Gentlemen, Shalom! Good evening!
Jewish occasions and history are marked by the mix of the sweet and the bitter. At weddings, we break a glass to remember the destruction of the Temple. This evening is no different.
As we honor the accomplishments of men in our congregation(s), it is also a date for remembrance. Last week marked the ____ anniversary (current year – 1938) of Kristallnacht, the Night of Shattered Glass, also known as Novemberpogrom.
On the evening of November 9th, 1938, Nazi thugs conducted the first statesponsored nationwide pogrom against the Jews. On one night, 1700 shuls were ransacked and 300 were burned. 7500 Jewish businesses were vandalized. 30,000 Jews were arrested and taken away to concentration camps. And at least 96 Jewish souls (z”l) were lost in the sanctification of God's name.
In the following week, Nazi officials ramped up a PR campaign which blamed Jews for the lawlessness. They used the event as a rationale for promulgating a series of anti-Semitic laws designed to remove Jews from the German economy. Kristallnacht was truly the opening shot of the Shoah.
All of us know about FJMC's Shoah Yellow Candle program. Tonight, I ask everyone present to make a commitment to reach out to other Jewish institutions in your community. Educate them about the value of remembrance through this one, simple home observance. Our theme this year is “Light a Candle, Preserve a Memory”. Every Jewish home should have a Yellow Candle.
As we remember Kristallnacht tonight, we will light six Candles in memory of the victims of the Shoah. I ask the following six men to light one candle, for each of the Six Million. Zachor! Remember! G’dank! Thank you!
(insert pre-printed list of honorees here)