Today is Yom HaShoa. The two-minute wail of the air raid sirens that brings the entire country to a halt just ended. As the first sounds of the siren pierced the silence of my office I immediately stood–silently by myself and my thoughts. My first thought was that I wished I was still driving to work or at the mall or some other public place so that I could witness the two-minute halt of the day to honor the Jewish souls martyred over 60 years ago. Only six-plus decades ago one-third of my people were slaughtered and where is the world today as a modern day Haman in Persia is plotting to do away with another 6 million Jews? The words ‘Never Again’ ring hollow in 5767. The world urges (demands?) our elected officials in Israel meet with the powerless and spineless ‘leader of the Palestinians’ himself a Holocaust denier with a PhD to back him up.
So as I, at first, wished to be out in public to witness the memorial; my thoughts quickly brought me back to a time that I did not witness. Sitting alone in my office, my laptop on my desk next to my cell phone and pda it felt somehow appropriate to be alone with only my thoughts and the siren for company. My thoughts raced to the millions of children who were orphaned and left utterly alone in a big, very scary world; then my mind thought back the a nameless young man hiding in a root cellar or an attic hoping upon hope that the footsteps he heard weren’t Nazi SS men; Polish peasants; or their Hungarian neighbors looking for the Jew in hiding.
Never Again? Let’s hope not.