Tag Archive | Kristallnacht

History and The 9th of Av

Israeli Flag 1

The 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz begins a special season for the Jewish faith (Israel) to which we, as believers in Christ, have been grafted in (Romans 11). The fast of the 17th of Tammuz, (Shivah Asar B’Tammuz), is the beginning of a three-week season of mourning that commemorates the destruction of Jerusalem and the First and Second Temples.

A 21-day period of teshuvah (repentance) is called Bein haMetzarim. This is translated “between the straits” (between the days of distress), or The Three Weeks. This twenty-one day period of mourning and fasting begins with the 17th of Tammuz and ends with the 9th of Av.

During this period, the Orthodox will limit celebrations and enter into a more solemn season of prayer.  This solemn rite is not without hope. Zechariah 8:19 prophesied an outbreak of joy and hope…

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:

The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’

The Siege and Destrucion of Jerusalem. David Roberts, 1850This season is especially remembered because of the destruction of the First Jewish Temple (Solomon’s Temple) in 586 BC by the Babylonians, and the destruction of the Second Temple (built by Ezra and Nehemiah) by Titus and the Romans in 70 AD. Both events occurred on the 9th of Av, nearly 655 years apart. But the 9th of Av holds other significance in the life of the Jewish people. Other historic events of significance are associated with this day…

  • Rabbinic tradition says (Mishnah Taanit 4:6) that ten of the twelve spies sent into the Promised Land (all but Joshua and Caleb) brought back a negative report on the Promised Land (Numbers 13), and the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness ensued . The night the people cried out in unbelief marks the first 9th of Av becoming a day of mourning for all time.
  • Following the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans subsequently crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt, destroying the city of Betar and killing over half-a-million Jewish civilians (approximately 580,000). This took place on 9th of Av, 135 AD. Following the revolt, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple in Jerusalem, along with the surrounding area.
  • In 1096, at the decree of Pope Urban II, the First Crusade commenced, unleashing anti-Semitic fever across Europe resulting in 10,000 Jews killed the first month in France and the Rhineland.
  • Jews expelled from England… 1290.
  • Jews expelled from France… 1306.
  • Jews expelled from Spain… 1492.
  • HimmlerGermany entered World War I… 1914. Most historians also believe that the events surrounding the end of World War I led directly to World War II and the Holocaust, wiping out nearly 1/3 of the earth’s Jewish population.
  • Nazi SS Commander Heinrich Himmler received approval from Adolph Hitler for “The Final Solution” resulting in the Holocaust… 1941.
  • The deportation of Polish Jews by Hitler… 1942.

 … and I could go on.

Yet it was this season when they expected
the coming of Sar Shalom… the Prince of Peace!

I am praying in these days, as we move toward the 9th of Av (sunset July 31st through nightfall August 1st) that Jesus the Prince of Peace would protect Israel and His Church, and that soon He would come.

Across the Water

In Remembrance

KS77759As we take this day to honor our veterans and their service to our nation, we are once again reminded of the bravery, dedication, and sacrifice of our brave service men and women. Our country is safe and free, in large part, because of the admirable service of those that have made the decision to dedicate their lives to military service. To all who have served in our armed forces, past and present, we honor you today.

But while this day is marked by much fanfare and excitement, this past weekend, another anniversary passed without the pomp and ceremony surrounding Veterans Day.

On November 9-10, 1938, the event known as Kristallnacht occurred throughout Germany and Austria. On the night of November 9, riots began that targeted Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues. Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) was called such because of the broken glass shards that littered the streets from all of the broken windows from Jewish-owned establishments. The rioters included non-Jewish civilians, SA paramilitary personnel, and non-uniformed SS agents. While not an “official” government operation, authorities looked on at the death and destruction, and did nothing. By the morning of November 11, over 1,000 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed or damaged, around 30,000 Jews were incarcerated in concentration camps, and at least 91 Jews were killed. The events of Kristallnacht were the dawn of, and ushered in, the Holocaust – resulting in the murder of approximately 6 millon Jews.

Dachau 2So why am I discussing the events of Kristallnacht on Veteran’s Day?

Because it was our servicemen who were responsible for liberating some of the Nazi concentration camps such as Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Dachau at the end of World War II. It was our brave soldiers who witnessed first-hand the atrocities, and exhibited compassion to the thousands of Jewish prisoners who had suffered under the cruelty and barbarism of the Nazi regime.

And it was our President (Harry Truman) who recognized the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 — eleven minutes after David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel.

As an American, I am proud of the support our nation has given Israel these many decades. As a Christian, I understand the necessity of supporting the Jewish people. The promise that God made to Abraham was a covenant promise that is alive, well, and still in effect today…

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. ~ Genesis 12:3

In a time in history when we are again seeing the rise of anti-Israel sabre-rattling from rogue nations, as well as radical Muslim organizations, it is important for America to let the world know that we stand squarely and unshakingly behind our Israeli friends. We must reject any idea or ideology that weakens Israeli security, and lock arms with our best friend in the Middle East. In doing this, we are not just fulfilling our duty as believers in Christ, but we are honoring our own heritage.