Interfaith #Holocaust Commemoration (Yom Hashoah)

Tonight I went to Temple Israel in Tulsa.

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The front of their building is covered in literal stone tablets of the 10 Commandments:

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Inside, the welcoming environment included brochures for the community food bank, the wellness center for aging, and other local non-profit agencies:

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There was even information about domestic violence and breast self-exams in the women’s restrooms:

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This is a community that takes care of their people!

They are also a community who celebrate their culture, religion, and heritage:

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They are sensitive to the needs of those with hearing loss, providing fancy headphones right by the entrance!

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Unfortunately, with cochlear implants I need the old school box-headset-receiver-thing to go with my special cords for my processors. But now that I know they are wired for it, next time I will bring my own!

The program was given by Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, the former director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Israel.

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Yad Vashem is the holocaust museum I went to when I was in Israel. It is amazing, with a museum that zig zags you through the history of the holocaust. There are videos and pictures and artifacts and whole rooms set up. It is hard to describe, but is more amazing than any museum I have been to in the world. The videos are testimonies of survivors, and they are incredible stories. There is also a monument to the children who died, shining them like a million stars in a way I cannot even describe.

On the grounds, trees are planted to honor the Righteous. These are the non-Jewish people who rescued Jews, without payment or benefit, and their stories confirmed by the survivors.

They say to rescue one is to have saved a nation.

Think of that when you are rescuing one by one, whether visiting teaching or working at the Temple.

Dr. Paldiel’s talk was very good, sharing his own story of being a six year old escaping with his family from Belgium to France, where they were then smuggled into Switzerland the day before the Gestapo took over border control. He also read many stories from others, so many stories. I cried and cried.

A choir from All Souls Unitarian sang, and they were lovely. I had very much liked that church when I first moved to Tulsa, but they would not provide interpreters.

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We had sixty seconds of silence, ten seconds for each million killed, just like they do in Israel on this day.

They also lit candles, one candle for each million and a seventh for the non-Jews who gave their lives helping.

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The kids who lit the candles were the winners of the art contest in Tulsa. Here is some of the art, expressions of how the children of Tulsa are learning and will always remember:

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Comments

Interfaith #Holocaust Commemoration (Yom Hashoah) — 1 Comment

  1. Here we call it the duty of remembrance. And there should be much more people conmemorating it over the world. I only heard a quick info on the radio about it, and read one article in the newspaper today (about a woman who were born jew in Auschwitz and then got convert to Islam in Israel because she felt in love with a muslim). Nowadays, journalists are much more inclined to inform us about superficial things. We live in the society of chat, gossip and we lack of deep debats and eloquent talks.
    We must remember in order that such thing never happens again…the world is fragile. As a european child, I have been deeply impacted by those conmemorations and stories. Kudoz!