I write this message after attending an online service commemorating Yom HaShoah, while sitting in my living room. On this day we remember the annihilation of some 6 million Jews including one and a half million children.
It is very strange, not to be going to Shul or the Robert Blackwood Hall for such a remembrance. But it does demonstrate that whether we can join with our communities in person or through the wonders of the Internet, we still show the determination to “Never Forget”. To pass on to each generation the stories of the suffering of past generations of Jews and to learn from history, no matter how painful the memory.
For those still with us, who lived through the holocaust, some are finding the need for self isolation a stark reminder of their childhood years spent in hiding from the Nazis. One such person is Professor Shimon Redlich, who survived a massacre in Nazi occupied Galicia and then spent years in hiding with his mother and Grandmother.
For someone who loves being out and about, Redlich, a professor at Ben-Gurion University, finds it difficult being cooped up at home because of the coronavirus lockdown. “It throws me back into my childhood in hiding,” he says. (Haaretz 20/4)
Israel and Australia have two things in common. Both countries have to date managed to reasonably control the spread of the Coronavirus, but equally are seeking sensible exit strategies to move their populations and economies back to normal. We pray that such strategies will see the maintenance of the diminishing numbers contracting this deadly virus.
We, in the Australian Progressive Jewish Community and in the name of Progressive Zionism, will continue to support our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael and say, “if not this year, then next year in Jerusalem”.
ARZA President, Helen Shardey