This morning I woke up before my alarm clock, checked on Harry, my cat with the broken shoulder, and then checked my email. Went to the post office to pay some taxes, and then to the pool to swim.
When the two minute siren went off for Yom HaShoah, I was standing in the shower, dripping wet with shampoo still in my hair, after my swim. Two minutes is a long time, it gives you enough time to really get inside yourself and realize how lucky you are; lucky that your family did not have too many murdered relatives in World War II, lucky that there is a State of Israel, and extremely happy to be living in that State of the Jews in 2008, a country which de facto protects all Jews all over the globe.
I could barely hear the siren over the loud hum of the fan.
I remember several years ago, I was standing on line at the bank when the siren sounded. Most of us stood at solemn attention, and one woman continued to talk on her cellphone, oblivious and totally disrespectful to the time dedicated to the Jews who died in the Holocaust. At first, all of us gave her dirty looks, to no avail. Finally we all started yelling at her, "What, don't you have any respect for those who died? Can't this conversation wait two minutes?"
She took offense - though thankfully shut off her phone - and as soon as the two minutes of silence ended, she called her friend right back, and proceeded to tell her friend how rude we had been, cutting off her conversation.
Life goes on, but isn't that the point?
I spent two minutes remembering the victims of the Shoah, and then returned to the shower, and went to work. We are a normal people living in a normal State on the Planet Earth, and while we have suffered terribly throughout history, and continue to suffer under the constant threats of terrorism within our borders, we are here.
We are here to stay.