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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Michael Barclay

Never Forget, and Never Again

As we look around here in America, everything seems to be filled with the cheer of the holidays. Holiday parties, Christmas movies, TV specials, and music surround us; Hanukkah menorahs are getting ready to be lit tonight, and things seem to be shifting away from the seriousness of world events into the joy of the holidays.

But today is also December 7, the 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A "day of infamy," this surprise attack brought the United States fully into World War II. For those of you who have not been, the site is still an operating military base in Oahu as well as a national landmark commemorating the loss of that day: 21 ships, including five of the eight battleships, were sunk, and out of 402 U.S. aircraft, 188 were destroyed and 159 were damaged.

Although there have been discussions for decades about what the U.S. government did or did not know in advance, it was one of the worst military defeats in our nation's history.  For the people of Hawaii, even 80+ years later, for all WWII veterans of the Pacific theater and their families, and for all American patriots, the day still holds meaning and should never be forgotten.

But it's Christmas time, and we want to do our holiday shopping, enjoy the respite from serious things, sing about Rudolph, and drink egg nog and hot chocolate.

George Santayana was right: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Americans can never forget the horrors of WWII and how the United States saved the world from the true evil of the Nazis, an evil that tried and almost succeeded in taking over the world.

It was an evil that had never been matched until October 7. Hamas, like the Nazis of the last century, also want, by its own admission in its charter, to take over the world. 

It's easy to forget the horrors of October 7 from the comfort of our cushy homes in America. No one really wants to think about the depraved atrocities of Hamas, the footage that we saw of torture and terror, and the evils of kidnapping and death. But we must never forget. Never.  

As Israel starts to make progress in the south of Gaza -- and world opinion, including in Washington, D.C., shifts towards sympathy for Hamas -- we must never forget what it did, and what it is promising to do again if given the chance. Never.

We must never forget the devastation of Pearl Harbor; the horrors of the Holocaust; and the details of a war in the mid-twentieth century that nearly destroyed the world. We must never forget how early capitulation to the Nazis allowed them to grow and gain such power that they were nearly unstoppable in their quest for world domination. We must never forget how close the world came to Hitler's goal of an empire that would last a thousand years.

And we must never forget what Hamas did on October 7.

May our holiday season be rich and beautiful, filled with light and all that is good in life. And while we enjoy this holiday time and all of the joyous comforts of American life, may we remember the struggles of each battle in Gaza, where the IDF is fighting not only for Israel's survival but also against an enemy that has even less morality than the Nazis of decades ago.

May we never forget. The attack on Pearl Harbor 82 years ago, the war that we fought then, the horrors of October 7, and the evils of Hamas now. May we never forget these risings of evil lest they, God forbid, get repeated.


Read Article at PJ MEDIA

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