‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied’
27th January 2022
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied’.
(Gospel of Matthew Chapter 5, verse 6)
HOM: Applying past knowledge to new situations.
Yad Vashem means a ‘memorial and a name’ and is a museum and memorial to the victims of the Holocaust or Shoah. It is located on the Western slope of Mount Hertzl, also known as the Mount of Remembrance overlooking Jerusalem. It is a sobering place to visit and could leave you with little sense of hope were it not for the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations. This is one area of the memorial where trees have been planted and names memorialised, of those who were rescuers during this time of persecution – the righteous.
When first established, Golda Meir, the then Israeli foreign minister, said that ‘the Jewish people remember not only the villains, but also every small detail of the rescue attempts’. She compared the Righteous Among Nations to drops of love in an ocean of poison, and said that ‘they rescued not only the lives of Jews, but had saved hope and faith in the human spirit.’
As of January 1st 2021 there are 27,921 names listed. Some have become well known such as Oskar Schindler, immortalised in Thomas Keneally’s book ‘Schindler’s Ark’ and the film ‘Schindler’s List’. But many are little known and some remain unnamed, maybe even to those they rescued.
At times which appear hopeless it is important to be reminded of those who so ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness sake’ and are prepared to risk their lives to do so. They are indeed blessed and a blessing to us all.
Thankfully few of us will face the severe trials of those named at Yad Vashem yet within the context in which we live, there will be times where we will be challenged to stand up for what we know to be right. The Beatitude says that the blessed are those who ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness’, a righteousness which we may not always achieve but at least in aiming to the right thing we may gain some satisfaction at having done our best.