One of the sites we visited during the tour was Israel’s memorial to the victims of the holocaust, known as Yad Vashem. The building contained photos, written plaques, films, artifacts, and survivors testimonies. It was difficult to see and listen to the eye witnesses. I was moved to tears numerous times. It’s hard to believe that such atrocities occurred. As you left the site, there was a garden containing Carob trees, which symbolize ‘tree of life’. At the base of each tree was a plaque containing a person’s name who helped the Jews during the holocaust. Israel recognized these people as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’. Corrie Ten Boom’s tree was there, although it was very small. Our guide told us that her tree died the same day that she died. So they planted another tree in her name.
There were names of lesser known people, such as Irene Sendler, who saved over 2000 babies from the Warsaw Jewish ghettos in Poland. She worked as a social worker, and would knock on the door of a Jewish parents who had babies to ask them if she could take their baby to another home with the proper nutrition and care. It must have been difficult for parents to give up their baby. She trained a small dog to bark whenever it heard a baby crying. So she smuggled the baby out of the ghetto in a basket. If the baby started to cry en route, the dog would bark so that the SS wouldn’t hear. She wrote the babies parent’s names, grandparents and hid these in a bottles in her garden. The Gestapo tortured her when they found out what she was doing. She survived the ordeal and continue to save children until the end of the war. And when the war was over, she visited the adoption homes and provided the information contained in the bottles.
There were many other names in the garden who I’d never heard of before. May we be among those who seen as ‘Righteous among the nations’, helping those in need, as shown in Matt. 25:31 – 46
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matt. 25:40