Today, the State of Israel and the Jewish world commemorates Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. We pay tribute to the victims of this great monstrosity and recognize the heroism of those who fought against it, and those who survived. At 10:00AM Jerusalem Time, Israel's air raid sirens will wail for two minutes to remember this sad event in Jewish history.
The story of the Holocaust was not just an event in history; it was a life-changing event to many Jews around the world. The people brought to the numerous concentration camps in Europe were not just people or part of statistics: they were parents, children, siblings, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. Entire families were brought in. Likewise, they were Jews of all kinds and of all professions whose only crime at the time was to be born Jewish. The Holocaust was not just an event in history; it was a crime committed against a class of people whose only crime was being who they are.
But we live at a time of a much sadder reality. In the 21st century where information is literally at our fingertips, there are people who refuse to accept that the Holocaust happened. There are circles of people who are trying to justify a truly unjustifiable act. And there are some who embrace the extremist position calling for this sad event to happen again.
From the ashes of the Holocaust rose the phoenix that is the State of Israel. From being a defenseless people scattered all across the world, we remain one people, but now with possession of our original home. And we enjoy the protection of the Israel Defense Forces, who's committed to ensure we don't experience the Holocaust atrocities once again.
As the sirens wail at 10AM, take a moment to remember the Holocaust and the people it took with it. Remember its gruesomeness and the grief it brought to us all. But as you end your reflection, smile and be hopeful, and look at the great things ahead. Let everything we do be a tribute to their sacrifice.
Blessed be their memories.