“Dutch Tzedakah” - Stories of righteous ones in the Netherlands - Saving Jews from the Nazis

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Dutch Tzedakah - "The Fruit of Righteous is a Tree of Life" Prov 11:19

 

Foreword

Amsterdam was once known as the

Jerusalem of the North”

Please Note: All photographs and art work in this book is by the author; Reuben ben Gershom-Goossens and Kosta G. Specis or as otherwise specified.

This work deals with the meaning of the word – “Tzedakah” and the historical account of the Jewish life in the Netherlands. It is suitable to be read by the people of The Netherlands, the Dutch or non-Dutch, Jew or non-Jew, Christian or non-Christian. I believe that “Dutch Tzedakah” contains a message and a challenge unto everyone be they Christian, Jews or Gentiles.

Part One of of “Dutch Tzedakah” deals with the historical as well as the spiritual events of the Children of Israel, for in this part we will follow them from the “Promised Land” that Avram – Abram (later he was named Avraham – Abraham) arrived at in Bethel. But later although the seventy of the House of Ya’akov- Jacob were permitted to go to Egypt, but when the drought had ended they stayed, for they found life there all too sweet and they ended up in bitter slavery hundreds of years later. Thus they finally returned to Israel via the wilderness under the leadership of God’s anointed prophet Moshe - Moses.

Then having been in captivity in Babylon and returned, sadly we see the Children of Israel scattered to the “four corners of the earth,” including Europe, especially Spain and Portugal. We will read about a time of tragedy and a time of hope. However, throughout the Tanach (the “Old Testament”) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, blessed be His Holy Name, promises His people Israel that even after the great dispersion there will come a time of hope and victory when Israel would once again return to the land that the Almighty had given to Abraham Isaac and Jacob as part as an everlasting covenant. However, little did the people of Israel know that a hideous World War would prepare the way for the prophecy of “return” to be fulfilled?

The New Synagogue and the Great Synagogue currently make up the “Amsterdam Jewish Museum”

Part Two covers the main subject matter of this book, the act of “Tzedakah.” It contains heroic stories of “Tzadik,” which means “righteous.” It covers the story of a good number of Dutch faithful Christian individuals who stood up against Nazi oppression, they were people who protected individuals and saved thousands of Dutch, German, and Belgium Jews. It is the hope and desire of the author that all who read this work will be challenged to take a stand, which will heal the wounds of time, the wounds of ignorance, racism, and anti-Semitism, which sadly continues to this day!

It may be queried that the two parts of this book appear to be very different in content and I can honestly say that you may well be quite right in a way! However, if you read this book carefully you will discover that there is a certain thread; one that has been carefully entwined throughout the work. We will find the Almighty’s promise to Israel in the past, and how it relates to them, as well as to all humanity, today as well as in the future!

In the preparation of this work I have been asked, “Why write about Jewish life in the Netherlands? What is the relevance and interest of this subject in the Southern Hemisphere, or in the America’s or elsewhere for that matter, especially in the 21st century? To write about Jewish life in our own region, would that not be more interesting.” That may be so, but it certainly could not have such a far-reaching effect as this amazing account of a nation that tackled a situation that was so great as the persecuted people of Europe, be they Jews or Gentiles. The Dutch are, as they have shown to the world over the centuries, a people of great tolerance and a people of justice. Scripture informs us that the Almighty, blessed be He, loves such people and He promises them;

“For the LORD is righteous (Tzadik), He loves righteous (Tzedakah) deeds, the upright (will) look upon His face” Psalm 11:7.

“He loves righteousness and judgement the mercy of the LORD fills the earth” Psalm 33:5.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life … Behold the righteous shall be rewarded in the earth” Proverbs 11:30 & 31.

These blessings are available unto all who “love righteousness,” especially unto those who know the full meaning of these words in the Scriptures,

“Pray for (Heb: enquire re) the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee” Psalm 122:6.

Shalom Aleichem (Peace be with you!)

 

Reuven ben Gershom Goossens.

Please Note

Reference is made in this work regarding “so-called Christians” who persecuted and harmed the Children of Israel, including other Christians and Gentiles alike. Most of this persecution was perpetrated by clergy and individuals of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Greek, Russian and other Orthodox Churches. This work does NOT, in any way, condemn blameless individuals who are members of these faiths, or other groups. Within these very circles, there were many individuals who protected and saved the ‘Hebrew’ people and others, at times at cost to their own lives. These blessed ones are honoured by all Hebrews, including the State of Israel!

Dedication

To the people of the Netherlands and all those who gave so much of themselves even unto death, may our Heavenly Father, bless and keep them in the palm of His loving hands and give them their due reward!

                                                                                      Acknowledgements                                                                                                                      

Kosta G. Specis, my dear friend, ministry assistant and co-worker, has assisted and travelled the world with the author and has been a giver at all times without reserve. He provided much encouragement to complete this book during many difficult years of research and writing.

In addition, I am most grateful to Joop and Elly Buker for translating this book into Dutch as well as other Hebrew/English articles. Also, thank you Richard Heidema of Roden, the Netherlands for his encouragement over the years. Praise be unto the Almighty who is the Author of all things!

Sources: For fluency and accuracy, Scriptural references are from the following sources: The “Torah” and the “Tanach” (Old Testament) Soncino Press (Hebrew/English edition), as well as other Hebrew sources. Also used are the New Testament KJV, NKJ, NIV editions, plus several quotations from the Talmud, and Josephus.

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