Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.
I am amazed that after the world has endured two world wars, skirmishes that eventually developed into full-blown conflicts, hate that has, and continues to permeate societies, that we still find the ability to foment bigotry on a scale thought unimaginable at this time, in this place.
The headlines are filled with incidents that boggle the mind. For example, our temples of academia are filled with the most blatant display of inhuman behavior. University professors and students use hatred as a form of learning and hide under the banner of free speech to justify this obtrusive conduct. Political correctness has superseded logic and reality. We are so preoccupied with being sensitive to the feelings of others, we forget that this can, and has, led to the most virulent expressions of divisiveness.
Age-old distortions are prevalent. It seems that all the progress made over the last several decades is irrelevant. New efforts are being introduced to rekindle the flames of distrust reminiscent of the early part of the last century, and for that matter, centuries past.
The difference now, however, is that the world is supposedly more civilized, more tolerant, more educated. It is frightening, to say the least. And yet, the so-called civilized world is promoting the very thing it was designed to eradicate – death and destruction. The advent of the United Nations was, for the most part, developed to bring order to chaos, to establish dialogue in place of war, to ensure the safety of all.
Those who thought this kind of vulgarity was destroyed when Nazism and Fascism were eliminated should understand that evil is capable of resurfacing at any time, in any place. We are witnessing the full-scale annihilation of people because of the faith they follow. Extremism is the order of the day. We sit idly by and report it one day, and forget it the next. Where are the people of conscience?
Here in our little corner of the world we are also experiencing events that test our endurance and fortitude. We lose good friends and family members. We are recuperating from traumas that have turned our lives upside down. We have emotional ties to our fellow countrymen who are sacrificing more than we can truly imagine. Madmen murder our children.
Civilized society requires, even demands, that humanity must affect a solution to death and destruction. Civilized society must not be afraid to confront evil. Civilized society needs to be reminded that to survive we need each other. This is why we stop for a moment; recall the past so we will never forget. This we will do, as the generations past have done, on Friday, April 13.
Five community churches, their pastors and congregants will join with us to commemorate life as we remind ourselves never to forget the horrors of yesterday. You will find, on the pages of this periodical, the names of the participants. Their commitment to solidarity and the leadership they display through their belief in the sanctity of life are testaments to the goodness that can be found in each of us. They are truly a credit to their people and a blessing given us by God.
What better way is there to honor them and keep the promise to “Never Forget” than to participate at this service of sanctification? Join with us as we honor the past and join hands in a better tomorrow.