In the last month, I have found myself reading/watching/listening to a lot of stories of Jewish experience from the Holocaust/Shoah. I have watched the miniseries based on the novel, All the Light We Cannot See. At the same time, I found myself reading/rereading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I have also been presenting the Butterfly project and the book, I Never Saw Another Butterfly. All of these accounts offer a window into the brutal social and physical anti-semitism of Nazi Germany.
Even as I have been looking back and feeling these memories, we have observed one hundred days since the attack on Israel, knowing that the war to stop that terrorism continues and countless hostages are still being held while there is a spike in anti-semitism across the country and world.
Witnessing these stories tears at the heart and mind, reminding me of the pain so many people have felt and the fear that many of us carry through the increase of anti-semitism and senseless hatred in our own day and age.
It’s understandable, if this is what I have been consuming and sharing, and this is what we have been experiencing, to feel surrounded by an atmosphere of negativity. Even so, as I have read these books, watched these shows, followed the news and shared this information, I know that I am even more inspired and empowered. With each turn, even in pain and loss and fear, I am reminded of the value to honor and remember. From our very origins we are instructed to tell stories of the past connected to action to make ourselves and the world better. In these media, I watch as people have born the weight of loss and fear and in turn, uplifted and empowered by courage, hope, perseverance.
If we freeze in fear hide from the pain or give in to anger others are generating too much, we surrender the powerful gifts of generations before. We honor and remember them by acting now. Just in terms of Holocaust Education and responding to anti-Semitism there are so many opportunities in in February and March
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You do not have to complete the task but if each of us invests some time and energy, imagine the connections we make an impact generate for honoring those who have suffered. This is the way we build a community of strength and resilience and changing the world in a positive way.