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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

04/28/2022 05:00:00 PM


Rabbi Josh Whinston

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day for the Jewish community. In our congregation, we are blessed to have Generations After, a group of children of survivors who write about their parent’s experience in the Shoah and their own coping with survivor parents. As has been the case for many years, last night, Generations After led an extraordinary Yom Hashoah service. As I was sitting in the sanctuary, looking around at those in attendance, it was clear I was the youngest person in the room. I wondered where the other “younger” people might be. Did they not know about the service? Did they not want to attend a service to commemorate the atrocities our people have suffered? What are the stumbling blocks that got in the way of attendance? Of course, these aren’t just questions for “younger” people, they are really for all of us.

At the book launch for The Ones Who Remember on Sunday, a book written by members of Generations After, I commented that remembering is a choice we make. Especially for those of us who did not experience the horrors of the Shoah, we must make the active choice to remember what happened to our people. When we choose not to remember, we lose much more than the memory itself. We lose our sense of peoplehood, of sympathetic shared experience with each other. The ritualization of memory is so essential to our people and our tradition. I understand that life is busy, that calendars are complicated, and that there may be other priorities, but it is at least worth considering; what do we lose when we don’t show up?

Tue, December 6 2022 12 Kislev 5783