One of the many ways we show our sense of hope as a Jewish community is at our annual joint Yom HaShoah service. Temple Beth Sholom unites with Temple Beth Am and Temple Israel to commemorate and zachor—remember the Holocaust. It is a poignant time of reflection. Our service this year is at Temple Israel in Natick, on May 4th at 7:30 PM.
Each year, the service revolves around a different theme or speaker. A few years ago at TBS, we had Israeli IDF soldiers join us for a very moving ceremony. Proudly, they marched in with teens from our three area Jewish youth groups. We’ve heard from hidden child survivors and our own congregants bearing witness to the horrors of the Shoah. The greatest take away for me is our feeling of togetherness which dispels the darkness of evil that human beings can do to one another. Remembering the Shoah together as a Jewish community always uplifts me spiritually and emotionally.
This year we are commemorating Yom HaShoah through the lens of the arts. The service will feature two dramatic works, one by my seminary teacher, Prof. David Roskies, entitled Night Words. Night Words uses writings from rabbinic, medieval, and modern literary sources to help us understand the Shoah through discussion, debate, and rage. It is told in thirty-six parts representing the millennial-old Jewish legend that there are 36 righteous souls or lamed-vavnikim in the world at any given time.
The second piece, called Song of the Ghetto, originally choreographed by Frank Berk, is a moving dance piece about the Holocaust and life in the Ghetto. Members of our three communities along with members from a local Natick Church will be performing it for the community.
I hope you are able to attend this year’s service. Even if you can’t, please remember to light the Yom HaShoah candle our TBS Brotherhood sent out. I am very grateful for the wonderful mitzvah they perform each year in helping us all to remember and honor the memory of the Shoah.
Rabbi, Dr. Larry Bazer