Yom HaShoah UK National Commemoration 2017
The Chief Rabbi joined thousands at the Yom HaShoah UK’s National Commemoration Event 2017. In his closing remarks, the Chief Rabbi declared: “Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ for as long as our children will declare ‘never again’…”
You can find the full address and transcript below.
The Hebrew word ‘Tikva’ has two meanings. ‘Tikva’ is a chord, a thin rope and ‘Tikva’ also means ‘hope’.
The earliest appearance of the word is in the Bible, the second chapter of Joshua, where we are told that a ‘Tikva’, a ‘thin rope’ was dropped from a window in the walled city of Jericho, to provide an escape route for a few who wished to flee.
There is so much in common between ‘rope’ and ‘hope’. A rope is an accumulation of threads woven together to produce one strong, combined entity. And so too, when people stand together with determination and single mindedness, to achieve a particular united objective, there is hope that they can attain their aspirations.
It is for this reason, that I believe that as we now approach the conclusion of today’s ceremony – Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’.
There is hope because today we stand together. We are one.
Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ because today, we are absolutely determined to respect our commitment and pledge to our remarkable survivors to guarantee that the horrors of the past will never be forgotten.
Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ because we know we are not alone and we are accompanied by so many numerous people within our society. This is what the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was referring to when he made reference to the United Kingdom’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation historic initiative alongside the Houses of Parliament.
Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ because Yesh Medinah. We are blessed to have Medinat Yisrael, the Jewish State, which will forever be the champion of the rights and the privileges, the welfare and wellbeing of Jews across the globe.
Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ because we know that there will always be heroines like Hannah Szenes who will go the extra mile to protect the Jewish people. And like her, we will forever cherish the natural wonders of the world, the sand and the sea, the splash of water, the lightning in the heaven, the prayers of women and men.
But ladies and gentlemen, above all else, Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ because there are many millions of children around the world who are learning about the Holocaust. They are horrified to find out about what transpired and they are saying ‘never again’.
I feel so encouraged right now to be surrounded by 150 children from 7 of our schools. In a few moments, they will sing a song called ‘Never Again’.
We pray that the Almighty will bless our fragile and challenged world so that it shall become a world of unity, a world of harmony, a world fraternity, a world of compassion and tranquility and above all else, a world of peace.
Yesh Tikva, ‘there is hope’ for as long as our children will declare ‘never again’.