Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation / Israel The Valley of Dry Bones!

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Posted by Julie Edensor on 16 April 2015 | Comments

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Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation, Valley of Dry Bones, Israel Re-Established, Fig Tree Blooming!

The haunting words of George Santayana reminds us that the lessons of history are invaluable in determining the course of the future: "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it."

Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis attempted to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews. This systematic and planned attempt to murder European Jewry is known as the Holocaust (The Shoah in Hebrew).

From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used propaganda, persecution, and legislation to deny human and civil rights to Jews. They used centuries of antisemitism as their foundation. By the end of the Holocaust, six million Jewish men, women and children had perished in ghettos, mass-shootings, in concentration camps and extermination camps.

In 1933 nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be military occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed. 1.5 million children were murdered. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children.

The Holocaust survivor Abel Herzberg has said: "There were not six million Jews murdered; there was one murder, six million times."

The Holocaust is a history of enduring horror and sorrow. It would seem as though there was no spark of human concern, no act of humanity, to lighten that dark history. Yet there were acts of courage and kindness during the Holocaust - the following story to bears witness to goodness, love and compassion.

IreneIrena Sendler. An unfamiliar name to most people, but this remarkable woman defied the Nazis and saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. As a health worker, she sneaked the children out between 1942 and 1943 to safe hiding places and found non-Jewish families to adopt them.

Irena Sendler was born in 1910 in Otwock, a town some 15 miles southeast of Warsaw. She was greatly influenced by her father who was one of the first Polish Socialists. As a doctor his patients were mostly poor Jews.

In 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and the brutality of the Nazis accelerated with murder, violence and terror.

At the time, Irena was a Senior Administrator in the Warsaw Social Welfare Department, which operated the canteens in every district of the city. Previously, the canteens provided meals, financial aid, and other services for orphans, the elderly, the poor and the destitute. Now, through Irena, the canteens also provided clothing, medicine and money for the Jews. They were registered under fictitious Christian names, and to prevent inspections, the Jewish families were reported as being afflicted with such highly infectious diseases as typhus and tuberculosis.

But in 1942, the Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews into a 16-block area that came to be known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The Ghetto was sealed and the Jewish families ended up behind its walls, only to await certain death.

Irena Sendler was so appalled by the conditions that she joined Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance movement, as one of its first recruits and directed the efforts to rescue Jewish children.

To be able to enter the Ghetto legally, Irena managed to be issued a pass from Warsaws Epidemic Control Department and she visited the Ghetto daily, reestablished contacts and brought food, medicines and clothing. But 5,000 people were dying a month from starvation and disease in the Ghetto, and she decided to help the Jewish children to get out.

For Irena Sendler, a young mother herself, persuading parents to part with their children was in itself a horrendous task. Finding families willing to shelter the children, and thereby willing to risk their life if the Nazis ever found out, was also not easy.

Irena Sendler, who wore a star armband as a sign of her solidarity to Jews, began smuggling children out in an ambulance. She recruited at least one person from each of the ten centers of the Social Welfare Department.

With their help, she issued hundreds of false documents with forged signatures. Irena Sendler successfully smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children to safety and gave them temporary new identities.

Some children were taken out in gunnysacks or body bags. Some were buried inside loads of goods. A mechanic took a baby out in his toolbox. Some kids were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, some entered a church in the Ghetto which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians. "`Can you guarantee they will live?'" Irena later recalled the distraught parents asking. But she could only guarantee they would die if they stayed. "In my dreams," she said, "I still hear the cries when they left their parents."

Irena Sendler accomplished her incredible deeds with the active assistance of the church. "I sent most of the children to religious establishments," she recalled. "I knew I could count on the Sisters." Irena also had a remarkable record of cooperation when placing the youngsters: "No one ever refused to take a child from me," she said.

The children were given false identities and placed in homes, orphanages and convents. Irena Sendler carefully noted, in coded form, the children's original names and their new identities. She kept the only record of their true identities in jars buried beneath an apple tree in a neighbor's back yard, across the street from German barracks, hoping she could someday dig up the jars, locate the children and inform them of their past.

In all, the jars contained the names of 2,500 children ...

But the Nazis became aware of Irena's activities, and on October 20, 1943 she was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, who broke her feet and legs. She ended up in the Pawiak Prison, but no one could break her spirit. Though she was the only one who knew the names and addresses of the families sheltering the Jewish children, she withstood the torture, refusing to betray either her associates or any of the Jewish children in hiding.

Sentenced to death, Irena was saved at the last minute when Zegota members bribed one of the Germans to halt the execution. She escaped from prison but for the rest of the war she was pursued by the Gestapo.

After the war she dug up the jars and used the notes to track down the 2,500 children she placed with adoptive families and to reunite them with relatives scattered across Europe. But most lost their families during the Holocaust in Nazi death camps.

The children had known her only by her code name Jolanta. But years later, after she was honored for her wartime work, her picture appeared in a newspaper. "A man, a painter, telephoned me," said Sendler, "`I remember your face,' he said. `It was you who took me out of the ghetto.' I had many calls like that!"

Irena Sendler did not think of herself as a hero. She claimed no credit for her actions. "I could have done more," she said. "This regret will follow me to my death."

She has been honored by international Jewish organizations - in 1965 she accorded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem organization in Jerusalem and in 1991 she was made an honorary citizen of Israel.

Irena Sendler was awarded Poland's highest distinction, the Order of White Eagle in Warsaw Monday Nov. 10, 2003.

This lovely, courageous woman was one of the most dedicated and active workers in aiding Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Her courage enabled not only the survival of 2,500 Jewish children but also of the generations of their descendants.

Sadly across europe we are seeing again an increase of rise of anti- semitism and attacks upon the Jewish population.The precious words of Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, stand as a testament to why we must never forget this dark period of human history:

 "For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time. The witness has forced himself to testify. For the youth of today, for the children who will be born tomorrow. He does not want his past to become their future." 

ISRAEL - VALLEY OF DRY BONES, NATION RE-ESTABLISHED, FIG TREE BLOOMING!

Israel would be brought back to life
Bible Passage: Ezekiel 37:10-14
Written: between 593-571 BC
Fulfilled: 1948

In Ezekiel 37:1-14, the prophet receives a vision in which Israel was seen as a scattering of dried-up bones. In this vision, God tells Ezekiel that the bones (Israel) would be brought back to life. Just as Ezekiel had prophesied about 2600 years ago, the Jews were brought back to the land, and the country of Israel was brought back to life. Israel re-established sovereignty in 1948, a mere three years after the end of the Holocaust, during which the Nazis killed about one-third of the world’s Jewish population.

The rebirth of the nation of Israel, is one of the main Bible prophecies that have occurred during our lifetime. Prophecy given in Ezekiel Chapter 37 depicts a vision that Ezekiel had of countless dry bones in an open valley.

"THE HAND of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.
"And He caused me to pass round about among them, and behold, there were very many [human bones] in the open valley or plain, and behold, they were very dry.
"Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you [back home] to the land of Israel." (Ezekiel 37:1-4; 11-12)

If the bones in the valley represent the whole house of Israel, what image comes to mind?

The Holocaust. From 1933 to 1945, the Nazis systematically murdered over six million Jews because of their race. Countless photographs and video's show a myriad of mass graves-a valley of dry bones. This fulfilment of Bible prophecy seems obvious, especially to those belonging to the nation of Israel. This event fulfilled gives believers watching the prophetic calendar an idea as to where things stand according to biblical prophecy.

During the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel announced to the audience that the prophecies of Ezekiel Chapter 37 were fulfilled:

"The Jewish people rose from ashes and destruction, from a terrible pain that can never be healed. Armed with the Jewish spirit, the justice of man, and the vision of the prophets, we sprouted new branches and grew deep roots. Dry bones became covered with flesh, a spirit filled them, and they lived and stood on their own feet. As Ezekiel prophesized".

Unknowingly, Netanyahu's confirmation of Ezekiel's prophecy proves that we are living in the Last Days. If Ezekiel 37 is any indication that Bible prophecies are moving on a fast track.

Isaiah spoke of a Israel being reborn in one day
Bible passage: Isaiah 66:7-8
Written: perhaps between 701-681 BC
Fulfilled: 1948

NAtionBoIn Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel in 1948. Isaiah describes a woman giving birth before going into labor, and he speaks of a country being born in one day. This accurately describes what happened on May 14, 1948 - when the Jews declared independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2900 years.

During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel’s sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day.

Isaiah said the birth would take place before there would be labor pains. And that too is precisely what happened. A movement called Zionism began in the 1800s to encourage Jews worldwide to move to Israel, which at that time was called Palestine. Within hours of the declaration of independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

When reading Isaiah 66:7-8, keep in mind that Israel’s status as a sovereign nation was established and reaffirmed during the course of a single day, and that it was born of a movement called Zionism, and that its declaration of independence was not the result of a war but rather the cause of one.

Since Israel's come to being in 1948, it has become a vibrant, modern, and well populated country. I would like to pause for a moment and talk about an idea commonly called Replacement Theology. I believe that it is false doctrine that is dangerous to the body of Christ.
You see, there are some who say that God’s promises to Israel were cancelled; That God revoked them when they denied the messiah and therefore denied God for the last time. They say now that the church has replaced Israel in God’s eyes.

Although the church is very important, if we continue to study the scriptures, especially those areas involved with the end times… it becomes very clear that God is not finished with Israel… and that the idea that the church has replaced Israel is unscriptural.

Israel is mentioned 2566 times in the Bible. This is second to God himself. With that much attention in the scriptures, it would seem apparent that God takes great concern with Israel.

They are the apple of his eye… he has engraved them in the palm of his hand and his prophetic plans involve them. (See: Isaiah 11:12, Isaiah 66:8, Ezekiel 37:21, Jer 31:10-11, Eze 34:28)

"Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD...But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come… For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land." -- Ezekiel 36:1,8,24

Before 1948 there was no Israel. Not one of Israel’s prophecies could ever come to pass without a nation. It was during this time that the idea of replacement theology came more popular. No Israel? – God must have meant them symbolically… So you can imagine why the study of prophecy was all a buzz in 1948… all of a sudden… ISRAEL!

The people of Israel would return to “their own land”
Bible passage: Ezekiel 34:13
Written: between 593-571 BC
Fulfilled: after May 14, 1948

In Ezekiel 34:13, the prophet said that God would gather the people of Israel scattered throughout the world and bring them back to “their own land.” After many centuries of dispersion, hundreds of thousands of Jews returned to their ancient homeland beginning in the late 1800s. But, millions more returned after Israel declared independence in 1948. In other words, millions of exiles returned to their ancient homeland which was now truly “their own land” in the sense that it was now a sovereign Jewish state.

As we think about the victims of the Holocaust, Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones, the re-establishment of Israel as a nation we know with a certainly and hope that we are living in the last days. There is little doubt among Bible scholars that the establishment of the State of Israel, on May 14, 1948, is the fulfilment of the prophecy of the fig tree. Throughout the Bible, Israel is referred to as the fig tree.

Hosea 9:10 says, "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree."

After describing His return, in Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus says this: "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all theses things have happened." Most agree that this says that the generation of people who witness the fig tree bearing leaves (Israel becoming a nation) will not pass away until the Son of Man returns.

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