This week in Israel is a very special week as we remember the six million Jewish men, women, and children who were murdered by the Nazis during the time of the Shoah (the Holocaust). This was, no doubt, the most horrific act perpetrated against the Jewish people in modern history.
For me, personally, this season is a time of reflection upon my past, my present life, and my future. A few days ago, I sat down for tea with a couple in England. In the course of our conversation, they told me that they are afraid to wear the Kippa (Jewish skull cap) when they walk on the streets, due to the growing hatred for the Jewish people today in Europe. As I reflect upon that, upon what happened in Europe only 70 years ago, and the way history is repeating itself, I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that the Jewish people have a home, and that I am raising my children in Israel.
We also take time to remember the heavy price that the people of Israel have paid – and still pay – for the right God gave us to live in the Promised Land, when we remember our fallen soldiers and civilian victims of terror attacks. Some of these fallen soldiers – many of whom I once knew very well, who were dear friends of mine – were gone in an instant. I think one of the most difficult things for me is visiting their families today, and hearing them ponder the ‘what if?’ “What if” he or she were alive today? Would he be married? Would she be a mother? One can’t help but think about the “what if?”, and it’s very painful.
As I reflect upon that, I think about my 9-year-old son who amazed me with the depth of his understanding of this just a few weeks ago. It was during the time that we visited with a tour group a place called Tel Hai, which is a place where an heroic battle took place and eight of our men were killed. At the end of our visit, Oriah asked to say something and his words not only touched me but also filled my heart with a great amount of pride. He simply shared his thoughts that if those men would have seen what they died for, they would have been very proud of themselves and of the sacrifice that they made. I personally am so thankful for those who gave their lives in order for me to raise my family here in the Land of Israel.
It is during this season that I also reflect upon the sacrifice that my Lord made for me. It is because of that sacrifice that, in spite of what I may see in the world today, I have a great hope for the future.
24 hours after the national Memorial Day for the Soldiers and terror victims, we celebrate Israel’s Independence. It is because of God’s amazing faithfulness, and the great sacrifice of many, that we can celebrate Israel’s existence.
As I reflect upon this, I am looking forward to the day when we will all celebrate our true freedom, which will only come when the Lord returns; only then will we live in complete peace and security:
“I will also rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.” Isaiah 65:19
Please join me in prayer during this time for God’s comfort over the people of Israel and for the day of Israel’s true liberation to come soon.
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