Friday, April 29, 2011

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

This Sunday, May 1, 2011, marks Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is observed on the Hebrew calendar date of Nissan 27th. The purpose of this day is to remember the lives of some six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust, and to learn from the experiences and testimony of Holocaust Survivors. The day was chosen by Israel’s Knesset in 1951, and is observed by most Jews around the world. On this day, the Jewish mourning prayer is prayed, which you can see here.
   One of the most helpful resources I have found—I do not know if it is still in print— for Jews and Christians to observe Yom HaShoah together is Eugene J. Fisher & Leon Klenicki, An Interreligious Holocaust Memorial Service: From Desolation to Hope (New York & Chicago: Stimulus Foundation & Liturgy Training Publications, my copy was revised in 1990).
   The following website—although some items may need to be updated—is an informative resource for further information on the Holocaust: The Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre.
   For a first-hand account of a Holocaust Survivor, I highly recommend the books of Nobel Peace Prize winner, author, scholar, teacher and humanitarian, Elie Wiesel. You can also visit his website here.
   Online articles on Yom Hashoah are also available at the Jewish-Christian Relations website here.
   I encourage Christian readers to attend the Yom HaShoah Service in your community, if there is one. Contact your local synagogue for the pertinent information.

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