Yom Hashoah – Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day

Posted Friday, April 17th, 2015. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

Last night I attended the shul to which my children belong to attend the service for Yom Hashoah and listen to the various people presenting from those who lost families in the Holocaust, to those who were in the camps to the new generation of children who live in a free, democratic country and know nothing of this kind of suffering.

My younger son’s bar mitzvah is this year and his class spoke – each person took the name of a child that died in the Holocaust that would never have the opportunity to do so as their life was cut short during this horrible time in history, and spoke a little bit about that person.

One man who spoke really touched me. He talked about what Never Again means to him. He shared that his father was able to escape before the war however the man’s father lost his entire family in the Holocaust. His father lived a life riddled with sadness and maybe even guilt. This of course impacted the life of this man. He decided to start an organization to bring an end to suffering and a voice to those that cannot speak up to end the war and atrocities that are currently happening today within our world. It goes beyond just the anti-Semitism that exists in the world and includes people from all races, colour and religion. Christians are being slaughtered in various parts of the world because they are refusing to convert to Muslim.

The term Never Again, still falls short because as humans we are still allowing these horrific atrocities to happen. We teach our children but what happens as the generations become further removed from such events in time, i.e. the Holocaust, W.W.II, the feelings are not the same. My children cannot fathom what life would be like to exist during these times. Even today, where the people of Syria, Ukraine and so forth are dealing with “existing”, my children and those of my friends are more concerned about that latest technology. I cannot blame my children or those of my friends. We are so fortunate and I am so grateful that we live in a country that allows us to live side by side. Now, do I like what is happening in our campuses and the rise in anti-Semitism, No! To me all radical behaviour needs to be eradicated both here and abroad. We need to decide what is free speech and what is calculated, harming speech.

What I do support are programs such as Birthright where Jewish children,usually around the age of 18, take an organized trip and meet with other Jewish children and people from all over the world to do the March from Auschwitz to Birkenau (I believe ) where 100s of 1000s of Jewish people as well as others who the Nazis targeted were murdered at the hand of the Nazi’s and their desire to do ethnic cleansing.

Last night 6 youth shared their experiences both in Poland and in the camps, the march and being beside people from all over the world and then finishing the trip in Israel. One young woman shares the anxiety she felt cramed togehter with people she did not know and just waiting for the next instruction. As the group become larger there was less room, less oxygen and she really got a sense of what it must have felt like for all those people torn from their homes, shuttled to these camps and just waiting … for what? For many it was death, something they would never have imagined.

The hope is that we do not forget and rather put our energies into eradicating those who wish to continue this control, cleansing, and murder of innocent people all for the sake of what? We must remember we are one world and all humans despite, colour, religion, creed or sex.

I did leave the service yesterday recognizing the sombreness of the moment, however also looking to our youth to break the cycles and not just say never again but ENOUGH.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

Sometimes it’s hard to see but goodness does trump evil.

All my love,

Sandra




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