Standing With Israel

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In late March I took the trip of a lifetime. I spent seven days in Israel touring historic sites and ancient ruins that date back more than 2,000 years. I discovered the roots of my Christian faith and watched the Bible come to life.

My schedule was packed with many interesting places to see, including the Western Wall, the Garden Tomb and the Upper Room, where Jesus ate the Last Supper. I floated in the Dead Sea and toured the Valley of Jezreel, which overlooks the ancient city of Armageddon, the place of the final war mentioned in Revelation.

But I was haunted by my visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. Without any warning, I found myself in tears. 

Inside the Valley of Communities, I watched a short video of life among Jewish people before Adolf Hitler executed his sinister plan to destroy them. I saw scenes of Jewish culture with men and women, boys and girls laughing, dancing and enjoying everyday life.

Then, I descended deep into the museum and the farther I walked, the more horrific the images were. After seeing remnants from victims herded off to concentration camps--their shoes, pocket watches, family photos, handbags and more--the tears started to trickle down my face. It's something I'll never forget.

I could barely contain myself when I entered the children's memorial. All I could think about were the millions of children who died in gas chambers. I saw images of some of their faces, and they were no different from my precious 5-year-old niece, Taelor, and my 2-year-old nephew, Wesley-Adam. In my mind, I could hear the Jewish children giggling and laughing. But they died without the embrace of a mother or father. They died without mercy.

As we departed the museum, I started thinking about an article I had written in early 2000 titled "The History America Chose to Forget." It's about the heinous act of lynching and the persecution of African-Americans.

Seeing the images in the museum made me think about the civil rights movement and how Jewish people marched arm-in-arm with black people for the right to be treated equal. They could relate to the pain of injustice.

As a black person and a human being with the inability to comprehend the depth of God's sovereignty, I want to ask Him why He allowed the Holocaust, slavery and other atrocities to occur, but I don't. Instead, I trust Him.

Tuesday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and it reminded me that God is righteous and we can trust Him to deal with injustice of any kind.

Every day Jewish people around the world demonstrate forgiveness, and I believe that's the model we must all follow.

Valerie G. Lowe is editor of Standing With Israel e-newsletter. To donate to the Standing With Israel fund , click here.

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