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Miss coverage of the kick off event, “Courage to Love”? Read our recap here!
On August 22nd, 2011, Glenn brought Restoring Courage to Jerusalem with the second event – Restoring Courage: The Courage. From the old train station Glenn was again joined by a huge crowd of people eager to stand with Israel!
Raj Nair kicked off the event with a live pre-show, as he explained what would be going on that night to the GBTV audience. He also explained why Glenn selected the old train station as the venue for the second event, as it represented the expansion of Jerusalem beyond the walls of the Old City. When Glenn took the stage moments later, however he joked, “There are only so many places that can hold this many people.”
The events of the night focused on the events of the Holocaust, with the train tracks of the venue paralleling the train tracks of Auschwitz. The opening prayer also contained many allusions to the events of the 1940s and the attempted genocide of the Jewish people. But even with the sad subject matter, the focus was on those who helped the Jewish people when half the world was out to destroy them – people like Corrie ten Boom and Oscar Schindler.
Glenn then brought out Jon Voight onto the stage to a huge ovation.
“Several years ago I visited Israel and spent time with the victims of suicide bombers, and gave honor to those I would call martyrs, who by sheer miracle, survived barbaric attacks by the Palestinian terrorists in Israel,” Voight told the audience.
“What I witnessed would tear my heart out. Many were without limbs. Many lost children, wives, and husbands. How did we come to a time when the slaughter of innocents, blowing the brains out of babies, even genocide, are acceptable means to a political end? I feel complete outrage at anyone who could make excuses for this barbarism, and I feel complete contempt for anyone who is not intelligent enough to see that this propaganda in the media, painting the Palestinians as poor victims, is capable of destroying the Jewish nation in Israel.”
“We are witnessing a new type of Holocaust, and good people of all faiths should express outrage, and demand the truth be heard: the Palestinian radicals have only one prayer on their lips, and it is to kill and rid every Jew, young and old, from Israel.”
“Tonight, let us pray for courage to stand up and fight against all this antisemitism that has found its way to all the evil-doers. And let us pray for peace – but with the understanding that we will not bend to terrorism in any shape or form for the sake of peace,” he said.
“Very few did what Jon did. We called, I asked, he accepted,” Glenn said as he returned to the stage.
Glenn then began to introduce the film that would be discussed this evening, Kleiner Rudy.
“Last night we talked about love, tonight I want to focus on it’s polar opposite: fear,” Glenn said.
Glenn began to talk about his visit to Poland, where he met a woman who at sixteen years old in the Polish ghetto became one of the “Righteous Among the Nations,” and he asked her how something like the Holocaust could happen. How could people, no matter their language or place in the world, allow something like that to happen?
She told him that while everyone has the seed to be one of the “Righteous Among the Nations”, they must water it with God. She also said the righteous don’t suddenly become righteous, they hold fast as the rest of the world goes over the cliffs.
Glenn said that he later met a man who had been saved by that woman in his New York office. He didn’t want to remember. Glenn, knowing he could never tell someone else what they should do after going through such a horrific experience, nevertheless encouraged him to do so. While Glenn doesn’t know if he will do so, he wanted to the audience to hear the story of someone who had gone back.
He then asked the audience to watch Kleiner Rudy, which tells the story of Rudy Wolff.
The description for the film follows:
Rudy Wolff, an eighty-five-year-old Holocaust survivor, invites his granddaughter, director of the film, to join him in visiting his German birthplace. Once there, Wolff meets his childhood friends, giving us a first-hand glimpse into the after effects of the Holocaust, such as how do Germans deal with their past? How do Jews handle forgiveness and reconciliation? Is it in fact possible to accept, understand and forgive?
Glenn then invited Michelle Teery, Rudy’s daughter and director of the film, Mike Evans, David Brog, and Rabbi David Greenblatt to the stage for a panel discussion.
Following the panel discussion, Glenn was joined by the descendant’s of Rudy Wolff, showing the power and impact that saving just one life could have on the world. Benjamin Wenzelberg, a extremely talented young vocalist, sang as the audience participated in a candle ceremony before Dr. Mullins closed the event with a song.
Look for more coverage on these events today and throughout the week.