Give me a minute…

In Jewish circles around the globe, May 1st, 2008 will be met with six minutes of silence. One minute for each million of the six million who perished under the Nazi regime of World War II.  Yom Hashoah, the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance. Consider this: if on this day, we sat in meditation, a minute at a time for each of the million people in every part of the globe persecuted, displaced, murdered, and sold into slavery from the beginning of history documented as we know it, there would be silence from sunrise to sunset.


So, how did this day of national Jewish unity evolve? According to “about.com” the story goes that after the war the Jewish people wanted a day of recognition. Yet between the Orthodox’ rabbis, the partisans, Zionists, Holocaust survivors and the Hebrew calendar filled with holidays of sadness, and cheer,  they could not agree on a date.  Until 1951 when, “On April 12, 1951, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) proclaimed Yom Hashoah U’Mered HaGetaot (Holocaust and Ghetto Revolt Remembrance Day) to be the 27th of Nissan. The name later became known as Yom Hashoah Ve Hagevurah (Devastation and Heroism Day) and even later simplified to Yom Hashoah.”   Today it is commonly referred to as Holocaust Remebrance Day.


On the eve of the holiday Passover, many Jewish people take time to pause and rethink the freedoms they have enjoyed in their homeland of choice. Reciting the story of “our people” coming out of the land of Egypt, to their children, so each generation should not forget.


In the NEW AGE of The Secret, New World Order and Pay it Forward, all of which are based on some literal or loose translation of 12 Step, Givers Gain and Do Unto Others… Bible, Talmud, etc.  I believe we all have a burning desire to be loved and appreciated. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the day.  Forget the celebrity need for recognition, I want to be RESPECTED.  To step forward and do “something”, as did the resistance, freedom fighters and those who hid their neighbors from the Nazi’s.

On this day of Yom Hashoah/Holocaust Remembrance Day, let us remember Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor and hero, who gave his life to protect his students one year ago, during the tragic Virginia Tech massacre.


Let us all consider our impact on this world.  Can we all teach or share or care for someone or something outside oneself, no matter how small the task? With the freedom and liberty we enjoy today, how do we guarantee it for the future? We learn from the past. How do we insure this germ-seed in our youth?


I suggest that as we tell the tale of the plagues and the four sons, we tell the story of people still suffering around the globe, and we say, “for them, not for me, we will do this today.”


In the few minutes it takes to read this, please ask yourself, “What am I doing to leave this world a better place?”  Let us all remember, Yom Hashoah.



Remember or Repeat. 



Sarah Lander Marks is the author of Artist’s Proof. She writes commentary on Jewish, social and humorous subjects. www.readartistsproof.com  Images are noted as “anonymous” from the archives of Holocaust-era artists, credited from the book by Janet Blatter & Sybil Milton’s Art of the Holocaust (1982).

READ an interview about Artist’s Proof at:  http://literatehousewife.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/65-artists-proof/.



~ by Lander Marks on April 26, 2008.


  1. Living 45 minutes from Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Massacre hit home hard. The story of Liviu Librescu never ceases to make me proud to be a human being. The good will always shine brighter and longer than any evil.

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