Monday, April 21, 2008

Passover's celebration of freedom

The Jewish celebration of Passover began at sundown on Saturday. The eight-day festival commemorates the exodus of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, so it is closely linked with the ideas of freedom and liberation.

Historian Claire Simmons wrote a powerful column for The Washington Post that relates Passover to the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw ghetto of the 1940s. It's a horrifying tale. Nazis had forced hundreds of thousands of Jews into a tiny, 1.3 square-mile section of the city. When German troops came to deport them to concentration camps after a few years of inhuman conditions, a few hundred fighters held them off -- for a while.

But the fighters weren't the only ones who resisted courageously. "Public prayer was forbidden and punished by execution. Yet prayer services were held in hundreds of clandestine locations. Secret factories fabricated matzoh. Thousands of children affirmed their freedom to be human by studying the Torah in underground schools."

Simmons writes, "The actions of the men, women and children of the Warsaw ghetto teach us that Passover is not a passive celebration of historical events or superficially similar current events. ... We are not celebrating the freedom to be left alone. We celebrate the freedom to repair the world, to light a candle for posterity, to continue to perform the many small prosaic acts of solidarity and sacrifice -- for friend and stranger alike -- in the shadow of totalitarianism and under circumstances calculated to make us think these acts are meaningless."

During this Passover, I hope all of us will celebrate our freedom to worship and will work to ensure that all people, of every faith and in every nation, enjoy that same freedom.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

And the lucky ones got to work for the Catholic Church...

Report Details Catholic Role in Nazi Abuses

By REUTERS
Published: April 9, 2008
BERLIN (Reuters) — The Roman Catholic Church in Germany exploited nearly 6,000 forced laborers during the Nazi era, the church said in a report released Tuesday.

In 2000, the church acknowledged its use of forced labor under Hitler; it has paid about $2.35 million in compensation to foreign workers. The report, “Forced Labor and the Catholic Church 1939-1945,” is the most thorough look at the issue.

It documents the fate of 1,075 prisoners of war and 4,829 civilians who were forced to work for the Nazis in nearly 800 Catholic institutions — including hospitals and monastery gardens — to help the war effort.

The church, which has financed more than 200 “reconciliation” projects, said final numbers would never be known.

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Final numbers would never be known... Sounds like another recent Catholic Church coverup, doesn't it?

D.J. said...

Passover is a beautifl proclaimation of the work of God in redemption, and an observance that points to our ultimate redemption in Christ. It's a shame that we as Christians often miss its significance.

Soli Deo Gloria

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "Final numbers would never be known... Sounds like another recent Catholic Church coverup, doesn't it?"

Sounds like someone has a personal beef with the Catholic Church.

It was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen who rightly said, "There are a hundred people who hate the Catholic Church; there are one million people who hate what they think the Catholic Church is."

This coward wrote, "It documents the fate of 1,075 prisoners of war and 4,829 civilians who were forced to work for the Nazis in nearly 800 Catholic institutions — including hospitals and monastery gardens — to help the war effort."

Did the report say what would have happened to those people if they were not compelled to work for the Nazis? I didn't think so. Did it ever occur to you that the Church might have saved the lives of those forced workers by "forcing" them to work for the Nazis? There are two sides to every story. Get off your butt and explore both sides before opening your mouth and spreading your hatred of Catholicism, Iztok.

Anonymous said...

The "coward" you quoted was the Reuters news agency, not Itzok.

It's from a widely reported news story of the last few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so now the Catholic Church can include slavery in its list of charitable work.

That would be believable if they had said they actually helped the Nazi slaves or treated them well, but they admit that they didn't.

Theirs was no "Schindler's List", or we would already be seeing epic movies about it.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous bravely offered, "Oh, so now the Catholic Church can include slavery in its list of charitable work.

That would be believable if they had said they actually helped the Nazi slaves or treated them well, but they admit that they didn't.

Theirs was no "Schindler's List", or we would already be seeing epic movies about it."

Satan hates the Catholic Church. That is clearly evident when reading treatises such as yours. The slavery to sin and death is a far greater evil then any type of slavery man (or an imperfect Church) can imagine or impose.

The only perfect Church is the Heavenly Church. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.

Put down the rock, Iztok.

Iztok said...

"Put down the rock, Iztok."

Huh?

I was gone for about a week. I am working in PHL whole this week. I go check what is going on and I see people telling me to put down the rock?

Anonymous said...

Anent the RC Church and the Nazis:

http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp

Danbo59 said...

http://www.catholic.com/library/HOW_Pius_XII_PROTECTED_JEWS.asp

Amen. 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Apparently he's confusing Iztok with someone else, like me, Satan.

Funny website that www.catholic.com.

It refers to the various Inquisitions as urban legends.

The Catholic Church will try to lie itself out of anything.

That's why it's so funny to see them get caught not only being assholes but having their Pope admit it publicly while paying through their noses to clean up the mess they caused.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "Apparently he's confusing Iztok with someone else, like me, Satan."

Believe me, no confusion. As God speaks through His believers, Satan can be heard loudly and clearly in the hatred you spew.

Iztok said...

Danbo,

sorry to disappoint you but I am not the "Anonymous" from the posts above.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "...sorry to disappoint you...."

Disappointed? Hardly. Satan speaks through many, as does God. But in the end the Church will prevail.

Iztok said...

"But in the end the Church will prevail"

That will be a sad day for rest. As I am sure if whichever church prevails they will take it out on the rest in the outpouring of "love" in the form of fire and brimstone.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok whined, "...whichever church prevails...."

There is only one (1) Church. Christ's.

As for fire and brimstone -- you make your own bed, Iztok. Some day you will, no doubt, lay in it. That's your doing, no one else's.

Iztok said...

Danbo, if there is only one church, then I wonder which one is it. Is it Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic etc. ??? Seriously majority of population of this earth doesn't agree with you on which church is the right one. So how can you be sure?

Secondly, you are blaming the victim here. It is not my fault your deity didn't provide enough convincing evidence for its existence. Plus if he exists and is omniscient and omnipotent he should know by now he didn't provide enough convincing evidence and refuses to provide convincing evidence. (Sounds to me like someone who either doesn't have a clue - thus not omniscient, or can't do anything about it - thus not omnipotent, or doesn't give a shit - thus not benevolent.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, "Secondly, you are blaming the victim here."

Sadly, in your case, you are both the victim and the perpetrator.

Iztok said...

"Sadly, in your case, you are both the victim and the perpetrator."

OK, I fail to see how I am perpetrator, but I'll let this be for now and I will just focus on the victim part. You've admitted I am a victim in this case, can you tell me who is victimizing me (who is the perpetrator that makes me a victim)? (Obviously I can't be my own perpetrator.)

Danbo59 said...

Iztok says, "You've admitted I am a victim in this case, can you tell me who is victimizing me (who is the perpetrator that makes me a victim)? (Obviously I can't be my own perpetrator.)"

Not obvious from here. You deny the existence of God Almighty yet you accept and do the work of Satan without reserve. You're not "happy" with being an atheist; you have to be an antitheist. Your job, at the behest of Satan himself, is to plant doubt and hatred into the minds of others and drag people away from Salvation. I am sure you are very proud of yourself. You are a perfect patsy.

Gamecock said...

I loved the freedom theme of the movie that starred the recently passed Charlton Heston, The Ten Commandments. It is the spark of God that causes us to yearn to live free under God. See Eden, where man chose to be his own God and fell. That God became man to make restoration possible is truly profound.

Iztok said...

Danbo:

1. I don't deny the existence of any god. God simply didn't provide enough evidence. So who is it the perpetrator of this? Obviously it can't be me since I am the victim in this case.

2. I don't see any evidence in Satan either so don't look at me here. As far as I am concerned neither Satan neither any gods are real.

So since we've found out that I am the victim of the fact that there is not enough evidence we can therefore deduct that god is perpetrator of this (since if he exists he is the one not providing evidence despite the fact that he is supposedly omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent). So yes if such being exist, he is solely to be blamed for such thing. No one else can provide evidence.

Danbo59 said...

They have eyes who do not see; they have ears who do not hear.

I pray for you.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "They have eyes who do not see; they have ears who do not hear."

Which part of 'there is nothing to see and hear' you didn't get from my post?

Your God if exists deliberately doesn't provide enough info to be seen and heard. So he is deliberately setting them (us) up for failure. Such God is not benevolent or not omniscient or omnipotent. So in a nutshell he sucks at being God as most Christians have it for (omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent). Simple logic tells us so. I trust logic over any book.

Danbo59 said...

I sense a deep wound in you, Iztok -- a wound so deep you blame the God you know exists. ["The lady protests too much, methinks." -- Hamlet, Act III Scene II] Your anti-theism is your way of "punishing" God for what has befallen you.

God still loves you, anyway, but you have to open up a dialogue with Him if you're to reconcile with Him.

I continue to pray for your Salvation.

Iztok said...

Danbo, besides telling you gazillion times... for me (and many atheists) there is simply not enough evidence about god or gods to determine they exist.

From our perspective one simply can't know this at this point.

And honestly I think you can't know either, thus you invoke faith into the picture. If you knew you wouldn't need faith would you?