Jewish Tradition essay
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Nowadays Jewish religion is considered to be one of the most persecuted religions. People all over the world have a prejudiced attitude towards Isralian nation. However, odious the attitude towards Jewish nationality can be, it is easy to find enough proves for how the nation was chosen by God. The evident prove of it one can find in the Holy Bible: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you (Israel) will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites” (the Lord). From these words it is obvious that at first Jewish were not supposed to be the nation they became. They were neither supposed to be hated for no reason nor to be killed like animals. Thus, a strange and an incomprehensible question can run through one’s head about why someone decided to destroy this peaceful and beloved by God people? Who made them suffering so much? Why did this horrible holocaust take place in the XX century? To find the answers to all these questions historians made a lot of different assumptions, writers created a lot of heart-rending works, directors shot a lot of tear-jerkers etc. “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” directed by Mark Herman, italian “La vita è bella” by Roberto Benigni or Roman Pola%u0144ski biographical war drama “The Pianist” are all painting the veritable picture of the unbearable lives and the cruel suffering of Jewish nation. To come closer to the answer, let’s concentrate the attention on Steven Spielberg’s work “Schindler's List”. It is considered to be one of the best movies of the XX century which describes Holocaust in its real violent nature.
The film begins with a massive relocation of Polish Jews to Krakow ghetto in 1939. Meanwhile, Oskar Schindler, who was not a very successful businessman, arrives to the town with the hope to get benefit from the war. He is a member of the National Socialist Party of Germany. Schindler enlists the help of military officials and intends to open a factory to produce military kitchen utensils. Oskar Schindler is trying to make his new factory, manufacturing superior enamelware crockery, work better. He dreams to be famous, to be involved in something extraordinary, to do something no one else does. In other words, he wishes to make a major manufactory out of a bankrupt company and to make his name being remembered in the history for a long time. To realize his plan he is looking only for Jewish workers as they are a cheaper force. Schindler hires one very clever Jew named Itzhak Stern, who for his part finds painstaking and gifted people to be employed by their company. Stern has powerful ties to the Jewish community and the "black market" inside the ghetto. The Jewish community lends him money to open a factory in exchange for a percentage of the product. Nazi officials are satisfied with the factory and Schindler is satisfied with his profit. Itzhak Stern becomes the head of the administration of the factory. At the same time, Schindler’s workers differ from others. They are allowed to go outside the ghetto. Stern falsifies their documents, confirming their inalienable "usefulness" for the German army, which saves them from mass concentration camps and inescapable death. Later, SS Captain Amon Goeth arrives to Krakow to begin the construction of a new camp in Plaszow. He orders to liquidate the ghetto. Hundreds of German soldiers ravage tight rooms, kill all the protesters, the elderly, and the sick and in many cases they kill Jews for no reason. Schindler is contemplating all these mass murders from aside and it really affects his soul. He behaves very cautiously. He becomes closer to Amun Goeth, bribes the officials, and tries to hide his desire to help Jewish people. The course of the war changes. Goeth receives orders from Berlin to destroy the remains of murdered Jews in the Krakow’s ghetto, to eliminate prison camp in Plaszow, and to send all Jews who are still alive to Auschwitz. Goeth is a horrible and inhumane person. He is proud of himself just because he has a power to kill arbitrarily and that’s why people are afraid of him. He beats his housemaid Helen and at the same time he falls in love with her. He is so preconceived about Jewish women that he can’t even confess in it to himself. Oscar is another kind of Nazi. It may appear strange, but he is kind and humane. He just can’t watch Jews’ sufferings anymore. He advises to take fire hoses out and to hose down the cars with Jewish people who are gasping for a drink. But he realizes that it’s not enough and he decides to do something else. He wants to buy all the Jews from Goeth, spending the money he has earned. Bribing him Schindler is allowed to create his "own camp" with his own employees, so factory is able to continue its production. Schindler's intent is still to make a profit, but he also strictly orders Stern to save as many human lives as the situation allows him to. "Schindler's List" includes only "qualified employees." For many Jews to be attached to it means to be alive.
Schindler creates his own concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, which is his motherland. Almost all the people from his list without any difficulty arrive to the new location. First, it is a turn for the male, then for female. But because of some paperwork mistake the train that is supposed to deliver the Jewish women to the new camp routes to Auschwitz. Horror and deathly fear covers the faces of these women, because they know that in such camps they can be tricked. They can be sent to the shower, but in fact are expected to get to the Gas cab. The scene when they are sent to take a shower is terrifying. Total despair and lost hope these are the things which accompany them when they are entering that shower cabin. And it’s hardly possible to describe their happiness when real water starts to pour. They are fortunate to get one more day to live. Schindler immediately finds out about this mistake and goes to Auschwitz to correct it. He wins and gets success. Women are safely redirected to Czechoslovakia. Schindler’s factory forbids guards to kill or torture anyone of employees. He even allows Jews to celebrate Shabbat. Schindler's wife, Emily, is now working with him at the factory, even though before this she only came several times to Poland to visit him. He swears allegiance to her (Oscar Schindler loved women and always had several mistresses). The war in Europe is over. In 1945 Schindler is forced to flee because he is a member of the Nazi Party. An order to destroy the camp has been issued. But Schindler tells SS guards to let Jews go alive and return back to their families as humans, not as murderers. And they listen to him. He delivers a speech to all the staff of the factories. In acknowledgement for being alive they give him a letter, signed by absolutely all employees. The letter proves that he is not a criminal for them, and a gold ring inscribed with the words from the Talmud in Hebrew that is translated in English as: "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire” proves their gratefulness for his deeds. Schindler left the factory by his car, sobbing in front of a crowd. He regrets a lot that he has not managed to save more lives, that he has not changed his expensive car for at least 10 more people’s lives, that he has not saved all of the Jews. Schindler's Jews has been staying overnight in the yard near the walls of the factory. A morning sun wakes them up. Some soviet rider comes and proclaims their liberty made by the Red Army. In the very end of the film we can observe how the saved by Schindler Jews or their descendants are carrying flowers on his grave. In the film not only once we observe the cruel attitude towards those whose religion is Judaism. All those scenes are heartless, bloody, and harrowing. They assure us that during that period to be Jewish meant to go aloft quicker than it should be.
As we can see, this movie shows us a terrible period of Holocaust. In the wide sense, it is a systematic persecution and annihilation of people’s rights on the basis of their race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or genetic type as if it is inferior or harmful. In the narrow sense it is a frightful persecution and mass extermination of the Jews in Germany during the Second World War. This is exactly what you can observe in the movie. The only correction is that the action takes place in Poland. Only because of their religious beliefs Jewish people are tortured and killed by Nazis. This means that religion played an important role in this horrible period of time which is characterized by mass teror. It was the way of dividing people into two groups: those who are allowed to live and those who have to join the majority.
The reasons why the Nazis focus their persecution on Jewish people are ambiguous. Practically, they didn’t have any apparent grounds for such attitude. First of all, Hitler had to blame someone in losing the First World War. As Judaism does not let conversion of others, Jews will always be small in number, and thus they will always be a tiny minority in every country. So they were just perfect scapegoats for Nazis, as they couldn’t defend themselves, being powerful enough. Secondly, they could not like them because they are much more intelligent than other people. Researchers concluded that the Jews are so intelligent not only because of their genes, but also because of the fact that once a week they celebrate Shabbat, so they completely relax in isolation. They do not talk on the phone, do not drive a car, do not turn on the light, do not cook dinner, do not use the elevator, etc. The day of a total rest of the brain completely restores all the functions and during all week Jew thinks very well and deeply. When they settled in some cities, they prospered in business, science, education, the art. They could come everywhere having nothing with them and in some time they flourished. For some centuries even Krakow was completely a Jewish city. Thirdly, they were very rich. In the time of Hitler’s board Jews were economically strong. They succeed in trading and business. Jews were reasonable enough to make their splendid living. They could endanger all Hitler’s plans concerning his prestige of conquering the entire world. There is also an opinion that Jews were the ones who crucified the Christ and that’s why they had to pay for it. But frankly speaking, one can hardly recall the way they were treated as Christians. Different concentration camps were far away from paradise as well. Some people found there only an unjust and premature death; others perceived it as the only way to be free from all those agonies beyond words.
“Schindler’s list” is not just a movie to watch with friends. It is a picture that shows us the truth about everything – about life and death, good and evil, justice and unfairness, mind and foolishness. It also teaches us to be humans, to be the ones our family can be proud of, to live in peace with the world and to respect others despite anything. There is only one God, but there exist so many ways to reach Him. These ways are called religions. And everyone has a right to choose his own route. Someone makes Jewish steps, another one drives a Christian car, the third one enjoys his traveling in Islamic plane… The way you chose does not matter, because the point of your destination remains the same – to be in ward to the Lord. And if it is so impossible for different religions to be friends and support each other, they should just not hinder each other. They should learn how to live together and respect the points of view which they disagree with. Every religious person must remember that all the humankind is created by God. He loves everyone absolutely equally. And if He, a creator of every single thing on this planet, can do it, there is no other alternative for us but just to follow his example. Having a prejudice against any religious beliefs is insufferable. All of us should grow up and realize that every person has a right to be rich or poor, clever or stupid, Jew or Christian… There should not be any difference in the way people are treated. Everyone should respect others, their decisions, their mistakes and their points of view. Only this can be a sign of a perfect society.
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