What does it mean to stop and remember?

Today is Yom HaShoah v’haGevurah, literally translated as Day (of remembrance) of the Holocaust and Heroism. Are you able to find a moment to stop and remember?

I am worried that we, as an American Jewish society, are getting worse at remembering. It is like we are losing the muscles.

Today is Yom HaShoah, next week is Yom HaZikaron, the Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen heroes that immediately precedes Yom Ha’atzmaut. In the 70 years that we are joyously celebrating Israel’s statehood, so many have lost their lives for the cause.

In Israel, this moment of stopping is nationwide and it looks something like this, https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-solemnly-remembers-6-million-victims-on-holocaust-remembrance-day/

Last week on the final day of Passover was Yizkor, one of the four times of the year we gather to recite memorial prayers for our beloved dead (Yom Kippur, the last day of Sukkot, and Shavuot are the other days). As the prayer leader I was extremely worried that we would not have a minyan, a quorum of 10 for prayer. I go to Yizkor because my mother died (in Jewish tradition one recites these prayers for a spouse, parent, sibling, or child). I know that I am not the only person in my congregation who has lost a parent, unfortunately. Why was the sanctuary mostly empty? I truly intend this question without judgment, I am really seeking to understand. Feel free to leave a comment on this post with your idea.

What does it mean to stop and remember? What does it mean for us as Jews? As Americans? Hopefully we can continue to exercise those remembrance muscles.

About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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