היום אחד שנים עשר יום שהם שבוע אחד וחמשה ימים בעמר
Today is twelve days, which is one week and five days of the omer
A day of humility in a week of strength
Today and tomorrow there will be many tributes posted to the memory of those lost in the Shoah, the Catastrophe, the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah is a day to stand in remembrance of all those lives lost, and all the souls who will never be.
It is also the place in time when, once again, we are reminded that--like it or not--we are, as Jews, one people. I know there are many who would argue, and I'd probably agree with a lot of their points. But it's hard to ignore the historical cycles of our past that are mirrors of each other.
Last Sunday I alluded to the Jewish penchant for dividing into party lines based on theological and political lines. Assimilation into other cultures has been going on for centuries. Traditions flow in separate lines with the difference of geographic location. Each subsequent generation brings its own interpretation to ancient rituals.
But from the Exodus from Egypt through the Babylonian exile to the destruction of the Second Temple through the Crusades, the Inquisition, the programs and on to the Shoah, there has always been this tragic correction where we have been reminded that no matter where we go in time or place, we are all part of one entity - the Jewish people. We were a global community long before the internet age.
What we do with that identity--what does it mean to us in this generation, and to the next? That's a matter for discussion. Feel free to share your thoughts here. But however you feel, whichever way you look, the Shoah has to be part of the dialogue, for it is, forever forward, part of all of our stories, part of the Torah we all share. Something we will not, we can not ever forget.