On this Yom Hashoah, as on every other Holocaust Remembrance Day,
How do we remember?
We remember with stones – placed lovingly on Holocaust memorials. As Jews, we remember our loved ones who have died not with flowers that blossom then fade, but with rocks that remain.
We remember with candles. The book of Proverbs affirms: “Ner Adonai nishmat adam, the spirit of the human being is the light of God.’ (20:27)
We remember with prayers, with the Kaddish affirming holiness – of God and of the souls who are now gone.
What do we remember?
The rise of hate… Eichmann, Goebbels, Goering, Heydrich, Himmler, Hitler… too many names of too many leaders who masterminded the murder of millions.
We remember the silence of neighbors, of citizens, of teachers, of most…
We remember the righteous, though far too few, who in small ways and large shared and showed humanity.
Why do we remember?
To remember that thoughts of hate
become words of hate
become laws of hate.
become acts of hate
Genocides don’t just happen. They arise step by step, day by day, year by year, discriminating act by discriminating act.
We remember to stop prejudice at its root with the first utterance of hate we hear.
for the survivor
for the liberator
for the murdered
for our future
for our world.