YOM HASHOAH (Holocaust Remembrance Day) falls on Friday, May 2 this year. The horrors of the Holocaust are so severe and deeply disturbing that with each passing year it becomes more difficult for those who were not directly affected to believe that such things could possibly have occurred. It is important that future generations understand the depths of evil which can exist in human hearts, that they might never underestimate the inhumanity that is possible if not held in check.

Those involved in Jewish evangelism are also particularly aware of the role the Holocaust has played in causing some Christians to draw back from witnessing to Jewish people. The Nazis did use the name of Jesus Christ and charges of deicide against the Jewish people as they carried out their crimes in His name. This has increased fear of, and resistance to, the gospel among Jewish people. We have always maintained that those who reason that they cannot approach Jewish people with the gospel because of the Holocaust are actually giving Hitler power from beyond the grave. The gospel is the only hope of life eternal, which means that those who hold it back from Jewish people as a counter-measure to anti-Semitism can only achieve the opposite effect.

If you or someone you know is interested in reading a Jewish Christian perspective that answers the charge that Hitler’s atrocities were a product of Christian theology, please see “Hitler’s Theologians” on our website at: http://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/16_10/01

This article was originally published in ISSUES, our bi-monthly publication for Jewish seekers.

YOM HAZIKARON is Israel’s Day of Remembrance, observed on the 4th day of the month of Iyar of the Hebrew calendar, always the day before the next day’s celebrations of Israel Independence Day. It is fitting to have a somber memorial day just prior to the festive celebrations of Israel’s independence, a day to appreciate and mourn the fallen of Israel’s wars. It always begins with a national moment of silence, which is ushered in with the eerie sound of a one-minute siren.

YOM HA’ATZMA-UT, Israeli Independence Day, marks the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. It is observed on the 5th of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar. This is a time for parades, fireworks, and joyous celebration throughout the country. We thought you might enjoy some tidbits on Israel’s national anthem and flag (click here).

As David Brickner mentioned, our first Behold Your God Israel campaign is taking place during Israel’s 60th birthday/Independence Day celebration. Click here for an English translation of the broadside tract our Israel team will be handing out for the occasion, and for a bit of background regarding the tract.

While LAG B’OMER is not commanded in Scripture, the name of the holiday is based on a biblical commandment to count the days from the second night of Pesach (Passover) to the day before Shavuot (Pentecost). This period is known as the Counting of the Omer. Lag B’omer is the thirty-third day of that counting period.

If you would like to know more about the Counting of the Omer or the Feast of Pentecost, we heartily recommend Christ in the Feast of Pentecost, by David Brickner and Rich Robinson, put out by Moody Publishers. You will not only come to understand the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, but you will see the rich meaning of God’s choice of this day to send the promised Holy Spirit.

This was adapted from an earlier Jews for Jesus article published May 1, 2008.