the petitioner. He's often disconnected, sits on a raised seat. The accused must obey whether he likes it or not.

An advisor, by contrast, puts themselves at the same level of the one seeking counsel, advising them in a way that they understand, showing love and support which will have an internal effect.

So how do we defeat Hitler the Jewish way? By continuing to live by and share the treasured democratic morals and rights from our precious Torah, that he and many others tried to obliterate. Shabbat Shalom.

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