We read about the S.S. St. Louis which set sail from Hamburg in 1939, full of European Jews fleeing from the Nazi regime. There was a promise of a safe place in Cuba or the United States of America. But the St. Louis was turned away from Cuba and refused entry to the US, fearing that they would be overwhelmed with European refugees. The ship eventually returned, across the Atlantic, to Germany. Many of those on board lost their lives in the Nazi concentration camps. Those poor people had been so close to safety, so close to refuge.
At this Jewish Holy time I think of them and of all the refugees fleeing, once again, in boats from the Middle East and North Africa. I hope that they won't be turned back. I pray that they find a safe place in the many cities, towns and villages of Europe.
And maybe, just maybe, the United States could once again proclaim:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."