Yom HaShoah Message from OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer

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As we celebrate the merging of two people into one under the chuppah, we recognize our fractured relationship with God by breaking a glass. As we put the finishing touches on a new home, we leave some space unfinished, reminding ourselves of the destroyed house of God. As we commemorate our liberation at the Pesach seder, we eat hard-boiled eggs in mourning over our continued exile. Life comes with joy and opportunity, but we must never forget that in the background looms a still imperfect world. This has been our way for 2,000 years.

In our day, we have another cloud that looms over our every joy; the Holocaust. On the Tenth of Teves with Kaddish on the Yom HaKaddish Haklali; on January 27th with the world on International Holocaust Remembrance Day; on Tisha B’Av with our mourning over the Churban (the destruction of the Temple); and today, on the 27th of Nissan, even as we bask in the afterglow of our Pesach celebration and while still within the joyous month of Nissan, we commemorate Yom HaShoah.

The Holocaust continues to cast its long shadow over our world. We do well to recall what the world appears to have forgotten. It has forgotten the dangers of antisemitism, the voracious hunger of the despot, and the crime of silence and passivity in the face of evil.

But we remember. Those memories make us forever watchful. They move us to face down evil and to stand up for those who are its target. They lead us to place our trust in none other than God Whose hand has lifted our people from the ashes.

We remember, we ensure that others do not forget, and we hope and pray it will make the world a safer and a better place.