'Let us live lives rich in meaning and joy.' Mayor Darrell Steinberg speaks at Holocaust Commemoration
Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s remarks at Holocaust Commemoration Sunday at Temple B’nai Israel:
Saturday’s unacceptable shooting in Poway is another of the constant reminders of why we gather together tonight. The Holocaust was the most extreme and devastating chapter of human history, which showed the worst and sometimes the best of humanity.
The universal lessons from the Holocaust never lose their importance. We can never stop commemorating Yom HaShoah. We cannot stop teaching. We can never stop fighting hate. We can never stop building community.
Many have written about the Holocaust, and there are so many poignant references to choose from. I appreciate what Iris Chang said in citing Elie Wiesel, that “to forget a holocaust is to kill twice.” Elie Wiesel often said that the opposite of love is not hate or evil -- but indifference.
So tonight, as always, we reinforce in our communal life in Sacramento the following: Never be a bystander, stay involved, fight for justice, stand up for ourselves and our precious Jewish faith, stand up for all other faiths, stand up for those left out, those treated badly because of who they are and those who are forgotten.
I always try to remember another lesson taught by those who suffered most: The greatest rebuff of the haters is to live lives of joy, live lives of faith, live lives of fellowship and community and never ever cower in fear.
For cowering in fear and retreating is exactly what they want. In memory of the victims, gone for almost 70 years, and all of those who have been victims of hate and terror since, let us live committed lives, lives rich in meaning and joy, and let us fight hate and discrimination with all we have.