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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trying to be more like a Jewish Carpenter

As a Christian, I am constantly seeking to be more like Christ....and constantly failing quite miserably, thank you. That aside, I am fascinated with the practice of Judaism and Jewish culture. After all, the one I follow, in addition to being the Son of God was also quite the dedicated Jew. Or haven't you heard? I'm also horrified of the persecution the Jews have faced throughout history and continue to face in the Holy Land.

Jenna (my 9 year old) recently asked me about the Holocaust, since she is reading about Anne Frank in school. We had a long discussion regarding hate and evil back in the 40s, but also the hate and evil that Israelis face in 2008. They are literally surrounded by folks in robes who would love to see them destroyed, some of which have said so very recently.
Of course, the Eastern Europe of WWII witnessed the quintessential example of evil, with the killing of some 6 million Jews by German Nazis. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, comments: "There is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The figure commonly used is the six million quoted by Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official. Most research confirms that the number of victims was between five and six million.There were about 8 to 10 million Jews in the territories controlled directly or indirectly by the Nazis (the uncertainty arises from the lack of knowledge about how many Jews there were in the Soviet Union). The 6 million killed in the Holocaust thus represent 60 to 75 percent of these Jews. Of Poland's 3.3 million Jews, over 90 percent were killed."

As a reminder, 6 million people is the current population of Tennessee. Or Arizona. Or Washington or Indiana. Take your pick. No matter who you are or how you look at it, the whole thing is (and always will be) downright depressing and shameful. Truly it is the greatest shining example of a fallen and broken world. A world, now more than ever, in need of the benevolent love of the Creator. And for me what is needed is the guidance, direction and love of that Jewish Carpenter from the Iron Age- who was there from the beginning.

I'll never understand all the terrible things that happen in this world. He never said I had to. But, as I told Jenna that day, I'm so thankful that He's with me in it, and will never leave me. That's a promise from a practicing Jewish carpenter, and you can count on it.


Rick said...

One of the gifts I think we have as dads is that we get to talk about the real things of life - like good, like evil, etc. Good call, sir - keeping the line of conversation and questions open will, I think, go far in helping our kids grow up with something resembling sense in this mess.

Alan said...

Thanks, Rick. Jenna has now started reading The Hiding Place. Another great story from that brutal era. Watching her connect the dots is both exciting and fulfilling.