The obligation to remember the Holocaust calls on us to grapple with the horror and tragedy of the destruction of European Jewry and the individual stories of the six million Jews who lost their lives to a murderous ideology of hate directed at Jews for being Jews. In Israel, this day is known as Yom HaShoah v’ha-G’vurah – a day of destruction and strength or heroism. As we remember the tragedy of the Holocaust, we must also remember the stories of those – both Jews and non-Jews – who stood up against hatred, who risked and often lost their lives in order to oppose and undermine the Nazi regime and to save Jewish lives. Their heroism is just as much a part of the story of the Holocaust as the death camps and the gas chambers. At a time when we see hate on the rise in Europe and at home, we must take extra care to internalize the message of the Shoah for our time, knowing that we must recognize hate for the danger it is and raise our voices against it right away, before it is allowed to grow and spread.
At GJC, we will be having a special service and program on Sunday morning beginning at 9:00 AM in the Charry Lobby, and the city-wide commemoration will take place at 1:00 PM at Congregation Rodeph Shalom.
May we be strengthened in our resolve never to forget the Holocaust and never to shrink from our duty to confront hate in all of its nefarious forms.