... Jerusalem ... 22 Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure ... Isaiah 66 (GNT), 18 ... Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its PALACE restored. Jeremiah 30:18 (GNT)

30
April
2011

The Holocaust, Shoah: asking forgiveness! Part 1 of 2

"I assure the Jewish people the Catholic Church ... is deeply saddened by the hatred, acts of persecution and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews by Christians at any time and in any place", he added that there were "no words strong enough to deplore the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust"

Part of the address of John Paul II to the Jews, Israeli when he visited Israel in March 2000. Others, including Germany, also asked for forgiveness.

Pope John Paul II

In 1979, John Paul II was the first Pope to visit the German Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where many mainly Polish Jews perished during the Nazi occupation at the time of World War II. When he visited the Great Synagogue of Rome in April 1986, he became the first Pope to have made an official papal visit to a synagogue. And in 1994, he established formal diplomatic relations between the Holy See - a sovereign entity of the Vatican State headed by the Pope and recognized by other subjects of international law, with which one can hold diplomatic relations - and the State of Israel.

During the visit of John Paul II to Israel, he went to Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial. Later he also went to one of the holiest sites in Judaism, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where he placed a letter inside it, in which he prayed for forgiveness for the actions against Jews,

" We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant. ”
[source:Wikipedia]

The Israeli cabinet minister Rabbi Michael Melchior hosted the Pope's visit to Israel. The minister said he was "very moved" by the Pope's gesture. And he said, "It was beyond history, beyond memory. "

German President Johannes Rau

In 2000 Johannes Rau, Federal President of Germany from May 1999 to July 2004, also went to Israel, and addressed the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, asking forgiveness for what Hitler, Nazi Germany had done to the Jews. He was the first German head of state since the Holocaust to do so. While he was addressing the Knesset some Israeli delegates walked out, but the Israeli president Moshe Katsav supported and praised Johannes Rau for bridging the gap between the two states.  Part of Johannes Rau's speech:

"With the people of Israel watching, I bow in humility before those murdered, before those who don't have graves where I could ask them for forgiveness," said Rau. "I am asking for forgiveness for what Germans have done, for myself and my generation, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, whose future I would like to see alongside the children of Israel."
[source:The Independent]

Johannes Rau's family was strongly Protestant. As a schoolboy, he was active in the Confessing Church, a circle of the German Protestant Church which actively resisted Nazism. His maxim as president was "to reconcile, not divide". He had a deep life-long commitment to bring reconciliation between Germany and its past. He was a long-time friend to Israel.

The Amish

In 2010 an Amish delegate went to Israel, visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem and met with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. They asked for forgiveness and stressed that they were not seeking any kind of gesture from the Jewish people. And that they want to support Israel because they have not done so in the past. Many Amish once believed that the Holocaust was a punishment from God for the Jews because they rejected Jesus, Yeshua Messiah, and killed him.

A point of view that biblical scripture doesn't cover, for the first believers in Yeshua Messiah, a Jew  himself, were Jews and to this day there are Jews who believe in him as their Saviour. And when biblical scripture speaks of  "the on they pierced" in Zechariah 12:10 and John 19:34, it makes clear that it was the Romans who pierced him, who were responsible for his death in the first place which happened at the time of the Roman occupation of Israel. Some of the Jewish leaders feared the Romans. This of course is no excuse for those who at that time collaborated with the Romans. And remember Yeshua Messiah did forgive while hanging at the cross.
As for the Holocaust, it was devised by evil and those who serve it, not by the Almighty God and Father. On the contrary Father insured the Jewish people would have their land back. Despite all what happened the State of Israel was reestablished, so the Almighty God did and will have his will done as written in Ezekiel 37.

“We are here to say we are sorry,” group leader Ben Girod told Israel’s Channel 2 News,  “God reminded me that this is not who He is. We no longer want to reject you or look at you as not being God's people. You were God's people long before we were.”
[source:Israel Today Magazine]

The Amish delegate left their comfort zone by traveling in cars and planes, which is against their basic believes, to present Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch with, amongst other tokens, a parchment with a request for forgiveness in the name of the entire Amish community.

The Holocaust, genocide against humanity, the Jews and others, can't be undone. But asking and receiving forgiveness is essential to give hope and heal human relations. The wisdom to do so, and not rationality, will save our and the next generation from a heavy burden. God Almighty's  g r a c e  teaches us to forgive and seek forgiveness for he knows that is the way to break down the curse done by evil out of hate hanging over nations, especially the Jewish nation, the State of Israel.

 

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Author: © Mrs A. vd Laan-LeitoPosted in: Opinion