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    Selective memory – B’ha’alot’cha

    Life in ancient Egypt was paradise. That’s how the Israelites in the wilderness remembered it.

    “We had fish to eat gratis, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic” (Num. 11:5). The only thing that was in short supply was meat (Num. 11:18).

    Pardon me, but wasn’t Egypt a slave camp? Weren’t they beaten by the taskmasters, didn’t the lashes leave weals, didn’t they struggle to handle heavy loads and dread the consequences if they couldn’t get the job finished in time?

    If all this was so suddenly forgotten, aren’t we equally entitled to say the pogroms were a picnic, Haman was a loving grandfather, the concentration camps were an outing by the river, the suicide bombers were lovely children playing ball?

    How can anyone have such a selective memory and forget all the oppression, the repression, the degradation, the horror and inhumanity?

    It’s a sorry chapter in Jewish history that shows one of the worst characteristics of human beings, that they don’t always want to remember things and when they do, the memory is susceptible of being warped and unreliable.

    We rightly denounce the present-day purveyors of Holocaust denial and selective morality; we must also make sure that anyone who quotes history ensures that the whole story is told honestly, with integrity and responsibility.

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