Monday, April 28, 2014

Day of Remembrance

Israelis observing moment of silence
Today is Holocaust Remembrance day. A moment of silence was observed by Jews in Israel to commemorate the 6 million Jews that died in the Holocaust. As most people realize those that died were not the only victims. Those who survived were victims too. Most of the very young victims are still alive. And there are even a few older ones in their 90s and 100s that still survive with their memories of that time intact. My 97 year old mother-in-law is one of those. 

There are some who object to the timing this observance because of a Jewish Law that forbids eulogizing the dead during the Hebrew month of Nissan. In my view, they are terribly wrong to object. One can quibble about whether this date is the appropriate one for such remembrance. But now that it is established, it would dishonor the living survivors to disparage it in any way. Unfortunately there are always some misguided religious Jews who feel it is their duty to do just that.  Thankfully they are a tiny minority. The vast majority of Jews in Israel stop and stand still in a moment of silence in public – including religious Jews.

I want to once again express my gratitude to this great country of ours… the Medina Shel Chesed called the United States of America. It doesn’t matter what political party one belongs to. It doesn’t matter how liberal or conservative one’s politics are. America will not let anyone forget the Holocaust. And liberal ‘Hollywood’ is in the forefront of doing that. 

Every year there is yet another Holocaust themed major motion picture released. Last Friday, Walking with the Enemy was released. It is based on the true story of a courageous Jew in Nazi occupied Hungary who at great risk disguised himself as an SS officer in order to save fellow Jews. And just yesterday, the TV Show 60 Minutes featured Nicholas Winton, a hero of the Holocaust. He saved 669 mostly Jewish children from almost certain slaughter.

What will the future look like after the last survivor dies? I don’t know. But one thing I am certain of is that my own children will not forget. Nor did they fail to learn - or fail to teach their own children - some very important lessons from what all four of their grandparents experienced.