In the our society we are split in many camps. People who believe that the Holocaust happened. People who think it is an elaborate conspiracy theory. People who believe Jews deserved what they got – after all they are just money grubbing, Christ-killers. People who believe that it happened, but could never happen again. People who are silent because it makes them uncomfortable. People who pray but not much faith in their own petitions.
I’m not sure when I became so fascinated…..(the connotation of the word “fascinated” seems inappropriate……..perhaps “compelled” is a better choice}…….when I became so compelled to devour everything associated with these – basically – 12 (interesting number Biblically) years of German history: 1933-1945. Was it the soldier stories I inadvertently heard while I was supposed to be sleeping during late night parties? The teacher/preacher who had been a POW in GermanY? The Bible stories that mentioned the word “Jew” over and over? The diary of a young girl who did not live through her brief time in a concentration camp? The nightmares that haunted my dreams with a siren sound echoing over and over? Which ever it was – it started me on a journey that has never stopped. I’m still compelled.
Since I’m no longer teaching a Holocaust unit, I had forgotten that this was the week of Holocaust Remembrance. However, my subconscious (Or what I truly believe is the work of the Holy Spirit), kept me on schedule. Today, I realized that all week my devotions have been leading me to this particular place of remembrance, and I “hafsakah” (paused) before Jehovah Sabboth.
How many prayers did they offer during this persecution? How many lost their faith totally? How many tears fell upon the earth as their eyes beheld the evil in front of them? How many remained silent in the face of the evil that looked upon them with it’s terrifying, yellow eyes?
They were people like us. Elie Wiesel expresses it well in his first book, NIGHT – when his father brushed off the wearing of a yellow star on their clothes saying that they wouldn’t die of it. Elie replies from his grown-up vantage point, “Of what then did we die, Father?” People who went along because it wasn’t too bad at the beginning, People who were too wrapped up in lives to notice. People who hid their heads under their Yellowed-stared coats and hoped it would pass quickly. People like us.
As I pray my own prayers tonight, I think about those prayers they must have offered. Prayers that their homes would be safe. Prayers that it wouldn’t be as bad as they had begun to suspect. The Prayers of Psalms that they repeated in the darkness of a crowded cattle car swarming with smells and acts that paralyzed their vocal chords. Prayers for those missing or separated from them as German soldiers pointed their guns and yelled, “Snell, snell”. Jewish prayers for the dead…Kaddish.
Tonight one of my friends shared a Josh Groban recording of one of my favorite broadway songs that is in the form of a prayer. A prayer that is still echoing around the world today. A prayer that – perhaps tonight- Christ sings on our behalf….”God on high hear my prayer
in my need you have always been there….
he is young
let him rest
bring him home…….”
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Tagged Bring Him Home, cattle cars, Christ, Elie Wiesel, Holocaust, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holy Spirit, Jehovah-Sabboth, Jews, Josh Groban, Kaddish, Les Misrables, night, prayers, Psalms, Yellow Star
Monday was a hard day at work. Kids were restless. Rainy day meant no outdoor play. No outdoor play meant grumpy staff. Grumpy staff meant less love is being spread around the workplace. It was a long day. Didn’t I talk about this yesterday? Love started in the home radiates out to the world through us??? I guess Monday was assessment day for me. Like the Good Teacher/Shepherd that He is, He wanted to make sure how well I understood this LOVE concept. I probably got a 75%. I tried. The smile stayed in place, but the inner heart struggled. Resentment. Hurt. Rant. They all simmered slightly below the surface. Instead of turning my face to Jehovah-Sabboth, the WORD and prayer, I made it a very long day.
“I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
creating praise on their lips.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the LORD. “And I will heal them.” — Isaiah 57:18–19
It’s a good thing that God has always shown forgiveness. Adam. Eve. Moshe. David. Peter. Paul. Not only that, He promises to “heal”. He is Jehovah-Rapha. He heals the person. He heals the mindset. He heals the ways that lead to darkness. He heals the damaged land. He promises to dry their tears. He offers guidance and peace to all. Interesting concepts for the Old Testament that has so much violence and rebellion within it’s tomes.
“You shall not commit adultery.” Ex 20:14
I grew up learning this verse exactly as it is written above. I said to myself – “I will never be an adulterous wife.” And lucky for me, I’ve been able to avoid that test, because if my misspent youth was any indication, I would have fallen flat on my face. Sad to say, I was very good at retaliation when someone hurt me. Jewish wisdom and tradition expands the actual wording of this commandment to Sexual Immorality. In my mind, that covers a lot more than just a wife or husband. I was a baby-boomer, coming-of-age child of the 60’s. Peace. Freedom. Love. Gandhi. King. Communes. Bra-less days. Skinny Dipping. Drugs. Riots. Violence. Colleges closed down. ID’s issued. I hit rebellion at the same time the country did. It is little wonder that many times when I came home late at night, I found my father on his knees. He rarely went to church, and yet, he was my true spiritual mentor.
“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB
Hormones or lack of hormones travel through all of us. They are a blessing from God as we develop throughout our lives…helping us to find a mate…conceiving children…aging… The 7th Commandment is all about control of those hormones and reactions. We have the wonderful opportunity to choose how to act and control ourselves despite those chemicals that rage through our bodies at times. Growing as a person who wants to glorify God, we can choose the path we want to take. Obey the 7th commandment or laugh it off because it is totally out-of-date with the progressive thought within our society. It is so simple, it is complicated. It is a life-altering choice. The Good News is…Jesus Christ showed us the way. All we have to do is choose to follow in His steps. It’s all about choice.
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Tagged 7th Commandment, choice, Exodus, God, Hair the Musical, healing, Isaiah, James, Jehovah-Rapha, Jehovah-Sabboth, Jesus Christ, outdoor play