All tagged remembrance

Celebration and Remembrance

This is a time of holidays, celebrations and remembrance. As Jews, we are a people of passion and extremes. We remember our history as a people in repeating cycles of weeks, months and years. We always seem to be remembering something from our long history. Our memorials and celebrations are often framed by death, destruction, suffering and loss. We remember that deliverance comes at a cost.

A Memory 1 Year After Gaza

Summer 2014, One Year AgoThe siren wails as I stand in the stairwell of my apartment building, staring at the paint chipping on its walls and counting until I hear the “boom,” signaling that impact has been made somewhere and it is safe to return to our apartment. My son moves happily, oblivious to the gravity of war, his mind still on the music we had been dancing to mere seconds before.

Living the Nakba

“But that was before. Before…”

A heavy silence filled the bare-walled room in East Amman where I sat with three generations of Palestinian refugees. A moment before, we had sat rapt as Abu Nizar, a broad-shouldered man of eighty-five, shared animated tales of growing up on an olive farm outside Jerusalem. As a young boy, he’d tended to the groves with his father, mother, and siblings, learning the rich lore of the ancient crops.

3 thoughts on Holocaust Remembrance

Today we remember the painful and destructive genocide inflicted upon the Jewish people, commemorated starting the evening of April 15 until the evening of April 16.  We also remember the grave losses faced by the Armenian people in their genocide, commemorated on April 24. We honor the millions killed and the cutting off of future generations by recalling that these evils happened, by affirming that they matter, and by remembering the empty, terrible loss.  May this never happen again.

6 Themes of Purim

Purim is a holiday that comes to us in the peculiar book of Esther, a historical novella found in the Hebrew Bible. This story comes to us from the a post-prophetic period, when the voices of the prophets are silent, and the Israelites are scattered in the diaspora. It’s a story that never once mentions God’s name, one where we never see any direct interaction between God and humans. Perhaps it’s because he is there in the background, as the Narrator of the whole story (and every story)? Maybe as a quiet supporting character? Or maybe as a distant and apathetic spectator? Life goes on, people have choices, and individuals have the opportunity to effect change.

Here are a few thoughts running through my mind as I prepare to celebrate this holiday.