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Weekly Update: Remembering the Holocaust is not enough

8 April 2021

Today is Yom HaShoah – the day appointed by Israel to commemorate the “Shoah”, the Holocaust that took place only one generation ago.

Less than 80 years ago, six million Jews were slaughtered in the heart of Europe. Men, women and children were taken from their homes, and transported to their deaths in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau, and so on. Their fellow citizens watched as this was happening.

Of course there were many who risked their lives to save Jews – they are recognized by Israel as the “Righteous among the nations”.

But the tragic truth is that the majority were silent witnesses, and too many were actively complicit in the worst possible crime against humanity.

All of this happened in Europe – the centre of the civilized world. It says a lot about Christianity and our so-called “Judeo-Christian civilization”. It is arguable that the silence of the church over the preceding centuries enabled the Nazi’s to build their anti-Semitic machinery in Germany that would be unleashed on the Jewish people throughout Europe. It caused the leaders of several nations of Europe to be deceived by Hitler’s charms, and the ordinary people of Europe to be blind and deaf to what was really happening.

Since the Holocaust the State of Israel has been established. The Jewish people have a homeland. The dry bones of Ezekiel 37 have been given life and been brought back to the land.

But anti-Semitism has not disappeared, it is a grim reality.

Today the church of Christ cannot and must not remain silent to the threats posed to the Jewish State of Israel, and to the Jewish people worldwide. Yom HaShoah reminds us we must not only remember the past, we must understand the times we are living in now, and raise our voices.

The Editorial team
Israel & Christians Today


Holocaust Remembrance Day: Remember, appreciate Israel

The JPost writes: “It is difficult to appreciate the wonder and miracle of the Jewish state unless you step back and remember what things looked like without it.”
Read more..

Redemption

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen writes at BESA: Passover was always a holiday of redemption, but in Israeli political discourse, the word “redemption” has been notable by its absence for decades. Around the Seder table, it must be said anew: without a real connection to the age-old striving for the redemption of Israel, the State of Israel will not be able to exist.”
Read more..

The Holocaust and Israel 

Rabbi Sacks on Israel and the Holocaust: “The connection between the State of Israel and the Holocaust is a subtle and delicate one and we have to distinguish certain things. Number one, the State of Israel does not owe its existence to the Holocaust. That is extremely important. The connection between Jews and the land of Israel goes all the way back, goes back longer than any other connection between and people and a land in the entire West. It goes back to Abraham, 38 centuries ago. It goes back to Moses, 32 centuries ago. It goes back to King David, 30 centuries ago. Israel was the land where our people were born, where David built the Temple, where the land, the language, the landscape, all of these are written in the Bible in the Book of Psalms. Going to Israel is coming home.”
Read more..

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, We Should Also Recall Those Who
Destroyed the Nazi Regime

In an essay published in Mosaic Magazine, Michael W. Schwartz argues that we should read the Book of the prophet Nahum. “Consideration of Nahum on Yom Hashoah would focus our attention not only on the dark significance of the day but on the fact that the Holocaust was ended short of achieving its full murderous goal and that its perpetrators were brought to ruin.”
Read more..


Why Europe Remains Hostile to Israel

Marilyn Stern writes in Middle East Forum: “Rafael Bardaji, executive director of the Friends of Israel and Spain’s former national security advisor, spoke to participants in a 15 February Middle East Forum webinar about the persistent “clash of interests … between the European Union (EU) and the Israeli government” likely to endure for the foreseeable future.”
Read more..

The Son | Teaching series “In the Footsteps of Abraham” by Johannes Gerloff 
Finally, after decades of waiting the son is born to Sarah and Abraham, the son that God promised. The God of Israel is not just a God that speaks, but also a God that does what He promised.

 

Scripture for the week: Ezekiel 37:1-14

 

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”