Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Rememberance Day

Posted Friday, April 12th, 2013. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

This past week, Monday, was Yom HaShoah and my son did one of the readings for that night. I went with my boyfriend whose father was in the Holocaust along with my other son. I, sad to say, have never gone to the one of these nights. I don’t know why.

I found the service was very sad, interesting, and moving. As I sat in the audience listening to the children and grandchildren of survivors and their stories my heart went out to them. We remembered the six million Jews that died at the hands of the Nazis. As more and more survivors die the concern is that we must keep the memory alive so that future generations do not go through this.

As tears welled up in my eyes throughout the night it was not only for the 6 million Jews that died but also for the 1.5 million (gypsies,homosexuals, and anyone that wasn’t deemed Aryan) who also perished in the war at the hands of the Nazis. My sadness didn’t stop there because as humans we have not remembered and stopped ethnic cleansing from happening since. We have seen atrocities happen since WWII and it makes me so sad.

This night gave me a lot of insight. First for my boyfriend who is the child of a survivor. I really came to a new understanding about him. His father is a survivor that chooses not to talk about his life at that time. He was just a boy. I cannot even imagine what he went through; losing his entire family. No one can unless they have been through this. The second is seeing how my children and the other children in their Hebrew classes responded. These kids are so far removed from the Holocaust and WWII. When I asked my kids what they thought about the service they said it was okay. I got a feeling that they were moved but only from a distance. They do not have a direct connection to anyone from the holocaust so they do not feel the loss in the same way.

As a parent and mother I feel it is my duty to show and teach them as much about compassion for our fellow human being. To stop these atrocities from happening anywhere in the world (look what is happening today in Syria) we must as a world look to one another as human beings first with compassion to treat others as we want to be treated ourselves; not at religion, sex or colour. Who cares. That is not who we are.

As part of my work, that is also part of my duty and work.

I want to tie in another article that I read that also concerns me. The author asked a question, “If you were blind and had the ability to see for three days what would you do? The author first asked people with no issues about their sight what they noticed when they walked, were outside and their surrounding. Most people responded, “Nothing really”. That to me is also sad because he lack the ability to stop and “smell the roses” and be grateful for what is in our lives. We are so oblivious to the magnificence of nature and our surrounding – people laughing, children playing with one another, a couple walking down the street arm in arm. We are so busy. I tell you about this article because not only do many humans lack compassion, most lack the ability to be in the moment.

This weekend, be grateful for all the wonderful people and things in your life. Be grateful for the freedom we have to walk the streets without the fear of war; be grateful for the beauty that is around you.

I want to wish all of you a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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