The full name of the day is Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah - The Day of Remembrance for the [Nazi] Holocaust and for the Strength/Boundaries/Limits. This last piece refers to the resistance of Jews and many others to the Nazi Holocaust and to nazism in general. There was a great deal of Jewish resistance to the Nazis before, during, and since World War II. And it will continue.
In the State of Israel, sirens glare throughout the land on this day to prompt a collective two minute moment of silence. I have been in Israel on Yom HaShoah, and it is powerful. People pausing mid-conversation as cars and buses come to a halt, many people standing or making their bodies more upright. There is power in collective remembrance.
And while the Nazi Holocaust is over, antisemitism is still with us. It is utilized today for the advancement of fascist, authoritarian, xenophobic, co-hetero-patriarchal, ableist white nationalist movements that fight to stay in and gain power today. And it shows up in many places and in many ways. Including graffiti on synagogues this week.
Today let us not only remember the victims of the Nazi Holocaust - the countless numbers of Jews, Roma, queer and disabled people, Serbs, Poles, Russian, Jehovah's Witnesses, incarcerated people and those who resisted the Nazis, and more. May we also remember, and perhaps even celebrate, the many acts of resistance made against nazism, fascism, authoritarianism, demagoguery, and oppression. Let us rededicate our life and our love to ensure there is never again such atrocity for ourselves and for anyone - not without us to contend with, at least. May today recommit us to community care, relationship transformation, and ensuring that we, nor any stranger, shall experience oppression that is not strongly and actively resisted.