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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Disgusting Smear of Manhattan Projects Jews by Pinchos Lipschutz

Pinchos Lipschutz of the Yated newspaper has written a generally hateful article bashing Yeshivat Maharat, the religious MKs of Yesh Atid and everything 'modernishe.' But one line really took the cake, a fourth-hand "quote" from the Chofetz Chaim. I put "quote" in quotes because these "gedolim stories" always seem to perfectly fit the agenda of whomever is telling them, though it may be true. It's about his supposed granddaughter, who was influenced by the haskalah, went to university and was praising the strides made in technology and science to her grandfather. His claimed response

Tochterel, I want you to know this: With their innovations and inventions, they will one day reach a point where they make a bomb that will kill thousands of people. Ubber mir machen mentchen. Mir machen mentchen. Do you hear? We are making people. They will destroy people.

It's difficult to see this "quote" as anything other than calling the secular Jews of the Manhattan project mass murderers and blaming their detachment from the insular Jewish world.

In fact, the vast majority of the Manhattan project Jews were rather pacifistic, many becoming outspoken anti-nuclear and almost certainly only pushed the development of the atomic bomb with the goal of saving what could be saved of European Jewry, their ahavat yisrael being bounds ahead of ungrateful Mr. Lipschutz. There were exceptions such as Samuel T. Cohen

In detail, to set the record straight on Manhattan project Jews:
  • Jacob Bigeleisen-advocated for nuclear disarmament
  • Bernard Feld-President of Albert Einstein Peace Foundation, his activities for disarmament put him on Nixon's enemies list
  • David H. Frisch-active in disarmament
  • John Gofman-major anti-nuclear activist

2 comments:

Mattis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mattis said...

You wrote
"It's difficult to see this "quote" as anything other than calling the secular Jews of the Manhattan project mass murderers and blaming their detachment from the insular Jewish world."

You're reading *way* too much into that quote.

If the story is true (and I doubt it), all it's saying is that the Chofetz Chaim predicted that scientific advances would lead not to good but to bad, to suffering and death. There's nothing implied there about scientists being bad people. The point of the story was not about scientists (the people) but about science (the discipline); i.e. "don't fall for the gospel of science that it will save the world, it will cause more harm than good; instead stick with Torah."

Instead of providing a list of pacifist nuclear scientists, you might have countered with a list of all the diseases cured, a list of all the wonderful things that have saved lives that have come from scientific advances.