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Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony Held at Old West

The+vigil+included+poetry+and+novel+readings+as+well+as+moments+of+silence%2C+prayer+and+reflection.
The vigil included poetry and novel readings as well as moments of silence, prayer and reflection.

The vigil included poetry and novel readings as well as moments of silence, prayer and reflection.

Photo Courtesy of Mychal Herber ’19 Facebook page

Photo Courtesy of Mychal Herber ’19 Facebook page

The vigil included poetry and novel readings as well as moments of silence, prayer and reflection.

Emily Messer ’20, Associate News Editor

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A small group of students gathered at the steps of Old West to commemorate and remember the Holocaust as the sun set on Yom HaShoah, the Jewish holiday dedicated to the memory of the Shoah (the Holocaust).

Students accompanied the lighting of six candles, one for each million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, with poems and novels readings relating to the Holocaust.  After the candles were lit, the group listened in complete silence to the Israeli siren followed by the recitation of the Mourners Kaddish, a “prayer individuals say while mourning a relative,” according to the Dickinson College website.

Hillel’s Religious Chair Solomon Zisser ’20 led the ceremony, which ran just under half an hour.  He described the tradition of the Israeli siren as something “worth experiencing.  You can search up YouTube videos of cars stopping in the middle of the highway in Israel and people getting out of their cars to reflect for the two whole minutes [that the siren plays].”  He urged those at the gathering to mourn those who were lost in the Holocaust as well as reflect on what they can do as individuals to prevent such a horrific event from happening in the future.

One attendee, Zach Brink ’20 reflected on why he decided to attend the ceremony.  “My grandfather fought in World War II and he’s always been looked up to by my dad and I’m here because it was something that [my grandfather] was always fighting against and it’s something that we should continue to do and to stop stuff like this from happening. Our country, our world learns from our mistakes and this was a huge mistake, letting this happen.”

Zisser mentioned that “at home, during Yom HaShoah, I went to a Jewish high school, a day school, so we did this kind of thing at school so it felt a weird to not do anything for the holiday so I took charge [of the planning.]”  Although he was the driving force being the planning of the event, he maintained that “there is not one way to remember…this is just one of the ways.”

The gathering took place on Monday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m., marking the end of Holocaust Remembrance Day on the Jewish calendar.

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Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony Held at Old West