Today, on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022, I recall the stark fact which helps us somewhat comprehend the scale of the brutality: If we held a minute of silence for every victim of the Holocaust we would be silent for eleven and a half years!
Recently, we were fortunate to have the Cattle Car Exhibit with us for a few days. This incredibly moving experience helped us get a tiny feeling for just one of the many aspects of what Europe's nine million Jews went through. Having with us three Holocaust survivors who themselves were crammed into these cattle cars for days with no food, drinks, or restrooms 77 years ago made the experience even more meaningful. Still, we garnered just an inkling of the true atrocities.
As a nation, when we celebrate the merging of two people into one under the chuppah, we recognize our fractured relationship with G-d by breaking a glass. As we put the finishing touches on a new home, we leave some space unfinished, reminding ourselves of the destroyed house of G-d. As we commemorate our liberation at the Pesach seder, we eat hard-boiled eggs in mourning over our continued exile. Life comes with joy and opportunity, but we must never forget that in the background looms a still imperfect world. This has been our way for 2,000 years.
In our day, we have another cloud that looms over our every joy; the Holocaust. On January 27th with the world on International Holocaust Remembrance Day; on the Tenth of Teves (Asara be-Tevet); on Tisha B'Av with our mourning over the Churban (the destruction of the Temple); and today, on the 27th of Nissan, even as we bask in the afterglow of our Pesach celebration and while still within the joyous month of Nissan, we commemorate Yom HaShoah. Whilst the Holocaust continues to cast its long shadow over our world, we recall what many appear to have forgotten. These memories make us forever watchful and lead us to place our trust in none other than G-d, whose hand has lifted our people from the ashes.
תהא נשמתם צרורה בצרור החיים - May the memory of the six million forever be a blessing.
Sincerely, Sholom S. Mimran