The Mighty Hand of God

Katharine WeissThis spring Myles and I documented our upcoming TV series Beauty for Ashes. Our visit to Auschwitz—the concentration camp where over a million Jews were murdered—sobered us as we contemplated its horrifying history and felt the cries of the doomed imploring, “Does anyone care what has happened to humanity?”

Survivors

I was reminded of the Scripture that relates Abel’s blood crying out from the ground. Scripture is clear: We are our “brother’s keeper” (Gen. 4:9-10). For Beauty for Ashes, we interviewed and filmed many Holocaust survivors. Each one’s story proved that they are extraordinary overcomers. One, Noah, had an incredibly positive outlook on life—an unexpected attribute in someone who went through such a horrible time in history. He remarked, “I have always been lucky…except for when I was caught by the Nazis.” He had been helping young Jews escape the horrors of Hitler. He and his colleagues were the last to leave Germany, heading for the border of Switzerland when someone informed on them. The Nazis immediately sent him to Auschwitz, in Poland.

His statement “I have always been lucky” took me by surprise. He was not bitter; nor was he hopeless. He had given up his turn to help someone else go ahead of him. He did not sit down in a pit and never try to get up again. Instead, he resolved to do all he could to live!

These survivors all fought off Death, meeting it head-on: “I will stay alive to tell people of this horror.” In his interview segment of the series, Noah mentioned several of his survival strategies.

Noah eventually arrived in the Holy Land in time to assist the rebirth of the nation of Israel. As he explained to me, “I am a Jew, and I believe in the future for the Jewish people. It can only be to have a Jewish state, an independent nation, so we can be a safe haven for Jews in danger. We need an army to protect and defend this Jewish state.… I was lucky; I survived the camps.”

Though considered one of the builders of Israel, he takes no credit for his part in this miracle. “It was simply the desire that was placed in me for The Land of Israel,” he explains. “By the way, always say it in Hebrew: Eretz Yisrael!”

“Not ‘Palestine’ that the Romans named Israel,” he continues. “They named it that to mock the Jews, after their oldest enemy, the Philistines. In the Diaspora 2,000 years—and every prayer that is prayed ends with ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’” His thoughts collect, and he adds: “You know, the Koran never mentions Jerusalem. Not once. Just because they built a mosque on the Temple Mount, they claim it for themselves. David and Solomon built the Temple 3,000 years ago!”

Now he’s excited. “We came to a land where there was nothing. We started from minus zero! We developed this country into one of the most sophisticated, beautiful places in the world. And we lead in most fields in the world: Number two in high-tech, and number one in start-up companies per capita.”

That, Dear Reader, is the Hand of God and His blessing over His people. Come with us and see it for yourself!

 

Categories: Heart to Heart With the Other Half