So there was a bar-mitzvah in synagogue today.
It was very memorable, I think not only for the young man and his family, but for many of the congregants--and frankly, it brought me to tears.
The family was from the Israeli embassy, and they did something that I had never seen before.
When the father got up with his wife and son at the pulpit to speak, he didn't talk about how great his son was.
Instead he spoke about a young boy from the Holocaust who never made it to his bar-mitzvah.
The father told of the just 12-year old that lived in Europe and was murdered by the Nazis in the Jewish genocide that killed 6,000,000!
The father presented a certificate from the Remember Us program with the name and information of the murdered boy to his son.
The message of this father and Israeli official on his son's bar-mitzvah was very clear--Never again!
Never again--the hate, prejudice, discrimination, and murder of Jews just because they are Jews.
The people that were murdered by the evil Nazis and other hating bigots throughout history showed no mercy towards G-d's creatures--in fact, quite the contrary--they relished in the absolute torture and killing of each and every one.
Never again, is not just a phrase, but it is a determination and a commitment to be a "light unto nations" not to forget how some can fall under the evil influence and not to allow it to happen again that people engage in the most outrageous and vile atrocities against their fellow man.
Unfortunately these days, hate and bigotry comes in many colors, races, genders, orientations, and affiliations--and the haters may often pretend--like the Nazis did as the "Aryan Nation"--that they are superior, better, and even righteous in their (evil) cause.
However, we have to know better--we have to be able to discern good from evil--raise up good over evil--and fight for good to win against evil.
It is not just a single battle, but a long intergenerational war, and one that will be won.
G-d Almighty will most assuredly see to it that those who hate on and perform the vilest of deeds against their fellow man, they will end up paying the ultimate price not only with their rotting flesh, but with the eternal burning of their sickening souls. ;-)
(Source Photo: here with attribution to the Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team--HEART)