Beliefnet
Dying "al kiddush ha-shem"--to sanctify God's name--is perhaps the ultimate act of faith a Jew can commit. While Judaism emphasizes life and its preservation, it also lionizes those who have given their lives for their beliefs. Every Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Jews recall the martyrdom of 10 Talmudic-era rabbis. In more recent times, the victims of the Holocaust are remembered as martyrs of a different sort.

"The Ten Martyrs," from the Mussaf, or Additional, service of Yom Kippur. Translation from the Complete Artscroll Machzor: Yom Kippur, copyright 1986, Mesorah Publications, p. 593:

This [story of martyrdom] befell us, and we have related it clearly, and poured out our degraded, aggrieved heart. From on High, be attentive to supplication--O Hashem, Hashem [a Hebrew name for God] compassionate and gracious God! O Compassionate One, look down from the heights at the spilled blood of the righteous and their very lifeblood, see from Your chamber and remove the stains [of sin], O King, Who sits on the Throne of Mercy.

"A Prayer for Martyrs, said Sabbath morning in Jewish synagogues. Text from "The Complete Artscroll Siddur," copyright 1984, Mesorah Publications:

Father of compassion, who dwells on high, in His powerful compassion may He recall with compassion the devout, the upright, and the perfect ones; the holy congregations who gave their lives for the Sanctification of the Name--who were beloved and pleasant in their lifetime and in their death were not parted [from God]. They were quicker than eagles and stronger than lions to do their Creator's will and their Rock's desire. May our God remember them for good with the other righteous of the world.

The Holocuast: From Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, Responsa from the Holocaust (New York, 1983), p. 188:

Question: In the Ninth Fort there was a storeroom of garments from Jews the Germans had murdered, and the pockets of those garments still contained personal letters, photographs, and other miscellaneous items which identified the garments as belonging to the murdered victims.... The clothes had no bloodstains, proof that the murderers had stripped their victims before killing them. [I was] asked whether those garments might be used again, since garments in which people were killed are forbidden to be worn.

Response: Since those garments had been removed before the victims were killed, they might be worn not only by the victims' heirs, but also by any other survivors as well. The martyred souls would unquestionably derive spiritual satisfaction in the world of the souls from the fact that their suffering captive brethren were garbed in warm garments that had once belonged to them.

From the Nuremberg Trials Opening Address for the United States, given by Robert Jackson:

While the defendants and the prosecutors stand before you as individuals, it is not the triumph of either group alone that is committed to your judgment. Above all personalities there are anonymous and impersonal forces whose conflict makes up much of human history.

It is yours to throw the strength of the law back of either the one or the other of these forces for at least another generation. What are the real forces that are contending before you?

No charity can disguise the fact that the forces which these defendants represent, the forces that would advantage and delight in their acquittal, are the darkest and most sinister forces in society--dictatorship and oppression, malevolence and passion, militarism and lawlessness.

By their fruits we best know them. Their acts have bathed the world in blood and set civilization back a century. They have subjected their European neighbors to every outrage and torture, every spoliation and deprivation that insolence, cruelty, and greed could inflict. They have brought the German people to the lowest pitch of wretchedness, from which they can entertain no hope of early deliverance.

They have stirred hatreds and incited domestic violence on every continent. These are the things that stand in the dock shoulder to shoulder with these prisoners.

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