Today is Yom HaShoah.
It’s on this day that we remember the Shoah- the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered simply for being Jewish. These Jews were tortured, taken to concentration camps, gassed. Families were split up, and babies were snatched from mothers’ arms as elderly men and women were forced to dig their own graves, then shot. Amidst all this horror, this unspeakable treachery, humanity seemed to be lacking. Kindness seemed to be nonexistent. The promise of new life, a new start, seemed to vanish before our eyes.
But one thing refused to disappear.
We can survive for three weeks without food, and three days without water, but we cannot survive for three seconds without hope. So said a famous Holocaust survivor as he kindled the menorah in Auschwitz. But despite our collective hope for the future, no amount of hopeful words seem to commemorate the Holocaust. How can we respond to such a tragedy? How can we remember it? As we think of the six million who perished, no platitudes seem appropriate.
And so, we mourn in silence.
Silence- a silence heavy with unspoken words. But silence alone is apathy. Silence alone is inadequate. Our silence must be accompanied by a resolve, a sheer, unbeatable resolve. A resolve to never forget. To never let it happen again. And to never lose hope.