Shmuel Rosenman, 2024 Erev Yom Hashoah Ceremony

I want to begin this evening, this Erev Yom Hashoah program, by making a very short statement:

For many years, it has been a common position to state that one should never compare any event, any other tragedy, to the Holocaust.

And that statement is still valid today – the Holocaust remains the most unique and unprecedented tragedy in Jewish and human history.

But the events of October 7th, 2023, remind of this grim fact: Those same motivations, those same evil intentions and false accusations that led to the Shoah – they are still with us today, in full force, and in full display.

Indeed, the attack on Oct. 7th was carried out by terrorists who clearly stated their genocidal aims against the Jewish people.

And this attack – an attack that caused the greatest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust – occurred in the very place that was meant to be a refuge for the Jews from the Holocaust, and from acts of antisemitism.

In fact, many Holocaust survivors have told us, that the events of October 7 and the resulting wave of antisemitism that has swept through world – made them feel like they were once again living through the 1930s.

And this alone should cause each one of us to tremble!

But, especially at this time, we must not – we dare not – yield to the forces of fear and despair.

We must all believe and proclaim loudly and clearly, with one voice: The Jewish people and the state of Israel will rise again from this tragedy and build a stronger Israel, a brighter Israel, and a more unified Israel.

Let me close with the words of courage and defiance, that so many survivors of the Holocaust recited here:

Mir Zaynen Do! We Are Here! Anachnu Kaan!

And we always will be!