Today is Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה) or Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism. It is a day of remembrance for the millions of Jews that died at the hand of Hitler’s war machine. Naturally I am drawn to the second part of the official name; the heroism.
World War II saw many acts of heroism that are hard to comprehend in today’s world. Some of the more amazing stories came from those under the yoke of Nazi Germany, in particular regarding the rescue of Jews. The State of Israel has a title bestowed to many of these heroes; Righteous Among the Nations. Included in that list are everyday people such as Irena Sendler, Oskar Schindler, and the people of Denmark. Also listed are diplomats who risked their lives in saving the lives of thousands of Jews. Raoul Wallenberg, Carl Lutz, and Constantin Karadja were active in Sweden, Hungary, and Romania respectively.
Give some thought today to those people who risked their lives to save those of others. Picture yourself in the same situation and consider what act you could make. By imaging yourself doing these heroic deeds you further develop your heroic imagination and will be better prepared in any situation that needs a hero.