Tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th we will be observing Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. Although this is not an Appointed Time scripturally, it certainly is a time when we need to pause and remember the deliverance of our Jewish (and gentile) brothers and sisters from the atrocities of our ancestors.
A little more than one generation ago one-third of the world’s Jewish population was butchered by humanity gone mad. This unthinkable historical fact occurred in 20th century Europe; in a civilization shaped by western religious values, moral and intellectual traditions. For the Nazis, mass murder and the exploitation of human corpses became a civic duty and obliterated society’s moral, religious and intellectual traditions. Humanity became irreparably stained with guilt, for the persecutor, no longer considering his victim human, ceased to be recognizably human. And the world, so deaf and so indifferent to the atrocity, ultimately became an accomplice.
The German mind followed the path of the philosophy of moral nihilism to its logical end point where nothing was of value. God was dead. Humanity, created in the image of God, and specifically the Jew whose very presence pointed to God, became to the Nazi, an intolerable reminder. In the insanity of their revolt against God, a revolt against reason was born and a journey toward limitless pursuit of the irrational was tragically launched. For the sad truth is, that the same Beast, which was unleashed by the Nazi’s, lives even today somewhere in each one of us. And it is true that if the world will not learn from history, then sadly, it is doomed to repeat it.