June 14, 2012
I often write about the uniqueness of the Holocaust and state that the Holocaust is different from other genocides. This position is controversial to some people. There are those who believe that the only wayto preserve the memory of the Holocaust is by making it a universal lesson regarding the tribulations throughout the world.
Seventy-five years from when the last of the Holocaust survivors are gone, I predict that regardless ofYad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Museum, and all the other museums and books, the memory of the Holocaust will not be preserved; it will be regarded as just another genocide among many such atrocities.
Unless we preserve the memory of the Shoa and tie it to Jewish observance and ritual by including the Holocaust in prayer services (or as I have done, creating a Holocaust Siddur and Haggada, which is available free on-line at http://www.holocausthaggadah.com), the Holocaust will become a mere date in history. It has to be tied into a revitalized Judaism to keep it alive.
I no longer stress the pain, suffering, and horrors; today I speak of the importance of learning about the heroic individuals who survived to make better lives for themselves and their families. Many of them have created synagogues, yeshivot, and day schools and still support them financially. We need to learn about those who resisted the Nazis, not only about the crematoriums.
The memory of the Holocaust will be kept alive by future generations if we have pride in the accomplishments of the survivors and preserve Judaism.
Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg