Voice of the Jewish News: At peace – at last

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Voice of the Jewish News: At peace – at last

This week's editorial reflects on the remarkable story on Jewish News' front page this week, of soil taken from Auschwitz containing victims' remains being buried in Bushey

Bushey's award-winning cemetery
Bushey's award-winning cemetery

There can be few more phenomenal stories in recent years than that revealed today – a piece of earth, taken from Auschwitz by a Holocaust survivor years ago, found to contain the remains of Jews, who will now be buried at Bushey Cemetery.

You can look at this molecularly, but not a single Jew will do so. In terms of symbolism and emotion, it doesn’t come much bigger than this. That one was a child only adds weight to an already-overbearing strain.

The service on Sunday will be too much for some, but a duty for all, to remember – in this clod of earth – the people killed, whose earthly fragments for years made up the very subsoil of this site of shame.

There will be words, of course, but it is a day for action, for burying those who never had that dignity, for reaffirming our Jewish heritage and the direct line to those who died for their own. It will be a day for silence and reflection.

Jews know that the horrors of Auschwitz can in part be laid to rest by educating a world that will always be susceptible to its oldest hatreds. Few of us ever imagined that we could lay to rest those who died in the very horrors we teach. On Sunday we can, and we will. See you there.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

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