During my years working on Wall Street and my years in business school I recall hearing, "By the time it is in print it is old news."
Or my professor saying, "By the time the ink tries on the paper, the information is no longer useful".
Allow me: Investors make money by acting quickly on imbalances in the market, by seizing opportunities, by lack of equilibrium. In order to do so they must obtain information before anyone else. This of course leads to corruption and "Insider trading" as young employees know this is the way to succeed. You must have inside information.
So if you are a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal, and hope to gain valuable information, forget it. As my teacher said by the time the ink dries, before the deliveryman even picks it up, the information is worthless and therefore useless. By the time you are reading it, it has entertainment value only.
The only path to success is...Inside Information. i.e. Knowing something before it is public knowledge, knowing something before others can act upon it.
One of the great questions of our times, when I was growing up, was, Why did the Jews of Europe not do more to prevent themselves from being killed by the Nazis during the Dark Years of the Shoah? Why did they not resist more?
I have come to learn that such a question can only be asked from great ignorance. In fact the contrary is true; the amount of resistance, both physical, spiritual, and emotional, is off the charts and far beyond what anyone could have expected. But there is another key factor here.
The Jews did not know their fate. They did not know what the Nazis had in mind for the "Final Solution". The idea that the plan was to murder every last Jew on the planet was so illogical and so unprecedented in history that at first no sane person could imagine such a thing. How can anyone digest such a concept?
As such no one knew!
When they did reach this conclusion there was little to be done. Some fought back, but the end result was that nearly all of them died. They knew they would die but they chose to die fighting as free people.
Others figured every day that passes and they are still alive brings them closer to the day that the Germans will be defeated; time, wait. Of course most of those were killed but a few did survive.
So who was right? What was the best option for survival?
Even today there is no clear answer. And we cannot judge.
When the Jewish inmates at Sobibor staged an insurrection and managed a great escape, the Nazis decided to murder all those Jews remaining in nearby work camps.
To fight or to wait?
Horrific stories are told. The ones I have been reading lately are about mothers and children who refused to be separated. I will not describe the scenes, too painful to even write about, but I can refer you to some books if you need some help.
Mothers gave their lives willingly for their children. They gave their lives even if it only meant giving their child a few more minutes of comfort. That is a mother. Even in our own family such a story is told, and it cannot be told without tears, no matter how many times it is told, no matter how many years have passed.
Plaque commemorating Sobibor.
Jews from Poland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union, possibly as well as some non-Jewish Soviet POWs, were transported to Sobibór by rail and suffocated in gas chambers fed by the exhaust of large petrol engines.
When even most skeptics began to reach the conclusion that deportation meant certain death, and that in fact there was no "resettlement plan in the east", Jews did not go willingly to the transports. They did NOT go willingly to their death. But what could they do?
I have read book after book. There was no food in the ghetto, If you decided to hide it meant you gave up the meager rations that could keep you alive. And, your family too lost their rations; that was the price for hiding (Those Nazi bastards were pretty clever!)
The ghetto was surrounded by armed guards, if you did reach the outside where would you go?
You were likely to be handed over by a Pole or be shot on the spot. There was no place to go. Even in the forests Russian and Polish partisans were often likely to shoot Jews on sight.
There is only one thing that could have been a difference; Inside Information!
Had the Jews known in the mid 1930's what was ahead, they would have left Europe. Had they known later on, when the borders were sealed, they could have done what many "survivalists" in America do today; stock up on non-perishable food and tons of weapons and ammunition.
Likely it would not have changed much, but it would have the process of extermination much more difficult for the enemy.
Today in Israel we have this inside information. In fact it was revealed to me as a child; we are not liked, we are surrounded, we are alone. And..."We won't be fooled again!"
NEVER AGAIN will we believe the promises
NEVER AGAIN will we put our safety in the hands of others
NEVER AGAIN will we be caught unprepared.
I recall an old song, from the 1970s,"Leaving Mother Russia"
"We are leaving Mother Russia, we have waited far too long, we are leaving Mother Russia, when they come for us...we will be gone".
That is why you will see a counter-terrorist camp in Israel and there will be middle aged Orthodox men training in the use of firearms, and the children and grandchildren will be there with them. It is a new attitude, kids should know about guns, they should know about fighting back. We have the inside information and we are acting on it.
That is why you will see in Israel mothers and children training in Krav Maga. Recently an American friend wrote me,
" I see photos of the women from your Ladies Krav Class or the videos of your Krav Kids. I see the Counter Terrorism videos showing elderly Orthodox Jewish men and women participating in their training, I see videos of the IDF - I always think of how these are things that exist primarily in response to the Holocaust.
I think of how differently the tide might have turned if Jews had had training before Auschwitz, before the Warsaw Ghetto (when only some had training). I see photos of the IDF - easily the most skilled military power in the world - and I think of how the Jewish people will never be victimized again (and you know that's saying something when you can halt thousands of years of persecution and termination in under a 75 years)"
Today we all have inside information. We know the world has violence, we know about rape, about murder and abduction, we know it all!
We have been given all the inside information we need, now, what are we going to do with that information?
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Next session: June 2014