Bin Laden’s Death and Yom HaShoah

Bin Laden’s Death and Yom HaShoah

This morning, when I stood for the Yom Hashoah siren, I felt a mixture of unfathomable loss for all of the murdered mothers and fathers and children martyred in the Shoah, as well as profound gratitude for the State of Israel. Look what we Jews have built, with G-d’s help, over the past 66 years…The streets of Israel today are bustling with Jews– men and women and children who, despite tremendous self-sacrifice and danger, have chosen to live as Jews in the Jewish homeland. The land of Israel is even more full of yeshivot and yeshiva students and religious schools today than there were in Europe before the Shoah. Who would have dreamed in 1945 that the Jewish world would be as thriving and alive and growing as it is today, with G-d’s help and miraculous providence?

And with tears in my eyes and the siren still ringing in my ears, I envisioned the words of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who said that when the Jewish people returned to this holy land in order to establish the State of Israel, the 6 million were dancing backwards, facing them like a groom being led to his bride, leading the Jewish people’s way up to Jerusalem.

How strangely bittersweet to hear of Bin Laden’s death by American forces on Yom Hashoah. Also a victory over evil 10 years after 9/11. As President Obama explained in his speech announcing Bin Laden’s assassination:

“It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history…And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.”

Today is a tragic day, a day when we pay tribute to lives inhumanly extinguished by the forces of evil. And maybe it’s also meant to be a day to pay tribute to the forces of good budding up yet again out of the scorched ground, rising from the ashes, undeterred.

Watch President Obama’s official speech announcing the assassination of Bin Laden:

Photo courtesy of the Hillel of Greater Toronto

One comment

  1. B”H
    Baruch Dayen EMES.

    ….in the blink of an eye.

    May Hashem continue to remove the Amalek in our presence,

    May Hashem bring Moshiach with alacrity, chesed and rachamim.

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