Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron lauded Jewish youth and their role in leading the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during a speech to representatives of youth groups at Yad Vashem on Monday.

Continuing in this year’s commemoration theme of resistance, the newly appointed minister stated that it was the youth who began the revolt against the Nazis out of a desire to show “Jewish strength.”

“They chose sanctification of the Lord. They sought to refine national honor; to give meaning to their deaths, and that, paradoxically, taught us the meaning and value of life,” Piron said. “These special people running around sewers and deep bunkers saw afar. They did not hear the voices of the realists who warned against the rebellion...

their life’s dream was to bring about Jewish heroism.”

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the minister believes, taught the Jewish people a lesson that “sometimes you young people understand reality better than prudent leaders with wide and extensive experience.”

Addressing young people returning from trips to the death camps in Poland, Piron sympathized with the spiritual struggles that follow exposure to the facts of the Holocaust.

Such a journey raises “questions of faith,” he said, and leads to reflection on the “implications of the Holocaust on [both] personal and national life here and now.”

The education minister urged Israel’s youth to act with “personal responsibility” and to act on the “moral obligation to care for all people – wherever they are.”

Piron called on Israel’s young people not to “miss your duty to be partners in the establishment of a better Israeli society” and to cry out against injustice.

He also decried recent instances of violence against Holocaust survivors, saying such actions turn his stomach.

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