I have always been incredibly touched by the Jewish zest for life. Regardless of the hardships, it seems the joy and zest for life refuses to be snuffed out. I just came across a short video so moving that I just have to share it! Enjoy!
Hi friends! I have a very heartwarming story to share today. In December 2015 I was especially blessed to be invited to participate in a Christian Leaders Seminar at the Yad Vashem Museum and School for International Studies. It was an incredible experience, but one thing made it even more special than any other.
A pastor in our class happened to be the son of Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds. As we arrived for the seminar, that name meant little to most of us. However, by the end of that 8-day seminar, we discovered just what a hero Roddie Edmonds was! An incredible human being, he saved the lives of 200 Jews during WWII. That classmate, Chris Edmonds, shared the heroic story of his father, and while there at Yad Vashem for the seminar, got word his father was named Righteous Among the Nations, Israel’s highest honor granted to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
In March 2016, Chris was invited to share his father’s story before an enthusiastic crowd of 18,000 at the annual AIPAC Conference. (You can see that video here.)
Recently, The Jewish Foundation of the Righteous produced a video, featuring Chris’ journey to Germany where his father commanded a unit of men captured by Nazi forces, then stood firm in protecting Jewish soldiers under his command. Four of Edmonds’ men (all Jewish) tell the story, and it’s well worth seeing! In the end, you see their revenge to the Nazis who hoped to wipe them out: they lived (thanks to Master Sergeant Edmonds) and multiplied!
Despite the French government’s collaboration with the Nazis during WWII, many underground resistance groups worked to save the lives of Jews in France. One such resister was Adolfo Kaminsky who was proficient at forgery. Through his efforts in creating fake identity documents, it is believed that at least 14,000 Jews survived the holocaust.
60 Minutes reported the story last night and the 13-minute video linked below contains the account. Praise God for those willing to risk their lives to save the Jews!
In the 1930’s the world stood silent and unengaged as the Nazi regime attempted to methodically erase Jews from the planet. The signs were everywhere: Jews were not allowed in certain professions, could not open shops and sell their goods, and were forced to wear clothing and symbols that identified them as Jews. Jewish synagogues were burned to the ground, Jews were made to live only in certain areas, and eventually, right before the public eye, they were gathered up and hauled as cattle to slaughter.
Europe and the rest of the world were deathly quiet.
When the Holocaust was finally brought mercifully to an end, over 6 million Jews had lost their lives, and people everywhere declared, “Never again!” Yet, here we are, only a generation removed, and we’re seeing discrimination equally as appalling, and violence equal to the pre-concentration camp days. Across Europe, and even to some degree in America (particularly on college campuses), we see the same not-so-subtle signs of anti-Semitism.
But do we have a good picture of how bad it is? If so, why aren’t we doing more about it? If not, why not?
According to the Jewish News Service, one of the most “methodologically sophisticated and comprehensive reports in dissecting the growth of Europe’s anti-Semitism problem” was just completed by Dr Johannes Due Enstad of the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo. The study looked at anti-Semitism in 7 European countries: France, the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Russia. Per the article, key findings include:
- France tends to exhibit the highest levels of anti-Semitism, causing Jews to want to emigrate.
- Jews in most of those countries will not wear, carry or display anything that identifies them as Jews, for fear of attack.
- In every country except Russia, the perpetrators are disproportionately Muslim. (In Russia, there are vast distances between heavily populated Muslim areas and heavily populated Jewish areas, thus creating a buffer.)
In Europe, it is becoming harder and harder for a Jewish person to express Jewish culture or beliefs. Sadly, we see the same disease creeping into America. Ethically, This should not be.
But, what evil doers mean for evil, God uses for good (Genesis 50:20). God’s Word says He will gather His people from the four corners of the earth (including Europe):
He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
Indeed, the Lord will bring His people home to their own land. Many have made comfortable lives for themselves elsewhere, but when it’s time to come home, we can rest assured that the Lord will somehow get them there. Perhaps the evil of anti-Semitism will drive them home. Let’s pray for the ingathering of God’s chosen people to God’s chosen land…and plead for God’s mercy to draw them before anti-Semitism drives them!
UPDATE: Think anti-Semitism is only a European problem? Think again. This incident happened right here in my own city on 4th of July.