These are not obscure references (at least to the "trained ear"). With respect to Jeremiah 16, perhaps it will suffice to note a story told on April 30, 2008 (on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day) in the pages of the Jerusalem Post, written by Naphtali Lau-Lavie, a former Israeli diplomat, who was among the last Jews of Buchenwald lined up at the gate of the camp on April 10, 1945 when American soldiers arrived:
Recently, while searching in the Yad Vashem archives, I came across the testimony of a survivor from Treblinka, who later immigrated to
"In the early morning [on October 21, 1942] we arrived at Treblinka on the transport from our ghetto. On the ramp the selection process had begun. Together with a group of youngsters, I was taken from the crowd and pushed aside. We stood and watched the groups being led in the direction of the gas chambers.
"Suddenly, we heard the familiar, strong voice of our rabbi. He was standing in the midst of the Jews of his community reciting the confessional viduy prayer, said when Jews know they are about to be martyred. The rabbi said a verse, and his "congregation" repeated it after him, verse by verse." . . .
The Jews described were from the city of
My father's life was taken at Treblinka after he said the viduy. . . . At our last meeting, as . . . we were standing on the doorstep, he recited from Jeremiah 16:6-7: "Both the great and the small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them; neither shall men break bread for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother."
Then he stopped for a while, looked straight into my eyes, and continued, again from Jeremiah, 13:16: "And there is hope for thy future, saith the Lord, And thy children shall return to their own border."
Next he addressed me directly: "If you manage to get out of here, go and return to the Land from which we were expelled, because only there will the Jewish people be itself and become strong enough to prevent such tragedies."
As for the reference to Ezekiel 37, perhaps an even shorter explanation will suffice. Above the parking lot at Yad Vashem in
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