Is Yom HaShoah still relevant? Data shows that a significant number of Jews and non-Jews have, for whatever reason, become distanced from the Holocaust, and much of the world is insensitive to other historic and contemporary acts of genocide in Armenia, Darfur, Sudan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Syria, and elsewhere. Certain American presidents have hidden in the wings of a world stage pocked with genocidal episodes.
In May, at JCC MetroWest, Elie Wiesel’s former teaching assistant at Boston University, Rabbi Ariel Burger, delivered a penetrating speech about Wiesel’s persona and mission. One theme of his speech was whether the Holocaust remained relevant to the Jewish people. The numbers are shocking. One example is that about one-third of Americans believe the number of those who died in the Shoah is greatly exaggerated. The silence of good people caters to the hyenas of denial and revisionism.
Burger called for ethical transformation and queries, how do we change from being passive spectators to becoming active moral agents who stand up for what is right?
As Burger stressed, we have a sacred responsibility to address genocidal behavior — everywhere. And reset America’s moral compass as we continue undaunted — as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — to make this world a much better place.