Yom Ha-Shoah.

This Sunday after sunset will be opened the Day of commemoration of the Shoah

Here are two texts which can nourish our reflection

-The first one quotes the different passages of the Bible where the Hebrew word Shoah appears

We can notice that for each reference, the Hebrew word Shoah is translated in a different way. This shows the impossibility to talk adequately of this drama. We can also see the unexpected, the suddenness, the violence, the torment…

-The second text is a prayer of Etty Hillesum, a young woman who died at Auchwitz at the age of 28.

The word Shoah

Is 10,3: What will you do on the day of punishment, in  the ruin that will come  from far away? To who will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?

Is 47,11: But  evil shall come upon you, which you cannot charm away; disaster shall fall  upon you, which you will not be able to ward off; and calamity shall come on you suddenly of which you know nothing.

Zephaniah 1,15: That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation (( שואה ומשואה, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.

Prov 1,27: When panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when anguish and distress come upon you…

Job 30,3: Through want and hard hunger, they gnaw the dry and desolate ( (שואה ומשואה ground.

Etty Hillesum

 “ My God, these are anxious times. Tonight for the first time I lay in the dark with burning eyes as scene after scene of human suffering passed before me. I shall promise You one thing, God, just one very small thing: I shall never burden my today with cares about my tomorrow, although that takes some practice. Each day is sufficient unto itself. I shall try to help You, God, to stop my strength ebbing away, though I cannot vouch for it in advance. But one thing is becoming increasingly clear to me: that You cannot help us, that we must help You to help ourselves. And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves. And perhaps in others as well. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be much You Yourself can do about our circumstances, about our lives. Neither do I hold You responsible. You cannot help us, but we must help You and defend Your dwelling place inside us to the last. There are, it is true, some who, even at this late stage, are putting their vacuum cleaners and silver forks and spoons in safekeeping instead of guarding You, dear God. And there are those who want to put their bodies in safekeeping but who are nothing more now than a shelter for a thousand fears and bitter feelings. And they say, ‘I shan’t let them get me into their clutches.’ But they forget that no one is in their clutches who is in Your arms. I am beginning to feel a little more peaceful, God, thanks to this conversation with You. I shall have many more conversations with You. You are sure to go through lean times with me now and then, when my faith weakens a little, but believe me, I shall always labor for You and remain faithful to You and I shall never drive You from my presence.”

by Sr. Anne-Catherine AVRIL, nds.

Support: Sr. Karmela Farrugia, NDS.

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