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    Stunned silence

    When God made the world He decided that Man would have the power of speech. The Targum says that He made Man nefesh m’mal’la, a speaking being. Human beings can speak, and they do, especially Jews.

    Jews maybe speak too much, but Elie Wiesel noted that Jews not only have times when they speak but also their great silences.

    One such silence followed the Holocaust. Europe was a place of devastation where words were inadequate and impossible.

    Whose words? God’s maybe, for Jews felt disappointed that God apparently had failed to shout and scream at the perpetrators of the horror.

    God’s words… and the world’s. A supposed civilisation which had spoken over-confidently about Enlightenment and progress and now had nothing to say.

    God’s words, the world’s… the churches, who had preached smooth sermons about love but were unable to protest at hatred.

    The Jews, for their part, were stunned and unable to speak. We still are.

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