Tzedakah” - Stories of righteous ones in the
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Tzedakah Verses Rage!
As Moses watched, he saw this bush burn with fire,
yet, it was not consumed, for God was in the midst of it! The LORD God taught
Moses that He was about to emancipate
Whilst the fire of “the Holocaust”
was gripping the
A scetch of the old part Jewish of Lublin by Leon Wyczolkowski
Storm trooper, Commander Globochnik, already known to be a notorious sadistic murderer, was entrusted with the sad fate of the Jews of Lublin. One of the first things he did was to call an assembly for all Jews of the city. Any that refused to come would be shot on the spot. Not knowing their fate, they came to an abandoned field just on the outskirts of the city. High barbed wire fences surrounded it. Guards stood with machine guns and whips in hand. Already the Jews of Lublin had seen their great Yeshiva (Hebrew School of Learning-Seminary) attacked, and the sacred books and Torah Scrolls (Five Books of Moses) burned and destroyed. There they stood trembling not knowing what would befall them. Suddenly the armed guards formed a double line, guns in hand, as Globochnik stepped forward. He was delighting himself by inventing new and ingenious tortures, to plague “these horrid Jews.” His troops well used to inflicting brutal torture, stood impatiently for their orders that would soon come. Globochnik was in high spirits, laughing uncontrollably. His laughter curdled the blood of these poor Jews, who were waiting, and waiting.
Then suddenly he screeched, “Sing, Jews, sing! I want you to sing a happy song! Yes a Chassidic ditty!” However, the Jews of Lublin remained silent. “Is this all this madman wants from us?” they asked themselves. How could these poor souls, in mortal fear of their very lives bring themselves to sing a happy Chassidic song for these murderous barbarians? They were unable open their mouths whilst in fear. “Attack those stubborn Jews! Beat them with all your might, show them no mercy!” The guards happily followed Globochnik’s order, their ruthlessness matched only by their vehemence. As they came hitting and pushing, the Jews were forced back against the barbed wire. Barbs on the fence tore their flesh, pricking their very beings, and blood began to flow. They huddled closely together, stumbling, and falling as more, and more guards came against them, beating, and beating. Many were trampled under foot, as the confusion of a new wave of retreating people was pushed back. Again came the hideous voice of Globochnik, “Sing, you arrogant Jews, sing, or you will die! Attack them; force them against the wire. Gunners, aim your machine guns. Sing you dirty Jews or die!”
Suddenly, a cracking melancholy voice broke the silence. It was the voice of a man crushed amongst these frightened ones. He began to sing a Chassidic folk song in which this faithful Jew poured his soul before his God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob.
These were the lyrics …
“Lomir Zich Iberbeiten, Avinu Shebashamayim, Lomir Zich
“Let us be reconciled, Heavenly father, Let us be Reconciled.”
Nobody joined him. The singing stopped. Then
after what seemed like hours, the same tune broke forth again. Somebody else
was singing. It was the same melody, but this time the words were different.
This one solitary voice in this downtrodden crowd became the representative of
all the Jews in
Suddenly a sea of voices bellowed forth, joining in what seemed an impossible dream. Feet were now stamping, arms were locked, and the Jews of Lublin sang and they danced in harmony!
They sang and sang these words;
“Mir Velen Zey Iberleben, Avinu Shebashamayim, Mir
Velen Zey Iberleben”
“We shall out-live them, Heavenly Father, we shall out-live them!”
At first Globochnik was delighted, however, as he saw their enthusiasm, he stumbled upon their secret “This is not how a humiliated people behave?” In their song and dance, the Jews of Lublin forgot all their pain, suffering, humiliation, and despair. They had even forgotten the presence of Globochnik himself.
“Stop you … Jews! Stop singing, stop dancing! - STOP now!” he yelled. “Attack” he ordered his ever-willing soldiers. But the Jews of Lublin kept on singing and dancing …
“Mir Velen Zey Iberleben, Avinu Shebashamayim - We shall out-live them, Heavenly Father."
They were beaten terribly, but they defied
their oppressors. Only one individual survived the horror of that day in
Above & Below: Deportation of Jews of Lublin to Belzec death camp
Just look at that happy Nazi top right.
Blessed be the LORD God,
“As you have
The prophet Ezekiel spoke these prophetic words about a “valley of dry bones” around 587 BC,
“Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and
say to the wind, Thus saith the LORD God; Come from the four winds, O breath,
and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He
commanded me, and the breath came into them and they lived, and stood up upon
their feet, an exceeding great army. Then He said unto me, Son of man, these
dry bones are the WHOLE house of
The LORD God had and still has a great future
for His people. Just look at the nations that have persecuted the people of
The above Scriptures were well known to a very special family in The Netherlands who took a stand against the German authorities and their law of ruthlessness, knowing that they acted in the will of God, who had given them a higher law in the Scriptures. It was the law of “Tzedakah.”
Grote Mart (Large Market)
Not far from
The Nazis have taken over the Grote Mart and
The ten Boom family, just like Tante Riek provided the world with a testimony that should and has now been told worldwide. The ten Boom home is named to this very day the "BeJe" and it is located in Barteljorisstraat (straat = Street). It was originally purchased by Corrie's grandfather Willem in 1837. He was an expert clock and a watchmaker. He had a shop on the ground level of the house, whilst the family lived on upper levels of the house, as the house was narrow, but quite deep.
The Ten Boom House in the Barteljorisstraat Haarlem, it includes what looks like the tower section in the rear!
The ten Boom's had at all times
dearly loved the Jewish people. Corrie who was the youngest of four children
was born on April 15, 1892 in
Her father Casper ten Boom followed his family
tradition and also became a watchmaker. When Corrie was still a baby, the family
decided to move to
Papa (Father) Casper ten Boom
Provided by the Ten Boom Huis
Their home had wide open doors to
everybody, especially to those who were in need. Apart from Mr and Mrs ten Boom
and their four children, this little house was shared by three aunts and later
by a succession of foster children. As she grew up, Corrie became the first
woman ever to become a licensed watchmaker in the
Left: Corrie - Right: Betsie ten boom, two courageous sisters!
Provided by the Ten Boom Huis
How did the special love for
Back in 1844, an unusual event took place, Corrie's grandfather Willem felt called by God to commence a weekly prayer meeting for the Jewish people. This was continued to the day the ten Boom family was taken by the Nazis in 1944. “Neither grandfather or we could possibly have known how the LORD God answers our prayers, but we must be willing to play a part in His plan, no matter what,” Corrie would eventually write.
It would be one hundred years after Willem commenced the family prayer group in his home that his son and four grand children were arrested, just because they dared to save Jewish lives from the Nazis in their home. Four of the family arrested tragically died whilst in detention. Even though difficult to understand, “that was God's answer to all the prayers of our family for the Jewish people over the years.” Corrie stated. “Papa,” Casper ten Boom, “was a man who would stand firmly on the blessed Word of God. He was not going to forsake the Jewish people, whom we believe to be Jesus' brethren.”
When the Jewish people were forced to wear the
“Star (Shield) of David,”
On the first of June 1943, a Jewish baby was delivered to the ten Boom house for safekeeping. Then next day what seemed to be the presumed perfect solution walked into the watch shop. This was a pastor who was also a friend of the family. Corrie asked the Pastor if he could take the baby to his home, which was located in the countryside far from all the trouble. The pastor firmly replied,
“Miss ten Boom, I hope you are not getting involved with any of this illegal concealment and undercover business. It is not safe! Think of your father and your sister. She has never been very strong.”
He looked at the baby for just one moment with compassion, but with a sense of fear showing in his face. He declared,
“No. Definitely not, we could lose our own lives for that Jewish child!”
Unseen by Corrie and Betsie, their father
“Give the child to me Corrie,” he
“You say that we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honour that could come to my family. You have also protested about me wearing the Star of David. That I will remove, BUT we'll keep the baby!”
The pastor stormed out of the house without a word, proving the difference between those of real faith, those Jesus called in the New Testament, “the wheat,” and those that are just religious, who are in reality “the tares.”
The ten Booms worked closely with Tante Riek's LO, and they hid many Jewish folk in their home. They had built a special hiding place had in Corrie's bedroom behind a false wall of her wardrobe. Often the house would be full of Jews. On one Sabbath eve, one of the guests sang a Hebrew blessing before diner and he did it rather enthusiastically. A neighbour came round and declared, “Do you want the whole neighbourhood to know that you are hiding these Jewish folk? Please be quiet or you will be found out!” Sadly, found out they would be in due course.
At a time when the home was packed with Jews
in hiding the worst happened yet all managed to go and hide in the Hiding place
in Corrie’s room. It was on February 28, 1944, when the Nazis raided the
Ten Boom’s home. Yet Casper ten Boom’s faith was without end. Even
as he was pushed onto the truck a Gestapo officer said, “ten Boom, give
me your word you will behave yourself, and you can die in your own bed, old
man, this is where you belong.” To this,
“If I stay behind, I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help.”
This is how a man or woman with a strong conviction, and faith behaves, without fear. Papa ten Boom held to a New Testament promise;
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5 10.
The Hiding place was not found by the Germans,
and all were rescued the next day, praise be to God! Thankfully all survived!
The ten Boom's prayers were answered, and fully realised. So many Jew's were
Corrie and her beloved sister Betsie were later transported to the notorious Ravensbruck women's prison camp. There they were forced to do hard labour and live in conditions so foul that later Corrie would describe it in this way, “the deepest hell that man can create.”
Ravensbruck that offered “the deepest hell that man can create.”
Whilst there, both Corrie, but even moreso dear beloved Betsie was very open about their faith, and their love for the LORD God and Yeshua, or Jesus their beloved Messiah. Dearest Betsie eventually became very, very ill, yet she continued to declare the greatness of God, but when she was asked, “How can you still believe in God in this hell” dear, but very weak Betsie replied,
“There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still.”
Dear and faithful Betsie fell asleep on
December 16, 1944 just a week before the death of that other saint, Tante Riek.
Miraculously, Corrie was released just a short time later and she spent the
balance of her life sharing her story and of God's greatness throughout the
world for her faith had grown mightily. She touched countless lives with her
Corrie ten Boom in the late 1970s
Provided by the Ten Boom Huis
Amazingly, dear Corrie ten Boom fell asleep on her birthday aged 91 on April 15, 1988 and that very date being the anniversary of Corrie's death, “The Hiding Place” in the Barteljoris Street in Haarlem, the ten Boom house was officially opened, although it was already open late in 1987, when myself visited and I was invited to attend and speak at the occasion, but I had other commitments. Thousands visit the ten Boom house, where once visitors both Jews and Christians are made most welcome.
Here they are able to see and hear the wonderful testimony of this family, and the greatness of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The emphasis in this home is not the ten Boom’s, but of the great strength that the Almighty gave this family, as found in that beautiful declaration of faith given by Betsie whilst she was in Ravensbruck, just prior her death.
“There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still.”
My own experience just wondering around this house was very special and I am most appreciative to then (past) President of the ten Boom foundation for his wonderful assistance and kindness!
Points of Thought:
As we ponder the heroic tales in the last few
chapters, let us ask the question, “Why did so many of the Dutch people
do so much for their Jewish countrymen?” For in countries like
Here is another common party saying that is
used at most happy occasions, be it a wedding, birthday, or anniversary. It is
the joyful call, “Hip, hip, hurrah.” This little happy call
has a very evil origin. It was born in 69 AD when
HIP comes from the Latin, “HEP” which stands for …
= HIEROSOLMA, meaning
E = EST, meaning IS.
P = PERDITA = DESTROYED.
Thus, it says, “
The difference between the
“When the LORD shall build up
“I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you.” Moreover, the command, “Comfort you, comfort you My people, says your God” Isaiah 40: 1.
Having read some of the stories of heroism of
Dutch men and women involved in hiding and saving Hebrew lives, the sad fact is
that 80% of Dutch Jews perished. One may ask, “Why were not more Jews
Jews are being taken under guard to the railway station – Destination? Westerborg Deportation Camp!
This was only a holding camp for all too soon the Jew’s of The Netherland’s were placed on cattle trains heading for one of the death camps.
There was one other factor in the
demise of the Dutch Jewry, the “Judenrat,” which was the
“Jewish Council.” This council was highly respected by Dutch Jews
and was made up of some of its leading members. The Nazis used them to stop any
resistance to the anti-Jewish regulations, on the pretence that Jews would be
transported for re-employment purposes in
The task of the department of evacuation was as follows, “The provision of transport and the lodging of the evacuees ... Help in house clearing for those who must leave their homes.” They did this by, “carrying out all operations in connection with individual removals as ordered by the German authorities.”
After the war, the Jewish council was defended, and they were cleared of all charges of collaboration, with the defence explaining that their policies was to keep the calm and to prevent an even worse catastrophe. How can we now in retrospect judge them? How could the leaders of the council possibly have known what actually happened to those they assisted in the “re-location?”
Had it not been for those many courageous Dutch individuals hiding as many Jews as was possible in this tiny nation, another 20% of them would also have perished and this fact can never be denied!
This brings us to the final testimonial chapter of Dutch Tzedakah. It has been purposely left to the end, for it is a story that has never been written. If this story does not touch you with tenderness, then nothing ever will!
It it is the story of Klazina, who without any assistance or help, hid, protected and fed Jewish babies and youngsters, whilst having to live in basements of bombed out buildings for three long horrid years.
A special thank you to the ten Boom House Museum for the ten Boom (TBH) images.
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