Sometimes I fear that prevalent assumptions about Jewish passivity, unexamined as they are, imply, unintentionally or otherwise, that they went like sheep to the slaughter, almost as if they deserved their fate. Perish the thought! We don’t understand how a totalitarian regime works, blessed as we are living in a democracy bordered by two oceans. It’s easy for 21st-century Americans sitting in Starbucks with their iPhone and laptop at hand to pontificate about the putative failure to resist evil on the part of target groups subjected to oppressive and invasive regimes elsewhere in time and space. Besides, anyone who’s studied the so-called Third Reich knows how sneakily the SS operated their killing machine. Lastly, those Jews who didn’t ostensibly resist were done in by their own humanity. They couldn’t possibly fathom what was in store for them. Who can blame them for that? No, victims of genocide the world over do go to their slaughter willingly and we simply can’t judge them for the decisions they make or don't make in these dire circumstances. The label Holocaust, which is the Greek translation for burnt offering in the Septuagint, doesn't help shake this mistaken image of the Jews as some kind of sacrificial lamb. We can learn from the past, however. Defiance and hope are strange bedfellows indeed.