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Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
Nissan 26, 5768, 5/1/2008
Oxymoron of Sorts
It may just be my mind's connecting Hebrew to English and all the connotations they bring to mind, but I find a peculiar irony, contradiction, even absurdity in the Hebrew phrase לחגוג "lachgog et Yom HaShoah," "to celebrate Holocaust Memorial Day."
It's not a חג holiday. It's a sad, reflective memorial day.
Yes, today the official Israeli media concentrates on remembering, educating Israelis of all ages about what the Nazis did to the Jews 65-70 years ago.
Unfortunately, but not unsurprisingly, they don't connect any of today's events to give the public a warning of today's dangers.
I Didn't Always Know About The Holocaust
Unlike many of my friends, I wasn't raised aware that there had been a Holocaust, that six million innocent Jews had been murdered by the Nazis etc.
When we were talking in the Teachers Room today, one of the teachers was very shocked. She was also surprised that I didn't go to Jewish schools as a kid.
I grew up in Bell Park Gardens, a lovely then brand new neighborhood in Bayside, NYC. It was a Veterans Authority development, like many built after WWII. None of the parents I knew had foreign accents. Like mine, they were all raised in the USA, and our fathers had all fought in WWII. We were almost all Jewish, probably over 90% of BPG, at that time, the 1950's early 1960's. I can't tell you what happened there afterwards.
I first heard about the Nazis and Holocaust when the Diary of Anne Frank was published, and then more details of what happened in Nazi Germany were publicized when Eichmann was captured.
This story from a Simple Jew may help.