Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27). It is the anniversary of one society’s most heinous crimes in history. The Holocaust is also known as Shoah which is the Hebrew word for catastrophe. Holocaust derives from the Greek meaning sacrifice by fire. This refers specifically to the murder of almost six million Jewish men, women and children by Nazi Germany and their collaborators.
Today, we wonder how this could happen. How could a slice of our population be summarily removed with barely a whimper. In 1939 a ship with 937 passengers, mostly Jews, attempted to disembark in the Americas. Immigration authorities refused to allow it to land in Cuba, United States and Canada. This sealed a death sentence, as the ship had to return back to Europe, for nearly one-third of the passengers of the M.S. St. Louis. This was prior to the advent of World War II and Germany was carrying out its final solution under the very noses of the world. The world turned a blind eye to the Jewish population of Europe.
We shout NEVER AGAIN but prejudice knows no bounds and the hate that binds it to our “civilization” continues to this day. I am not trying to push this information into the faces of my wonderful readers. But there is a reason we are on this earth and that reason has nothing to do with hate and prejudice. And we cannot turn a blind eye to those that foster this prejudice whether it be towards, Jews or Blacks, or Muslim or Asian or Hispanic or Gay or Whatever.
Prejudice can never replace kindness. I am not suggesting we run around and start hugging everyone in sight (well maybe a hug or two). But I am suggesting before we lay a judgement on someone that we do walk a mile in their shoes and that we do understand where that individual is coming from, and we do celebrate mankind for somehow surviving all this time despite all the insanities and bigotry.
No more blind eyes are allowed. We must be accountable for the past, the present and the future. If that means shining the light of truth on centuries of prejudice, so be it. We must confront our transgressions and take responsibility for what has taken place, and moreover ensure that it does not happen again—NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!
This will be a short OBS Post. I want to contemplate what I just said, and make sure that I am living up to my own words.
And to close things off I give you Hava Nagila the song of rejoicing!