Marking Yom HaShoah
This morning, millions of Israelis paused their day and stood at attention. Drivers pulled their cars over, those shopping at the shuk for Shabbat set down their bags, and students stood silently at their school ceremonies. Today is a day we remember. Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. In America, we participate in vigils, light candles at home, and share stories of family members who survived and those who did not. We continue to speak about the tragedies of the past so that history never repeats itself.
After the attack on the Jewish community of Poway last Shabbat, we mourn the loss of life at the hands of hatred once again targeting our community for simply for being Jewish. On Yom HaShoah, we revisit these feelings and we stand tall as American Jews and declare, Am Yisrael Chai, the Jewish people live! We will not bow down or turn away in the face of hate.
Throughout our declarations of faith and strength, we remain vigilant. In a review of 2018 antisemitic attacks, the Anti Defamation League (which has been tracking antisemitism since 1979) recorded 1,879 incidents in America. Last year also included the deadliest attack on Jews in American history. For a complete look at the report, please see the link at the bottom of this page. As we noted in our correspondence earlier this week, Temple Emanu-El continues to make security a top priority for our community.
You may have seen the quote before, “If we held a moment of silence for every victim of the Holocaust, we would be silent for eleven and a half years.” Of course, the quote is meant to make us reflect upon the unimaginable murder of 6 million Jews, but the message of silence is not the one we hold. Rather, we continue to call out in life with our Jewish values, pursuing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (adapted Micah 6:8).