As we approach Yom Hashoah [Holocaust Remembrance Day], we are once again inundated with the heart-rending pictures and posts of the atrocities that our people suffered during the Holocaust.
Endless photos of emaciated Jews with sad faces and tears. Photos of piles of shoes or bones from the dead, and of course, the photo of the yahrzeit candle with the caption “Never Again!”
Some will post about the righteous among nations, who thank G-d, saved Jews and other victims from the vicious arm of the Nazis.
It is seldom that I see a post about resistance, about pride, and about all of the Jews who fought back.
What I don’t often see (if ever) is an angry post.
One would think that after having 72 years of national sovereignty in our ancestral homeland, The Land of Israel, today the Jewish People all around the world, would be proud enough and feel strong enough to feel anger towards those who tried to destroy us!
In early December 1942, the United Nations, or the Allied nations, made the famous declaration acknowledging the fact that the Germans were mass murdering the Jewish people in Europe. That declaration had no effect whatsoever on the Allies, and they did nothing to stop the mass extermination of the Jewish people. Some may say they had no means of stopping the Holocaust; the fact is that they didn’t even try. Shouldn’t this make you mad?
Anger towards Lord Moyne, the British minister of state in the Middle East, who had the power to save the Jews of Hungary by allowing them to immigrate to the British Mandate of Palestine, was and is justified. When he was approached and asked to issue the charters that would save one million Hungarian Jews, his reply was, among other things, “What will we do with a million Jews?” and with that sent Hungarian Jewry to their deaths.
Shouldn’t this make you mad?
Anger is an emotion that a proud person should naturally feel when they have been wronged.
Above and beyond the sorrow and the pain we all feel for the plight of the victims, as proud Jews it is our responsibility to feel anger – to be furious at all of those who stood by and allowed this atrocity to happen.
Use this anger to build – to educate and to understand that only a strong, Jewish Nation (Am Yisrael) with a strong State of Israel can ensure that we never, ever have to be at the mercy of anyone else. We must rely only on ourselves for our safety. So, let’s mourn the victtims, but be sure we don't identify ourselves as victims and start identifying as strong, proud Jews, who confront those who hate us; not cower to them. We are a people who have every right to be mad, but we must use this anger to make sure “Never Again” means something and isn’t just an empty slogan.
Don’t be sad - be MAD!!!
NOTE: This essay was written for Herut North America's free eBook "Yom HaShoah: Marking the Enormity of the Holocaust in 2020" which is available at https://herut.net/yom-hashoah/
Karma Feinstein Cohen is the Executive Director of World Herut; Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and is dedicated to the ideals of pre-World War Two Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky. More information about Herut is available at https://www.herutna.org