Yom Hashoah, Friday, April 12, 2002, Temple Ahavath Israel.

On this day we remember human kind’s darkest moment. In one decade so many innocent lives destroyed, Jews, Christians and individuals of thought. Tonight I will memorialize my parents, their pain and suffering, my childhood, which was taken as their experiences, touched my very soul and to this I remain a torchbearer to hope and vision only if we as a nation of free men and woman never forget.

As a child I knew I was different than all the other children … There were no sounds of family especially at holidays.

My Mother, Chaya Hershberg was born in Olkuse Poland to a family of blue-collar workers. Father, Mordcha Rubinek born in Kielzer, Poland to a family of industrialists. Both lead very different lives before the war only to meet as survivors of Hitler’s final solution.

Jews is Europe prior to the Second World War lived in relative peace and tranquility. They were accepted in every avenue of industry and government until one day hate was projected upon them for Europe, Germany in particular needed to find blame for it’s failed economy and collapsing social structure.

Vague depictions were cast upon the Jewish people by controlling factions of the media starting in 1930 in Germany. Der Strummer the leading periodical of the time even claimed Jews used human blood in sacramental meals during Passover. A madman, Adolph Hitler was elected to power.

The night of “Broken Glassâ€? was the culmination of reconstructionalism and propaganda. Today, how can we forget, least it will happen again?

When the Nazis invaded Poland almost immediately they began to round up the Jewish people. They were assisted by anti Jewish sentiment, which had spread throughout Europe were Jews were systematically identified, herded and maintained in ghettos.

No, mother told me Hitler didn’t want the final solution at first, only after the world showed they didn’t want the Jewish refugee from Europe. Thousands of Jews were allowed to flee only to be denied entry to any safe haven … There was no Israel, no right of return no where to go except to the final solution as the world watched.

Mother and Father both told me how their families were rounded up and murdered, a miracle alone they survived only to be tortured in Concentration Camps, mother in Auschwitz father in Buchenwald.

Allied forces liberated both of my parents. Father very German looking and fluent in German was able to flee to Italy, mother saved by the Roman Catholic Church acting with Jewish partisans. Though the Nazis were no longer in control, they were still murdering the remaining Jews. Mother too was able to escape to Italy where Jews on the whole were protected by the Italian people and little known as the “Secretâ€? …the church.

My parents met in Italy and immigrated to Israel upon its creation, there they married. Both after such inhuman conditions during the Holocaust saw the creation of the Jewish State however couldn’t bear the sight of constant war in Eretz Yisroel.

They left the land of “Milk and Honeyâ€?.

Emigrating to the United States in the Mid 50’s they made their new life and enjoyed liberty however never free of their sad memories.

I was born in August of 1958, although my life bore witness to sadness and tribulation I can proudly say there is hope as long as we remember not to forget and not to hate. Both my parents taught me this virtue.

We must remain vigilant and hopeful. I have found solace in the L-d and peace in his word.

Psalm 91: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress; My G-d in him I will trust… (Continue to read Psalm 91).

Let us pray for His peace.

Thank you … Shalom