We stood together—students, teachers and a smattering of soldiers and parents. We stood together to honor our dead and our State, to remember our past, and look forward to our future. We remember. We honor. We are filled with gratitude and a deep sense of responsibility.
I looked at the faces of my students and I prayed. I prayed for a world in which they can be proud and unafraid Jews. I prayed for a world in which my children and my students can live in peace. I prayed for a solution to the protracted and relentless conflict with the Palestinians.
We say "Never Again," and we mean it, but we know we are only as strong as the country in which we live and that the world is always ready to blame, condemn, and crucify the Jew. The Syrian War rages and refugees flood into neighboring countries, yet the world meets in Paris to denounce Israel?
It has been said that the wise man is he who knows his limitations. The way of Christianity for the past two thousand years has seemed right to Christians, but not to those who look at it as hypocritical in its failure to act out its fundamental teachings while such an enormous catastrophe occurred in its midst.
We were in the torture chambers of the Dachau concentration camp. The fact that three young Jews walked through the halls alive and well infused hope into the story like the sun rays shined light into the cells. The hall was eerie and rooms held their own demons. We came to remember.
The Nazis were a war machine that no one thought could be stopped. However, one often-overlooked event did just that, saving thousands of Jewish lives. While in Berlin we made a quick stop on our drive through the city to see where this story took place. We visited the tiny street called Rosenstrasse
In 1985 I visited the Jerusalem Holocaust museum, Yad V'Shem. It was my first indication that God had not disposed of his people. I had grown up with that closed-box worldview where only people who believed like me were actually God's people. What I saw at Yad V'Shem forced me to revisit my theology. It forced me to challenge the assumptions.
Every year in Israel ceremonies are held throughout the country to commence Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for those who perished in the Holocaust. This day should also be remembered by Christians throughout the world. It was the Christian silence that also contributed to the tragic loss of so many lives.