This weekend we will observe Yom Hashoa, Holocaust Memorial Day. With every passing day more and more Holocaust survivors die. And more veterans of World War II who were eye witnesses to the camps and liberators of the camps die as well. This is why it is absolutely imperative to gather to remember and pray for those who were murdered so ruthlessly by the hands of the Nazis be they Jew or Gentile and why it is imperative to seek understanding of the human capacity for evil. The Holocaust isn’t God’s doing but humanity’s doing. The Nazi’s filled with a sense of their own super-human power created an environment where cruelty and sadistic behavior reigned unchecked. The fear and terror of their empire and its tentacles of evil kept many good people silenced. God calls us to confront such evil and to fight it. And if we cower away in fear we allow that kind of evil to thrive.
Yom HaShoa reminds us that we can never be silent. Not here and not anywhere. That is why speaking truth to power is critical. That is why our Congregation walks in the Walk to End Genocide with Jewish World Watch.
As we see the rise of terrorism and violence rise worldwide, as we see the attacks on Jews, on Gay people (particularly in Africa, as the clash of East and West comes to play out in the Middle East, and Russia threatens Ukraine just as it did parts of Georgia, we must speak up lest more pain and suffering are brought into the world.
So light a memorial candle on Sunday to commemorate not only the six million Jews and 7 million others who perished at the hands of the Nazis, but bring attention to the many place on our planet where evil is evident. And then lets do the work of bringing peace.