Never Again


This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” 

There are two wise old Jewish sayings that I think are important for our time, “The best way to prepare for the future is to learn from the past” and “When someone says they want to kill you, believe them.”

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where up to three million people were murdered by the Nazis (2.5 million gassed, and 500,000 from disease and starvation).

This week after all of the fanfare and gloating subsided over Obama’s disastrous Nuclear deal that was just signed with Iran, the Iranians issued the following statement:

A senior Iranian official has reiterated that Iran views the annihilation of the State of Israel as its most central foreign policy, despite warming relations with western powers. “Our positions against the Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan,” Adviser for International Affairs, Hossein Sheikholeslam said Tuesday, according to the semi-official Fars News.

Remembering the Hebron Massacre of 1929

Young Shlomo Slonim who was stabbed in the head by an attacker, and the fingers on his right hand were partially severed. He was later found in the arms of his dead mother by a survivor who sifted through the home after the massacre.

No theme is more deeply embedded in Jewish history than exile and return. The biblical Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land, the return from Babylonian exile, and, most recently, the establishment of the state of Israel all affirmed the enduring determination of the Jewish people to return to their homeland.

Yet another wrenching exile and return, now rarely remembered, occurred 80 years ago this week. On Aug. 23-24, 1929, the Jewish community of Hebron was exiled following a horrific pogrom. Until 1929, Jews had lived in Hebron for three millennia. There, according to Jewish tradition, Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah to bury Sarah. It was the first parcel of land owned by the Jewish people in their Promised Land. Ever since, religious Jews revered Hebron as the burial site of their matriarchs and patriarchs. Conquered, massacred and expelled over the centuries, Jews always returned to this sacred place.

Cave of the Patriarchs - Hebron

Tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah in Hebron, Israel

After 1267, under Muslim rule, no Jews were permitted to pray inside the magnificent enclosure, built by King Herod in the 1st century, that still surrounds the burial caves. However, following the expulsion of Jews from Spain at the end of the 15th century, a small group of religious Jews rebuilt a community of study and prayer in Hebron.

In August 1929, that community was suddenly and brutally attacked. Incited by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem—who claimed that Jews were endangering Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—Arab rioters swept through Palestine. In Hebron, the carnage was horrendous.

When Arabs were incited to rise up and slaughter their Jewish neighbors in the city, the British soldiers who were stationed there as guards first looked shocked but then did nothing to intervene in the massacre. Eventually they just ordered the rest of the Jews to flee for their lives. No sense in trying to stop the angry Arabs, that would be too much effort for the British soldiers and besides, they did not want to appear as having sided with the Jews.

“In sorrow and Shame” plaque recently placed in Hebron by British Christians

It began on Friday afternoon when Arabs attacked Jews with clubs and murdered a Yeshiva student. The next morning, joined by local villagers, Arabs swarmed through Hebron screaming: “Kill the Jews!”. They broke into the home of Eliezer Dan Slonim, where many Jews had gathered for safety. There they wielded knives and axes to murder 22 innocents. In the Anglo-Palestine Bank, where 23 corpses were discovered, blood covered the tile floor. That day, three children under the age of five were murdered. Teenage girls, their mothers and grandmothers were raped and killed. Rabbis and their students were castrated before they were slain. A surviving Yeshiva student recounted that he “had seen greater horrors than Dante in hell”.

When the slaughter finally subsided, 67 Jews had been murdered. Three days later arriving, British soldiers evacuated 484 survivors, including 153 children, to Jerusalem. The butchery in Hebron, Zionist and religious officials alleged, was “without equal in the history of the country since the destruction of the Temple”. Sir Walter Shaw, chairman of an exhaustive British royal investigation, concluded that “unspeakable atrocities” had occurred.

The massacre extinguished the most ancient Jewish community in Palestine. With synagogues destroyed, Jewish property converted into storerooms and barns for livestock, and the ancient cemetery desecrated, few signs remained that there had ever been a Jewish presence in Hebron.

Nearly 40 years later however, after the Six-Day War of 1967, a small group of religious Zionists returned to Hebron to rebuild the destroyed community. “What was in the past in Hebron,” declared their matriarch Miriam Levinger, “is what will happen in the future. Always!” So it would be. (Thanks to The Wall Street Journal, Haaretz as contributing sources)

Here at our FZS warehouse center in Jerusalem, we are continuing our outreach ministry with the distribution of clothing and necessities from the 40 ft. container of aid we received from GAiN International in Holland. We are so thankful for these containers that allows us the opportunity of blessing so many in need both physically and spiritually…

Here are just a few of the new immigrants we assist each week at FZS

We have also planned our next Holocaust Survivor Outreach at Haus Schönegg in Switzerland for the last week of October. This time all of the survivors will be coming from Germany. Please pray that we can find many open doors for them to share their testimonies in schools and churches.

Please pray that those who will be coming will be open to the Love of the Lord!

Bradley Antolovich - For Zion's Sake

Bradley Antolovich
International Director

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