Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My annual point about Yom Hashoa

It’s simply not true to say that Tisha B’av is the only appropriate day for mourning the 6 million. We have the long established right to establish, as a community, days for mourning, for repentance, and for remembrance. The proof is on your calendar: During Sefira we remember Rabbi Akiba's school and, per Samsom Repahael Hirsch in Chorev, the Crusades. There's a day for Gedalya's tragedy, and to remember Esther's fast. And for generations Jews remembered the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648(!) on 20 Sivan. Many siddurim even included selichos for that day.

Can you help me understand why these tragedies got days of their own rather than being subsumed into T'bav? If the 6000 Jews killed by Chelminiki merit a day, and the 24 thousand students of Rabbi Akiva merit a month, surely the 6,000,000 can be remembered independant of Tisha B'Av.

In short: Yom Hashoa isn’t rejected by the Haredim “because we have Tisha Bav.” It’s rejected by the Haredim because it wasn’t their idea, with the business about Tisha B’av being a convenient dodge.

- How should the Charedi community acknowledge Yom Hashoa?
- Yom Hashoa: Problem solved
- Why we mourn during s'fira (and not on Yom Hashoa)
- Yom Hashoa: How they dropped the ball

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