Monday, April 20, 2009

Yom-ha-Shoah REMEMBRANCE DAY


Very few people know that in my early 20's I decided to convert to Judaism. It isn't easy to convert to a religion whose followers don't actively seek converts. I wanted to be Orthodox but that was a no no. I was told I had the option of going Reform or Conservative. I found a Conservative Rabbi that was willing to accept me but I had to get the members of the synagogue to warm up to me. Not that easy. I stuck with it, I learned Hebrew, I studied Jewish history, read the Torah, and attended Synagogue.

Somewhere between moving to Mexico and having children I changed my mind about being Jewish. It really wasn't a conscious thought to abandon my desire to convert but I think the entire process of becoming Jewish was more about learning than it was about embracing something I wanted to be.

I have tremendous respect for Jewish people. I love everything about Judaism, but I was destined for another life and it didn't include religion.

This blog post is my way of reminding people who may not already know that sunset tonight is the Jewish Holocaust Remembrance. Officially we will remember this day tomorrow, April 21st.

Traditionally one of the ways to remember the victims of the Holocaust is by lighting a candle. If you have children this is a special way of opening up discussion about the Holocaust and its significance.

I also suggest reading the book "Night" by Elie Weisel. It is short, can be read in one evening, and it is very powerful.

If you want to educate your children on the Holocaust and there are any museums with events on this day, visual experience can be very enlightening to young minds.

CLICK HERE for a list of Holocaust museums around the U.S.

However you choose to remember this day, it is the "remembering" part that is the most important.