Who are the righteous?

What does it mean to be the righteous? Who are the righteous? How do we stand even now over a lot of global issues which impact the heavenly realm’s record? How shall we stand as Christians in further crucial and decisive moments which are forthcoming? Today we read history which tells us one of its definitions in God’s dictionary. This watchman wishes to give thanks for the readily available valuable information published that gives Christians some ideas at least of what had happened and what could happen in future in the end days, which are already here in many parts of the world. Are we to be classified as the sheep or the goats by Jesus? (Matthew 25:31-46)

Please read with soul searching of self. We are the ordinary people. We will be called to take a stand when the right moment comes. Some had passed the test and gone on to stand with the martyrs. Many had failed. Why did Christians fail? Perhaps each can receive each own answer today.

About the righteous (Excerpts quoted from the YAD VASHEM as follows. The boldness of certain phrases are added by this blogger to highlight my own perceptions of importance):

Attitudes towards the Jews during  the Holocaust mostly ranged from   indifference to hostility. The mainstream  watched as their former   neighbors were rounded up and killed; some collaborated  with the   perpetrators; many benefited from the expropriation of the Jews    property.

In a world of total moral collapse there was a small minority who   mustered  extraordinary courage to uphold human values. These were the   Righteous Among  the Nations. They stand in stark contrast to the   mainstream of indifference and  hostility that prevailed during the   Holocaust. Contrary to the general trend,  these rescuers regarded the   Jews as fellow human beings who came within the  bounds of their   universe of obligation.

Most rescuers started off as  bystanders. In many cases   this happened when they were confronted with the  deportation or the   killing of the Jews. Some had stood by in the early stages  of   persecution, when the rights of Jews were restricted and their property    confiscated, but there was a point when they decided to act, a boundary   they  were not willing to cross. Unlike others, they did not fall into a   pattern of  acquiescing to the escalating measures against the Jews.

In many cases it was the Jews who  turned to the non-Jew   for help. It was not only the rescuers who demonstrated  resourcefulness   and courage, but also the Jews who fought for their survival.  Wolfgang   Benz, who did extensive research on rescue of Jews during the    Holocaust claims that when listening to rescue stories, the rescued   persons may  seem to be only objects for care and charity, however “the   attempt to survive  in illegality was before anything else a   self-assertion and an act of Jewish  resistance against the Nazi regime.   Only few were successful in this  resistance”.

Faced with Jews knocking on their  door, bystanders were   faced with the need to make an instant decision. This was  usually an   instinctive human gesture, taken on the spur of the moment and only    then to be followed by a moral choice. Often it was a gradual process,   with the  rescuers becoming increasingly involved in helping the   persecuted Jews.  Agreeing to hide someone during a raid or roundup – to   provide shelter for a  day or two until something else could be found –   would evolve into a rescue  that lasted months and years.

The price that rescuers had to pay  for their action differed   from one country to another. In Eastern Europe, the  Germans executed   not only the people who sheltered Jews, but their entire  family as   well. Notices warning the population against helping the Jews were   posted  everywhere. Generally speaking punishment was less severe in   Western Europe,  although there too the consequences could be formidable   and some of the  Righteous Among the Nations were incarcerated in camps   and killed. Moreover,  seeing the brutal treatment of the Jews and the   determination on the part of  the perpetrators to hunt down every single   Jew, people must have feared that  they would suffer greatly if they   attempted to help the persecuted. In  consequence, rescuers and rescued   lived under constant fear of being caught;  there was always the danger   of denunciation by neighbors or collaborators. This  increased the risk   and made it more difficult for ordinary people to defy the  conventions   and rules. Those who decided to shelter Jews had to sacrifice their    normal lives and to embark upon a clandestine existence – often against   the  accepted norms of the society in which they lived, in fear of their   neighbors  and friends – and to accept a life ruled by dread of   denunciation and capture.

Most rescuers were ordinary people.  Some acted out of   political, ideological or religious convictions; others were  not   idealists, but merely human beings who cared about the people around   them.  In many cases they never planned to become rescuers and were   totally unprepared  for the moment in which they had to make such a   far-reaching decision. They  were ordinary human beings, and it is   precisely their humanity that touches us  and should serve as a model.   So far Yad Vashem recognized Righteous from 44  countries and nationalities; there are Christians from all denominations and  churches, Muslims and agnostics; men and women of all ages; they come   from all  walks of life; highly educated people as well as illiterate   peasants; public  figures as well as people from society’s margins; city   dwellers and farmers  from the remotest corners of Europe; university   professors, teachers,  physicians, clergy, nuns, diplomats, simple   workers, servants, resistance  fighters, policemen, peasants, fishermen,   a zoo director, a circus owner, and  many more.

Scholars have attempted to trace the  characteristics that   these Righteous share and to identify who was more likely  to extend   help to the Jews or to a persecuted person. Some claim that the  Righteous are a diverse group and the only common denominator are the   humanity  and courage they displayed by standing up for their moral   principles.   Samuel P. Oliner and Pearl M. Oliner defined the   altruistic personality. By  comparing and contrasting rescuers and   bystanders during the Holocaust, they  pointed out that those who intervened were distinguished by characteristics  such as empathy and a sense of connection to others. Nehama Tec who also  studied many cases   of Righteous, found a cluster of shared characteristics and  conditions   of separateness, individuality or marginality. The rescuers’    independence enabled them to act against the accepted conventions and   beliefs.

Bystanders were the rule, rescuers  were the exception.   However difficult and frightening, the fact that some found  the courage   to become rescuers demonstrates that some freedom of choice  existed,   and that saving Jews was not beyond the capacity of ordinary people    throughout occupied Europe. The Righteous Among the Nations teach us   that every  person can make a difference.

There were different degrees of  help: some people gave   food to Jews, thrusting an apple into their pocket or  leaving food   where they would pass on their way to work. Others directed Jews  to   people who could help them; some sheltered Jews for one night and told   them  they would have to leave in the morning. Only few assumed the  entire  responsibility for the Jews’ survival. It is mostly the last   group that  qualifies for the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Read on : The Righteous Among The Nations  http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/about.asp

______________Bible verses: Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJV)

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”



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