Today we had an event to commemorate Yom Hashoah. As I was sitting listening to the program it dawned on me that nephew, who was born just four short weeks ago, will likely never have this experience. He and his generation will never sit around listening to their grandparents and their grandparents’ friends talk about their lost families. They will never go to a day school function or their local Jewish Community Center to hear survivors recount the atrocities they experienced in Europe during the Holocaust. This realization made me understand that for this next generation, I will have to be the witness that helps them never forget.
This also made me think about the concept of never forgetting. What is it that we should never forget? Is it just that we as Jews were severely persecuted that we must remember. I think it is also important to never forget that we as a religion and as a people survived the persecution; that as the Third Reich went the way of many of our previous persecutors, we are still here as a people. Of course, in surviving, we lost six million people, many entire families, and many aspects of our culture. It is heartbreaking to listen to tales of children who had to survive without their families as they were moved from camp to camp, but none-the-less these are stories of survival. I hope that we, as a community, do not only gather once year to shed communal tears, but that we never forget to celebrate and appreciate the vitality of our Jewishness, however we choose to express it.
MHSD - mr. kacev