My American parents and my British parents-in-law were part of “the greatest generation” that was willing to confront evil. Now it’s our turn, and we can’t let down our children and grandchildren. It’s not enough for our present leaders to condemn atrocities over and over. Evil must be confronted and conquered. So say sane people with a Judeo-Christian viewpoint.
Last week James Foley, an American journalist, was beheaded with a 6-inch knife by a barbaric masked terrorist with a British accent. The gruesome video was immediately uploaded to YouTube in a fear campaign and sick twist of the anti-social media.
“This technological wonder that allows for the virus of violence to spread its message across the globe in an instant – this is what is fast becoming the sign of 21st century civilization,” commented my Facebook friend Rabbi Benjamin Blech at www.aish.com
Moral outrage accomplished nothing against Nazis. Action had to be taken.
“What saved the world,” wrote Rabbi Blech, “was ‘the greatest generation’ that took to heart a biblical truth: evil must not just be condemned – it must be confronted and conquered.”
Therefore the butchery of victims such as Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl and Christian journalist James Foley must elicit much more than rhetoric. Confronting evil requires a new generation of moral strength and courage.
As I write this blog, presently I’m in the nation of Bulgaria participating in a Gospel outreach. The world doesn’t know enough about the heroism of Bulgaria in saving its Jewish population from the Nazi Holocaust. In fact, bravely, an entire generation in Bulgaria went against the tide to save 50,000 Bulgarian Jews!
I knew the story of the rescue of nearly 8,000 Danish Jews from the Nazi killing machine. However, my memory of Bulgaria’s exploits was vague. I had to be reminded of the national courage of Bulgaria by doing some research this afternoon.
For decades, records of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews were sealed by the Communists in an attempt to prevent glorification of the heroic King Boris III, the brave Bulgarian Orhtodox Church, and non-Communist parliamentarians. At great personal risk, all of them defied the Germans. Importantly, the Bulgarian press also withstood the evil.
The Jewish community, having lived in Bulgaria since the 2nd century CE, numbered approximately 50,000 at the outset of World War II. The small nation consided of 7 million people.
Since Bulgaria was a German ally, the Nazis informed the Bulgarian government in 1943 that all of its Jews would be deported to Nazi-occupied Poland.
Parliamentary leader Dimitar Peshev led a coalition of 43 legislators who registered an official protest. Newspapers denounced the deportation.
Archbishop Stefan, the Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, actively worked against the deportation and issued fake baptism certificates in an attempt to save Jewish citizens.
Bishop Cyril, who headed the church in Plovdiv, threatened to lie down on the railroad tracks and promised the Jews like Ruth in the Bible, “Wherever you go, I’ll go with you.”
Finally, under public pressure, King Boris III forbade the deportation. The cost of open resistance could have resulted in destruction by Nazi troops. Yet in the end, the Nazis were stretched militarily and decided to avoid a confrontation.
Thus Bulgaria became the only nation in Europe to save its entire Jewish population from the Nazi death camps, and King Boris has the distinction of being the only world leader to defy Hitler face-to-face during the war. His Majesty Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, the “Tsar Unifier and Savior of the Bulgarian Jews,” is a national hero. Tragically, the monarch died under mysterious circumstances in 1943.
Heavenly Father, in the name of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, we ask you to raise up another fearless generation that will have the moral courage by your grace not just to condemn evil but to confront it . . . until truth is victorious.
Ruth 1:16-17 (KJV)
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.