Leah’s Blog – Holocaust Memorial Day 2019

Holocaust Memorial Day- This year’s siren caught me running with a dish of Cheerios towards our grandson. His innocent blue eyes twinkled up at me oblivious to what the siren says to me. I smile back at him taking a second to compute so many reactions to the sound and its meaning. Its that time of year again, but Holocaust Memorial Day is different in Israel where it is commomorated on a national level. When you look over at the car next to you when you are on the road and see a thousand drivers standing solemnly next to their cars in pin drop silence, the comraderie of your compatriots makes you aware that even a stranger in this country is your partner. Today had me next my two year old love, the pleasure of it made me even smile. It in a way it is like a victory.. Im told my Aunt Mala had striking blue eyes. She was offered to wear a cross and change her status. The ten year old decided her Jewish identity was more important. Selfhood was important to Jews before the holocaust. Circumstances had it that racial ambiguity became a good thing in western countries now. Integrity for your core identity is called out and if you feel proud nationalism of your heritage for many reasons, you are victimized. What a pity! Today and every day I remember all the aunts and uncles i never met- my father was a sole survivor. When they prayed for Jerusalem they meant it. Being Jewish was about the most important thing to them. The aprehension we feel here in Israel during this time is like a living frothing wave rising upward. It is tangible here as vibrancy and vitality as a people is always on a conscious level.Even at a low solemn time like today . The sequence of these days commemorated- from Holocaust to Memorial to Indepence Day has a bit of urgency to get to the chase and expectancy is something many people feel- even on this day, a kind of knowing- in the end all will be good…. That is only in Israel.Today we are witness to a great awakening. As a people experiencing 3,500 years of different eras-In some we shined and had great influence, some we converged and gathered ourselves inside- Now- the call of the hour chimes- we owe the next step of history to the tiny group of pioneers who set out to put down foundations on ancient ones. The ones that came here established a safe haven for us for eternity. I worry about American Jews. Their identity largely falls to the past, to the holocaust. Our identity stares into tomorrow, to the promised fullfilled, to the grapevine just opening, to the sleeping giant waking up.It is only in Israel that we can really say “Never Again!” – Leah Goldsmith.

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