A Yom HaShoah Unlike Any Other

Jewish grave. (Pixabay)
Jewish grave. (Pixabay)

Two weeks ago, thousands of Jewish children around the world asked the famous four questions beginning with “Ma Nishtana?”, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” at the Passover seder. Tonight, as Yom HaShoah begins, the same question crosses my mind. Why is this Yom HaShoah different from other years?

I already know the answer. This year, unlike so many others before, the Jewish People are dealing with the aftermath of another, albeit smaller trauma. Almost seven months ago, over 1,200 were murdered during the October 7th massacre, with hundreds taken hostage, in the worst attack in Jewish history since the Holocaust. 

We are a nation still grieving. Every few days, the IDF announces another death, a soldier who fell defending his or her country or the remains of someone taken captive having finally been identified.

Global reactions 

Pro-Palestinian marches in the UK, physical assaults in France, the recent – and as-yet still ongoing – anti-Israel protests on American university campuses, and endless other antisemitic incidents around the world are on the rise. There’s little doubt that the rapid increase in Jewish hate crimes are being fueled by antisemites using the Israel-Gaza war as an excuse.

The wounds are fresh and unabating.

Rajchgod Family memory stones in Paris

As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I’ve often disliked the phrase “never again”. I respect and appreciate the sentiment, but today, it has far less meaning as history nauseatingly repeats itself. Women raped and mutilated, babies burned to death, the elderly viciously murdered, and too many people staying quiet, worried how speaking out may hurt their careers or public image. Never again is now.

A flickering light in the darkness

But even in this terrible time of darkness, there is light. The Jewish Nation is stronger and more united than ever before. Planeloads of supplies, numerous volunteering opportunities, millions of dollars being raised to support the IDF, and countless acts of kindness in Jewish communities have taken place. The March for Israel in Washington, DC, saw over 300,000 Jews come together (the largest Jewish gathering since Matan Torah!) in an incredible show of solidarity.

We have a country whose innovations in technology, medicine, science, energy, and defense have created massive global impact. We have a powerful army fighting back against our attackers. A few short weeks ago, we experienced a miracle of Biblical proportions when Iran attacked us and Israel successfully neutralized a whopping 99% of Iranian UAVs and missiles, a statistical impossibility!

Miraculous times, indeed. 

This Yom HaShoah is on a different scale than any other I’ve ever experienced. While I mourn my own family’s losses as well as our collective Nation’s, I can’t help but hope that in the weeks ahead, we will emerge victorious just like in previous years. Maybe this Yom HaShoah will be one for the record books.

About the Author
A marketing professional, former startup founder, and mother of four. A talented hi-tech B2B SaaS marketer, strategic thinker, manager, and storyteller extraordinaire who is passionate about technology that makes human impact.
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