It begins tonight. It's such a formality, but it's necessary. It's necessary to set aside one day of the year to specifically remember the Holocaust. I feel like I never forget it. Not only do I know stories and names of relatives who died, I feel like it is my mission in life to ensure that the Nazis didn't win. That despite their best efforts, the descendants of the ones who perished, whom they worked so hard to kill, are not only alive but actively practicing Judaism. Not only practicing Judaism, but speaking of the Nazis like ones speaks of the Babylonians and Romans and all other people who tried to kill us. The Nazis are gone, but the Jews - the pitifully small in number Jews - are around. And not only around - but enhancing quality of life on Earth!! How many Nobel prizes have been won by Jews? How much literature has been produced? How about the entire concept of ethics and morality? Who came up with that (well, G-d did, but we are charged with spreading the message)?
So anyway, I lit a 24-hour candle tonight in honor of those I know who perished, the 1.5 million children who perished, and those who perished and there is no one to remember them. Here's to remembering that no matter how comfortable we feel in a society, that society can ALWAYS turn against us. No matter how "cultured" a society, the society can create the most efficient killing machine. No matter how much a citizen of your country you may feel, remember that you will ALWAYS be considered a Jew, no matter how little you actually know of Judaism. Never forget that. We Jews will always be singled out, no matter how much we try to hide. We only have each other.