Texture of Memory – Yad Vashem

pg 244 – Shenhavi suggested that the site be called “Yad Vashem” (literally, a monument and a name; figuratively, a monument and a memorial), after a quotation from Isaiah (56:5), in which god declares how he will remember those who keep his covenant: “I will give them, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name, better than sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that shall never be effaced.”

pg 246 – As defined by the Law of Remembrance of Shah and Heroism, the memorial at Yad Vashem thus commemorates a reflexively Israeli understanding of the Holocaust… Unlike memorials that attempt to remove their national origins and interests from view, Yad Vashem’s mission as simultaneous custodian and creator of national memory was explicitly mandated in its law… “to collect, examine and publish testimony of the HOlocaust and the heroism it called forth and to bring home its lesson to the people”;”to promote a custom of joint remembrance of the heroes and victims”;”to confer upon the member of the Jewish people who perished in the days of the Holocaust and the resistnact the commemorative citizenship of the state of Israel, as a token of their having been gathered to their people – [[ From “martyrs’ and Heroes’ Rememberance (Yad Vashem) Law, 1713 – 1953, ” reprinted fully in Yad Vashem: The holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem (Jerusalem , 1986), 4. This law is also translated and reprinted in the state of Israel Yearbook (Jerusalem, 1954) , 250-51. ]]

pg 249 – Yad Vashem … was conceived by the state’s founder as an explicit tearing away from the religious continuum and its meanings – another kind of counter memorial. This would be the beginning of a new , civic religion whose genesis would coincide with the creation of the state itself, whose new infrastructure would include Yad Vashem.

pg 250 – From the beginning , almost every year has witnessed another unveiling at Yad Vashem of a new memorial sculpture or gardens placed around the grounds, including a reproduction of Nandor Glid’s Dachau statue

pg 251 – the states official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies are televised live from this square, filled to overflowing with dignitaries, survivors, soldiers, and government leaders  all framed by the fighters of the ghetto monument.


pg 253 – Bas we exit the last room of the exhibition, the hall of names, we pass alongside the Baal shem Tov’s Words ” Forgetting lengthens the period of exile!In remember lies the secret to deliverance.

pg 258 – The slickness of the installation makes us feel a little self conscious and reminds some of a theme park ride. Our own response of wonder and awe comes back to haunt us as almost unseemly somehow  and On the one hand, the architect seems to be remind us that no only is memory illusory, but so are the monuments whose surfaces necessarily reflect our memory back on us: both memory and monument here are smoke and mirrors.

pg 260 – After substituting civil religious values like heroism, bravery, and courage for traditional values like faith and patience, the ministers of the civil religion would have all forget that such substitutions were made. As a result, not only are traditional Jewish paradigms and holy sites reinvested with civil religious meaning, but civic sites and their meanings acquire a certain religious fever.



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