Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah

Today's Gospel reading was about the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles and to Thomas (John 20:19-31). Our preacher today reflected on the Jewish roots of our faith and worked into her sermon that this Wednesday April 18 is a day upon which many will remember the Holocaust.

From the Jewish Virtual Library pages we learn more,
"The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is 'Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah'— literally the 'Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.' It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the seventh day of Passover, and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers). It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
The date was selected by the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) on April 12, 1951. The full name became formal in a law that was enacted by the Knesset on August 19, 1953. Although the date was established by the Israeli government, it has become a day commemorated by Jewish communities and individuals worldwide."

I for one will be remembering Walter. Walter was a Polish Jew who survived the horrors of the death camps, and he was someone who I had the privilege to know in his final years here in the U.S. My favorite memory of Walter was the joy he had in giving. I especially remember the bags of home grown tomatoes that he would bring me each year. He grew the best tomatoes. In the course of our conversations, Walter taught me a lot about the importance of the will to live, and that there is life even after the death camp. Life after such a thing is however seen through a different lens. We, who have not been through it, can only imagine the viewpoint of someone who has come back from the dead. Their story is so unbelievable that we may even doubt them.

I know that there are people who deny the holocaust. I for one have always believed, but after having placed my hands on Walter's tatoo and the scars on his side, my belief was confirmed.

So let us not forget Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah lest we be condemned to repeat the horror of the Holocaust.


  1. Alas, I'm afraid, that the World is prepared to once again abandon Jacob's Children. It's not a happy state of affairs. Nonetheless, God has not not abandoned them. No matter what you do, take the Jews/Israelis and the points, if you're a betting man.


  2. I don't doubt for a minute that mankind has a few more holocausts left in us. God save us all.