During the week covered by this review, we received 5 articles on the following subjects:
Christians and the Holocaust
Christians and the Holocaust
Jerusalem Post, February 9, 2022
On February 22, Poland will mark the 100th birthday of one of its heroes, the late Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a Catholic Polish nobleman, social activist, journalist, writer, historian, Auschwitz inmate, resistance fighter, and champion of the Jewish people during, and after, the Holocaust. Bartoszewski was persecuted not only by the Nazis but also, after the war, by the communist Polish People’s Republic; yet, his spirit remained strong, and after the fall of communism in Poland, he served twice as his country’s foreign minister. In 1963, he spent two months in Israel at the invitation of Yad Vashem, and was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations. He passed away in 2015.
There is currently an initiative in Poland to establish a Wladyslaw Bartoszewski Square in Warsaw, the city of his birth and of his final resting place. Because Bartoszewski was a symbol of human decency, it was decided that the square would be on the site of the former Biala Street, which houses the local courthouse building, and which, during WWII, was framed by a 3-meter-high wall which separated it from the Warsaw Ghetto. Jews were able to enter the courthouse through a side entrance inside the ghetto, and receive clothing and false papers from organizations with whom Bartoszewski collaborated. “During the present tense atmosphere between Poland and Israel,” stated the article, “it is important for Israelis and Jews in general to learn about Bartoszewski, because we are so used to hearing about Polish anti-Semitism and Polish collaboration with the Nazis… but there was also a strong Polish resistance force in which Bartoszewski played a role. He helped the fighters of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and later he himself fought in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.”
Sgula, February 11, 2022
This article, written by an archaeologist, detailed the importance of preserving the names of locations. Some of the cities in Israel are among the most ancient in the world. According to the article, their names kept altering along with the local dialect throughout history, but preserving the Hebrew name was very important to the inhabitants of Israel in ancient times. As proof, the article pointed out that one of the punishments the Romans inflicted upon the Jews after the Bar Kokhba revolt was changing the name of Judea to Syria Palaestina. Preserving the names was so prominent, that even the Onomasticon by Eusebius of Caesarea, a fourth century publication that attempted to list and locate every place mentioned in the Bible, was based partly on tradition and partly on the preserved names. The language that was spoken in the land of Israel in the last few centuries was Arabic, and many Arabic names still preserve ancient Hebrew ones; for example, Shafa-Amar, an Arab Muslim-Druze city east of Haifa, was recognized as Shfar’am, an ancient Jewish-Roman city which was the second Galilee site of the Sanhendrin in the end of the 2nd Century. The article stated that the Arabic names are still used to locate ancient sites in Israel today.
Eretz HaKineret, January 31, 2022
The western neighborhood and an additional synagogue from the 2nd Temple period were excavated in Magdala, on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee. Magdala was a large Jewish settlement during the early Roman period. The Greek name for Magdala was Tarichaea, literally, “the place of salting fish”, which might indicate the primary income source of its residents. It is mentioned in the Jewish writings; it was Josephus’ main base, in his revolt against the Romans; and according to tradition, it is the birthplace of Mary Magdalena. This synagogue is the second to be found, after one was excavated in 2009 in the northern neighborhood. The new findings are important, because the existence of two synagogues in one settlement is a phenomenon which was previously unknown. According to the article, this must indicate that the synagogues indeed served the local communities as a social as well as religious center, and the northern synagogue, which was grander than the one now discovered, must have belonged to a richer neighborhood.
Yedioth Ahronoth, February 16, 2022
Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight landed in Israel to film a new movie for the Evangelical community in the USA. Voight is a known supporter of Israel, and has spoken out publicly in its defense numerous times.
Haaretz, February 18, 2022
This was a book review of Konrad Adenauer: A European Statesman by Hans-Peter Schwarz. Adenauer, a devout Roman Catholic, is considered one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. Adenauer was the mayor of Cologne before the rise of Hitler to power. He was removed from office immediately thereafter for being “an enemy of the regime”. He was arrested twice, and “with great effort managed to escape deportation to the East, and survived with the financial help of his friends”. He was reinstated to his position by the American occupation forces in Germany, and later, at the age of 73, he was elected to be the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany after the fall of the Nazi regime. The book is one in a series of “European” books, whose purpose is to “bring the Hebrew readers the fundamental writings of the founding mothers and fathers of the European Union”.