Today, Thursday, is Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day for the Jewish Nation.
In contrast to the Holocaust Memorial Day of 27th January (established by Tony Blair on the anniversary of the 1945 Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau), the Jewish date, straight after Pesach, is the Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
We have to distinguish between what has passed and what is yet to come.
We cannot undo the past, but we can be influenced and inspired by it. Yom HaShoah is a precise expression of this. We cannot undo the events of the Shoah, but using those events to spur us on to better ourselves in the future is a powerful impetus for improvement and change.
Today’s commemoration is to recognise the rupture in Jewish Life, Tradition and Family that the Shoah viscerally created, and to assume the immense mantle of responsiblity in ensuring the security of the Jewish Nation and its religious, social and cultural traditions for generations to come.
This week’s Torah Portion of Shemini discusses the laws of Kashrut.
There is no stronger signal of our pride and longevity than keeping ourselves to our God-given traditions.