Auschwitz, America, and Jesus on the Cross
By Jane Tawel
April 8, 2023
My title sounds kind of like a long string of swear words, doesn’t it? Maybe all swear words come from the cry of the heart to understand and the realization that gosh darn it, I just don’t understand and never will and that makes me crazy. So here is a rapidly written improvisation on thoughts that go way, way down deep inside of me and a reflection on the season and my choice of how to spend the Big Day.
Please do not think that in any way I have the ability or the right to speak about the horrors of the Holocaust or the experience in history of being a Jewish person. I do however, hope to be a person who tries to “come alongside” others in what makes us different and what makes us have the commonality of being human beings. I have also spent a long life trying to understand a religion that began honorably as the religion of the Hebrews or Jews, and that has morphed into a religion based supposedly and almost solely on the experience and life of one Jewish man named Yeshua, Joshua, or now known as Jesus.
There are far better scholars, historians, theologians, and mystics than I who can write about Auschwitz, America, and Jesus. But tomorrow I hope to spend what will be for me, the strangest Easter day I have ever chosen to spend. Tomorrow I will go spend the day in which others are celebrating spring, and chocolate, and the idea that one man conquered death, by rising from a grave; and I will spend it by visiting the world-renowned exhibit, “Auschwitz”, now at the Reagan Library in Southern California. Yes — I know, your head just went — POW! Your mind is exploding with just, like, okay, wow — so much to unpack there, Miss Jane.
I will spend tomorrow at a presidential library, that is a super wonderful place to go to look through a historical lens, and my husband and I have enjoyed learning much at the Reagan Library among other museums throughout America and the world. But let’s be clear, on the other hand, our American monuments have been created in honor of a nation of exacerbating excess and ego and power and greed as only an uber-capitalistic nation can be, and as, if you look to history and any spiritual teaching, all nations are prone to go, more or less, sooner or later.
Tomorrow, I will be looking at the truth of the horrors and evil that humans can do to other humans in the name of nation or religion and the underlying reasons of power and excess and ego and greed, and I will do that while the world celebrates a man who was crucified by a nation and religion dedicated to power and excess and ego and greed. And I will have to look deeply within myself at my own proclivity to “sin”, my desire and use of my own human tendency to deny who I am created to be and who all of us were created to be, and instead act on my own dedication to power and excess and ego and greed. My own evolving worldview continually throws up at me that there can be no “hostis humani generis” (enemies of mankind) if there is no acceptance on my part of mea maxima culpa (my own most grievous fault).
And what I hope is that as I desire more and more to live a life of Rising, a life of Resurrection to the Divinity in myself and therefore, in each Child of God; a life that dies to the excess and power-needs and greed and false sense of ego within myself; I hope and yes, pray that I will glimpse that there is a Life that is the opposite of all those things because True Life has no need of them. I honestly believe that deep down, to riff on the famous quote by the dear suffering, murdered Jewish girl of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, that “people are really truly longing to be good at heart.” I want to believe that every one of us, really only desires a Life without fear or hatred that is eternal, full of Truth and Love. And I hope I will find tomorrow, in the remembrance of a horrible, horrible thing that humans did to others humans, and the despair I feel knowing it happens again and again in my world, over and over again and is happening in my very own backyard now — I hope I will also remember and as those who suffered most at Auschwitz say to “never forget”, that there is also, even in the darkest of times, the darkest of days, the darkest of hopes, there is always a remnant, there is always a person, there are always those who Rise above and create in themselves that which Jesus created in himself, there is always a harbinger of Light. Today, may you accept, may I accept, this assurance from Jesus, “You are the Light of the World. Let your light shine”.
May I, who so often, fear there is no more light at the end of this tunnel, know that, though the tomb may be sealed and death may be certain, there will always be just enough, just enough of us, to keep the Divine Light of the Human Spirit Alive! And that that Holy Spirit will always find a way to Rise above. Tomorrow I will choose to suffer with those who have suffered the worst that a human being can suffer. I will remember the Jews of Auschwitz and those others who are “different” according to the Powers that Currently Are. Tomorrow I will let my heart and mind suffer with those who suffered for their belief in a God Who is their One Truth, The One Love, The One Who Saves. I will honor with my small little day upon this Earth, those Jews who suffered as the descendants of a man named Yeshua /Jesus. Tomorrow, I will come to pay my respects to those who also had to suffer the worst that a human being can suffer for their belief in One God, a god above all others, a god above all nations and other powers that would fear the power of Love. And tomorrow, on a day that we celebrate the Risen Spirit of Salvation, I will pay my respects to the Jew, Yeshua, called the Christ, who was a single little human being who in his fight against nations and the religions who worship the power of nations, in his fight against the false gods of excess, greed and ego, conquered them all by simply dying to all of them, and rising to a whole new existence and a whole new awareness of what it means to be a Child of God.
May I, as I look upon the cross of Auschwitz, know what it means to “take up my own cross”. Yes. I must choose, in much smaller ways every day, to suffer with others, to suffer for what I have chosen wrongly, and then to know that we all have a choice every day — to stay in the tomb, to stay in the suffering, or to Resurrect to New Life.
May all the faith and love and goodness that lies within you today, be resurrected to the hope of salvation and the assurance that eternal life is yours to choose in Divine Love. Today. Let your light so shine.
© Jane Tawel, Saturday before the Resurrection, 2023
2 thoughts on “Auschwitz, America, and Jesus on the Cross ”
we know murder
is as old as cain and abel
the acceptance and rejection of prayer
or the tax man and the sinner
one loser one winner
deny it lie to yourself
slave to sin
flesh is such
sprit having flown
we should have known
body is husk
soul is lone thing
to fly to He
sacrifice and victory
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Ah… true and righteous thoughts, my friend. Peace and joy to you – -and victory. Shalom, Jane