Today is Yom HaZicharon LaShoah v’LaG’vuraÂ – Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroes. We normally just call it Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Day. All places of entertainment closed at 6 p.m. on Sunday, and at 8 p.m., aÂ ceremony was held at Yad v’Shem, the national memorial to the Holocaust.
The hour longÂ state ceremonyÂ is broadcast live, all over Israel. Six torches are lit by Holocaust survivors to represent the six million who were exterminated by the Germans.
The next morning, at 10 a.m., a two-minute siren will sound all over the country, and everyone will stop what they are doing and stand at attention – remembering those who died andÂ those who chose to resist. During the day, until sundown, there will be a series of memorial events.
None of that really conveysÂ the reality and the pain of the memory of six million people murdered in the most horrible way imaginable. Even if you are there and experiencing the powerÂ of the memorial ceremonies, you still can’t begin to understand the insane awfulness of systematic cold-blooded murder on such an industrial scale. Â
But, even so, the memorial is of incredible, gut-wrenching power. No matter where you are in Israel, the sirens find you and they wail with the voice of six million. It’s as is if they cry out from their graves calling for us to remember the price that they pay – to understand that price. To say to the world never again.
A part of the reason why thisÂ blog is here is to say just that: “Never Again.”
But, ‘never again’ is for another day. Today is a day to stand and remember six million.