On the Jewish calendar, Yom HaShoah falls on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which means the observance will begin at sundown on 26 Nisan.
As the son of Holocaust survivors, I ruled out the possibility of ever visiting a concentration camp. Doing so would be emotionally off the charts.
Yom HaShoah is typically a somber time to reflect, and for me personally, to be angry at the world. Last year, however, was different.
To make the ceremonies and reflections of Holocaust Remembrance Day meaningful, there must be ways it informs our decisions as Jews and as human beings all year long.
Yom HaShoah is a day of mourning in Israel. Many stores close, music on the radio reflects the somber nature of the day, and most amazing is the sound of the siren.
It is life we want, no more and no less than that, our own life feeding on our own vital sources, in the fields and under the skies of our homeland, a life based on our own physical and mental labors; we want vital energy and spiritual richness from this living source.
While my neighbors were putting their Christmas trees to the curb, in what seems like a ritual of replacement, I was preparing to plant for Tu BiShvat.