Monday, April 19, 2004
Yom HaShoah

Today Jews all over the world will stop and recall the great tragedy known as the Holocaust. In Israel, millions stop and observe a moment of silence as sirens wail across the country, while others around the world hold their own remembrance ceremonies. Many ceremonies include the lighting of six for each of the million lost (and if you think you can stomach the pictures, here is a site that will drive the point home. This one made me cry, as did a few others.).
I have a hard time not playing the "what if?" game on a day like this. What if somebody had assassinated Hitler, and none of this had ever happened? What a different world it would be....

I had a conversation with a friend once, who is a school teacher and herself a Jew (we went to highschool together). I remarked to her one time when discussing the Holocaust that I couldn't recall ever learning about the Holocaust in school. She quickly pointed out that it is not in the school curriculum, elementary or highschool. I was stunned! I could not believe that such a pivotal moment in history is NOT taught in schools. How is that NOT a prime example of how hate can destroy? How is this NOT used as an example of why we must teach tolerance?? How is that Jews are the only ones who learn about the Holocaust?? Why is this topic avoided? And DON'T even get me started on Holocaust deniers.

But I digress. The point is.....I hope that everyone takes a moment today to reflect on what happens when hate goes unchecked. For more insight check out the Yad Vashem site. If you wish to watch a movie that will help you understand and feel it, try any of these films here. For something different I encourage you to look at this list of famous Jews, and just think how different this world would be if Hitler's plan had succeeded and Jews were wiped off the face of the earth.
Today, as always, I will remember.