Holocaust Memorial Day April 15 2015
Why is it so difficult for us to understand this simple principle? I can remember when I was 3 years old, my brother and I were playing in the kitchen where my mother was cooking. There was a large pot of water boiling on the stove and she warned us not to play near the stove. Being children, we of course didn’t listen to her warning and I bumped into the stove causing the boiling water to pour all over me. I wailed in pain and my mother ran over to take care of me, soothing my pain and making sure that I was well taken care of. She didn’t scold me in the moment of my agony but it was clear that I had suffered because I was disobedient. Were her warnings to us because she hated us and wanted to place rigid laws upon us to spoil our fun?
Could I blame my mother because I got hurt yet this is how we tend to look at our Creator and the Commandments He gave to us? It is these very Commandments, His Torah that He asked our nation, the nation of Israel who He formed, to bring to the rest of humanity so that we could all live in peace, safety and harmony. But what is the nature of the beast? We see this in the two year old child who says “I do it myself!” We prefer our ways to God’s ways and so we suffer.
Yes the Holocaust was a horrendous time in the history of man demonstrating the depth of evil to which not even animals will descend. But like cancer which is really a symptom that something is seriously wrong with us at a deeper level and then manifests itself in the body, we need to examine what is the root that causes such evil to emerge in mankind. For me, the revelation that God gave to us Torah is the answer. It is the only book that didn’t begin with one person’s revelation; it began with God’s revelation to an entire people consisting of both Jew and Gentile at the base of Mount Sinai. It does not give us a religion but it gives us the principles of how to have a relationship with our Creator and then with each other. It alone holds the key about how to stop future Holocausts.
Shema Israel Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד.