Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. This morning at 10 am, sirens sounded across Israel – everything stopped and everyone stood still for two minutes of silence. People on highways got out of their cars and stood quietly. The only sound that could be heard in downtown Jerusalem’s Zion square was the blaring siren. Even the loud and manic vendors at Machaneh Yehuda, Jerusalem’s central market, remained quiet for two minutes. Rechaviah, where I was running errands, was also extremely quiet – but Rechaviah is always quiet.
What can I say – we’re pretty much all on record as having stated that we need less Holocaust Museums, that Jewish identity ought to revolve less around death and Genocide trips to Poland and more around, you know, Judaism. Last year, I was a bit of a dick even with respect to the March of the Living. But when you’re standing there, and no one’s moving, and you think of the shattered lives, the millions killed, the survivors who still live in poverty, well – it was all I could do not to shed a tear.
You can read about this year’s March of the Living at Auschwitz here, and you can read about today’s Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Yad Vashem here. Hey – what would you do if you found out that your brother bought his bar mitzvah suit from Eichman’s mom? And that your families were close? Produce a documentary of course! Read about controversial Israeli film maker Micha Shagrir and his startling discovery.
Oh my – one last thing. You know, last but not least… Today’s ceremonial laying of wreaths at Yad Vashem experienced a first – the participation of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance who laid a wreath for the first time at Yad Vashem, in the name of the GLBT community. I don’t have to tell you all about the pink triangles, right? Right then – thanks again John!