Remembering Kristallnacht

Kristallnacht ICEJ


This Wednesday 9th November, ICEJ Australia remembers with sadness the event known as Kristallnacht. On that night, Jewish homes, hospitals and schools were ransacked as attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers and smashed windows. Over 200 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Over 7,000 Jewish businesses were damaged or destroyed, and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. The brutality of that night began the long years of darkness in which six million Jews were murdered. Shamefully, except for some courageous voices, the Christian community was mainly silent throughout those years.

However, following Kristallnacht on December 6 1938, William Cooper, a 77-year-old Aboriginal, lead a delegation from his home to the German consulate in Melbourne to deliver a letter protesting against the violence. Mr Cooper and members of the Australian Aboriginal League were not allowed inside the consulate and the letter was passed to a guard. This action is considered by many to be the only protest of its kind in the world at the time. This is even more meaningful as at or during this time in Australia Indigenous people faced many injustices. Yad Vashem the Holocaust Memorial Museum has honoured him and call him as one ‘righteous among the nations’.

Holocaust survivors in Israel

ICEJ is honoured to play a significant part in caring for ageing Holocaust survivors in Israel through the Home in Haifa. However, their numbers are decreasing. Please help us provide for their comfort while they are still with us.

Last Monday, the 31st October was the anniversary of:

The Light Horse Charge at Beersheba as acknowledged in last Friday’s email.

Reformation Day when in 1517 Martin Luther reminded us we are saved by grace, forgiveness is a free gift of God procured for us on the cross of Calvary! Hallelujah!

God speaks to people in ways they understand!

The Torah portion readings followed by the Jewish world are now in Genesis, and this week the narrative begins to focus on Abraham. An interesting fact comes from Genesis 13:14-17, where the LORD said to Abraham, “Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”  Abraham obeyed, but how was walking through the land relevant to being given the Land?

According to an early Hebrew commentary, Abraham was doing khazakah, a widespread legal custom of that era and well before throughout the peoples of the Middle East.  It referred to acquiring a piece of property.  The new owner had to walk the perimeter of the entire property, which was symbolic of marking his territory.  God used the customs of the day to confirm the covenant He had made with Abraham – that the land of Canaan was given to him and his descendants as an eternal covenant.

Shabbat Shalom!

Sarah Way

ICEJ Australia National Director

Sarah Way ICEJ Australia National Director
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