This year, This April 7th 2013 / 27th of Nisan, 5773 is Yom Hashoa v’Hag’vurah- Holocaust Memorial Day. Really it is the Day of the Martyrs and Heroes . begins on Sunday, April 11th starting at sundown and continues through Monday, April 12th at sundown. The commemoration of Yom Hashoah is held on the 27th day of Nissan, one week after the seventh day of Passover. Passover celebrates the freedom of the Jewish nation from the harsh slavery of the Egyptians, while Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah or Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism, grips our hearts with tremendous sorrow in memory of the enslavement and execution of 6 million Jews and a great number of other “undesirables”.
We deeply mourn the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the evil and cruelty of the Nazis. We mourn the way of life that was destroyed. The Jewish community of Europe was nearly ended. And today even as it tries to rebuild itself it is a small shadow of the millions that once lived there. And to boot there is still Anti-Semitism that runs deep throughout Europe. Lithuania is one place where Anti-Semitism has never been addressed. It run throughout the culture. Jews are still seen as foreigners there and in truth are not welcome.
The world, or at least certain portions of it, would have us forget an event that they either say happened too long ago to care about or indeed, didn’t happen at all. The events of the holocaust occurred within living human memory and are systematically denied, while we continue to commemorate much older events, such as Canada Day and Thanks Giving in this country without any doubt whatsoever.
For thousands of years, the Jewish people have been systematically attacked, exiled from the Land of Israel on numerous occasions, and been subject to a long list of pogroms, forced conversions to Christianity and Islam, rejection, condemnation, torture, and murder.
Whenever any group of Jewish people finally decide they have had enough, stand up for their right to live and fight back, the rest of the world condemns them as oppressors and even “occupiers” of their own land. All manner of “conspiracy theories” have been associated with the Jews, from blood libel to the irrational fear that Zionism is an attempt by Jews to take over the world.
All of this thinking and much more, makes universal hatred, bigotry, expulsion, and murder of Jewish people possible and likely across history. That is why it’s so important to commemorate Yom Hashoah and to continue to remind the world that such atrocities as the Holocaust must never be allowed to happen again.
The world we live in is closer to repeating this sort of behavior than we’d like to believe. That’s why we must never be complacent or lax in our defense of the Jewish people; the chosen ones of God. This year, don’t forget! This year, don’t let the world forget! Once the world forgets a tragedy, it has no problem in repeating it. Even if you aren’t Jewish, if you are a person of conviction, compassion, and faith, how long will it be before an oppressor comes for you? Don’t wait until then. Care, not because it might happen to you. Care because it already happened to us all.
What does Shoah means? Shoah is the Hebrew word for "destruction" and is another name used to refer to the European Holocaust, when six million Jews – including one and a half million children – were systematically murdered by the Nazis during World War II.
Note: Some Jewish people do not observe Yom HaShoah, but commemorate the long history of anti-Semitism during Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of Av. They reason that remembering the European Holocaust recalls a singular event, whereas anti-Semitism has a long and bloody history where thousands and millions have perished over the millennial (for example, recall the two conquests of Israel, the destruction of the two Temples, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Pogroms, the Intifada – etc.).
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