Philadelphia Remembers: Commemorating Toulouse and the Shoah

Rabbi Eric Yanoff led a procession from Temple Adath Israel to Merion Park to mark the shloshim (30-day mourning period) for the victims of last month’s massacre in Toulouse, France, and to commemorate the eve of Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).

About 200 Hebrew school students and members of the community marched solemnly holding signs with photographs of the victims declaring:

  • We remember Rabbi Jonathan Sandler.
  • We remember Gabriel Sandler.
  • We remember Arieh Sandler.
  • We remember Miriam Monsonego.

They were gunned down outside of the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse simply because they were Jews. Rabbi Yanoff led the march to the stream in Merion Park where every year at Rosh Hashanah the community comes to say the tashlich prayer and expunge their sins in living water. After his remarks, he led the crowd in a recitation of kaddish in memory not only of the Toulouse attack victims, but of all who perished l’kiddushat hashem — in sanctification of the Holy Name. As we were approaching the eve of Yom Hashoah, we were especially mindful of the six million Jews who were martyred during the Holocaust.

May their memories be a blessing to us all. Zichronam l’Vracha.

More after the jump.
Helen Loeb who grew up in Toulouse shared her feelings.

I remember when my husband called me to tell me about the shootings on that tragic Monday. I just could not believe it. We always had some kind of security around Jewish buildings in Toulouse but we never took it seriously. Somehow, we felt nothing would happen in suburban Toulouse. I now feel that anything can happen anywhere and it is very hard to build security. I am thankful to Rabbi Yanoff of Adath Israel for organizing this event. It feels good to see how people came to march for the victims on this shloshim. As it happens it is also Yom Hashoah. Let us all pause today and recite Kaddish to remember the victims of antisemitism, then and now.

Cartoon reprinted courtesy of Yaakov (Dry Bones) Kirschen www.DryBonesBlog.



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