Sunday, April 7, 2013

Holocaust Remembrance Day

I took this photo  in 2007, grateful for a lens powerful enough to capture this butterfly’s beauty. The flower stood out in an arid land and we watched the butterfly land. We weren’t close to it, and I was concerned that I couldn’t catch the moment.

In 2011 I used this photo for the graphic when I learned of and wrote about Yom HaZikaron LaShoah velaGvura – Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. The yellow butterfly reminds me of Pavel Friedman’s poem from his imprisonment, “The Butterfly.” In that poem is the line:  I never saw another butterfly. Pavel was moved from Terezin to die at Auschwitz.

There is a project that shows the work – prose, poems, drawings – of the children held at Terezin Concentration Camp. Please take a moment to view their work, heed their message and consider how this should never happen again.

Then, think about where similar is happening today. Children are dying because men cannot love their neighbors.

We’ve been told societies must change with the times and such changes are often accomplished with violence. We’ve seen such violence through the history of mankind. In the past few years it has shown itself in what media has termed “Arab Spring.” What a spring, when it no longer encompasses the ability to express and appreciate the beauty of a butterfly.

For Christians, the message was simplified by our Lord. I continue to repeat it for it is most basic of our beliefs:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)

Let me repeat “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  Just these two. They go together. Love for all of our neighbors is not possible without God’s love. There are several “all” words in these two commandments. Consider them, seriously.

Then consider a world where children are not subjected to the personal nor political whims of adults who cannot understand this message and are not concerned with butterflies.

You may start your remembrance today at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum site:
The Museum will also lead the United States in observing the 2013 Days of Remembrance, the nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust, from April 7 through April 14. Read more about this observance and how to plan or attend one in your community.

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