year we have a day titled “Yom HaShoah”, Holocaust
Remembrance Day. As Jews we gather, sing mourning songs and prayers,
recall those who died, honor those who hid and helped the Jews
and countless other persecuted by the Nazis, but most importantly
we all say “Never Again”. Never again will we allow
our world to become so violent, so prejudice. Never again will
we stand by and allow others to be punished for who they are.
I believe we have failed.
Americans we are guilty, as Jews (or whichever religion you are)
we are guilty, and most importantly, as humans WE ARE GUILTY.
How so? Let me explain….
only 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. Over 4 million other
people were also put to death in Hitler’s death camps:
Jehovah Witnesses, Gays, Roma Gypsies, Protestants, social reformers,
communists…the list goes on, but it includes: the DISABLED.
Schiavo, a woman, a disabled woman, unable to take care of herself,
and subject to her husband’s unkind jurisdiction of her
medical care. But, did the court stop him? No, they ignored the
Florida law that requires previous written permission by the
person to have a feeding tube removed, they ignored her parents
pleas to let her live, they allowed her husband—who lives
with another to whom he’s given children, and who stands
to gain monetarily when Terri’s dead—to make the
decision, based on something he claims she would have wanted.
is the JUSTICE? We may all blame this on the court and yes, it
is partly their fault, but I believe there is a bigger group
to consider: America. In the book Thirty-eight Witnesses the
author describes how a woman, Katherine Genovese was raped and
murdered in front of her home in Queens. This story got no special
attention until the Times found out that 38 people had stood
by and did nothing to stop the man. THEN this story hit the front
page and became big news. The 38 people gave no real explanation
for why they had not called the cops, beyond “it didn’t
involve me”. So, if 38 people are shunned by the Times
for standing by and doing nothing, should not the 293,027,571
people of America also feel that shame and guilt? Should we not
be held responsible for the murder of an innocent woman?
MANY people stood outside the hospitals, and squares to protest.
But, it was NOT ENOUGH! One picture I saw had a woman with a
cardboard sign shaped like the 10 Commandments that said “THOU
SHALT NOT KILL”. Can anyone really say that if the WHOLE
country had stood protesting with such signs that the court would
have not allowed her to live? If the WHOLE country had stood
up then perhaps Terri would still be alive today.
people think of the Holocaust, the first name that comes to mind
is “Adolf Hitler”. How many Hitlers exist today?
Granted, many people saw Saddam Hussein as one, and Bin-Laden,
and the countless number of other big names in the news. But
perhaps, perhaps Hitler is closer than we think. Perhaps he is
in the form of “normal” people who happen to be cruel.
Like Terri Shiavo’s husband—who did not allow a divorce,
nor did he turn over legal guardianship of her back to her parents
who desperately wanted her TO LIVE. He took advantage of her
disability, benefiting financially, and then killed her. Yes,
KILLED her. MURDERED her.
I locked someone away and gave them no food or water, and they
died I would be charged with murder. Yet, the court not only
allowed that to happen, they HELPED him MURDER his wife. This
man, in my mind is no different than any other evil personality
of history. And the court that helped him is no better than the
Nazi soldiers who did Hitler’s bidding.
how can we say, “Never Again”. Again has come and
gone. Many times. How many times have homeless people died due
to lack of food. And we have stood by and let that happen. Terri
Shiavo was murdered by the court and her husband. And the people
of America. The people who stood by and watched her die.
are ALL guilty. AGAIN has happened.
it will keep happening until CHANGE is made. It bothers me when
people say “how can this be happening here?” it happens
because that’s all people say. They sit by and wonder,
instead of ACTING. Instead of AFFECTING change.
is next? The elderly in nursing homes? They need special care.
The Autistic? They need special care too. Are we to become a
nation that kills anyone we deem “not worthy to live”?
How does that differ us from the Third Reich?
I leave you with this: next time when you say “how can
this happen?” or “how can this happen” or “this
will never happen”, remember that you affect no change
when you do this. And nothing will change until people do something.
And next time you are at Yom HaShoah service and we say, “Never
Again” MEAN IT. For without meaning, our words are but
dust and dirt.
Taamod al dam r’echa” “Do not stand by while
the blood of your brother is spilt.” (Leviticus 19:16)
Jews for Life)