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