Honorable Mensch-ion

The Right Hand of God

Tomorrow marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 27th was chosen as that is the day the Red Army liberated Auschwitz. Yet, one day cannot define the Holocaust.

Just ask a survivor. The trauma is never post-traumatic. It lasts a lifetime.

The timing may seem contradictory, but the same moment we commemorate the Holocaust, we celebrate Shabbat Shira, the chanting of the Song of the Sea. We rise as the Torah is read, recounting one of God’s greatest miracles. And while the sea splitting is magical, we know the greatest miracle is that today, thousands of years later, we continue to sing this song.

The Torah teaches us yemincha Adonai, the right hand of God should be full of power, yemincha Adonai, the right hand of God should shatter our foes.

Seforno, the 16th century Italian commentator asks, “Why is there the double emphasis on the right hand of God?” He answers, “It is a prayer for God to manifest God’s power against evil during the future time of redemption.”

There are moments in our lives that we recognize as living history. The last 110 days are those such moments. We know that for our song to be survive, we must learn our story, and we must tell our story.

For the last number of weeks, October 7th survivors continue to outreach to the Sinai Temple community. They are asking us to tell their stories. In November, we heard from Ella Shani, from Kibbutz Be’eri, who told us of her cousin Amit, who was thankfully released from Gaza. Tomorrow, we will learn the story of Dvir Rosenfeld and Maya Treger Rosenfeld from Kibbutz Kfar Azza, who adopted Dvir’s sister’s twin babies when she was murdered by Hamas.

This morning, I met Benny Ledom and Alon Keren, community leaders of Netiv Haasara, whose community was infiltrated by paragliding terrorists. Alon’s son Tal, z”l, was murdered on the beach in Zikim, a short walk from his house, while surfing with a friend that early morning. The terrorists infiltrated from the sea.

For so many years, I have read this song in the Torah. I have chanted these words. I understood the history, but the event felt surreal.

Tomorrow, when we rise in our synagogues around the world, we must chant this song with pride and with faith. These are the exact words we need as we share our story. Ella, Dvir, Alon, Benny, and the thousands of others that have a story to tell—that is yemincha Adonai, that is the right hand of God that with our actions, will manifest a time of redemption in the days ahead.

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