The Orthodoxy of Arrogance
This is a story of the triumph of the human spirit. It follows a larger-than-life Jew from the perils of Nazi Germany to America. The Orthodoxy of Arrogance looks at the human condition, the strength and weaknesses of the human spirit. More
Mordichai (Moritz) Lebenschizt was raised by Orthodox Jewish parents. After his parents are killed when he is 11, he settles in Schaan, Liectenstein. There he learns to suppress his Jewish tendencies, among other things. The year is 1928 and Mordichai sees a crazy Jew hating man rising out of the ashes of WWI. Mordichai becomes Moritz, a more Christian sounding name. He never has a bar mitzvah and never grows payess like his father. Moritz has a hard rebellious bend. He is brash, arrogant, and pompous, with a knack for charming people.
In 1935 he meets Hannah Krankenstein in the Haage during a protest against the National Socialist Party. Hannah was also orphaned but became reclusive, introverted and reticent. Moritz found her to be charmed by him. She hung on his word and fed his enormous ego. By 1939 they had settled in the town of Dachau, Germany. There they curtailed their Judaism and flew under the Nazi radar. They would escape through a tunnel to a beer hall in Munich when the Gestapo came calling. By 1944 they were tired of playing the game.
Hannah and Moritz make their way a night through Munich. They follow the Rhine south along the Austrian border to Switzerland. They board a train destined for La Harve, France. In a small apartment in Le Harve they wait out the war. Moritz has built a small sailboat. In the fall of 1945 they make their way with their boat to a beach at Calais. At the narrowest point, the cross the English Channel to Dover. After spending a few weeks in South Hampton they get on an ocean liner to New York as “displaced persons.” They are married by the captain of the ship.
In 1960 Yeshiva is born to the Lebenschitzs. She is raised as an Orthodox Jew by her mother. Her father is very liberal with tradition and Jewish law. This confuses Yeshiva who is always trying to win her father’s affection. She is not a handsome woman and is told as much by Moritz. She is tormented at Hebrew school and slandered in Yiddish behind her back. She rebels and holds off her bat mitz vah until age 18.
The conflict between father and daughter is omnipresent. There is a lack of communication between the two which Moritz justifies by his being an orphan.. In the end Mordichai is forced to confront his lack of affection towards Yeshiva. His wife has grown, greatly due to his encouragement, from the mousy woman he knew in Germany. Now she aligns with Yeshiva to take a step back from his life of arrogance.
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