Tag Archives: Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah (This Evening)

 

Yom HaShoah (This Evening)

 

In remembrance of the six million who perished in the Holocaust.

 

Hannah Szenes wrote this poem. She escaped from Hungary in the second World War, and went back over enemy lines to help her fellow Jews in trouble. She gave her life, in doing so.

 

(https://youtu.be/R1hH5c4k51Q)

 

 

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In Happier Days

 

Some days are meant to be sad ones; this one seems to have been pre-ordained. It is Yom HaShoah — a day chosen by the Jewish people to pay tribute to the lives of our brethren taken during the Holocaust. It is a day of introspection, of reflection, of reverence. It is very much our own day: not specified by G-d, not referencing another faith or culture into which we’ve found ourselves immersed, by dint of the paths our ancestors were forced to take in the course of our exile along the roads of our history.

 

We’ve seriously felt the pangs of this struggle in our experience of isolation in our collective acceptance within the larger society. The rejectionism is duly noted, as well, when you see, on an individual basis, patterns left evident in repeated avoidance of Jewish subject matter, fully negating heritage, faith and identity, in the process. Guilt by association toward those of the Jewish faith, along with the cowardice to stand by fully-invested toward those of the same, tells me more in silence about the person it reflects, than it does about anything else. It tells me, really, all I need to know.

 

I paid my respects yesterday to the ancestors of all my people, the six million who were murdered through the callousness of others. I’ve already known this pain, which sears itself into my heart. I relived the collective memory of the Jewish people.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

In Happier Days (Randyjw; April 23, 2017)

 

Through the slavery of Egypt;

through the auto-da-fe’s; the pogroms;

through the Inquisition; the Crusades;

and the exile of Babylon.

 

The destruction of our Temple

was more than the razing of a building;

it was the attempt to destroy through deicide

what they couldn’t destroy within.

 

The burning of our skin

in the synagogues

as they torched us alive in flames

worshipping false G-ds with idols

and blaspheming the Good L-rd’s name.

 

They eradicated us en masse in genocide

and overtook the Holy Land,

What they didn’t take, through Holocaust,

was that G-d would foil their plans.

 

G-d knows how to make it rain,

blessing, in its proper times.

As much as is done for the earth,

He has done, as well, for our minds.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Today I woke up to the cold, grey sky that such a day deserves. A chilly rain was falling, as it had been for awhile. And not to mix the profane with the Holy, but rather to integrate the lessons we learn through living, within our societies, I was struck by the recognition of my life (and mortality), by observing it, as if an outsider, in the story of the brief life of Erin Moran, who has come to the end of her life, here on earth, at the age of 56.

 

Erin Moran was an integral figure in our society, featuring as a star amongst one of the top-rated, most-iconic television shows of all-time. The American classic, “Happy Days”, created by Garry Marshall, started its 11-year run on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network, beginning in 1974. The show became synonymous with the definition of situation comedy, shoring up the wildly popular format and spurring the successes of other such t.v. shows, like “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy”.

 

The show was set in the timeframe of the 1950’s and progressed through the 1960’s, as well. Centered on the fictional Cunningham family, it portrayed a small-town atmosphere of close-knit friends and family life. Erin Moran played Joanie Cunningham, daughter to Howard (played by Tom Bosley) and Marion (played by Marion Ross) Cunningham, and sister to Richie (played by Ron Howard) and Chuck (played by two, separate people in only the first two seasons). Other ancillary figures included their friends, Warren “Potsie” Weber (played by Anson Williams), Ralph Malph (played by Don Most), and Arthur Fonzarelli (a.k.a., “Fonzie”, or “The Fonz”; played by Henry Winkler); Fonzie’s cousin, Charles “Chachi” Arcola (played by Scott Baio), whom her character would later marry; and drive-in diner owners, Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi, of the diner’s namesake, “Arnold’s”, and later, Al Devecchio (played by Al Molinaro), who would replace Arnold when Arnold later married, and left the diner.

 

Television, in those days, was also a simpler affair; they certainly don’t make ’em like they used to. Thankfully, the choices were great, because everybody, pretty much, watched the same thing. Unlike the move to today’s individualized programming with a choice of 800 offerings, there was more unity, with less diversity, since there were less than eight t.v. stations on our channels, and we all had a common frame of reference to the same societal cues coming from our t.v. sets.

 

With less choices, people engaged in much of the same activities, as did everybody else. It led to a sense of more cohesion, even though not all voices were always included. In those days, though, minority characters did find a role on these programs, whether in singular roles or series, such as “The Jeffersons”, “Good Times”, “Sanford and Son” and “The Cosby Show”. Diner owner , “Arnold”, was played by Hiroyuki “Pat” Morita, who also famously played Mr. Miyagi (“Wax on; Wax off”) to Ralph Macchio’s character, in “The Karate Kid”.

 

I saw Pat Morita in-person, once, and also had the opportunity to meet Henry Winkler, once, when I directed him to a phone, so he could call his wife. Back in those days, there were no cell phones, either. Imagine the inconvenience, when we had to walk a slight distance to find one. He was a really sweet, kind man. He kissed me on the cheek and called me “doll”, in thanks for helping him accomplish his mission. Yay! I think how sweet he was for wanting to think of his family and being so kind. In typical star-fatuation, I told my mother I wasn’t going to wash my cheek for a week! (Of course, I did, though…)

 

Several decades later, this is kindof my turn-around “thank-you”, to pay a favor of kindness in return, for being so kind to me, back then. I’m sorry to learn of your loss, Fonz. You were a pillar of support for millions of us out there, in the days. You were a guiding compass and a beacon of ethical morals for a world finding their way, both in real life and in the work you relayed. I know, because I have read about it in the past, that your personal life helping others found its way onto the big screen, and into our lives, as a result. I admired that then, and still do, today. To you, on Yom HaShoah, I send you a big “thumbs up” and a long, heartfelt “Aaaaaaayyy!!!”

 

I think of the sadness of Erin’s apparent life, living in a trailer park home, where she was discovered upon her passing. It is reported that she had fallen on difficult times, of late. I, too, have lived under such circumstances, even finding myself living in a cheap trailer home as I sought a divorce. I had one hot pot and one burner to prepare my meals, and the bathroom floor had been repaired from previous occupants, but was still in need of bolstering. It wasn’t even a whole trailer; it was subdivided with a separate entrance. It was just one, small room.

 

Those were very tough times for me. Consequently, they were also the time when I began to make a more concentrated effort to be more mindful of my religion and its practices. My television received just over-the-air signals and seemed to offer limited choices, such as “Friends” reruns, or religious programming. Since I had never watched “Friends” to begin with, I decided on the religious programming. I could glean bits and nuggets, which sometimes related to Jewish teachings, and Seventh Day Adventists followed similar dietary commands and offered wonderful recipes, had I had sufficient money for real food. But, I didn’t.

 

What little I could afford at the cheap stores was often shared with the skinny, hungry dog on the park’s corner lot I would feed in the evening at the return of my shift. Those neighbors finally left and brought the dog with them. There were a plethora of abandoned animals that found themselves a fit with our little community, including one black cat that thought I was their mother, since we had shared similar features; the woman who had been her owner had taken ill, and soon passed away. My neighbor watched over the cat. A hard life is so soon cut short.

 

I made myself a tinfoil menorah at Chanukah. Although I didn’t attend services, I adopted a more proactive do-it-yourself approach to religious observance. I also started to really read the Koren Tanach I had brought with me from Israel. Line by line, slowly and very carefully, I worked very hard at trying to learn the Hebrew which I had begun to fail in my Ulpan classes. I was doing pretty well with this, and it was helping me greatly. It was also a breakthrough time for me in being able to pick up a pen and write, again.

 

I enjoyed writing, when I was a child, and then rediscovered my love for it in middle school. But it eventually became something which my mind endeavored to block. It would take several more decades to unleash the creative juices, again. The ironic portrayal of a group of young Jewish girls, described by CNN as “extremists”, while huddled together as police forces were removing their families and other Jewish citizens from their homes, infuriated me enough to the point of some kind of mental severance of the writer’s block, which my mind had previously erected. It erupted in my release, and in my poem, “V’Atah/After All”. I think it had been some kind of shutdown to deal with other prevailing circumstances, which had overtaken and overwhelmed my capacity to place myself in a creative capacity. I used this period and channeled some of my feelings during this time into some further poetry about Israel and my former husband.

 

This ability to write seems to relate proportionally with my coping skills in the handling of emotional issues or life’s often overwhelming, and frustrating, difficulties. I hope I can hold onto this gift, and not let it slip away, again, drifting in and out of consciousness, as if it was its own comatose mind of some other being, and not my own sentient self. I do often dissociate and fly off into escapism, when realism becomes too overwhelming. I’ve always done that. Books were that world, for me.

 

I need it; this ventilation of expression has become the air I breathe. And you’re right; writing about “it”, whatever that “it” might be, does help, and I do need to do more of it.

 

Eventually, with time, and continuing even beyond that environment, I eventually started to buy only Kosher products, and learned which products in the markets were Kosher. But, I’ve been lately letting more and more of my diligent practices slide. When I’m ready, I suppose I can pick up at any of the multiple places I’ve left off, if I desire.

 

Erin’s life leaves me smack dab in the middle of “hanging on”. It’s incomplete and was never fully realized, yet it’s over. Things didn’t gel or coalesce, the way they should’ve; no further opportunities came her way. It’s a life, left too soon, in incredible sadness. Her aloneness in her last years are evident that she really had no-one. Yes, people care, in a sortof abstract way, but look at what happens. An American sweetheart to many, with a painful realization her reality. I see you, Erin. I see me reflected, also, in the mirror that is you, Erin. And I’m sorry for the life you have, unfortunately, led. Thank you for your life, Erin. I’m hoping mine will be better, because of you. In fact, it already is.

 

Goodbye, Sunshine; Hello, Rain…

 

In the days following this post, further media reports have painted a different picture in their portrayal of Ms. Moran’s last days, based on the words her husband has since relayed, since that time. He (Steve Fleischmann), was with Erin, holding her hand until the end. That is really good to know. It’s also nice to learn that they’d first met about a quarter century ago. That makes me feel better that she, at least, was not quite so alone, as had been originally portrayed. But, it was revealed that she had had squamous cell carcinoma, discovered in her throat, and that the treatments had been pretty devastating further to her body. Knowing this, I really feel your pain, Erin. I hope the ongoing squabbles and behavior will subside now, and that you’ll receive your praises in heaven. Keep being the sunshine, Sunshine.

 


 

“Happy Days”; Wikipedia.org:

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Days)

 

Oldham, Stuart. “‘Happy Days’ Star Erin Moran Dies at 56”. Variety.com; April 22, 2017:

(http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/happy-days-star-erin-moran-dies-at-56-1202393048/)

 

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Yom HaShoah 2016

 

Yom HaShoah 2016 (Randyjw; May 4, 2016)

 

Did you know that today (yesterday and today, due to the Jewish day running from nightfall to start of same) was Yom HaShoah? Neither did I. Unless you read the Jewish newspapers today/yesterday, you would likely have missed the fact that today/yesterday marks the Israeli commemoration of a day to honor the six million Jewish lives taken in The Holocaust. There was even no run-up in the Jewish internet series I usually subscribe to, unless I was just not paying attention very well. Could be; I’ll admit to that character fault… I also have been well-drawn, at this particular point in time, to some personal matters taking away from other issues needing my concentration.

 

Therefore, I find it rather dismaying to sort-of learn, off-handedly, and rather late in the day, that today is a rather serious day given over to thinking about the Jewish people who were killed for being Jewish, and for remembering those individuals. Six million of us.

 

Since the world doesn’t seem to want to remember us, or this event that they partook in to make it happen so that six million of us would be killed, we have to undertake the remembrance of these Jewish lives and commemorate its victims ourselves.

 

In a Google search from my phone, prior to writing this article, I found 175 articles on the subject. Seems pretty impressive, until scrolling through nine pages I count only the following among the sources which may, or may not be, written by a source that does not come from a specifically Jewish publication: 18 sources. That leaves 157 other Jewish-sourced bases that did report on it.

 

Even in trying to forget, they cannot escape the implications of their actions in the higher realms; for you see, the number 18, in Jewish significance, is related to the meaning for “Life”. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is ascribed a numerical equivalent. The numerical equivalent for the word, “Chai”, which means “Life”, is eighteen.

 

The eighteen sources, which honors the Jewish victims include: Times of India, Montreal Gazette, The Suburban Newspaper, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Ottawa Citizen, Breitbart, Cincinnati.com, Fox61 New Haven, New York Daily News, metro.co.uk, ABC News, Miami Herald, NY Blueprint, Allentown Morning Call, The Albany Herald, Canada Newswire (press release), USA Today, and whitehouse.gov. Actually, I forgot to add two from a quick, previous search: Xinhua.net and scoop.co.nz.

 

Regardless, what this displays is a very limited response to a major issue, with deeply-felt ramifications, especially in today’s extremely hostile, anti-Semitic environment. Is there much that has changed since the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in the 1930’s? Sadly, the latest news round-ups prove that things mostly remain the same.

 

The world body in charge of identifying and preserving heritage sites from around the world, UNESCO, has declared that most Jewish sites, even those with strict Jewish reference in the Old Testament, like Joseph’s Tomb and Rachel’s Tomb (my namesake), like the tombs of our Patriarchical Fathers (the Cave of the Patriarchs, purchased for four hundred shekels, I believe it was, from Chet’s children), and the Temple Mount, are now considered Arab heritage sites. What!? UNESCO is part of the United Nations.

 

Another cooperative governing body, the European Union, consisting of all countries who signed on to be participating members, arbitrarily imposed labelling requirements on items emanating from Israel’s heartland, Judaea/Samaria. Not only are these erroneously referred to as non-Israeli land, but there is no related restrictions imposed upon any other nation which could be deemed as controversial “conflict areas”; only the Jewish nation is given this double-standard requirement.

 

The United Nations, because it consists of so many Muslim nations, as well as those classically-engaged in committing officially ignored acts of anti-Semitic crimes, has continually singled out Israel, the only democratic Middle East nation, despite the humanitarian horrors perpetrated upon Islamic citizens and the declared Jihadist intent to kill Jews declared in the Muslim world by those countries which surround Israel and who declare it their enemy.

 

It is the Islamic ideology which breeds Jew-hatred. It might not be always taught as such, and it might not always manifest individually, as such; but the broad-brushed application has always been ingrained as part of the culture. When the Koran implores its readers, stated by name as Muslims, to come and kill the Jews who are hiding behind the rocks and the trees (who will betray the Jews by crying out to the Muslims that the Jew is there; except for the gharkad tree, which is supposedly Jewish, and wouldn’t do such things), then it doesn’t really matter which sect of Islam the murderous wannabe belongs to: equal opportunity is extended to all. Sunni, Shia, Wahhabi, Salafi — all. DAESH, PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, ISIS, PFLP… 9/11, 07/07; Munich Olympics/Entebbe, Benghazi, Charlie Hebdo/HyperCacher.

 

The sentiment is portable and is carried out by individuals who do not want a different world view, other than Islam, to prevail upon the earth. Therefore, they feel justified to treat the other as substrate humans below their own class, at best, or they will attack the non-Muslim for being impure infidels. Lone wolf attackers don’t need to be radicalized; the words are already such. It’s just whether they will act on them, or not.

 

There are plenty of calls to attack others in the Old Testament. While we may have, indeed, done that, thousands of years ago (from which groups none today can claim descent), we do not do so today. We value life and want others to do so, as well; we don’t go around murdering people wholesale.

 

Meanwhile, this ideology is being carried out in Jewish communities across the United States. I bet you didn’t hear of this, either. A bomb threat was called in against a Jewish Community Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to a Jewish Day School for children; something was heard about Detroit; and the FBI caught a man in a sting, attempting to bomb a Jewish synagogue in Florida during holiday prayers this past Passover (last week, or so). Another two individuals in on the plot (TI) and (BH), according to the special agent complaint, do not seem to have been arrested, it appears. Why? Wouldn’t they be accomplices, even if they did not participate in the actual attempt, itself? Do they get to try again, then, at a later date?

 

In taking to task some companies which have a long-held bias against the Jews, efforts seem to finally be going somewhere, after decades, and even, in some cases, hundreds of years. Regarding Arab boycotts of Jewish businesses, to which American companies acquiesced (we know about them, still), some are having a boomerang effect and bouncing back at them. Arabs involved in planes have long denied Jewish passage — it even extends to air-hijackings, where Jewish passengers are singled out to be held and shot, where others are let off the planes. Airlines would not allow Jews/Israelis to fly. Arabs denied business to anybody engaged in doing business with the Jews. The U.S. Department of Transportation finally took a stand and ordered Kuwait Airlines to enable Israeli passengers to purchase airline tickets on their airline. A Jew had to bring suit, apparently, for this to occur, it seems. Rather than do so, Kuwait ended their New York-London air route!

 

Michelin, the restaurant-rating company, has never published an Israeli guide. They give a business-related excuse, but we’ve followed their attitude for years. We know where they stand.

 

So, this was the news as some of it was relayed to me, via honestreporting.com and its round-up of various sources, in my email inbox lately. The Jews are being targetted, and nobody has time to even bother.

 

Read further:

Knake, Lindsay. “Jewish Center, School in Ann Arbor Receives Bomb Threat.” Mlive.com, May 2, 2016: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2016/05/jewish_center_in_ann_arbor_rec.html

 

AP and Times of Israel Staff. “Jewish Leader Calls on Michelin to Rank Israeli Eats”; Times of Israel.com, May 3, 2016: http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-leader-calls-on-michelin-to-rank-israeli-eats/

 

Dvorin, Tova. “Report: FBI Stopped Attack on Jewish Center Near Miami”; Arutz Sheva7/Israel National News.com, May 2, 2016: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/211621

 

Weaver, Jay. “Plot to Blow Up Aventura Synagogue Ends with Man’s Arrest”; Miami Herald, May 2, 2016: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/aventura/article75089722.html

 

Jansen, Bart. “Kuwait Airways Drops NYC-London Route”; USA Today, December 15, 2015: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2015/12/15/kuwait-airways-drops-nyc-london-route/77370416/

 

Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu. “Christian Leader Calls for Christians to Protest UN Temple Mount Resolution as ‘Worse Than Holocaust Denial'”; Breaking Israel News, May 6, 2016: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/67132/christian-leader-calls-christians-protest-un-temple-mount-resolution-worse-holocaust/

 

Countering Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions Actions Against Israel in Congress:

Balofsky, Ahuva. “Illinois First State to Expose Companies Banned for BDS Support”; Breaking Israel News.com, March 21, 2016: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/64038/illinois-first-state-to-expose-companies-banned-for-bds-support-judea-samaria/

 

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