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.
As Israel marks 70 years, here are seven ways (one for each decade!) to engage your congregation in celebrating the country and her people -- now and throughout the year.
Israel helps me retain my optimism. Whenever I land there, I never fail to feel a slight buckling in my knees, the joy of returning to that marvelous, confounding place.
The English essayist and poet Alexander Pope wrote, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast..." That adage is challenged by the four protagonists in Anita Diamant's book, Day After Night.