There’s a familiar Talmudic saying, “Whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved the whole world!” So too, the murdering of even one life is the same as killing whole future generations. That number is inestimable, unfathomable.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is here.
Many stories are pouring forth, in memory of dear loved ones, the “six million” who were taken from us. It isn’t just a number. We will never know them all, but we must never forget a single one. Each reminds us of who we are and where we came from, who and what we lost, individually and as a People.
Anguishing as it is for Holocaust survivors and their families to carry, and to share these personal histories with us, something which I can’t begin to know or comprehend, my heart wants to believe in some way that they are in fact “saving” lives, perhaps one person and one family at a time, by telling their stories. We need to be there. We need to listen. Even if we don’t understand. Who really does after all?! We need to share. Our children need to know. The world needs to know. The world that was changed forever.
It is Good. In all the darkness and horror, it is good. Those people who were annihilated, zk’l, in some ways “come alive” with every story, every experience, every saved fragment, photo or document, every memory, every nuance and remnant and small detail shared. This way we have the slight chance of getting to know who we lost. For they will then live on within us! They are our family, our People, and they will always be our unifying family. They will never be forgotten because they are part of each of us.
As people around the world commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, may the lives of the six million, zk’l, be saved and treasured in their stories to be told and retold, in all generations. For every life saved, as the Talmud teaches, a whole new world is possible!
May these remembrances serve as an aliya for their precious neshamas.