I was asked to share a few words, and also lead a moment of silence, at a small event held at our shul, in emotional commemoration of Yom Hazikaron LaShoah (Holocaust Rememberance Day). The following is my heartfelt introduction to the evening:
Very soon, we invite you to join us for a moment of silence for the six million who perished in the Holocaust. Hashem yinkom damam (may G-d avenge their blood). Words are silver… but silence is golden; and in it we allow ourselves to open our ears and hearts to the whispers of those who were taken. They beseech us to never forget. As we slip into the past, we hear their cries, and taste their unspeakable pain, tribulation and loss. It is really ours, as the souls of all the Jewish People are bound together in one unit. But even as we slip into the past, let us set our gaze, hopes and prayers towards a brighter future, which we know will arrive soon. We have the potential and strength to help bring it to fruition even right now. The souls of the slain yearn for us to carry on their light and legacies, and it is our precious responsibility to live for them, through bringing a little more kindness, healing, dignity, order and truth into the world, through every bit of Torah and Mitzvah we do. Now, let’s join together in a moment of silence in the sacred memory of the victims of the Holocaust.