Top of the evening all...
On Sunday evening, I attended a program on literature of the second generation after the Shoah (The Holocaust). It was interesting enough, certainly.
Over the years of my rabbinate, I have never been a huge fan of the way many react to the Shoah. I have often found it as a substitute for spirituality. People are Jewish and stay Jewish because of some event that happened during this time.
This is not what I want. I want you to be Jewish because you love it. I want you to be Jewish because the laws and the traditions speak to you, even if you do not always understand what they are saying. I want you to be Jewish because the history of the Jewish people is your personal history as well.
Outside reasons do not have the staying power they need.
I still hold by that line of reasoning.
Where am I now though? During my lifetime, we have gone from universal acceptance of the fact of the Shoah to it's occurrence being a 'legitimate' subject of debate. We have seen people take the world stage and deny it.
This is an attempt to steal a Jewish past. It is nothing more. An attempt to steal someone's history is an attempt to steal someone's future.
As the last of the eyewitnesses die out, it is incumbent on the Jewish people to make sure that we record all of the stories. Failure to carry this burden denies the tragedy that befell six million of our own, and five million others. Failure to make sure that the history remains intact lets it happen again.
I will not allow our past to be ripped away from us.