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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yom Hashoah at the Temple Emanu-El


Ms. Rosa Lee Schiff, Holocaust survivor was the key note speaker at the Holocaust Memorial organised by Muslims in Dallas in 2007 and every year since then - http://www.holocaustandgenocides.com/
  The Jewish community has been observing Yom Hashoah since the fifties, and the United Nations stepped up and made a proclamation to commemorate the day on January 26. The Jewish community continues with its traditional day in April or May depending on the calendar, while the Muslims took a bold initiative following the UN proclamation and have been Reflecting on the Holocaust and Genocides since 2006 together with people of every faith. Indeed it is for the general public to learn about the brutal inhumanity of it and prepare to say never again. The details are at www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

Lao Tsu’s prayer of peace explains the need to participate;
If there is to be peace in the world,
there must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
there must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
there must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
there must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
there must be peace in the heart.

Peace on earth let it begin with me,
While listening to the notes of the Holocaust Survivors read by their family members tonight, I was in literal coma, grasping the pain and the betrayal of the world during the most difficult of times for the Jewish community. I sincerely wish the world understands this pain. They were on the verge of annihilation while the world did not do a thing about it, imagine a group of friends going to a movie, and a bad guy pulls you out from the group and starts beating, you look up for help while your friends act as if they don’t know you, it is a sheer sense of betrayal. Listening to the happenings of the survivors gave me goose bumps. 
If the Israelis can communicate this with their Arab neighbors and the Palestinians can share their hopelessness with the Israelis, peace and security for both will be theirs to have. Both people continue to suffer and the arrogance on the part of their leadership inhibits the process, neither of them is willing to share their pain and bring out the humility to fore. Humility builds bridges, and our (American) policy will not help the situation either, our actions and words cause both sides to dig in their heels and demand each other to ‘obey’ rather than surrendering their egos for the long term peace and security of both the people.
On our part, the World Muslim congress and the Foundation for pluralism will continue to share about the Holocaust and Genocides on the Dallas level and urge others in other cities to take it up or if someone can fund us, we can set up the systems in other cities where people of all faith are reached. I will be talking about this on my Americas speaking tour to build a cohesive America.
I was glad to hear Rachel reading her Mother Rosa Lee Schiff’s notes, where she said she went to a Mosque to talk about her story and said they listened to her intently and she said we have to shed prejudices against others. That was a wholesome gesture and I am glad I attended the event, perhaps the only non-Jewish person in the audience.
I was saddened to learn that William Schiff had passed away this year, he and his wife Rosa Lee Schiff, both survivors of Holocaust were the key note speakers at the first Holocaust memorial event we organized in 1996. It was a pleasure to run into Rabbi Raskin, Rabbi Stern and cantor Don Croll. I found Bernie and Denise my friends in the back row and I joined them for the service. I was pleasantly surprised when Alice Murray called me by my name, she is the president of the Dallas Holocaust Museum, she and I had talked a few times and met once and she remembers me pulling the Holocaust survivors together and pray for goodwill when Fred Phelps was demonstrating outside the Museum.

Mike Ghouse is an interfaith Speaker, thinker, futurist, writer, organizer and an activist committed to building cohesive societies with a firm belief that the purpose of religion is to bring harmony to an individual within and create a balance with what surrounds; life and matter. If we can learn to respect and accept every which way people have come to worship the creator, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. He offers pluralistic solutions to media and to the public on complex issues of the day and is available to speak in a variety of settings such as schools, seminars, conferences, and places of worship, or the work place. His work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net

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