Yom Hashoah

Or Yom HaZikaron. Holocaust day or the day of remembrance, but in both cases remembering the 6 million jews that died in Nazi germany. While not the only genocidal act ever committed it has the dubious honor of being one specifically targeting a group of people for their faith and systematically and efficiently destroying them.

It is ironic that the Nazi’s started out with more benign seeming intentions with healthy living and all that. After that they embraced the eugenics movement and wanted to improve the race. Then that crept into into more marginal things like removing those who were useless to society, like the very old. Then they decided that Jews were a problem.

It is good to remember though that along with my fellow Jews that another 4 million were killed for being political opponents, or LGBT, or mentally defective, or probably because they pissed off someone in power.

We feel badly on trans day of remembrance where we read the roughly 200 names of those that died in the previous year, and terrible that is indeed. Just imagine reading that list 30 thousand times.

As I sit in the United States, fortunately secure in my citizenship, I look at the acts of the current administration and think back to the boat that the well beloved president FDR turned back. They were not the only ones. All in all thousands of Jewish refugees were turned away. “Not all of them are spies” he’s quoted as saying. Does this resonate? It seems a certainty that each Jew he turned away was killed when they were repatriated. Of course the same president ordered the detention and internment of Japanese citizens.

I feel badly for the Syrians. Even though many, I’m sure, would love me neither for my religion nor my gender orientation, they might still appreciate my humanity that wants to see them alive and doesn’t see every Muslim as an existential threat.

For those who worry about terrorism, I believe the count of foreign born terrorists committing acts in the US is still zero since Sept 2011. Home grow mental cases shooting up movie theaters, schools and those committing terrorist acts like the Boston marathon bombing, Florida nightclub event and San Bernadino have all been US citizens.

As much as I hope that people will start identifying with everyone in the world, it remains a problem. Everyone identifies with one or more groups and those not in the  group are the other. We vilify the other very often. It can make meaningful communication impossible.

Think about it before your next fight with the other person.


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