Zvi Nov/Dec 2001
In Deuteronomy 25:17–18 it is written,
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote those behind thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
World War II is over. But I will never forget the terrible years I lived through the Holocaust. Many times I longed to die and envied those who went to their graves. Yes, I remember “Amalek.”
Then I came to this Promised Land, Eretz Yisrael, which God gave to Abraham (Gen. 13:14–17) and his descendants forever (Gen. 26:3–4; 28:13). He gave this land to my people, the Jewish people; but as soon as I arrived in 1947, “Amalek” was here and gave us no rest. Still, the Lord told us not to be afraid of our enemies: “For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee” (Dt. 23:14).
I fought in all of Israel’s wars. And our enemies tried to butcher us and destroy us and cast us into the sea. We were so few, and they were so many. But still we are here. Why? Because the Lord fought on our side (Ex. 14:14; Ps. 124; Isa. 49:25). I have seen with my own eyes what great miracles God has done for us.
But few of the people who endured the Holocaust want to hear about God and His miracles. I speak to many who suffered in the death camps of Europe. Today they still suffer, but in a different way. When I began to talk to them recently about the Lord and the wonderful things He has done for us in Israel, several Holocaust survivors said to me, “You are one of those Christians, and you are trying to make us Christians.” They understand so little about true faith in the living God and are so afraid of Christians and Christian books.
So I showed them my Bible and began to read from Psalm 96:2–3: “Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples.” I told them it is our obligation as Jews to praise the Lord and speak of His miracles.
They said the Bible speaks about God, not about “this man,” meaning Jesus. I always wait for them to mention Christ, so they cannot accuse me of trying to make them Christians. They like so much to hear God’s Word from the book of Zechariah, but they cannot see the truth about whom the prophet speaks.
So I read to them Zechariah 12:10, which says that they will “look upon me whom they have pierced.”
“Please,” I said, “tell me about whom this is written.”
They looked at one another, and one replied, “Tomorrow, when we go to the synagogue in the morning to pray, we will ask our rabbi. He will give us the right answer.”
Several of their friends arrived, giving them more courage to argue with me. “Here is the Bible,” I said, opening to Isaiah 53. “About whom is this written?” And I read,
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (vv. 5–6).
They began eyeing me suspiciously, and one asked, “Which priest wrote this?”
“I am so glad you asked me this,” I replied. “Here is the Bible. You can see who wrote this and about whom it is written.” They continued to look at me, but no one said anything.
Finally someone broke the silence. “If you knew what we went through in the Holocaust, you would not try to come and speak to us about ‘this man.’”
“You think I do not know?” I asked. So God gave me an opportunity to tell them about myself and what I endured. I told them how I was orphaned at age 10 when the Nazis overran Poland; how I ran for my life for six long years, surviving only by the grace of God. I had no parents. I had no family. I was in the Warsaw Ghetto for a time and longed for death.
“Even with all this,” I said, “I have believed in Christ because He alone gave me peace in my heart. And I can stand here today and tell you that faith in Jesus is the only way to have true joy and be happy. It is only through Him that you can know God personally and be free from all types of superstitions that bring only hatred and fear, not joy or love.”
Then they asked me if I would give them my Bible. I did so with gladness. I pray that God will speak to their hearts as He spoke to mine about 50 years ago when I gave my life to Jesus Christ my Savior—my people’s only hope— though they do not understand that yet.