In my Holocaust education class today (I am in graduate school for Jewish Education), our professor gave out a survey called HEEQ. It’s used to gauge the resilience and engagement a student can handle when learning about the Holocaust. After completing the survey, those of us who wanted to could share their answer to the questions. One of them was:
“During this unit, have you thought about the Holocaust in connection with reading/watching the news [regarding] current events?”
Of course, there was no way of knowing that today would be the day that a deal would be reached between the Free World and Iran. The truth is, today isn’t the first day I’ve thought about Iran in this way. For a while, negotiations have smelt more like Neville Chamberlain than Winston Churchill, and the sad thing is, I got used to it. I’m not one to look at current events and say, “see, there’s another holocaust in the making,” but I am one to look for similarities in history, and from this side of the 21st Century, appeasement doesn’t seem to work in the long run.
Really, more than saying something, I’m asking something: What can I do when I feel as though history is repeating itself? The props, techniques, and characters are different, but the plot is nothing new.
I don’t have an answer other than live each day for the gift it is. Stand up for your (my) values. Choose a life of responsiveness and responsibility. In a small effort to cope with the weighty question above, I’d like to start posting quotes from a book that changed the way I think and speak about pretty much everything, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Every day, his ideas find me, in the the newspaper, books, podcasts, conversations, and especially prayer. Here’s a good one to start with: