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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day

April is a great many things it appears (who would've known) - it is poetry month. It is anti-TV time too, oddly enough (after all, with the abundant "soft rains of April", should we not stay indoors? What else are we to do indoors? Hmm, okay, don't answer that...) And it is also the time for a whole lot of remembrance as well... Remembrance of the Holocaust.

As if all that April rain mirrored the tears shed for the deceased.
All the pain and all the torment...
All the anguish... and all the sense of loss that is so painful to bear.
All the suffering... whether it is deemed necessary or unnecessary suffering...

No matter how abundant these rains are, they are neither soft nor apt to wash away the stench of death that lingers on long after the passage of the grim reaper.

Incidentally, Yom Hashoah -Holocaust Remembrance Day- is also Yom Hazikaron -Israel Independence Day... Personally, I would have had separate commemorative days, but that's just me and I am not Jewish!

April 25th is also Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand; when "the whole of Australia (is involved) in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride for all men and women who have fought and died in all wars".

ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).

All of April has been a month of remembrance for me this year.
The rain has been abundant too.
Drowning sorrow... or making it worse.
In the end, what does it matter? Nobody gives a damn. Nobody cares. And no one matters!

This may yet be my final blog post.
Time will tell...



As the world commemorated, Yom HaShoa, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we sit and ponder, in our deep and profound sorrow at the loss of six million of our brothers and sisters.

Many of us cannot fathom what it would have been like to live in the time of this unspeakable horror. Many of us cannot conceive of the concept of this mass extermination. Thoughts of the gruesome, heinous and barbaric wholesale slaughter of millions of Jews forces us to recoil in horror.

We have Holocaust museums and memorials we can visit. We have countless films and documentaries that recount the testimony of survivors. We can even visit those places we call 'hell on earth'", the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Maidonek and Dachau to name a few. All of these places can educate us and sensitize us to the collective pain of our ancestors.

And we ask ourselves what we can learn from this dark chapter of Jewish history. We ask ourselves if this chapter can ever be repeated. We ask ourselves what to tell our children and those generations who will follow.

The reality of the Holocaust is that the threat to our very existence as Jews still looms stronger than ever. The world is teeming with Holocaust deniers such as Iranian President Ahmanijahed who denies the veracity of the Holocaust, calling it a hoax and a fraud perpetrated by a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. His vituperative is warmly embraced by eager listeners. The President of Iran is joined in his hate filled rhetoric by the likes of a David Irving, Prof. Norman Finkelstein (a Jew), the Institute for Historical Review, and the prolific site of neo-Nazi organizations who are growing in strength.

There is no shortage of those who would keep the memory of Adolf Hitler, Yemach Shemo, alive and well. And if the world will host Holocaust remembrance tributes and stand in silence in recognition of those who perished, we must clearly understand that the signs of peril and danger still remain and those same countries and leaders who pay lip service to dead Jews can easily become perpetrators of a similar scenario.

We must extricate ourselves from the illusions and delusions that the world has foisted upon us. We must break free of our own myopic world and see the stark and brutal reality. The world is not a safe place for the Jew and the Jew has no where to go. No place to seek safe harbor. We cannot rely on civilized Western democracies to stand up for our rights and for our lives. While the State of Israel has it's mammoth share of problems, it is the only place for the Jew. It is his home and it is the place where the G-d of Israel destined us to live.

And to those who shout "Never Again" at the site of a Nazi emblem or at those who would seek our destruction, we must make them understand that "Never Again" does not mean that the Holocaust cannot be repeated. Never Again means that we will not allow the world to annihilate us without the Jew fighting back. Never Again means that from the ash barrels of Auschwitz, a new Jew has emerged, or more accurately the re-creation of the old Jew. The Jew of our Holy Torah. It is the likes of a Jacob, Moses, David, Pinchas who we must emulate. It is the Jew who fiercely believes in Hashem and clings to His ways and stubbornly follows the edicts of the Torah that must be our example. It is the Jew who fears no man, but whose only fear is that of the Almighty.

It is the courage and bravery of the true heroes of the Jewish people that we must take comfort in. We must learn the true lesson of Ahavas Yisroel. As Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY'D, ZTK"L said back in 1971, "The Jewish people, wherever they may be; each Jewish individual - wherever he is, whatever his belief, whatever his place of residence, whatever the color of his skin, whatever language he temporarily speaks - All Jews are part of the great body, Israel. All are brothers, all are sisters, and the love of a brother to a brother and to a sister is the love of one Jew to another. The pain of a Jew, wherever he may be, is our pain. The joy of a Jew, wherever he may be, is our joy.We are committed to going to the aid of a Jew who is in need, without distinction, without asking what kind of a Jew he is."

And let us make no mistake about it. For the Jew who cannot feel the pain of another Jew, then sadly and tragically we must conclude that something inside of him is dead.

Let us remember the words of our rabbis who said: "At a time when Jews are wrapped in sorrow and one of them removed himself from the community, two servant angels come and place their hands on his head, saying: "this individual who removed himself from the community will not merit seeing the comfort of the community". And we further learned: "At a time when a community is wrapped in sorrow let no man say: "I shall go home and eat and drink and I will be at peace with myself...'" (Tannit 11)

Let us loudly and clearly extol this great and virtuous lesson. Let the leaders of the State of Israel hear these words. Let all the self hating and self loathing Jews who control the government of the State of Israel hear this message, as this message is the vanguard of our survival. Our indomitable faith and tenacity comes from our true belief and trust in the Almighty G-d of Israel. As we say every day in our morning prayers, "And to those who cling to Hashem, their G-d, all of you are alive today."

And to those Jew haters, far and wide, we tell them and the world that we have not forgotten the lessons of the Holocaust. We will never forget and we will always keep these lessons in the forefront of our minds. May Hashem give us the strength and courage to see the truth, to walk in His ways and follow His commandments and to fear Him and only Him. In this merit and this merit alone, may we see with our own eyes, the Final Redemption.
That was inspired, Fern.

Praise Jehovah -as a dear cousin of mine would say- that I did come back to my blog in order to publish your comment... and some more posts, of course.

For, when I typed the words "this may yet be my final post", I meant it.

God -or G-d, as you type it- Has other plans for me, I suppose.

God Has plans for us all.

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