“Day of Remembrance”
Dr. Michael L. Ford
10 May 2005
Yom Hazikaron, or “Day of Remembrance,” is a memorial for those who lost their lives establishing, protecting and preserving the State of Israel. It will begin to be observed on the evening of May 11th. It is sandwiched between Israel's national Holocaust Memorial day on May 6th for the six million Jews annihilated by the Nazis during the War II and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day) on May 14th.
It was the experience of the Holocaust that convinced many surviving Jews there was no safe place for them in this world, and impelled them to return to a land that had been spoiled so that it no longer flowed with milk and honey. It was the Holocaust that gave rise to the watchword and battle cry “Never Again.” It produced people that would land in Israel to fight for its Independence without ever learning to speak Hebrew or handle a weapon.
In my lifetime I have known a few men who were at the “liberation” of the Nazi death camps. Some found the situation so horrible they could scarce speak of it, and those who could find voice ingrained what they saw into my memory with few words. What I learned from them made it perfectly understandable to me why there were people willing to sacrifice their lives for a dream on relatively barren and certainly hostile land.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries a number of famous persons made pilgrimages to the “Promised Land.” Some went because of religious faith and some went looking for answers to their questions about life. All uniformly reported the poverty of that treeless barren land. To transform it into the land it is today took the lives of not only the Six million killed by Hitler but also the multitude that has since fallen changing it again into a land of milk and honey.
The restoration of a people to nationhood after two and a half millennia is unique in all of history to the Hebrew people. Their rebirth like the rebirth of their land are both a fulfillment of prophecy. God said He would bring both to pass and He did so, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
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