Holocaust Day, 2007
©April 16, 2007 Asher Intrater
Today in Israel, Monday April 16, marks Holocaust Day, or as it is also known, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Some thoughts:
- Denial – Emotionally many of us would rather just forget about the Holocaust. This year it has taken on new importance in the light of the worldwide movement of denying that the Holocaust even happened. That denial reached a new peak at the international conference in Iran, led by President Ahmadinejad. So Holocaust remembrance is not just a quaint memorial time, but rather a battle to preserve the historical evidence that this horror actually did take place. It is a battle to preserve truth.
- Yad Vashem – At the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum last night in a formal ceremony with Israeli officials and foreign diplomats, six Holocaust survivors lit six torches to commemorate the six million Jews who were murdered in Europe. (Yad Vashem records show that 109 members of the Intrater family were among those murdered.)
- Survivors – There are an estimated 500,000 Holocaust survivors who are still alive today (all of them a living witness of what happened). Half of them (250,000) live in Israel today. An estimated 4,000 die each month, meaning that their living testimonies will disappear within one decade. A large number of them had to live in bomb shelters in northern Israel this summer during the bombings from Hizballah in the recent Lebanon war.
- Warning Signal – This morning at 10:00 AM sirens on loud speakers blew across Israel for 2 minutes as a reminder of the Holocaust victims. As we stood in silence here holding hands, I sensed a new meaning for these sirens: not a reminder of what happened in the past, but a warning of what is coming in the future. I want to blow a prophetic shofar (trumpet) to warn the world that a greater attack on Israel and the Jewish people is yet to come. The war against the Jewish people has not finished.
- Evil of this Generation – Every generation faces a great, dominating evil endangering the world. In the 1930's to the 1940's, this evil was Nazism. In the 1950's to the 1980's it was Communism. In this generation, it is international Jihad. The numbers of people involved in Jihad is enormously greater than the numbers that were in Nazism. Its spiritual evil, murderous goals, and religious fanaticism are far worse than Nazism ever thought of. Unfortunately, most of the world governments, media reporting, and even many in the Christian church are either making excuses for it, trying to placate it in cowardice, or just hiding from the reality. But the problem is not going to go away.
- Gaza Bombing – The night before last, at 3:30 AM a bomb was exploded by radical Muslims at the door of the United Bible Society book store in Gaza, destroying the property and shutting down its work. "L," manager of the store, hopes to continue the work of the Bible Society despite the attacks. I am not aware of any major news media reporting of the event, nor of any worldwide mass protests. (Imagine if a Christian or Jewish radical group had blown up a mosque somewhere, how the liberal press would have given it primary coverage for weeks.)
- Holocaust and Crucifixion Connection – While most Jews and Christians are unaware of it, there is a profound, almost "cosmic" parallel in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Covenant between the Death and Resurrection of Yeshua and the Exile and Regathering of the Jewish people. Bible students will note that the life of Yeshua parallels the history of Israel, and the history of Israel parallels the life of Yeshua. As the King of Israel, Yeshua is connected to the people of Israel by covenant, just as He is connected to the Church by being the Head of the Church. (The connection between the suffering of Yeshua and the suffering of the Jewish people can be seen in Jewish art, such as the famous White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall, and in the recent sculpture series, Fountain of Tears, by Israeli Christian sculptor, Rick Winecke.)
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