Sunday 1 May 2011

Yom Hashoah

Tonight marks the start of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial day, in Israel. It is the day when, as a nation, the Jewish people mourn the loss of six million souls of their brothers and sisters in a systematic slaughter designed to wipe out the Jewish people, particularly in Europe. The Holocaust was part of a war that took the lives of millions more, and neither should be forgotten.

Only a few days ago, on Seder night, we read a short part of the Hagadda, that reminds us that throughout the generations there has always been somebody who wanted to do the same, and how, against all the odds, the Jews triumph, rise from the ashes, and continue to grow and develop. 

Our generation has no shortage of enemies who would love to claim to have completed Hitler's final solution, not least amongst whom are Hamas. In just a few short pages, StandWithUs show key parts of Hamas's charter, publicly declaring their aim at destroying Israel as a Jewish state, and the Jews within it. 

Jewish people have much to be proud of, as do all Israelis - not least of which is the power of their collective memory and determination to prevent the history of evil from repeating itself. 

The concept of remembering six million people is almost impossible, but it's easy to remember and pass on the heritage of one or two people at a time. You can search the database at Yad Vashem's website, and light a candle in the memory of one person. Maybe choose someone who had a similar name to yours, was a similar age, but choose someone. Learn what you can about them, even if it is only their name, and make sure that their memory is cherished by at least one other person. 

יהי זכרם ברוך -Yehi Zichram Baruch - May their memory bring a blessing for us all, and may we never forget what is so important for us all, Jews and non-Jews alike, to remember. 

No comments: