Yom HaShoah: Day of The Catastrophe

Today is the 26th of Nisan, in the year 5781. It is the eleventh day of the Omer, which is one week and four days, Netzach ShebeGevurah, Enduring Strength. On this Yom HaShoah, Day of The Catastrophe, we honor the Jewish victims of The Catastrophe during World War II by recognizing their eternal resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Don’t believe the anti-Jewish rhetoric: we were not sheep walking to our own deaths. My people fought physically and spiritually to survive the Nazi evil. The world chose to abandon us and one-third of my people were killed.

The Shoah did not happen in a vacuum

Jew hatred has been relatively constant throughout Western history. David Nirenberg’s book Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition is a thorough overview. Similarly, Geraldine Heng argues that race was invented in the Middle Ages, in large part to place Jews at the bottom of a social hierarchy. That is, whiteness was defined in distinction from Jewishness. And religion is not always perfect — the history of Christian Judeophobia is vast. In particular, the Catholic Church helped create the modern acceptability of Jew hatred.

Not quite as dense are the graphic novel, Maus, and the brilliant feminist autobiography of Ruth Kluger, may her memory forever be a blessing.

Yom HaShoah, The Catastrophe: most fitting name

I prefer “Yom HaShoah” to Holocaust because those murdered were not consumed whole for the sake of HaShem (original definition of holocaust sacrifice). 1/3 of my people were slaughtered for evil.

Read a book

Previous Yom HaShoah musings

Yom HaShoah is usually on the 27 day of Nisan. Unless that day is adjacent to Shabbat, in which case the holiday shifts. That is why my musings on Yom HaShoah for the last two years were written on the 12th day of the Omer count, rather than on the 11th day.

Yom HaShoah: A more complete response, based on the depth of information I learned from Dr. Bob Levy, of blessed memory.

Yom HaShoah, Am Yisrael Chai.

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  1. Pingback: Twelve Days of Omer: Temple of Strength, Hod ShebeGevurah - Rabbi (in-training) Minster

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