Monday, May 2, 2011

Yom HaShoah

Today is the designated Holocaust Remembrance Day. With ceremonies in many places around Jerusalem and around the world. We come together to remember the victims of the Holocaust whose lives were senselessly ended during World War II. It is a time to remember those to whom we are connected, and those that have nobody to remember them. But it is a day not only to remember the atrocities committed against millions of people.

For me it is a day to reflect. I think about the marginalized groups of people who were forced to leave their lives behind and rounded up into ghettos across Europe and I start to ask; why? These people were executed for committing crimes; being Jewish, being gypsy, being political dissidents, being homosexual and many other things. Their crime was being undesirable in the eyes of Hitler, the Nazis and the Third Reich of Germany.

It wasn't anything these people had done.

These people were killed because of hatred.
These people were murdered because they were not understood.
These people were slaughtered because they were different.

As I sit and think about these things I can't help but think about the losses this world suffered because of hatred, fear and misunderstanding. People suffered because other people were whipped into a frenzy and followed along.

In some ways this was a Jewish tragedy. In other ways it is a global tragedy. And it can serve as a lesson for us about the dangers of hatred.

May all of humanity never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust.

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