It is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and there are still those who will murder us just for being Jews. The shooting today in Jerusalem is evidence of this sad fact. At last count 7 people were killed, likely on their way home to Friday night dinner after Shabbat prayers.
We can never completely rest. I wish it were otherwise, but this is a fight that never ends. I will continue to do my part in telling the story of my family to bring to life the reality of the murder of 6 million Jews. As the son of Holocaust survivors from Holland, when I read how one quarter of Dutch youth believe the Holocaust was a myth, I realize why we are so far from the peace we so dearly cherish. https://m.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/article-729462 Not knowing what happened opens the possibility of it happening again, and we can never accept that possibility. When Jews get murdered outside of a synagogue just for being Jews, whether it is in Jerusalem or Pittsburgh, we need to realize that whatever we can do to combat this evil we must take upon ourselves to do.
I will honor those lost by continuing to fight in the way that I know how, which is to educate people about what really happened, and to make the point that ignorance is rarely replaced by good, far more often with evil.
Occasionally I will post a sports story on Holland’s Heroes. I generally do this because of a specific interest I have in the event or a team playing. The one common denominator in any of my sports related posts is the fact that the sports story is a fun distraction or diversion from the seriousness of reality. Sadly, due to the tragic events that unfolded last night surrounding Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, today is the exception that proves the rule.
After making a tackle in last nights NFL Matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, 24 year old Hamlin went into cardiac arrest. They were able to restore a heartbeat on the field, but as he is still in critical condition, no one knows as of the time I am writing this piece to what extent he will recover, if at all. I always say that I love sports because while I put so much emotion into cheering on the players and teams that I love, when my team loses it takes very little time to move on, and sometimes even laugh about it. As important as it feels the moment your team wins or loses, in the scheme of life there are so many things that matter more. No matter how much good sports can be part of and how much joy it can bring, sports is still ultimately just the playing of games. So when Damar Hamlin collapsed on the football field after going into cardiac arrest and still for all intents and purposes is fighting for his life, what had the potential of being the best game of the year, turned into a terrifying reality for a young man, his family, teammates, closest friends and that very special fanbase known as Bills Mafia.
For fans like me, a big fan of the NFL yet someone who didn’t even know his name till last night, it became a story that left the fantasy world of sports and moved to a harsh and frightening reality. This was no longer a distraction or a diversion. This is now a tragic story, one we can only hope and pray gets better.