Toward the end of the tour, my group was lead to a large stone memorial with the words "Never Again" written in English, Hebrew, French, German and Russian. "Never Again." I feel that our world is so detached from the atrocities and is so certain that the modern, educated world citizens of today could never return to such barbarism. But it was the most modern and educated people who masterminded the holocaust. Wishing hatred away has never been a successful strategy as history proves again and again.
I would like to believe the world has learned its lesson. But if it has not, have the Christians learned theirs? I often wonder what I would have done had I lived as a European Christian during the Second World War. Would I have been like Corrie Ten Boom who hid Jewish people in her home and marched bravely to a concentration camp when she and her family were caught?
Could I have publically spoken against Hitler like German Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose involvement in a plot to overthrow Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution in 1945?
Or would I be part of the silent mass of Christians who quietly dissented from Hitler.
Those who abhorred his government, his policies and his practices but who would never scratch below the surface afraid of what they might find. Would I have been content to be dissatisfied but passive?
The answer may come more quickly than I would like. We may all have a decision to make very soon. We do live in a period in history where there is virulent hatred toward Israel and her Jewish citizens and where there is a madman spewing numerous promises to wipe Israel from the map. The scenario, while similar to WWII, is different. Our response cannot be the same. We are not Germans and the man-making speeche of hatred is not our leader. How do we respond?
I wish I knew. But one thing I do know is that when we are faced with anti-Semitism of any kind, we must speak out. When the nation of Israel is verbally attacked for the crime of existing, we must answer in defense. And if ever called upon to shoulder the burden of the Jewish people, we must be ready.
It was Dietrich Bonheoffer who said, "It is the fellowship of the cross to experience the burden of the other. If one does not experience it, the fellowship he belongs to is not Christian. If any member refuses to bear that burden, he denies the law of Christ."
If any man has a right to make such a bold statement it is he. As I honor this day of remembrance, it is my earnest prayer that if confronted with the choice, we Christians will answer as strongly as the Corrie Ten Booms and Bonheoffers who have gone before us.
"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter (Proverbs 24:11-12).
Kasey Bar lives in Ra'ananna Israel with her husband Yuval. She blogs frequently on her life in Israel on Travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is an Israel based company that provides over 400 pages of interesting content, including expert and user blogs, travel ideas, tours and other information relevant to the Christian traveler.
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