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by Arlene Berg
YOM HaSHOAH – pronounce “YOM” with a long “O.” “SHOAH” is pronounced with a long “O” as well. The accent is on the first syllable – “SHO-ah.”
YOM HaSHOAH – Hebrew for “DAY of CALAMITY, DEVASTATION, DESOLATION, RUIN.”
Yom HaShoah refers to the Holocaust. This terrible event in Jewish history will be commemorated on sundown on Sunday, April 23, 2017 and ends at sundown on Monday, April 24, 2017. Special observances will be held all over the world.
Of course, no one can completely comprehend the Holocaust and the reasons behind it. As believers in Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, we dare not try to give contrite, flippant answers for what we think may be the reasons behind this terrible event. Rather, we need to sit with the Jewish people, listen to them (with our hearts!), and weep with them when need be. We must always remember to show them the love of Yeshua, since they view every non-Jewish person as a Christian. In their minds and hearts, the atrocities committed against them all throughout their history were done by Christians. How we need to show them the real heart of Messiah Jesus for them!
If you live near a Jewish community, perhaps you could attend a Yom HaShoah commemoration and show your love and support for the Jewish people. In some future time, perhaps your church could hold a Yom HaShoah Service, have a Holocaust survivor speak, and invite saved and unsaved Jewish people to this very special event.
“Shoah” is used in various places in the Tenach, or Hebrew Scriptures. In Iyyov, or Job 30:3, it is used in a desert scene – desolation! It is also used in Iyyov 38:27 – “desolate.” In Mishle, or Proverbs 1:27, and Yekhezqel, or Ezekiel 38:9, “shoah” is used to describe the intensity of a storm, destroying everything in its path. “Shoah” can also be a term for divine judgement. Some Bible scholars believe that “shoah” can also be a poetic term for hell (Tehillim, or Psalm 35:8) into which David hopes his enemies will fall. The word “shoah” in this verse is translated as “destruction.” The meaning given here is “pit” or “hole in the ground.” In Tzefanya, or Zephaniah 1:15, the day of the LORD is described, among other things, as “a day of ruin (shoah) and desolation (shoah).” In God’s judgement upon Babylon in Yesha’yahu, or Isaiah 47:11, the word “ruin,” “desolation” is “shoah.” In God’s judgement upon Israel in Yesha’yahu 10:3, the word “desolation” is “shoah.” (This information is taken from the “Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament” by R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., and Bruce K . Waltke.) This wordbook is an excellent book to have!
How we long for Jewish people the world over to come to Yeshua HaMashiach who loves them so and who so desires them to come to Him and be saved from an eternal Holocaust without Him! (Brit Chadasha, New Covenant – Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10).
“Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:9).
Won’t you pray for these dear people, God’s chosen, especially on Sunday, April 23, Yom HaShoah.