I just finished classes at OVU this week for the semester. Let me tell you, college is not what is crack-up to be. Anyways, there was one class that I really did enjoy and that was my literautre class. I enjoyed this class not only because of the material but because of the papers we got to write. I know I am a dork, but I do truly love writing papers. This one particular essay stuck with me. A little bit of background, this writing was based off of the short story "Ladies and Gentlemen, to the Gas Chamber." We had to write as one who was at the concentration camp at Auschwitz.
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, she‑hehiyanu v'kiy'manu v'higi'anu la‑z'man ha‑ze. TheShehecheyanu.I have said this prayer over and over. I do not stumble over the Hebrew words like before. Now I stumble over the meaning of these words. "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season." How can I recite this poetry when it is not true? Blessed are you who has kept us alive. Is God still blessed when his people are dying by the thousands?
My wife Lia insisted that I go into hiding with her. “Judah, do not be foolish,” she would scream at me. She didn’t scream in anger. She never screamed in anger. She loved me. I loved her. We will never see each other again. I pray that the unfeeling God still has pity over such a beautiful creature like her. It is clear He has forgotten me. Me. A servant of his. A Rabbi. One who has committed his life for the work of Jehovah. Committed his life even to death.
Death. It is all around me. Women from my synagogue taken away from their husbands. Death. Children, abandoned by their parents, forced to starve to death. Bodies heaped on top of bodies and carted off to the crematorium. Death. Men forced to do hard labor with only the promise of the gas chambers. Thousands taken to this place of death. Auschwitz. My faith is growing weaker with every prayer I read from my prayer book. My thoughts are no longer of the joy of the Lord, but the wrath of the Lord. Wrath that is uncontrollable. Wrath that devours the innocent. An unjust wrath.
But justice has died. She dies everyday in the gas chambers. She is not alone when she dies; hundreds of men, women, and children are there dying with her. And I stand outside of the chambers watching justice die again, saying my prayer to the holy and just God.
Some of you might be thinking that I am a little dramatic, but just think about it. Thousands of people were killed in the Holocaust. People who thought they were God’s chosen—dying by the millions.
This week at Prime Time, a college student gave a talk on God’s silence. It stuck with me, but maybe not in the way he wanted it to. I think he was trying to say that people should keep the faith when God is silent. I am stumbling right now. I want God to just open His mouth and hold out His arms to me, but He won’t. I don’t know why. I wish I did. I am sure some would say that he is trying to teach me something. Others might say that he needs me to be broken before He can doing anything with me. But I just want to know that He is still there. I miss my Dad. I feel like I am trying with all of my might to grab a hold of his hand, his pinky, his toe, something. I want to feel like He won’t let anything hurt me anymore. But I feel like I am fair game to Satan’s attacks.
Right now it seems like there is no end to the hurt. No end to the disappointment. Many good things are being ripped right out of my hands. When I find happiness in something, a shadow of disappointment seems to be right there. Sometimes just the shadow comes and I never get to find happiness. Doubt has crept in with my faith and it scares me. I want to feel like God cares. I want to so badly, but it is difficult.
My Christian mask that I have glued to my face has cracked. I cannot pretend like the joy of the Lord is my strength when I am falling down. It is hard to sing of hope when I seem to have lost it. Though my mask itches, I still, for some reason, seem to always have it on.