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Memory — personal, cultural, national, international (that about covers it ) — plays a huge role in conflicts at every level. We bear grudges; we want justice for something that happened last week or hundreds of years ago; we want revenge; we want sympathy; we want acknowledgment; etc. In the end, however, we want to be free of the past as well. Carry the lessons forward through time; leave the story alone; leave it also ineffable — beyond comprehension, explanation, and words.

I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that one memory in Jewish life may be much, much more important than The Holocaust.


We leave. We move on. We are joined by the mixed multitude that shares — down deep enough to gamble on moving with us — our political perceptions — our ethical and moral dimensions — and with God’s help, we leave behind the horrors and are strengthened in meeting the next challenges.

May we all look forward more than we do backward.

Someone had been upset over the overuse of the term “holocaust” — it seems everyone of late has come from some cultural background that has suffered one.

Not quite.

My other attempt at peacemaking over the matter:

While “THE Holocaust” may be regarded as a singular event in history, displacements and genocides have been a fair part of the history of warfare, the other part being conquest accompanied by longer-term plundering by way of subjection. The Jewish cultural and tribal history may be unique to the Hebrews but the same has developed an empathetic universalism accessible far beyond its own boundaries. So be it — and expect language to evolve accordingly.

May God (Nature, and the Universe) help us save ourselves from the “MaligNarcs” — “Malignant Narcissists” — that would subordinate our lives to theirs, have the chaos of the universe whipped up around themselves while embarking on the most heartbreaking and inhuman — and ungodly — of methods and practices known or imaginable in the course of their political arcs and inevitable failures.