Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lest we Forget: On the Holocaust memorial pause for silence . . .

The following observation comes from an email on the holocaust memorial day in Jerusalem, Israel:

Flags fly at half mast; all cafes and places of entertainment are closed; only somber music plays on the radio.

On the morning of Yom Hashoah, the country comes to a standstill as the sirens wail marking the only ritualistic aspect of the day. I'm standing beside my car on busy Keren Hayesod Street during the two minute call to attention. It's a moment of solidarity and comfort as the nation joins together in remembrance and resolve.
We must not forget -- for the Holocaust shows the depths of the corruption that can lurk in the human soul. It must not ever be forgotten, and it must not ever happen again.

But equally, some of us have to learn to remember. For, as Ms Balint goes on to note:
In Musrara, on Jerusalem's seam between the eastern and western parts of the city, Israel's schizophrenia is exhibited for all to see. My son who lives in that neighborhood, reports that the Arab commercial area doesn't miss a beat as the Jews bring traffic to a halt just a few yards away . . .
It is time to learn, to remember and to resolve that this must not ever happen again. And, I think it is high time that we rise above whatever grievances and enmities we may have and face the fact of evil and what it can do. Our common humanity demands that much, at least.

May God grant us the grace of remembering, of empathising, sharing grief and moving on with a lesson in heart and mind that was taught at such horrific cost. AMEN

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