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Monday, April 24, 2017

Yom HaShoah 5777 / Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I am NOT going to be telling stories of my family here, because I have already told them too many times.  Instead, I will be telling you how I am observing the day this year.

First of all, I am dressed head to toe to remember.  Except for my kippah clips and hair tie (I'll get to those in a second), all my clothes are gray: gray striped shirt, gray skort, gray tights.  I am wearing my somber, black velvet kippah I set aside especially for these occasions. 

Both my kippah clips and my hair tie are yellow, a subtle tribute to my relatives and what they experienced, a reminder of the yellow star badges they were forced to wear.  Originally I was going to wear black clips to match the kippah, along with whatever hair tie I happened to be using at the time I brushed my hair today.  (I think it was navy blue.)  Then I got this yellow accessories idea, and I think they have meaning.

Aside from clothes, I am also doing something more major, borrowed from Tisha B'Av: today I am not engaging in pleasurable Torah study.  I have interpreted this in an extended way, to mean Bible, Psalms, and theology.  This practice is meaningful to me because originally, I had wanted to fast on Yom HaShoah, as we do on Tisha B'Av.  Then I found out that Yom HaShoah is in the one month on the Jewish calendar when we are forbidden to fast.  Therefore, I am appropriating other practices, such as this Torah study one.

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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!