Many will hold the sign, ‘We Remember” for 24 hours and feel as though they did something to remember the 6 Million. They will share their picture in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, and other social sharing platforms.
And once the day ends another 365 days will pass. And then again another Holocaust Remembrance Day will arrive. And again many will hold the same sign and share. And this somber day will pass from year to year.
And as each cycle of 365 days passes the same question will arise what good does holding a sign, “We Remember” do for the Souls of the 6 Million if the very next moment we return to the status quo of current Jewish reality, a reality filled with incredible high levels of intermarriage, assimilation, lack of education in Judaism, history, culture and Zionism; a schism between American and Israeli Jewry, Jewish BDS organizations; and Jewish ethnic and cultural divisions within Israeli society.
In other words, the state of affairs within the Jewish World is in a mess.
Seventy years later and we are less Jewish in our outlook and mindset.
We ask the world to remember the 6 Million, but do we remember the prayers they said, the Torah they learned, the Yiddish they spoke, the mitzvahs they did, the Yiddishkeit they felt.
Some will argue that there were victims of the Holocaust who were not religious or were so far away removed from their Jewishness that at the moment they were tortured, shot, or gassed they only understood they were being murdered because of anti-Semitism but did not understand their purpose as Jews.
Imagine the added anguish they had as it ran through through minds, “Why? Why are you murdering my innocent family and me? Why do you hate me so much? What did I ever do to you?”
They were murdered because they were feared by the Nazis and other anti-Semites.
But what was to fear about a scattered, homeless, powerless, stateless people without armies, tanks, and weapons?
And what answers could the hater of Jews tell them, “You are the christ killers. You are the Elders of Zion. You are the world wide cabal that brings disease and ruin to the non-Jews.”
And what would be the retorts of the innocent victims?
“No. We are innocent!”
Here were 6 Million Isaacs on of the Altar of Kiddush Hashem – Sanctifying oneself for the Sake of Heaven – and yet how many knew their purpose?
But what is worse, how many of us have learned our Jewish purpose?
How can a simple sign, held once a year, bring comfort to the 6 Million, especially those that did not understand the significance of their great Kiddush Hashem?
Holding a simple sign, though a noble gesture, will not bring comfort.
Imagine you were on your deathbed and your children and grandchild surrounded you. With your last breath what would you ask of them? Would you tell them to remember you once a year by holding a sign? Or would you ask them to remember you each and everyday through their thoughts, words, deeds and actions in a manner that is reflective of your values, hopes and dreams, especially the dream of having them fulfill their potential? Of course you would choose the latter.
So now let us imagine the 6 Million standing before us.
What better way to remember and honor them if each and every day we, through our thought, words, deeds and actions remember not the way they were murdered, but by the way they lived. That we learn our purpose as Jews. That we educate ourselves in our Judaism. That we do more mitzvahs and good deeds. That we marry within our own People. That we stop seeking the approval of foreign cultures, but rather learn our own culture and Yiddishkeit. That we become a UNITED NATION that does not air its dirty laundry in the eyes of the world. That we become unto ourselves a Nation that lives by the motto – ‘All for One and One for All’. That we commit ourselves to the Judaic Mission of teaching ourselves and the world of the Oneness of the Creator, the great morals and ethics of our way of life, the profound Torah system of human refinement, and the establishment of the “Kingdom of Holy Priests and A Holy Nation”.
There are two forms of Kiddush Hashem. One, whereby one dies as a Jew. And one, whereby one lives as a Jew.
Living as a holy, pure, moral, ethical, Torah and Judaic knowledgeable Jew is the greater level.
So now the Holocaust Remembrance Day is over let us not go back to our cheeseburgers, ham sandwiches, our non-Jewish partners, our lack of study, our anti-Semitic BDS organizations, our lack of closeness to our Homeland, and our divisiveness.
Rather let each and every day be a Holocaust Remembrance Day through our commitment to Judaic and Zionist thoughts, words, deeds and actions so that next and every year when we hold the sign, “We Remember”, we can truly demonstrate to the 6 Million we truly Remember you as Jews and your sacrifice as Jews for the Jewish cause.