Emperor Meiji [about Katsumoto]:
Tell me how he died.
I will tell you how he lived.
if you want to teach people to “get along”, you teach people to “get along”. teaching tolerance through educating about division and depraved conduct is a futile endeavor. precious resources in the united states are being wasted on futility. precious resources in south america, to the contrary, are being used in a remarkable way.
a sao paulo brazilian synagogue has been dedicated to be a museum for educating individuals as to “what is means to be a jew.” jta.org the museum is meant for non-jews. unbeknownst to some the future museum visitors, however, they place may actually have a of personal connection to the people. a dna study estimates that perhaps one of of every five latinos may have jewish roots. science.
the museum covers the brazilian jewish community and the various immigration that took place to the country. there is also an area with torah scrolls and sacred books, some dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. there “will also be “a virtual torah that people can use on the alter and it will explain how to read the torah and instructions on how to use the yad,” or torah-reading pointer.” another area will cover modern-day jewish issues, such as conversion, interfaith marriage, the role of sexuality and gender identity in judaism, and b’nei anusim — a movement of native brazilians who believe to be descendants of european jews. jta.org
the jta story most importantly interviews of mr. augusto chagas. he reported that “brazil is a very catholic country,” “we don’t often know a great deal about other religions.” he [a non-jew] also stated that “his jewish education was mainly focused on the holocaust. once, on a plane to new york city, he saw a jewish man putting on tefillin and did not know the reason behind it. chagas hopes that his museum visit will provide an opportunity to learn more about such religious rituals, and even culinary traditions.” jta.org
mr. chagas’ statements nails the problem with united states’ cultural and ethnic educational efforts. many people are interested how other peoples live, what they do, and what they eat. the fact that there is a history of discrimination and persecution, while important, is secondary.
for example, the los angeles area offers a unique opportunity to interact with other groups and gain appreciation. with many ethnic communities, you are able to travel and experience literally the world in southern california. you can go to little tokyo, sawtelle [for japanese], chinatown, koreatown, olvera street, thai town, little ethiopia, little tehran etc. much is to be learned from going to these areas and watching the everyday living. these areas having become beloved destinations for outsiders to come, enjoy and appreciate cultures. ethnic restaurants is a tremendous driving force to drive cultural interaction. cultural and ethnic affinity, in contrast, is not created by placing oppression and persecution up on a pedestal.
in sum, as best stated in the article by brazilian, mr. ariel lebl, the museum “.. will be a great place to take political leaders, academics, and kids from nearby schools,” “it’s about connecting people to the content they wouldn’t normally see.” “[the temple] used to be a place only for jewish people, and now it’s a jewish place for everyone.”
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Ariel Lebl, a Jewish 32-year-old who works in fundraising in São Paulo, sees the museum as a chance to reach out to the non-Jewish residents and build bridges between the communities.
“It will be a great place to take political leaders, academics, and kids from nearby schools,” he said. “It’s about connecting people to the content they wouldn’t normally see.”
He added: “[The temple] used to be a place only for Jewish people, and now it’s a Jewish place for everyone.”