Unification News for September 2004
The Third Day of the Israel Pilgrimage
September 12, 2004 - Israel
~ Report: Preparation for Yad Vashem ceremony ~
"God's first love was Israel," Rev. Michael W. Jenkins announced to a hall of 1100 participants in the World Peace Pilgrimage in Jerusalem on September 12, 2004.
People came from Europe, Eurasia and North America to set conditions of reconciliation among people of different races, religions, nationalities and cultures. Rev. Jenkins reviewed the process of reconciliation that began with 120 Christian ministers taking down their crosses and reaching out to rabbis in a mutual repentance and forgiveness on May 23, 2003, in the same room of the Jerusalem Hyatt Regency Hotel where the World Peace Pilgrimage was assembling. This continued with a ceremony on December 22, in which key Jewish leaders offered a crown to Jesus in Jerusalem's Independence Park, where the 9/11 candlelight peace vigil was held the night before.
"How many does it take to be faithful?" Rev. Jenkins asked. "One." God told Moses that if one person kept the law and was faithful to the tabernacle, God would continue to bless the people of Israel.
Hundreds of people decided to come on this pilgrimage to help turn the world in a direction of peace. "It's a matter of decision-makers," Dr. Eliezer Glaubach, four-term member of the Jerusalem City Council, stated. "We have a problem of decision-makers in both nations. We are politically weak and not spiritually strong."
Yad Vashem is a holocaust remembrance institute. It represents what the Nazis did against the European Jews. "Hitler developed the principle that the Aryan race is the superior race in the world," Dr. Glaubach continued. "That is why they carried out what they did. They killed not only Jews but handicapped people, the mentally ill, gypsies, etc. All over the world they tried to plan the same thing."
He paused and added, "I personally have acquaintance with what happened in Europe. We as Jews in Jerusalem and all you precious brothers and sisters are going together to Yad Vashem to reconcile, with the motto of repentance and forgiveness. It doesn't work one-sided."
Dr. Glaubach and Dr. Andrew Wilson, a Jewish professor at Unification Theological Seminary, had been engaged in serious discussion since Dr. Wilson's arrival in Jerusalem on the previous morning. "Reconciliation can only come through repentance and forgiveness," reported Dr. Glaubach about the conclusion of their discussions. "It is not easy to forgive, but when we receive repentance and offer forgiveness, we can have a united world in the future."
Dr. Wilson told the members of the World Peace Mission, "After the holocaust, many people doubted the existence of God. The holocaust was the cause of the state of Israel. The survivors came to Israel. However, if Christians and Jews were united in the 1920's and 1930's, the holocaust would not have happened." He talked about the boat-load of 900 European Jewish refugees who had arrived at the coast of the United States and were turned away by President Roosevelt. They were also turned away in South America. The refugees returned to Europe and perished in the Holocaust.
"Israel has a particular history," Dr. Wilson continued. "Jews felt alone and insecure. Jews learned through history that they can depend on no one. Roosevelt knew by 1942 what was going on, but he did nothing. Teh Jewish pain and sense of aloneness leads to this response to terrorism. It leads to building the wall. Suicide bombings are horrible. Israel was attacked by Arab states in 1945, 1967 and 1973. They felt their existence was at stake. Defensiveness and isolation led to this response."
Members of the World Peace Mission were told that at Yad Vashem they would find the memorials to the righteous gentiles, those who risked their lives to save Jews from death. But some of the six million dead are trapped in the spirit world and cannot forgive those who killed them.
"We reflect on so many sad histories in coming here," Rev. Jenkins explained. One hundred million people lost their lives in China. So many died under Stalin. Our black family has endured unspeakable suffering, which continues today. Our Native Americans have suffered so much, and a group of their leaders are with us today."
The continental representatives of the World Peace Mission come on the foundation of the August 20 ceremony of total grace which True Parents held in Korea. "God set the condition to cover us," Rev. Jenkins explianed. "We are no longer under the curse. Therefore, remove and wash away from your heart any sense of discrimination or superiority. Let's wash away the stains of history. How many times have the American Indians stood up to offer the peace pipe and then have been betrayed. We will not betray you! We will not betray you! Let's wash away history's stain and bring the light of God."
Dr. Antonio Betancourt, Secretary-General of the World Peace Pilgrimage, urged participants to love their enemy. "To love your enemy is like dying," he explained. "Today, let's let the part of us that hates die."
Dr. Chang Shik Yang, who was commissioned by True Parents to lead the continental World Peace Pilgrimages, expressed gratitude for the many ambassadors for peace and clergy who came for thsi historic mission. "Together we will build the substantial foundation for the eternal Kingdom of God on earth," he concluded.
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