Journal: Tuesday 13 January 2015 15:23
We are sitting in a traffic jam on the way back from Bethlehem to the hotel. Why? Because an abandoned vehicle was blown up in case it was a security threat, and is now being removed. It perhaps sums up the extreme reaction to day-to-day life in Jerusalem. But life goes on. The last 48 hours have been a lesson in how life goes on even amongst the evil that we humans are willing to impart on one another. Yesterday we visited the holocaust remembrance museum, Yad VaShem, a experience I will never forget. A story, no a remembrance of the evil nations have imparted onto the Jewish people. Yes focussed mostly on the 20th century holocaust, but also remembering that this was and is not the only time evil has raised its head against the Jewish people. But what impacted me was that the evil was made worse, if that is possible, by the abandonment of the Jewish people by other nations. For a nation to turn away the individuals of that nation must turn away as well. I jotted down some words on the bus journey home. I’m not sure that they amount to anything other then how my heart felt as we left that place.
Cain beats Abel, you stand by.
We kill you Son, you standby.
Hitler kill the Jews, we stand by.
When will you respond?
When is enough evil done?
When will you send your Son?
I of course don’t believe God abandons anyone, but sometimes the tool he uses to intervene seems blunt, as we His people look the other way. Then today we crossed into Bethlehem, across the wall that divides this land. The irony of a nation that has been persecuted and placed in ghettos throughout its history, segregating people is not lost on me. The politics of it all are so very complex, and I’m not entirely sure I even begin to understand them, but I do wonder if individuals continue to turn away from this land and its people what might happen here and elsewhere. What I have decided is that ignorance is no excuse, and that we should be informed and be ready to take a stance. As we exited Yad VaShem Yesterday, there was a sign on the wall from Imre Bathory, a Hungarian who put his own life at risk by helping to save Jews from the concentration camps. “I know that when I stand before God on Judgment Day, I shall not be asked the question posed to Cain: ‘Where were you when your brother’s blood was crying out to God?’” As I leave the Holy Land, I take away with me the same desire.