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Never Forgot. Words from a Maine Rabbi

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by Incessant, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Incessant

    Incessant New Member

    Mar 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Portland, Maine
    This prayer was given at the Maine Legislature by a local Rabbi on Yom HaShoah.

    [SIZE=11.5pt]House of Representatives Opening Prayer[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=11.5pt]Rabbi Erica Asch[/SIZE]​
    [SIZE=11.5pt]Temple Beth El, Augusta[/SIZE]​
    [SIZE=11.5pt]April 16, 2015[/SIZE]​

    [SIZE=11.5pt]Elohainu v'lohei avoteinu v'imoteinu[/SIZE][SIZE=11.5pt], our God and God of our ancestors. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=11.5pt]We come before you today ready to do the work of governing our great state. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=11.5pt]But, before we move into our work, we pause for a moment to remember.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=11.5pt]Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. It is a day dedicated to remembering the nearly 6 million Jews, including more than 1 million children, who died in what Adolf Hitler hoped would be the "Final Solution." In less than a decade, four times the population of our state were murdered, simply because of their religion.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=11.5pt]As the Holocaust recedes further into history, as the last of the survivors pass away, it may be tempting to think that such horror could never happen again -- not here, not now, not in an interconnected world of iPhones and the Internet. But this day exists not just to remember the victims of Holocaust but also to warn us about the perils of dehumanization in our own time. Yom HaShoah reminds us of how an advanced, civilized society moved from Beethoven and Gutenberg to terror and mass murder. It cautions us not to put ideology before people. This reminder is especially pertinent to those who hold elected office. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=11.5pt]Primo Levy, an Italian chemist, author, and survivor of Auschwitz wrote that the Holocaust remains with us in the “rejection of human solidarity, obtuse and cynical indifference to the suffering of others, abdication of the intellect and of moral sense to the principle of authority, and above all, at the root of everything, a sweeping tide of cowardice, a colossal cowardice which masks itself as warring virtue, love of country, and faith in an idea.”[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=11.5pt]We play with fire when we elevate our ideas above our humanity. In this country, we hold strong, passionate opinions, and we are free to express our disagreements within our democratic system at the ballot box, in our communities, and on the Internet. But Yom HaShoah reminds us to beware of scapegoating, to recognize the perils of dehumanization. When tweet and post, often anonymously, about alleged terrorists in our midst, heartless business owners, evil gay lobbyists, greedy rich people, or mooching immigrants all bent on destroying the America we know and love, we take a step towards dehumanization.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=11.5pt]God, as we move through our work today may we be mindful of this warning. May we find the humanity in others and act as examples to our fractured society. May we recognize that the words "never again" are easy to speak, but that the actions needs to make those words a reality are more difficult. May we remember all the lives and lights that were extinguished too early, and may that compel us to shine our own light into dark places.[/SIZE]
  2. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Likes Received:
    New England
    Perfect statement.

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