We must always remember.
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
This week we commemorated Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. In our community, as in many Jewish communities around the world, Jews came together to mourn that unfathomable tragedy. We came together to remember all those we lost in the Shoah, as well as those who survived. We came together to mark the moment. Jewish tradition does that well. It is good at marking time. It is good at using rituals to make moments sacred. And it makes us better at remembering our past. The great Jewish thinker Avraham Infeld says, “Jews don’t have history; Jews have memory” because we are all in this together, we are all family. During this past thirteen months of COVID, we have all lost parts of ourselves. We have all lost people: for many of us, we have had family, friends or acquaintances die, while for others, we have let connections and companionships drift away. We have all lost time: each of us has had a birthday pass by under-celebrated, a holiday under-acknowledged, a gathering postponed or a trip cancelled. We have all lost something that we will never get back. So, it’s important to remember what we have lost. Don’t forget the people or the moments. We must remember it all, so when it’s time to go back to living life fully again, we will not take so much of it for granted anymore. Memory should serve as a cattle prod to shock ourselves into wakefulness so life will taste that much sweeter when we can savor it all once again.