Thoughts on Kristallnacht – On Thursday night, November 9, 2023, the Jewish community remembers – Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass. This day in 1938 was the beginning of the outworking of the genocidal thinking of Nazi Germany. The policies first articulated in Hitler’s Mein Kamph.

With the muted response by German society and world governments, the Third Reich was emboldened to increase their “final solution” 

So in in light of Hamas’ brazen and heinous attack on Israel the anniversary of Kristallnacht makes the importance of the Jewish homeland so significant. The slogan we are hearing from anti-Israel rallies is “From the river to the sea. Palestine must be free” Articulate the thinking and vision of Israel’s enemies.  

The river is the Jordan, and the sea is the Mediterranean. It is a call to remove all Jews from what is claimed to be stolen land.  It is a call to the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the only parcel of land that Jews can call home.

Here is some more information on Kristallnacht

In times like this we have an opportunity to let our Jewish friends and neighbors know that we care and are concerned for them. Here are some thoughts:

Guide to checking on your Jewish neighbors in the midst of the Israel-Hamas War 

  1. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to care for your Jewish neighbor in this time. 
  1. Start by reaching out. Call or text your Jewish friend. Send an email. Don’t yet know the rabbi down the street? Send a greeting card with your business card saying you’d like to invite them to tea or coffee to hear their thoughts on what’s happening in Israel. 
  1. Ask open-ended questions. Example: “How are you doing?” Don’t assume you know how your Jewish friend feels about the war. 
  1. Actively listen. Just listen. Pay attention, stay focused, be patient, empathize, withhold judgment, and respond appropriately. 
  1. Be ready to be vulnerable. If your Jewish neighbor accepts your invitation, be prepared for some questions and to answer honestly. They may ask you what you think about the war. They may ask why you decided to reach out. 

Do not be ashamed that you are a Christian. This encounter is not meant to be evangelistic, but neither should you shy away from saying how Jesus’ Jewishness requires the Christian to love our Jewish neighbors, whether they accept Jesus as Messiah or not. This may be new for your Jewish friends, as they will be well versed in the antisemitic history of the church. 

  1. Don’t be discouraged if your Jewish neighbors aren’t ready to accept your invitation. There is a lot of history in the way. Keep praying and keep trying gently. 
  1. Get informed. You can get a peek into how our Jewish neighbors see the world through Jewish media. You’ll also learn about antisemitic incidents that worry the Jewish community but don’t make it into mainstream news. 

Where to start: The Forward ( The Jewish Chronicle ( The Jewish Telegraphic Agency ( The Times of Israel ( 

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