As Israel prepares to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day this Wednesday night and Thursday, the Conservative Movement is seeking to imbue the day with greater religious symbolism by reading from the Megilat Hashoah for the 10th year in a row.
The text has become a widely accepted feature of the way the country’s Conservative congregations mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The megila, or scroll, modeled on the five megilot in the Hebrew Bible, is divided into six chapters recalling the horrors of the Holocaust.
The style of the first, fifth and sixth chapters emulates that of the Book of Lamentations, recalling and mourning the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. The three chapters in between are based on testimony from people who experienced the Holocaust themselves, including a non-Jewish journalist who witnessed life in one of the ghettos, and two people who were sent to concentration camps.