The view from my veranda

Yom haShoah 5784

6th of May, 2024

28th Nissan 5784

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel

A few minutes ago, Zvi and I stood outside in the rain, the skies weeping with us as the wail of the siren echoed our sadness, the siren whose wail brought Israel to attention. Today is the Hebrew date, the 28th of Nissan, which was chosen because it was the date of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the date we fought back.  I want to tell you something, something that I was ashamed to think until 7 months ago, I believe that “Never Again” is an empty phrase, an empty phrase that induced a false sense of security because, it is now “Yet Again”

Not only is the rise of anti-Semitism becoming a tsunami, Jews themselves are blaming Israel for making trouble for them in their adopted countries, falling into the trap of “keep quiet and it will be alright” not understanding that if Israel doesn’t fight this enemy, then the fate of Jews all over the world is sealed.

Last night I watched a televised conversation with Ofir Engel and his Safta, his grandmother, or probably his great-grandmother. The topic of conversation was riveting as Hannah, as a Holocaust Survivor, described her horror when she heard of the conditions in which her beloved grandson was held by Hamas. The physical and emotional torture, hiding in the darkness afraid to make a sound, believing that someone would come to rescue him but unable to communicate with another soul, brought back memories of her childhood, her lost childhood in the Shoah.

How tragic that just two or three generations after the Shoah the ties that bind them irrevocably are the shared experience of Jew hatred. I will not call the 7th of October a Shoah, there is only one horrific and specific Shoah, but it shook us Israelis to our very core to find ourselves vulnerable, but you, those of you outside Israel, a whole generation of young people, your future leaders, have become the modern day brownshirts.

Remember the anthem of the Jewish people, the words of Naftali Herz Imber prophetic, The Hope – Ha Tikvah. We must stand tall, we must remember our long, long history, the people of the Bible right here on this land. Today, Hatikvah is so much more than a hope, Israel is the reality, just as we read in the Passover story, we came home; we are a strong democratic nation in a sea of despotic, tyrannical, dictatorships, and we are prepared to fight for our right to be.

Today we are independent, not dependent upon anyone, and if we have to, if the tsunami of hate and lies, overtakes the West completely, we will survive alone. We never want to be alone but our belief that good always overcomes evil was apparently naïve.

First, let’s listen to the children of the Jewish school in Munkacs in the Ukraine during the 1930’s before anyone knew about the Shoah or the State of Israel, who knows how many survived.

Here the beautiful young people, our children, who put their lives on the line to protect us all, the IDF sing the song they know is theirs  

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.