The large photos of five Jewish girls lost in the Holocaust are forever emblazoned on my heart. I’ll tell you why in a moment.
Let’s remember the back story.
First, I am one of those crazy Christians who believes that God speaks to me personally in various ways–through the Word, through circumstances, through His indwelling Spirit, and through people.
I call them “God Sightings.”
Before this post, God gave two clear God Sightings about my Jewish roots.
The first was the evening of the first day in Israel when tour guide Tito told me I was Jewish. How did he know? He said my skin, eyes, and behavior. Go figure! My behavior?! He later said that I am high strung and impulsive.
The next God Sighting happened on a detour. Because of a celebration in downtown Jerusalem, we were taken to the graves of David Ben Hurion, the first Prime Minister and first Defense Minister of Israel.
This was the first time in his 30-year career that Tito took a tour group to this site. (God Sighting)
On a hill overlooking the city, he taught about common Jewish names. One prefix cinched it for me–“Green…” My maternal grandmother’s name was Myrtle Daisy Greenlees. (God Sighting)
So, I ran to Tito like a two-year-old child., my heart beating like a drum.
“Is it on the maternal side?” he asked.
“Yes!” I answered
“Welcome to the family!” he said, swooping his arms around me.
Those were the first two God Sightings.
Now on to the third.
On this particular day, our group was visiting the Museum of the Righteous–Vad Vashem, The Museum of Remembrance.
Established in 1953, Yad Vashem was on the western slope of Mount Herzl on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, 804 meters (2,638 ft) above sea level and adjacent to the Jerusalem Forest. The memorial consists of a 180-dunam (18.0 ha; 44.5-acre) complex containing the Holocaust History Museum, memorial sites such as the Children’s Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance, The Museum of Holocaust Art, sculptures, outdoor commemorative sites such as the Valley of the Communities, a synagogue, a research institute with archives, a library, a publishing house, and an educational center, The International School/Institute for Holocaust Studies.
After the Western Wall, Yad Vashem is the second-most-visited Israeli tourist site. Its curators charge no fee for admission and welcome approximately one million visitors a year.
An invisible dark cloud descended and tears embarrassed. Then, someone gently placed hands on my shoulders. It was dear friend, Margaret Woods.
Upon entering, I remember the museum being circular, with many levels. There were thousands of tiny lights ascending the huge cone-shaped edifice and were surrounded by thin black netting.
A core goal of Yad Vashem’s founders was to recognize gentiles who, at personal risk and without a financial or evangelistic motive, chose to save their Jewish brethren from the ongoing genocide during the Holocaust. Those recognized by Israel as Righteous Among the Nations are honored in a section of Yad Vashem known as the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations. One of them is Corrie Ten Boom.
After finishing the last level, we came to the children’s museum where there were photos of Holocaust children. I couldn’t stop staring at the little girls with dark, shiny bangs and brown eyes.
Here is a wonderful YOUTUBE where you can see them: https://youtu.be/kU-siyNDp18
“Margaret,” I said. ‘Those little girls look just like me as a child.”
“You are one of them,” she said. Then, she put her arms around me and gave thanks that God made it so clear, once again, that I am Jewish. “You are one of the chosen,” she said.
With all that transpired before this moment, I believe this was another God Sighting.
I discovered my Jewish face.
Please know that I’m not a Jewish wannabe. You could call me a Messianic Christian.
I’m simply a curious adoptee who wants to know the truth about my beginnings.
Neither do I intend to stereotype Jewish people by suggesting all Jewish faces look alike. Of course, they don’t.
This is simply my journey and my truth.