Monday, April 12, 2010

Yom Hazikaron LaShoah VeLaGvura

Over on DovBear, there's a discussion going on about whether having Yom HaShoah in Nissan is appropriate and possible reasons Charedim do not commemorate it. Rafi G relates the reason his Rav opposes commemorating it. According to his Rav, it's inappropriate that Yom HaShoah was established on the date of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, because that's only remembering those who died fighting back instead of those who submitted to the will of Hashem and became Kedoshim.

Here's what I wrote in response:

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Think of the reality of when Yom HaShoah was established. Less than a decade before, over 1/3 of our people had been murdered and almost the entirety of European Jewish life had been destroyed.

The fact that Jews were able to get up and stand proud, the fact that they established a Jewish state in their ancient homeland, and the fact that they didn't want to just remember their friends, relatives, and communities as martyrs but also as fighters is something to be celebrated.

Could you imagine telling those hundreds of thousands of survivors, in Israel, in the US, and elsewhere that their loved ones were only martyrs? They needed something to believe in, to hold on to. Incorporating the Warsaw ghetto uprising into Yom HaShoah gave them that.

In memory of the dead, and in respect for those who went through hell and survived, I think it is utterly approriate to commemorate Yom HaShoah as it was established, as Yom Hazikaron LaShoah VeLaGvura.

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