Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Rememberence Day Was Tuesday April 25

Every day six million murdered Jews speak to me. Some days they scream. Tuesday they screamed. "Do you appreciate the gift of life?" they ask. "Do you make the most of your life?" Are you living to your potential?". Sometimes they even have the nerve to ask if I am enjoying my life! "Well, I guess I enjoy my life overall" I answer meekly. "But you know, some days work is frustrating, and some days the kids are difficult - those days are very trying".

The response is harsh - " My job was taken from me, and my children were ripped from my arms and killed right in front of me" say my murdered brothers and sisters. "I wish I had a job to be frustrated about, you see a man does not feel like a man without a job". "And I long for the days when my kids were difficult, that is part of life - the life that was stolen from us". "A man who is robbed of the ability to provide for and protect his own family, one who sees the corpses of his children in front of him is dead even before his soul leaves his body".

They don't stop there either. "What do you do with the life that you have, with the opportunities you have been given?" "Do you do what is right and good?" "Do you use your good fortune to help others?" "Do you comfort those in need?" "Do you stand up for the oppressed?" "Do you take a stand against evil?"

"And what of us?" "How can you, with your comfortable life, safeguard our heritage?" " Will you sacrifice any of your comforts to protect your own people?" " Will you work to right the wrongs of a world that ignored our cries?" " A world that sacrificed us to the idols of indifference and outright hatred?" " Even now your people are being murdered for the very same reason we were - because they are Jews". "What are you going to do about it?"

It's that last question that stings the most - "What are you going to do about it?"

What can I do about it? What do they want from me? I am only one person. Do I need to speak out more against the murder of innocent Jews? Should I volunteer my time? Should I donate my money?

I don't know what they want, but the question still rings in my ears - "What are you going to do about it?"


Stevin said...

I think you're doing your part in remembering them. The goal is to not allow the past evils to be repeated. We can do that by reminding the world that it happened, and remind them that it can't happen again.
We won't allow it to happen again.
You've made an excellent post. Thanks for the beautiful and important words!

Stacey said...

Wonderful post. You have powerfully put it all in perspective.

And my answer is: all of the above. You are only one person, yes. But there is strength in numbers and if I (and others) stand beside you and commit ourselves to the same deeds, then we can make the difference.

Stacey said...

P.S. So glad you are back!

The Atheologist said...

A excellent and very important post.We often take the things that we have for granted and forget that there are always those who could only wish that they had our problems.

kasamba said...

I guess the answer would be to be more proactive in being a better person and making sure their stories don't die with them.

Minor Fast Days said...

I work with Survivors and I hear similar questions. They are right though, in my opinion. What can we do to safeguard our heritage? What is Jewish survival about today?

I don't know either, but the fact that we are asking the question is a very important first step?

The Jewish Freak said...

Stevin: You are damned right we won't allow it to happen again. The post-1948 Jew is a different animal. Thanks for the kind words.

Stacey: You are correct. we must all act together. (and thanks for the compliment)

Atheologist dude: I agree. Proper perspective is essential to happiness. (& thank you)

Kas: Making the most of our lives would certainly honor their memories.

Sushi: Good point. Asking the question is essential. Awareness and mindfulness can transform your life. BTW, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for the work that you do.

cruisin-mom said...

J.F.: I came here after reading your comment on Stacey's post about depression. I was so impressed that you understand what most people do not (that it's a disease), I had to come read your blog. And this was the first thing I read...WOW, you had me in tears. What an amazing post. I will be back to visit!

The Jewish Freak said...

Cruisin-Mom: Thank you for your kind words. You and your comments are always welcome.

the sabra said...

i feel weird calling you jewish freak especially after sucha REAL post. such a good jewish post. a normal healthy way of thinking.

good writing.

and of course, hatzlacha rabba with the voices. (making them proud, i mean)

The Jewish Freak said...

Sabra: Thank you, and don't feel weird, it's a self-imposed title.

jim said...

From a Jew who is the # 4 on the list of Jewish sons, the one who don't know nothing about being a Jew, I want to say your Post is the greatest I have read in being original and head on. You get my readership, maybe I can learn something. Thanks.

The Jewish Freak said...

Jim: You are way too kind. Thanks for stopping by!