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4.21.2006    |    Catastrophe
The 27th of Nissan in the Hebrew calendar is designated as Yom HaShoah, or, literally, Day of The Catastrophe. Shoah is the transliterated Hebrew that is usually rendered as "holocaust," for the murder of 5-6 million Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices during World War II.

For those who keep track, the actual event that caused this particular date to be set was the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which began on April 19, 1943 -- 15 Nissan in that year, which corresponds to the first day of Passover.

The revolt was futile, in the military sense. But, knowing the truth about the "work camps," that they were actually death camps, allegedly unbelieving Jews were moved to take up what arms they could scrounge and attempt to defeat the German Army that had occupied Warsaw. I write "allegedly unbelieving," as the leaders of the revolt were socialist Zionists, who, as I know from my own family, were not just skeptics. They were downright hostile to pious Jews who would pray and observe all the rituals.

But here's a puzzle: how could these secularists, supposedly wed to cold, hard, logic, have taken on the German Army at the height of its power in Europe? They had to know they would be killed. But take their stand, they did. And, against all odds, managed to hold the Nazi war machine at bay for a few weeks.

May I suggest the answer to the puzzle: these brave partisans knew that God was on their side. How did they know this? Was it explained in books, or pamphlets, or by a rabbi? No. I think they just knew, that God's Spirit descended on them and gave them the power to rise up.

The lesson for us must not be lost. We, also, must find our bravery, an unearned gift from God, whenever we are in a corner, about to be killed by evil. We may not be victorious in our time. But in God's time we will conquer, since He never fails.


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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.