Other Writing by Meryl Ain

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is Different This Year

It is especially poignant this year because of the international community’s lack of empathy and sympathy for Jewish suffering.

As the author of two post-Holocaust novels and a former high school history teacher, my guiding assumption before the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in Israel was that the Holocaust was a unique event in modern history. Hatred, cruelty, prejudice and antisemitism existed, but they had become manageable and rarely life-threatening.

But now, 79 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, as the world observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the unthinkable is playing out for all the world to see: An explosion of Jew-hatred that resembles what happened in the lead-up to the Holocaust.

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Is Never Again Now?

Don’t allow the phrase to be a mere slogan. Make it a call to action.

“Never Again” has been used by politicians, writers, activists, and Holocaust survivors to foster awareness of the warning signs of genocide, and to emphasize that Jews will never be victims again. But with the Hamas atrocities the phrase has taken on stark and horrific meaning.

The hashtag #NeverAgainIsNow is growing in popularity. The brutality and carnage of Hamas has been revealed in bloodied bodies, decimated homes, empty cribs, and broken toys haphazardly scattered in once-idyllic kibbutz settings. But as Israel prepares for a ground war, will the graphic descriptions of Hamas’ horrifying actions make a difference?

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Will the World Treat Hamas Massacre as It Treated Kristallnacht?

A month after Hamas terrorists brutally murdered more than 1,400 innocent Israelis and kidnapped another 240 blameless human beings, it appears that much of the world has moved on.

Despite the fact that women were raped, families were executed, children were burnt, and elderly and disabled people were massacred, the media is only focusing on what’s happening now in Gaza — ignoring that if Hamas had the chance, they would commit those atrocities over and over again, and ignoring that Israel is still under attack from Hamas rockets and threats and assaults from its neighbors.

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American Jews are Concealing Their Jewish Identity

And why that’s an inappropriate response to antisemitism.

In the past, when I thought of Jews concealing the fact that they are Jewish, black and white scenes from the Holocaust or the former Soviet Union came to mind. As a Jewish baby boomer who grew up in the United States, I always felt safe here and I wore my Judaica to show off my Jewish pride.

But over the past few years, the rise of antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad is making Jews question if they should openly wear religious symbols in public.

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Welcome Back Author Meryl Ain

I am excited and honored to have Meryl Ain back on gilagreenwrites. This time, she’s here to talk about what it’s like to launch her second novel, a topic I know many writers and readers want to learn more about.

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Jewish Mothers are a Ray of Hope

On Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the efforts of moms to foster Jewish pride in their children.

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A kidney transplant changed my mind about Orthodox Jews

I am eternally grateful to the Jews who provided me with comfort and nurturing while my husband underwent his transplant.

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SOAPBOX; Fighting the Evil Called Genocide

At a time when public schools are being bombarded with the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act and other mandates, their work in another area — promoting respect and tolerance — is sometimes overlooked.

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From the Holocaust, lessons in how to live today

When I was researching and writing “The Takeaway Men” — a novel about fraternal twin girls who were born in a DP camp in Germany after World War II and then brought to Queens, New York, as toddlers by their refugee parents — I never imagined that it would be published during a pandemic.

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Technology and Blessings

Say what you want about the dangers of technology, can you imagine how lonely and isolated we would be now without it?

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The Empty Seat At The Seder Table

As a little girl, my mother took me to see “Marjorie Morningstar,” a movie about a Jewish girl, played by Natalie Wood, who wants to follow an unconventional path in the late 1950s. When Marjorie’s Uncle Sampson, played by Ed Wynn, died suddenly of a heart attack at the summer camp at which Marjorie was working, I was shocked and upset.

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A Shiva Without Hugs

My friend Ronnie died last week after a valiant almost-six-year battle with ovarian cancer. She had more kindness, compassion, understanding and wisdom in her tiny frame than most people have in their larger bodies. If she had died in another time, she would have had a standing-room-only funeral and a house overflowing with shiva guests.

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How to Celebrate Passover During the Pandemic

Passover has been my favorite holiday since I was a child. But enumerating the plagues was then — and still is — the part I liked least about the seder. They always seemed so icky and extreme and far removed, surely the province of a distant time and place. (Locusts? Cattle Disease? Boils? ) They are alien and repulsive to children and adults alike.

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Musings on Mortality in the Produce Aisle

It was just another day in what has become my routine in the seventh week following my husband’s open-heart surgery. I was in a hurry, having left him at home with his fifth bout of atrial fibrillation since the surgery. I had to pick up yet another medication from CVS, where I am sorry to say they are all too familiar with my husband’s medications, and they know who I am.

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Keeping the Legacy of the Holocaust Alive

“How does one take on the memories of another person, let alone the collective memories of millions?”

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Moving Memories

It was the house in which my oldest son took his first steps, the house in which we brought home from the hospital two more newborn baby boys, and in which we celebrated all of their accomplishments and milestones.

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Holiday Grief: Losing Susan and Keeping Her Memory Alive

So how do I or anyone else who has had a loss get through the holidays? A simple way is to bake or cook something that your loved one made. In fact, Susan’s Cincinnati family held a carrot cake bake-off on Thanksgiving in her memory. Everyone put on blindfolds as they taste-tested Susan’s cake and other carrot cakes — one from a renowned bakery. While Susan’s cake didn’t win, the activity certainly kept her memory alive!

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Profiles in Courage: JFK’s Lasting Legacy

An article that I read on The Huffington Post alerted me to the fact that the JFK Memorial Library is soliciting stories from people of how President Kennedy inspired them. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his assassination, “An Idea Lives On“ website will feature people from all walks of life talking about the influence Kennedy had on them. The name is based on a 1963 quote from JFK, when he said: “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

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What’s a Grandmother to Say About the COVID-19 Pandemic?

It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood and a wonderful morning for a walk. It’s early so hardly anyone is out yet, enabling me to pull my mask low on my face breathing in the sweet fragrance of the season, noting that this is exactly what spring smelled like when I was a child.

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Handling Sensitive Topics with Care

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Guest Post: Choosing a Title

One of the most frequently recurring questions I’m asked about my debut novel is: “What is the meaning of the title, The Takeaway Men, and why did you choose it?”

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