Below is a rough transcript of this segment
There's a little-known story from 1944. A group of Hungarian Jews attached to a German battalion that was retreating in 1944 and it was on this day that they were ordered to clean and dig trenches. They were being used as human mine detectors.
So on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Nazi commander, knowing that this was the holiest day of the year, that this was the day of the fast, this is the day that Moses came down from the mountain and saw what they had done. They were worshiping a God, a false God. And so they had to cleanse themselves and purify themselves. This is the time of the year that the Jews believe that you have to get your house in order for 40 days. You review the year and you look at all the things that you've done wrong and then God sets it right. You atone and then God sets it right and then He charts the next year for you.
I've known the story of Yom Kippur and I know the day of atonement and I love this holiday for the Jewish people. I think this is one of these holidays that we as Christians should not have brushed off. This is really a great holiday.
And I've known this for a long time, but I just had this feeling that this year is different. I have a feeling that we're kind of being locked in to where we are right now. This is kind of the idea behind this holiday, is you're kind of locked in. Wherever you are today, God is making that contract and saying, okay, this is the year. This is where you're going now. And whether you atone or not, you're kind of locked in. So if you are in sync with him, great. If not, you're going to spend the next year with Him trying to reminded you, you've got to get in sync with Me. He's going to bless you one way another. It's just that the blessings kind of suck because they're for your own good, as my mother used to say.
So it's 1944. This German battalion, they're taking all of these Jews and they're using them to search for mines. They're starving. But this Nazi commander knows that they have to fast on this day. And he said, anybody who is fasting is going to be shot.
So on Yom Kippur, it began to rain. They're on the Polish/Slovokian border and they're working and they're looking for mines. They're digging trenches. And they're always starving, but on this day, they choose not to eat. And as they're given their meager rations, the prisoners spill their coffee as they run into the gullies. And they take their bread, which is stale and moldy, and they stuff it into their pockets. Those who had memorized the Yom Kippur prayers said them. And as the sun was setting, and they were preparing to break their fast, they were confronted by the German commander who knew they had fasted. And he said instead of execution, we're going to have some fun, boys.
And he told them to climb a mountain. And then he forced them to slide down the side of this mountain on their stomachs. They were tired. They were soaked. They were emaciated. And they had to climb up and down this mountain 10 times. And their clothing was ripped, their stomachs were ripped. But they lived.
That soggy, muddy Yom Kippur night should be a sign of courage and human dignity for all the world, but most of the world doesn't know about what happened on that hillside. What happened on that hillside because he kept making them go up and telling them to slide down. And they kept doing it. And this German commander realized, I cannot break their will.
I wonder how many of them as they were climbing up that mountain thought of themselves a little bit like Moses. And it made them stronger, as Moses climbed up that hill. And then slid down his mountain to see what was waiting for him at the bottom.
Seeing that he couldn't break their will, he decided he would let them live another day.
Yom Kippur is the day that God decides who's going to live, who's going to die. Who is in His time and who is before His time. We are supposed to atone, ask for forgiveness, clean the slate and start again.
Can you imagine if America, Jewish, Christian, atheist, Muslim, everybody -- if we just this weekend said: You know what, I'm really sorry. I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused. I'm sorry for the things that I have done wrong. I'm sorry for the things that I didn't do that I should have, and I'm sorry for the things I did do that I shouldn't have. I'm sorry that I was just not awake yet. I'm sorry that I'm still not wide enough awake but I'm getting there.
'I'm sorry that I have lied to myself and said that I'm not capable of doing it. I'm sorry that I have blamed other people for my faults, my mistakes. I'm sorry that I tried to shift the blame. I'm sorry that I just didn't have a positive attitude. I'm sorry that I was looking at things and seeing the glass half-empty. I'm sorry I stood by and did nothing while others suffered.
Not another day. Not another day. I may have misread my entire life incorrectly. I may -- this might be the day that I was born again. This might be the day.
And God says, This is the day that you can start all over again. And I will bless you for that. I will take you and write you in the book that matters and this year is going to be your year.
I don't know why I have connected with this story this year more than I usually have. I just love the tradition of it. But this year, I think we are making a contract. I don't know why and I don't even know what that means. Just something in my gut says we're making a contract. Where you are right now spiritually, where you are right now mentally, where you are good or bad, where you are, a contract is being made.
I urge you, as the sun goes down today, and Yom Kippur begins, I urge you, take an inventory of your life. I urge you to take this weekend. It's the holiest weekend of the year for the Jewish people. We all come from the Jewish traditions. Even the Muslims come from -- everybody but atheists -- well, I shouldn't say that, because they just -- they just don't know it yet.
But we all come from the Jewish traditions. This is one worth remembering. This one is worth saying, help us chart a course for the next 12 months, because it's going to be a remarkable 12 months. I don't know what happens, I don't know what comes, but it's going to be a remarkable 12 months. And let me say this to the Jewish people. You are not alone.
I want you to take on this holiest of holy days, on a day when Germany and Angela Merkle has said that they are going to they're going to put guards, troops around every synagogue. Think of that. Troops around every synagogue in Germany. They are worried about the safety of the Jews again in Germany. Later on in the program, I hope to get to a little bit of the essence, the beginnings of never Again. but some of us have said that and some of us actually mean it. Never again.
It doesn't mean that we're not going to go through those horrors again, but this time hopefully there will be more of us that go through it together. More of us that will say, not on my watch. More of us that will actually care about our fellow human being, even though we're different from one another. I would love to see more Christians trying to save the Jews' souls. I'd like to see more Christians try to save their own souls.
By actually standing up for the Rights of people to live and to follow the dictate of their own spirit. Never again.
Israel, know that means exactly what you think it means to millions of non-Jews. You're not alone.
Happy Yom Kippur.