Litkicks Message Board Archive

I'm sorry, karmacoupe, but I haven't watched tv for 24 years.

Posted to Poetry and Politics

I must confess ignorance about who Lou Dobbs is.

The last time I watched tv was when Rollie Fingers was pitching for the A's.


I'm glad you liked this article. This writer is simply one of the many we rabid, depraved "leftists" reach for in order to whet our techniques for self-loathing.

( see the post above on Michael Moore and many others lately of the same ilk . . .)

I am grateful to both Jesus and Yahweh that I have the privilege of listening to the profundities of Dennis Prager, a polymath so rich in learning that I once heard him proclaim on his radio show that, " . . .these people
( blacks) aren't parents, just inseminators! They're like animals, and it's a scientific fact that no animal ever collaborates with another, for any reason!"

I have to rely on other, Jewish, friends to communicate their self-loathing negativity techniques to me, like Rabbi Marvin Heir: ( one of my favorite speakers and writers)

Marvin Hier


He is boyish.
He is brash.
He is trim.
And completely straightforward.
But the bluntest characteristic of all is the paradox. His topic is hate -- but he enjoys life.

He memorializes the Holocaust, but humor is his genre.

Enjoys life? Try: Relishes. Or: Adores. Or: Loves.

Try any word you want.

In any conversation with Rabbi Marvin Heir, no matter how depressing the topic -- Sept. 11, hate, the Holocaust -- smiles cross his face. And this is only when he is serious. Try him at his Shabbos table, when he's relaxed. Then, one knows for sure: Marvin Heir missed his calling. He could have put Buddy Hacket or Sid Caesar to shame. Marvin Heir makes you laugh so much your stomach hurts. Get him when he's relaxed and he regales you with stories, accents, imitations, jokes, reminiscences, you name it -- whatever brings joy to the human soul.

Then, suddenly, you get it.

Marvin Hier did not miss his calling. He is successful in Hollywood. He speaks its language, understands its rhythms, knows its symmetry -- instinctively. True, it does take a while to get it. How did a native of the Lower East Side of New York, whose accent still thickens with the tone and twang of his birthplace, come to play with the big boys on the West coast? No matter. Hier plays with the big boys, all right. On their own terms, on their own turf. He's out-Hollywood'ed Hollywood.

But with his message.

Suddenly, you get the deeper paradox: the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center uses his style, talents and New York City Jewish Orthodox culture to communicate something Hollywood never heard before.

Indeed, you get it: Message transcends medium. Heir has mastered the medium of glamour and glitz and surface life with a unique touch, penetrating the medium. Deepening it. Delivering to it a somber and critical message it needed to hear, and never heard before. At least not in the same way.

Hier's message is that film, stardom, image and technology can be used to address perhaps the most serious message in society: hate.

There you have it -- the paradox. A man who enjoys life because that's his nature, that's who he is and who he fits in with -- but not only that. Here is a man who can squeeze every drop from life because he has done something with it. Created something with it. Innovated something, changed something -- something big. Changed the way the most powerful communication center in the world looks at hate. At sensitivity training. At the Holocaust. At everything past and present that relates to the most fundamental human indecency: mass murder.

This communication center, rest assured, is larger than Hollywood. The state legislature of the largest state in the union has allocated millions to the Simon Wiesenthal Center to train teachers and law enforcement personnel on how to combat hate; and the state legislature of the second largest state in the union, New York, is soon to follow. A major expansion of the Wiesenthal Center in New York City is already under construction. The Wiesenthal Center tracks anti-Semitism around the world, with offices in Florida, Jerusalem, Paris, Buenos Aires, besides Los Angeles and New York.

Then there's the reach of film -- everywhere. Of five films that the Wiesenthal Center has made, two have won Academy Awards. What's this? A rabbi who receives the Academy Award? And for films on hate? Talk about delivering a message to a culture, Rabbi Hier has done it.

It all started not even a quarter century ago.

In 1977, Marvin Hier, then a rabbi just coming out of a pulpit in Vancouver, British Columbia, went to Vienna to visit a legend, the one man who, after WW II, did not move on; the one man who said: Justice! Aging and kindly, yet vigorous and as skeptical as only a Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter could be, Simon Wiesenthal humored his young visitor from America. Wiesenthal had heard his spiel before.

Many had come to the legend to ask him for the use of his shimmering name to build a center for Holocaust remembrance in the US. A center that would continue his work, and never let the memory of the Holocaust die. Yes, many times before, Wiesenthal had heard the spiel. Big promises, but no delivery.

Hier promised.

And Heir delivered.

Previous seekers of the Wiesenthal mantle had been survivors who, Hier believes, did not have the attention of the community. This was a deficiency Hier clearly did not suffer from. The Simon Wiesenthal Center was born. Hier went from the pulpit to the executive office as if it were the most natural progression in the world.

Then came the Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance -- a $40 million enterprise, visited by 3,000 people every day, including the many law enforcement officials (including judges) and teachers who take sensitivity training there. Then came the Moriah Film division. Then, Next Step, a Judaic information program. Now, less than 25 years later, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest Jewish organizations in the US, with 200 full time employees, three major divisions, a $26 million annual budget -- and 400,000 members!

What drives Marvin Heir? What's behind this juggernaut? Why this deep need to create something new and never be satisfied? What is an American Jew doing, obsessed with the Holocaust? Why is a $130 million museum in Jerusalem now on the drawing board? Why does a center to fight anti-Semitism need a Moriah Film division? Why does it need a new film, The Search for Peace, which premiered in honor of Larry Mizel in Denver last week? Why a development staff with 10 full time fundraisers? Why 400,000 members?

Where does all this come from?

The child is the father of the man. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is the child of a perception, born on the Lower East Side of New York City.

"I didn't know a single person who wasn't frum (Orthodox)," reflects Hier on his childhood in an interview at Denver's Westin Hotel. "I knew Yeshivas Shlomo Kluger and Yaakov Yosef. I had no relationship with the non-frum world. I went to Vancouver as an assistant rabbi and director of the Hillel at the University of British Columbia. It was an eye-opener. I saw Jews driving to shul on Shabbos -- I wanted to pack my bags and go home to the safety of the Lower East Side! I was never introduced to the world outside.

"But when I was introduced, I began to learn about the broader issues of Jewish life. I met kids who, through no fault of their own -- the Holocaust was a zero factor in their lives.

"Throughout the Sixties I traveled to most of the Holocaust sites. I felt this was a seminal event. I felt it was not clear it would not happen again. I felt Jews were living in a dream world: there were so many false starts before. I didn't buy that. I felt we should create places to commemorate the event. We had a dozen places to commemorate the extinction of dinosaurs, but not one place in America to commemorate the greatest human tragedy ever visited on the planet.

"Why remember? Not just for allegiance to the past, but to prevent another Holocaust.

"So I took a risk. When the opportunity arose, in 1977, with the help of Sam Belzberg, I went to Vienna. Originally, Wiesenthal wouldn't hear of it.

"Today, we're sitting and talking in the US, when no one would doubt we face a hatred. We have not put behind us the last chapter in hatred. The next Auschwitz doesn't have to have a barracks in Poland.

"Orthodox Jews are perceived as having a limited world view. They have a reputation as myopic. I wanted to have Orthodox Jews committed in areas of fighting neo-Nazis, extremists, terrorist groups -- to practice what the Torah demands, to wipe out the memory of Amalek, to show the community that there are Orthodox Jews who care for all Jews, agnostics, atheists, Reform, Conservative, the whole community.

"Non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews we deal with know we don't have horns on our heads. The professional leadership of the Wiesenthal Center are all committed frum Jews, but we don't wear it on our sleeves to exclude others."

All this is said with conviction, but also matter of factly, with nary a touch of hostility or anxiety or concern for assent. This is about as low key as Hier gets -- calm, rational, thoughtful. Even in his humor, he can get serious. Where did you get your sense of humor?

"If you don't laugh at Jewish life, you'd have to cry -- and I'd rather laugh. Humor, one of the great secrets of Jewish survival."