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Counting Omer 5780, Day 12:

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

Hod shebeGevurah Beauty, Splendor, Glory, Vigor, Magnificence, and Pomp within Limitations; Spiritual, Physical, Emotional Strength; and Boundaries.

Quality: Grief and Resilience

Today is also Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This day on the Jewish calendar we recognize the spiritual, psychological, and physical genocide directed toward our people under the Nazi occupation and its reign of terror throughout all of Europe and North Africa. It is important to comprehend what is hard to comprehend: portions of families and whole families were wiped out; their legacies lost to our present. With all that is known, there is still more to be known. For instance, Greek Jews were among the oldest indigenous populations in that country. Despite the sincere efforts of a strong resistance movement, 81 percent of the Jewish populace of Greece was murdered.

We cannot just mourn our own. To do that diminishes the deeper meaning of the Eternal’s admonition to the angels that cheered the deaths of Pharaoh’s army: “My creatures are perishing, and you sing praises?” In recognizing that Five Million additional souls were murdered also because of bigotry, hatred, and cruelty, we expand our connection to the human family, and they, too, are ours as ancestors – known and unknown.

There is no one way to grieve such horrendous devastation. We remember. We mourn. Many of us still wail. We learn to live with the ache, the pain, the loss, the constant companion of trauma. The constant companion of grief... and we can learn to love, trust, appreciate beauty, experience joy… Walking mindfully with the Divine we can heal some our brokenness and learn to live with that which cannot be healed.

The attempt to eliminate the Jewish, Roma, Disabled, Gay and Lesbian people, and more was an attack on our collective humanity. It is a horror that cannot be simplified or reduced, though many still try to deny its occurrence. The Holocaust did happen. The meticulous documentation of the Nazi’s proves what can happen when a small group of people decide they have THE answer, encouraging divisiveness and scapegoating within and across families, communities, states, schools, religions, economies, parties, crises...

Yet, we are still here! We continue to flourish and, unfortunately, we continue to fight to make sure that no one forgets. We call out leaders, especially those we appreciate, for their failure to name “genocide” because they know what the proper labeling requires of them; of us. We name it, anyway, because we accept the obligation, though we lack the authority to move “mountains” to change the dynamics. We grieve the losses. We support the living. We raise the memories. In doing so, we lively live with our grief and enhance our resilience.



© Sabrina Sojourner 2020

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