Rabbi Dr. B. Rosenberg
Rabbi Dr. B. RosenbergCourtesy

I became a rabbi to aid the living, to ensure our survival; to rekindle the Jewish flame. I am; proud of my heritage, proud of our strength, and proud of my beloved parents.

Contrary to what we are told, the passage of time does not ease our pain, nor does it diminish the scope of the horror that was the Holocaust.

Oh yes, there are those, few in number, who feel that it is psychologically healthier to avoid reminders that keep painful and unpleasant events alive. Why subject our young to the brutal story of Nazi bestiality toward the Jewish people? What purpose will it serve? It would be wiser not to talk about it so that it can disappear.

Never! We must never stop telling this story. Tell it we must, in every gory detail! We must do this because it is our sacred duty to alert them to the evils of men, so that they will never be lulled into a false sense of safety and security. We must alert them so that our children will be vigilant and will never be caught unaware as were the Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Although we are cognizant that our children will be adversely affected, that they will feel great pain upon learning the true facts of the Holocaust, we know that this is something we must do.

Man is not born good. He must become good – by learning that there is another beside him and a Creator above him.

Evil and unwarranted hatred is the reality that exists in our world. The human being has an infinite capacity for evil that, left unchecked, can destroy the world.

The Torah itself tells us that the “impulse of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21). Man is not born good. He has to become good – by forging his character, by bending his baser instincts, by learning that there is another beside him and an Other above him.

The Holocaust shows what can become of human beings when they permit the beast within them to control them.

It teaches us that we must be alert to the existence of evil, both in others and in our own selves. Once we are aware of its reality, we can work to uproot it. The mitzvot of the Torah are designed to help the spiritual qualities within us dominate the beast within.

Further, we learn from this tragedy that to be silent in the face of evil is to acquiesce in it, encourage it, and help it grow strong. History teaches us that evil triumphs when good people remain silent. But when good people rise up against evil, evil will ultimately perish and the good will prevail.