The Jerusalem Prayer List – April 22, 2009

Yesterday was the day of remembrance for the victims of the World War II Holocaust. This day of remembrance is very special because it has become a time of reflection and meditation on the very nature of humanity and what humanity is capable of both for the good and for the bad. It seems to me that as I get older I become a greater cynic and much more critical, but also much more sharp in my observations. This is the first year that I have paid attention to the

epitaphs that are used by the speakers in the big ceremony in Yad VaShem (The Museum of the Holocaust in Jerusalem) to describe the Germans and the Natzi SS officers. Here are some of the things that were said by the President of Israel, by the Prime Minister of Israel, by the chief Rabbis of Israel, and by some of the survivors of the death camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belzen and other mass murder centers: “The German Animals who have lost the image of human-beings,” “Human Animals,” “The Natzi Devils,” “mad murderers,” and many other such statements. These statements dehumanize the German and other Nationals who were a part of the racist machine that set as it’s goal the extermination of the Jewish nation. I have been traveling to Germany since 1981 every year and in fact I have had the privilage to visit much of Germany from the very north places like Pine Mounde and all the way to Basel, Switzerland on the south boarder of Germany and Northern boarder of Switzerland. I have met many Germans who are now devout Christians and lovers of the God of Israel and of Israel and the Jewish people. I have met people who were in the SS and in the Waremacht and Luftwaffe and none of them were or are animals or devils or non-humans. They are all very human and very rational and what they did during the war, the horrid monstrosities, cruelties, and murder, were all deeds done fully conscience and fully rational and fully calculating of what is good and what is bad for their cause, their nation, their problems. It is too easy to say that they were “animals” it is too forgiving to say that they were “mad” it is too merciful to day that they were “demonized.” No, the Natzi operators and the SS officers were all human beings like you and I. The Natzi leaders who calculated the “final solution” were educated and enjoyed fine music and fine dinning and fine clothing and many of them when to church on Sunday and prayed and read the bible and celebrated Christmas with baby Jesus in the manger and the three wise man from the east bringing gifts to the Jewish baby born in Bethlehem. It is important that Jews and Christians stop dehumanizing the Natzi German and Ukrainians. Those who hate us and want us dead and not Animals and not demons and not devils and they have not lost the image of human beings – they are all too human and all to normal an all too much like all of us. We are all capable of being murderous and hateful and racist and prejudice against those who are different from us and if we dehumanize our enemies we are able to burn them and gas them and kill women and children without blinking an eye. Yes, the Germans and those who joined them in this journey of hate against Jews and Gypsies and others were all too human and here is what motivated them to do what they did:

1. The teaching that the Jews and Gypsies and blacks are cursed races and that they are a superior race.

2. The idea that there is one group of people that is guilty for all the ills of Society and that if you can get rid of this group of people all the problems of society will be resolved.

3. The teaching that Jews are less than human because that they killed God.

4. The doctrine of replacement that the Roman Church and the Protestants Churches were teaching – that God is finished with the Jewish nation and that from now on only the Church counts as the people of God. This doctrine could be one of the major seeds of hate and cause of anti-Jewish feelings in Europe and in Christianity.

5. The high success and wealth of the European Jews and their international connection gave a cause of envy and jealousy that breads racism and genocide.

When you put all of the above reasons into one pot and mix it with nationalism and greed and weak leaders and a vacuum of faith and community and financial problems it is easy for normally good people and normally decent people to rationalize and turn into a murder mongering hoard. Darkness covered Europe and the false teaching of replacement theology took a deep root and sprouted bitter fruit of hate and dehumanized anyone who was not Arian and not Christian and gave permission to kill and to burn and to gas and to close the eyes of almost the whole German Nation.

I say these things to all of us who are disciples of Yeshua and to all the Jews and Arabs that I know – because with just a little motivation to hate and to forget that God is the Father of us all and that Yeshua died to save us all and that the Kingdom of God is for all races we could all become such hateful murderers and killers of those who are not just like us. It does not have to be a physical killing that we kill each other, it can be a spiritual death that we enjoy against each other. Killing can be accomplished by just ignoring each other’s needs and acting like we have no connection with those who follow Yeshua the Messiah but worship in a building that has a different shingle hanging on their building. The Germans and the Natzis are responsible for what they did because they were normal and accountable human beings, and because they hated the truth and God gave them a great delusion to believe the lies and be damned by them. (See: “Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” (2Th. 2:8 -10))

We had a very big problem in congregational building. We had to replace the floor in the kitchen and bathrooms and the entrance to the building because the floor was sinking very fast. In two months the floor sunk over a centimeter and warped. Workers have been working all week and it looks like they will have to work another week to dig up the old floor and all the dirt under the tiles and build cement and iron grid to build the new floor and replace the kitchen and bathrooms. All this is of course very expensive and we expect to have a bill of around 20,000 dollars. The sad part of this is that if we get the building permission we will still have to open these floors up again and dig up the bomb-shelter and build a much more massive roof for this bomb-shelter. What we have to praise the Lord over is that no one actually did fall on these floors and that there is no human injury.

I have been so stressed these days and tired from all the things that are going on around us in both the congregation and Netivyah and it looks like my travel to the conference in Portugal is going to be a welcome change of scenery and probably a very important step toward the recovery of these lost Jews of Portugal that are called Marranos for over 500 years.

Please continue to pray for the sick list – the same sick list that we had last week. Here is the list: We need to continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering illness and chronic sickness. Just a few days ago I received a letter from Dr. Tim Tucker who is hospitalized in Finland with A.L.S. for several years. He asked me to ask you all to keep praying for him because we believe that our God is a God of miracles who is able to do all and everything without limits.

We continue to pray for the following sick brothers and sisters all around the world. Please pray for Aggi a dear friend who is facing cancer, and for Dubi a dear old friend who is quite old and dealing with cancer too. We also lift up Kathy in Denver, Colorado, and Ruby in Oklahoma, and Paulo in Curitiba, Brazil. Sally is a fine Israeli women with cancer. In Jerusalem we continue to pray for Sarit, and Zvi and Sara, and Miriam, Lea, Ahuva, Ilana, all these dear sisters from our congregation in Jerusalem. We have to continue to pray for Paulo in Brazil, and Ruby in Oklahoma, and Liz’s sister in Tennessee. I ask you to also continue to pray for the Lord to heal Marcia my wife and show His mercy to Danah and Noaam, my daughter and granddaughter in California.

Israel has it’s 61st Independence Day celebration next week – we will have a congregational picnic like we have every year and it is always joined by many people who are not from our congregation. Please pray for our congregation and for this picnic and also pray for Marcia and I, and for Marcelo and Matheus that will be in Portugal right after Israel’s day of Independence. We need your prayers for both our trip to Portugal that is of prime importance for the future of these Marranos and also for our congregation on this day of Independence.

Pray for Israel and for the Jewish people. The wave of anti-semitism that Ahmadinajad the President of Iran is peddling around the world and the halls of the United Nations. So much of the world is still drunk with all the anti-semitic feelings and today they call it anti-zionism or anti-Israel and the two are still the same old anti-Jewish feelings and teaching and theology. Yeshua the quintessential Jew of all the Jews – the seed of David the King of the Jews, what would you think Yeshua would say to those who hate His own brothers and sisters and those who call for the elimination of the State of Israel?

I pray that you are willing to stand with Israel and with the Jewish people and pray for the salvation of all of Israel.

Joseph Shulam

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