This week is Holocaust Remembrance. The one question that perplexes me every year at this time is: How could those Jews living outside of Europe have allowed the Holocaust to happen? Yes, news did not travel nearly as fast back then, but surely Jews in this country saw the Nazi rise to power and heard the cacophony of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Why didn’t Jews do more to help their European brethren in peril?
Well, here we are, more than 60 years later, and again we are faced with a growing tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, and this time from multiple sources. Jews are fleeing Europe in droves because they feel unsafe, and those remaining are living in fear. And yet, as we watch the threat continue to grow, we feel somewhat powerless and helpless to respond. There is only so much we can do, right?
So now, I finally get it. Other than through prayer, we cannot protect every Jew who is in danger. That is not practical or even possible. But we are not powerless. There is something tangible and impactful that we can do that those in the 1930s and 1940s could not. We can more actively and openly support the State of Israel, the one safe haven on earth for all Jews. Granted, Israel faces a number of external threats and internal turmoil, but it remains the answer to the burning question: How can we help our fellow Jews?
I hope that during this week of remembrance, we all remember this simple yet critical fact.