REMEMBRANCE BY Ariella Bracha
No one wants to be forgotten! Everyone longs to be remembered! But remembered for what and by whom, I submit?
It would appear as if some things would be better off forgotten, were it not for the fact, that to FORGET WOULD CAUSE IRREPARABLE HARM, to a memory, which must be perpetuated by REMEMBRANCE!
REMEMBRANCE IS THE ACT OF REMEMBERING A PERSON, PLACE OR THING. IT IS SOMETHING THAT SERVES TO HONOR OR COMMEMORATE A PERSON, PLACE OR EVENT.
Sunday night, April 27th at sundown, YOM HASHOAH begins in Israel. Yom HaShoah means the day of Devastation or Destruction. It is Israel’s Holocaust Memorial day; a day of solemn reflection and recognition. Memorial ceremonies and programs take place around the country. In fact, every town, city, village, school, public institution, military base and most cultural institutions has a ceremony to mark the event. The most well-known ceremony is held at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel, where the President and Prime Minister of Israel deliver remembrance speeches and Holocaust survivors Light Six Torches to REMEMBER THE SIX MILLION JEWS WHO PERISHED.
As a result of our miraculous return to our ancient, biblical homeland, the Jewish nation in the Holy Land wanted a day to memorialize the victims of the horrors of the Holocaust. Thus, on April 12, 1951, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) proclaimed the day as a national holiday to be celebrated on the 27th of Nisan. The day is held sacred in order to show respect, gratitude and honor, not only to those who perished but additionally to those who survived. In fact, a Law was passed in 1961 that prohibits places of public entertainment from being open. At 10am throughout the country, a two-minute siren is sounded and everyone comes to a stop. Cars along the highway, delivery trucks, and buses all stop and passengers get out to mark the two minutes by standing in REMEMBRANCE. It is an amazing experience to be a part of and another reminder that something like this HAPPENS ONLY IN ISRAEL, THE JEWISH HOMELAND.
Since this is a relatively new holiday, without established personal traditions, I feel it is important to create your own observance practices. Suggestions include, lighting candles, reading books or holocaust poetry, saying special prayers or creating your own unique way to acknowledge this day and all that it means to the Jewish nation and the world. You can also do mitzvot or give charity in memory of those who perished. The most important thing: DO SOMETHING IN THEIR REMEBRANCE and DO IT WITH PASSION! In whatever form you observe Yom HaShoah, it will enable the memory of Jewish victims to live on.
With Blessings of Love and Light and Remembrance, Ariella Bracha
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