This coming Sunday night, our community will mark once again Yom HaShoah - our remembrance of the Holocaust with an Interfaith Service sponsored by the Tri-City Interfaith Council. TBT member Abe Mazliach will offer a compelling and thoughtful address entitled: Challenges in the Face of the Holocaust.
The very nature of this Yom HaShoah service is different from any other service we hold throughout the year. In part, it is religious in that we offer prayers in memory of those who perished. The Yom HaShoah service is partially educational. As we listen to our speaker, our knowledge of that terrible time will be expanded. The Yom HaShoah service is, in part, a social event in that we join with people of different faiths in a communal setting.
Yet there is a something wholly unique about the Yom HaShoah service that transcends the customary categories of religious, educational, and social. For one does not attend a Yom HaShoah service. One comes to bear witness.
We come to remember the unspeakable. We come to gaze again into a chasm of hatred and suffering and acknowledge the depravity and evil that exist in the world. We come to say Kaddish for those for whom there is no family remaining to say Kaddish.
The Yom HaShoah service of remembrance is not something you attend. It is a service that should compel us to be present, to remember, and to bear witness.
This is a revision of a blog written in 2015.