6 Responses to Just Peacemaking #5: Pure and Complete Mourning
  1. Chris Cameron

    Good post Jon.

    As you know, when you are teaching something “new” to your audience, it is important to use illustrations, mental hooks, building a bridge from what they KNOW to what they DON’T know. Your post got me thinking about a couple of things…

    Your comments are really good for an audience that doesn’t have any background in the foundations of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Your 911 is a good example to help your audience understand that – but it is only a mosquito bite example. If you researched the percentage of the worldwide Jewish population killed in the holocaust and enlarged your 911 example to a comparable hundreds of millions of Americans killed, it would become a more accurate emotional example.

    The lingering affect of the holocaust on the present action of the Jews could be illustrated by the entitlement mentality of some African Americans based on the slavery issue, with some even requesting reparations. One might even assign some of the present crime/poverty issues to slavery of so many years ago.

    Dealing with the past IS key to future action. The “complete mourning” solution reminds me of a Rob Bell sermon where he talked about fully embracing pain as the only way to truly break the revenge cycle. Many people who have had counseling would understand “family of origin” issues to discover keys to their life change. This could also be an illustration that connects what they know to what they don’t know.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Jon Huckins

    Thanks, Chris. Brilliant insights and good parallel. You’re right, comparing the Holocaust and 9/11 would not be wise and simply can’t be done based on the vast difference in context and extent of violence. This Rabbi simply brought up the potential emotions (of which he has already scene manifest themselves in stereotype and prejudice) that can be stirred up and turned into a revenge cycle if we American’s don’t properly mourn the tragedy of 9/11. Further, he was drawing the line between our prejudice of Arabs and our inability to properly mourn. Between that reality and the open wounds many Jews still carry as a result of past tragedy, endless amounts of peaceful Arab Palestinians are experiencing persecution.

    Really appreciate your contribution to this important conversation, Chris! jon

  3. Drew

    Thanks for this post Jon.
    Budget and time dependent, I’d commend also to your missional living travels a visit to the Jewish museum in Berlin, for a full circle appreciation of mourning that includes the one-time facilitators of evil. Complete mourning of sin-induced tragedies on large scales as mass murders and holocausts should necessarily involve also those victims of sin complicit in the tragedies themselves. In no way does it diminish the suffering of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but there is an element of remorse and mourning from the German people that is starkly evident through the manner in which they have memorialized the event. Granted, the museum itself was finally completed due to the Jewish and Israeli influence, but the acknowledgment of its accuracy and purpose in proper reflection and mourning is not denied by the German state nor the populace.
    There are direct parallels between Arab reactions to 9-11 with German mourning over the Holocaust, and one could certainly draw lessons from the other.


    Really appreciate your insights. Thanks again from NP!

  4. Rob Yakley

    Powerful stuff Jon. I wonder if there might be one more critical piece that lies between “pure and complete mourning” and “moving from death to life.” It’s the forgiveness piece. Maybe that’s inherent in complete mourning, but if it isn’t, it seems like the act of forgiving–which acknowledges the pain and injustice incurred but then lets go of it–enables people to move from the posture of a victim to the posture of a restorer.

  5. Jon Huckins

    Thanks, Drew. One of the professors leading our team is German and has broken into tears multiple times making clear the remorse that most Germans feel towards the Holocaust tragedy. While some countries haven’t fully embraced and sought forgiveness for their role, it seems that Germany and it’s people have done well to seek forgiveness and repent.

  6. Jon Huckins

    I agree, forgiveness does seem like a huge piece. It was interesting listening to a Rabbi respond to this very question this morning. He said that he can never forgive the Germans. In the Jewish tradition the only ones that can truly forgive are the ones that have been directly violated…with that said, he made the point that his people must share in the forgiveness of previous generations as a reflection of their religious tradition and mandate.