Grand Rapids Rabbi reacts to Spicer's 'Hitler' remarks

Rabbi reacts to Spicer's Hitler remarks

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Social media exploded after Spicer compared the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's weaponry tactics to the way Hitler treated the millions he executed.

An orthodox Rabbi here in Grand Rapids isn't mad at Spicer, but said his comments are just another example of the work that still needs to be done in this country.

"You had a -- you know someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to the using of chemical weapons," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

"Gas chambers killed more than 10,000 people a day...what was that?" Rabbi Yosef Weingarten asked.

During the Holocaust, Nazi's crammed more than a thousand people inside chambers which released Carbon Monoxide or Zyklon B.

"You can't make a mistake like that without being ignorant about it," Weingarten said.

Rabbi Yosef Weingarten points to a video of a holocaust survivor calling Spicer's comments, a product of ignorance.

"A holocaust survivor, making a comment on this statement that to say it was a mistake is ignorance," Weingarten said.

He felt Spicer's comments are ignorant.  But, also said they represent an opportunity.

"Our job is to educate people and especially people in such positions to be able to give accurate information that not say a statement that you can't back up," Weingarten said.

Which is why Governor Snyder appointed Rabbi Weingarten to a Genocide and Holocaust Education Committee.

"The committee that has been formed is to educate the children, educate the young so that when they get older they can learn more about it and know that something like this happened," Weingarten said.

The Rabbi said the committee's goal is to incorporate lessons of genocide and the holocaust to the state's public schools.

"It's a lesson for humanity," Weingarten said.

The Rabbi didn't want to discuss Spicer's fate as press secretary, but admitted that his job is a difficult one.

"You have to think fast, so his job is a hard job, it's not an easy one. We need an education, and a person like that needs to be educated to not make such a statement," Weingarten said.

The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids gave us this statement:

"Any discussion of the Holocaust should be done with deep respect, and we hope that in the future if the Holocaust is brought up, that it's with understanding and sensitivity."

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