It’s been quite a while since I sat down with the intent to create a blog post. Carpal tunnel syndrome threatened, a sure sign that I needed a break. I forsook Facebook and focused on prayer and the Scripture. What compelled me to open this page and begin to write was THE LIST that I received about a week before the 9th of Av, which in 2018 fell on July 21.
For those who don’t know, the 9th of Av is considered the saddest date on the Hebrew calendar because on this date both Temples were destroyed. In addition, a number of other calamities throughout the ages, such as pogroms, crusades, and even both world wars were either initiated or fell on this day.
Traditionally, those who are torah pursuant purposefully utilize the 40 days leading up to Yom Kippur, which follows closely behind the 9th of Av, to ask God to reveal sin and to purify one’s heart. As a result of receiving THE LIST, and the subsequent revelation and events which have changed the trajectory of my life, I am quite certain the ATTITUDES reflected in this document is what He wants me to PERSONALLY focus on for the next 40 days.
According to Jewish sages, the second temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, in other words, the lack of loving your neighbor as yourself. Jews are not the only guilty party.
THE LIST is a summation, complied by Bob Odell and Ray Montgomery, of atrocities against the Jewish people, including those committed by followers of Jesus since the time that our Savior walked on the earth. It consists of some 40 pages of heinous crimes sprinkled with bits of light when some brave soul dared to trod another path, often at the cost of their lives.
The little band of prayer warriors, of which I am a part, convened a solemn assembly in conjunction with the 9th of Av to repent of the sins of our fathers concerning these things. It was heavy, emotional, powerful, convicting—and FREEING, though, in the end, we knew we had only just begun. We departed our meeting knowing that we had been commissioned to continue to dig into these things. And to share with others.
Some of what is included I had became aware of in the early 2000’s, such as the decrees of Council of Nicaea and Constantine’s edicts to separate Christians from the Jews. I read church father John Chrysostom’s hateful words concerning the Jews. I also read, with horror, Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic rantings and learned that both Hitler and Henry Ford espoused and propagated his ideas. And, of course, I have educated myself about the Holocaust over the years. But, there is much more included in THE LIST of which I was completely unaware… scores of horrific acts of the utmost cruelty.
The extreme hate-filled language recorded by those esteemed most highly in the “church” is difficult to read and even harder to comprehend. One can understand violence perpetrated by ignorance; but for it to have been initiated by those who should have been the most familiar with scripture, the most educated, and, who were considered the most pious followers of Yeshua, gripped me deeply. No wonder Jews chose to drown or lock themselves and their families in the synagogues before setting it ablaze rather than be forcefully converted and baptized.
The incredible blindness of the church leaders and demonic cruelty made me cry out for Abba to show me where I am blind and hardhearted. And I wondered that Yeshua’s words seemed unable to penetrate generation after generation, “whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do it also unto me.”
This exercise has helped me to understand more clearly the vast separation between the church and the synagogue today. Medieval artwork depicting the Christian view of the church as proud and victorious as opposed to a blind and destitute synagogue is quite telling of the perceived superiority that Jesus followers have assumed.
Therefore, today, Day 1 of 40 Days, I repent for the sin of pride, for myself and my forefathers, as well as for the hurt and harm that has been perpetrated in the name of Christianity. And I am asking Abba to reveal to me those in my life whom I consider inferior.
Please consider walking with me and sharing with others throughout these 40 days as we countdown to the Day of Atonement.