Today (or possibly yesterday, someone's calendar is off) is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Though previous Yom Hashoah posts of mine have been rather short, I have swirling feelings this year, so this one may be rather long.
Firstly, there is a severe dearth of proper Yom Hashoah reactions within the Jewish community. It is customary to burn a yellow 24-hour candle (similar to the white ones burned in memory of relatives on the anniversaries of their deaths), and some synagogues put together a memorial program, but that is all. One author I was reading a few years ago (it might have been David Hartman) claimed that the lack of rituals reflects the lack of understanding of how to react. We are still in such turmoil from the catastrophe that we have yet to get back on our feet, look back, and figure out how to deal.
As a lesbian Jew I would have been doubly abhorrent to the Nazis, and I know that there are people today (some still Nazis) to whom I am doubly abhorrent. More concerning to me, however, is the lack of full acceptance that I would face if I came out to the Jewish community. I want to ask what the H*ll these people think they are doing, judging in the way that they were judged. Can they not see that judgment leads to separation, which leads to apathy, which leads to death?
To quote Eli Wiesel, "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." We must not be indifferent to the plight of those around us. We must fight to be accepted and to help others gain acceptance. The message that I want to get across to you this Yom Hashoah is the importance of the fight for acceptance, for all people everywhere.
"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."
I believe in God.
I believe in God.
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- I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!