Every week, we post from seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel's most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 19,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Fill out the form on the side if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.
- “Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future”
- Hamas Lauds Parents’ Murder while Children Watched
- Putin Gets Pushy with Israel
- Clashes Continue on Temple Mount
- Rockets from Gaza Target Israeli Civilians
- IDF Confirms Syria Strikes in Retaliation to Rocket on Golan
- World Leaders Queue and Spew at UN General Assembly
- President Rivlin Addresses 5,000 Christian Visitors to Jerusalem
- Blood Moon Hails First Day of Sukkot
- SodaStream Offers 1,000 Jobs to Syrian Refugees
“Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future”
Friday, 2 October 2015 | Yesterday in New York, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to the nations of the world. From the podium of the United Nations, the essence of his words was rebuke with a pledge. In the face of genocidal dangers, Netanyahu said, we have defended ourselves; we are defending ourselves; and we will defend ourselves.
Beginning with a damning indictment of Iran's explicit intent to annihilate Israel, he placed its conduct in historical context.
"Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews," he said, "Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country.
"Murder my people.
"Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country.
"And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been," he paused, then said, "absolutely nothing.
Then without a sentence to complete, he paused again. For 45 seconds he slowly looked around the hall, searching for eyes that would look directly at him.
"Don't think that Iran is only a danger to Israel," he warned.
"Those intercontinental missiles that Iran is building? They're not meant for us. They're meant for you.
"For raining down mass destruction—anytime, anywhere."
Speaking specifically to the pending international agreement with Iran regarding its weapons-grade nuclear program, Netanyahu spoke directly to the nations that structured the agreement and now argue for it.
"It’s not easy to oppose something that is embraced by the greatest powers in the world," he admitted. "Believe me, it would be far easier to remain silent."
But silence, he said, is not an option. "Throughout our history, the Jewish people have learned the heavy price of silence."
What then will Israel do? According to Netanyahu, it will continue to speak. It will also act.
"I refuse to be silent," he said. And on behalf of all Jews, the days of remaining "passive in the face of genocidal enemies—those days are over."
Netanyahu's address included almost nothing in the way of specific recommendations to the United Nations. Instead, he reminded its members that the institution has consistently pursued policies and indictments against the Jewish state.
With little expectation of helpful action by the world's nations, Netanyahu repeatedly pledged that Israel will act.
"Israel will not allow Iran to break-in, to sneak-in or to walk-in to the nuclear weapons club," he vowed. Moreover, "no one should question Israel’s determination to defend itself against those who seek our destruction."
It is a pledge that, this time, Netanyahu placed in the context of ancient as well as modern world history.
"In every generation, there were those who rose up to destroy our people," he said.
"In antiquity, we faced destruction from the ancient empires of Babylon and Rome.
"In the Middle Ages, we faced inquisition and expulsion.
"And In modern times, we faced pogroms and the Holocaust.
"Yet the Jewish people persevered.
"And now another regime has arisen, swearing to destroy Israel.
"That regime would be wise to consider this:
"I stand here today representing Israel, a country 67 years young, but the nation-state of a people nearly 4,000 years old.
"Yet the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations.
"Neither is the Thousand Year Reich.
"Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone.
"But Israel lives.
"The people of Israel live.
While his speech included a declaration of "unshakeable alliance" with the United States, general prescriptions for the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority, the thrust of Netanyahu's speech was an unambiguous message to Iran and to the world.
"Here's my message to the rulers of Iran," he said.
"Your plan to destroy Israel will fail.
"Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future.
"And here's my message to all the countries represented here: Whatever resolutions you may adopt in this building, whatever decisions you may take in your capitals, Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state and to defend our people."
For a video recording and the full text of Netanyahu's speech, click here.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 2 October 2015)
Photo Credit: KobiGideon/GPO
Proclaim the word of the Lord! Even though all the nations of the world stand against His chosen people, He will not forget them. Their walls are continually before Him. Come to the rescue of Your people, O God.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I [the LORD] will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.- Isaiah 49:15–16
Hamas Lauds Parents’ Murder while Children Watched
Friday, 2 October 2015 | A young Israeli father and mother of six were shot to death in a Palestinian terror attack last night as the family was on their way home. Four of the couple’s children were in the car at the time of the attack and suffered no physical injuries. They were, however, treated for shock after witnessing the death of their parents.
Mere hours later, Hamas spokesperson Husam Badran took to social media to praise the “brave resistance” for the murder of a father and mother in front of their children, calling it a “heroic operation.”
Vowing to persist in the violence against Israel, the terror group called on its members to launch more attacks on the Jewish state.
According to Israel Breaking News, reports of the murder also resulted in celebrations in the streets of Bethlehem.
Terrorists targeted the couple’s vehicle as they drove past an Arab village in Samaria. A number of shots were fired from at least two weapons—a rifle and a handgun—before the terrorists sped away in their car. The car was later found abandoned.
Rabbi Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, both in their 30s, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to their upper bodies and were pronounced dead at the scene. Their four children, aged 9, 7, 4 and a four-month old baby were rescued from the vehicle and taken to a nearby medical center.
“It was a very difficult scene,” MDA [Magen David Adom] paramedic Boaz Malka admitted.
President Rueven Rivlin condemned the attack, saying, “Tonight, bloodthirsty murderers claimed the lives of a mother and a father, leaving their young children orphaned. The heart breaks at the magnitude of such cruelty and hatred.”
President Rivlin also had a word of warning for perpetrators against the Jewish state. “We will continue in our brave and unwavering fight against this cruel and heinous terrorism—of this our enemies can be sure,” he vowed. “This is our duty, and the only way we can ensure the right of the orphans, who lost their parents tonight, along with the right of all our children and grandchildren, to live with security and in peace, everywhere in the Land of Israel.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had just finished his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York when he learned of the attack.
"This is a difficult day for the State of Israel,” he told reporters. “We are witness to an especially heinous and shocking murder in which parents were murdered, leaving [six] young orphans. The killers knew that they were murdering a mother and father, the children were there. It has been proven again that the wild Palestinian incitement leads to acts of terrorism and murder such as we have seen this evening.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu is not alone in his belief that provocation from Palestinian leaders is to blame for acts of violence and terror. Late last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon spoke out against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for using “inflammatory rhetoric” regarding the Temple Mount. Two weeks ago, Abbas vowed in a public address that Jews would not be permitted to defile Islam’s holy sites with their “filthy feet.” Abbas also pronounced a blessing on “every drop of blood … spilled for Jerusalem.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 2 October 2015)
Photo Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bring before the Lord these six young children who have had their parents torn from them by this brutal act. Pray that they, and the whole nation of Israel which mourns with them, will receive God’s comfort in the days to come. Pray for the protection of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, asking that any further terrorist acts will be stopped.
- Isaiah 40:1
Comfort, yes, comfort My people!says your God.
Putin Gets Pushy with Israel
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 | Having joined forces with Iran to rescue the government of Syria's despot President Assad, Russia is pushing Israel. And Israel is pushing back.
Two days ago, right after a 90 minute meeting with US President Obama, Russia's President Vladimir Putin held a press conference with Russian reporters. Toward the end of the conference, a reporter asked him about the structural nature of Israel's coordination with Russia when the Jewish state carries out air strikes against targets in Syria. Putin's answer rattled Jerusalem.
Last week the Israeli Prime Minister flew to Moscow with a coterie of his top military officers. Following a meeting with Putin, Netanyahu announced he had discussed with Putin that, because of Russia's newly beefed up presence in Syria, Israel will need to coordinate with Russian forces its periodic airstrikes against enemy targets in Syria. Jerusalem does not want to provoke Moscow or accidentally engage its Air Force over Syrian skies.
On the face of it, then, the reporter's question to Putin was reasonable and, for his part, Putin's answer was restrained. According to the Kremlin's Russian transcript, the thrust of his reply was that no formal structure with Israel was under consideration. The only structure, he said, would be "interaction at the level of [each country's] military departments."
He also referred to Israel as "the Jewish state."
"We must respect the Jewish state," he said, because "Israel is not indifferent to what is happening in [Syria]."
Then, in the next breath, he added, "At the same time, there are issues that [raise] certain concerns related to [Israeli] air strikes in [Syria]."
Putin's "concerns" made headlines in every major news outlet in Israel. According to Ha'aretz, a left-leaning paper in Israel, Putin was hinting his intent to "clip Israel's wings over Syrian skies." The right-leaning Israel Hayom and centrist papers, Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel," headlined Putin's use of the word "concern."
Why such a strong reaction to Putin's "concern?"
According to the Israeli intelligence website, DEBKA, there is a lot of backstory to Putin's press conference remark.
The context for his "concern" is that on Sunday, 27 September, Israel's Air Force struck "Syrian military targets with powerful Tamuz artillery rockets." This was in response to "two errant rockets" from Syria that landed in Israel's Golan Heights on Friday and Saturday. The official word in Israel is that they were "errant rockets."
According to DEBKA, however, the missiles were anything but errant. They were deliberately fired into Israel. The order came, says DEBKA, from Iran's Brigadier General Saeed Azadi.
Azadi is a member of Iran's notorious Revolutionary Guards. DEBKA reports that Azadi along with other members of the Revolutionary Guards, is now in Syria. Together they are Iran's military presence in Syria dedicated to keeping that country's President Assad in power.
Azadi's presence in Syria had been a closely guarded secret, says DEBKA. Until, that is, "Netanyahu let the cat out of the bag at his meeting with Putin last week."
Israel biggest concern is Iran's presence in Syria. On January 18 this year, an Israeli airstrike in Syria killed Iran's General Ali Allah Dadi. Dadi, also a member of the Revolutionary Guards, had come to Syria "to survey a site for mounting a terrorist campaign inside Israel."
Now Azadi has come as Dadi's replacement. According to DEBKA, Azadi's assignment is "to finish setting up the terror machine and getting it up and running."
When Netanyahu met with Putin last week, says DEBKA, he warned Russia's President that "that Israel would not let this happen—even if this meant disposing of another Iranian general."
"As matters stand therefore," DEBKA reports, "Russia and Israel are on a collision course. While Israel views General Azadi as a menacing adversary, Putin regards him as part of the Russian-Iranian axis in Syria and wants Israel to keep its hands off him."
According to DEBKA, this was the real reason for Putin's expression of "concern" about Israeli airstrikes. Russia's regard for Azadi as an ally "is of such paramount importance to the [Putin's] plans for Syria that he made a big deal of it at the highest international forum—almost as a sequel to his first meeting with President Obama in more than a year."
The real message of Putin's expression of "concern?"
DEBKA's read is that "he was signaling strongly that the arrangement for the Russian and Israeli armies to coordinate their operations in Syria is unworkable." Moreover, "he was losing patience with Israel’s 'security concerns' in so far as they impeded his plans with Iran for Syria."
If DEBKA's read is accurate, it explains a lot. Putin is pushing himself into the middle of a military minefield. His clear commitment to Russia's presence in Syria, and in close alliance with Iran, has placed Moscow on a collision course with the Jewish state. The Russian Bear and Persian Leopard have joined forces. Together, they are now on Israel's doorstep. And Israel knows it.
"We are intolerant toward any breach of our sovereignty," Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said yesterday. "Like the Russian and Iranian presence" in Syria, he clarified. "We [have] made clear to the Russians that we have no intention of abandoning our ability to defend our interests. And I suggest that no one test us.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 30 September 2015)
Photo Credit: Embassy of Israel, Moscow
Intercede for God’s people in this dangerous situation, asking that the Lord cause Russia’s own devices to bring about its downfall. Pray that Israel will have accurate intelligence regarding the role Iran is playing in Syria and will know what action to take.
There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Hold them guilty, O God; by their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against You.- Psalm 5:9–10 NASB
Clashes Continue on Temple Mount
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 | Clashes between police and Palestinians broke out at the Temple Mount on Monday morning, the second day in a row.
Police said a group of rioters barricaded itself inside Al-Aqsa Mosque and placed obstacles to block entry.
Following attempts at negotiations, police entered the Temple Mount area at 6:45 a.m. Masked Palestinians who had been throwing stones and bottles fled into the mosque, from which they fired firecrackers, Molotov cocktails and bottles containing unidentified substances. The area was soon opened to visitors at the regularly scheduled time.
During the violent confrontation, police used a mobile barrier to block the stones and firebombs. While the rioters continued to throw these, the barrier was mostly successful in protecting the police.
Jerusalem Police said it had conducted "lengthy dialogue with managers of the Waqf in order to allow them to dismantle the fortifications and remove the rioters who barricaded themselves in the mosque overnight with the intention of disturbing the peace, clashing with police and impairing routine visits and prayer at the Mount."
The police added that its alertness level in Jerusalem was high, particularly in the area surrounding the Temple Mount.
Visits by Jews at the Temple Mount were stopped on Sunday and age restrictions on Muslim men entering the compound lifted for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, but a ban on under-50s was re-imposed as Sukkot started on Monday.
On Sunday, Israeli police and border patrol troops employed riot control measures on the Temple Mount where masked Palestinian youth threw rocks and shot firecrackers at security forces.
Photo Credit: Photo by Isranet
Cry out to the Lord on behalf of His people who are not free to pray at the site of Solomon’s Temple, the place He promised to dwell perpetually. Pray for the police and border patrol troops who face dangers from rocks and other weapons as they protect visitors to Judaism’s holiest site.
And the LORD said to him [Solomon]:- 1 Kings 9:3
I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
Rockets from Gaza Target Israeli Civilians
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 | Late last night, as families in the southern city of Ashdod prepared for bed, the eerie shriek of code red air raid sirens shattered the silence. Just shy of 11:00 p.m., a rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel’s largest port city, giving its civilian population of nearly 250,000 some 20 seconds to seek shelter from the aerial attack.
According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Iron Dome anti-rocket battery intercepted at least one rocket heading for the Israeli city.
“This evening, the third day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a rocket was fired at southern Israel sending the residents of Ashdod as well as several surrounding communities to nearby bomb shelters,” said IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.
“Hamas is responsible and will be held accountable for every attack emanating from the Gaza Strip,” he continued. “The IDF will continue defending all Israelis who are repeatedly attacked by such blatant acts of aggression.”
In the early morning hours, the Israel Air Force struck “four terror targets” in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. According to Palestinian sources speaking to Ynet, at least two of these targets belong to Hamas.
“The attack took place in response to… rocket attacks on the State of Israel earlier this evening, which was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery,” the IDF said in a statement.
According to The Times of Israel, sources in Gaza confirmed that the rocket was fired from the center of the Strip. A Salafist group by the name of Sheik Amar Hadid, took to social media to claim responsibility for the rocket attack. The Gaza-based group Jihadists are known for its affiliation with the Islamic State.
Following a period of relative calm after last year’s Operation Protective Edge, last night’s attack is the latest in a series of rockets launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Israeli civilians over the past two weeks.
The rocket attack comes at a particularly tense time. In Jerusalem and surrounding areas, stone-throwing attacks and eruptions of violence on the Temple Mount have continued to mar the high holidays.
The attack was also launched on the eve of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s scheduled address at the United Nations General Assembly today. Some two weeks ago, Abbas warned that his message would be anything but a run-of-the-mill address. “I will drop a bombshell at the end of my speech,” he vowed.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 30 September 2015)
Photo Credit: paffairs_sanfrancisco/wikipedia.org
Remember the residents of southern Israel who have endured many rocket attacks from Gaza. Give thanks to the Lord who is their help and shield in time of trouble. Pray for the alertness of the soldiers manning the Iron Dome systems.
O Israel, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.- Psalm 115:9
IDF Confirms Syria Strikes in Retaliation to Rocket on Golan
Friday, 2 October 2015 | An Israel Defense Forces spokesman confirmed that the IDF had conducted two artillery strikes on Syrian positions on the outskirts of Quneitra following earlier rocket strike in the Golan on Sunday night.
The spokesman had said that the IDF "viewed the Syrian army as responsible for any fire emanating within its territory, and that the IDF will not allow any attempts to harm Israel's sovereignty or citizens."
The strikes came in response to a rocket which landed in the Israeli Golan earlier on Sunday. The rocket was the second Syrian rocket to land in Israeli territory in as many days, and no injuries or damage were reported in either incident.
Lebanese media outlet El Nashra reported that three missiles were launched towards Syrian outposts near Quneitra, which belong to the Syrian Army's 90th Brigade. The report continued to mention that Israeli aircraft were currently flying above the area.
The Golan has received plenty of what is termed "spillover" in recent years, typically errant projectiles which land in Israeli territory as a result of the in fighting on the Syrian side of the border.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon reacted to the strikes saying, "The projectiles which landed in Israeli territory both yesterday and today were fired from Syrian artillery pieces which are currently involved in the fighting there, are a challenge to our sovereignty, and a crossing of our 'red lines.'"
Ya'alon continued to say that. "The state of Israel does not intent to ignore these cases, and as such the IDF struck two Syrian artillery pieces tonight."
"We view the Syrian regime and its army as responsible for happenings in its territory, and we will not be patient in these types of cases, and we will act in order to prevent these attempts to harm Israel's security," he concluded.
The Israel Air Force launched air strikes in Syria last month, targeting a vehicle carry 4-5 men who were responsible for earlier rocket fire on the Golan Heights.
The four projectiles launched near the end of last month had landed in open areas and there were no reports of casualties or major damage. One rocket did land near a town, causing a fire.
The IDF said it believed the firing was deliberate and that it was considering retaliatory fire in that case as well. It also said the firing originated in Syria's Quneitra area, which is under Syrian President Bashar Assad's control and in which Hezbollah operatives have free rein, according to reports.
However, according to the IDF at the time, Islamic Jihad was responsible for the fire, using Iranian funding and direction. The IDF also said it saw Syria as responsible for the fire. Islamic Jihad spokesman Daud Shihab strongly denied that the organization was responsible.
Photo Credit: upyernoz from Haverford, USA/wikipedia.org
Pray for Israel’s military commanders and leaders responsible for her security, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and GOC Northern Command Major-General Aviv Kochavi. Pray that they will acknowledge the Lord and seek His direction for Israel’s protection on this critical northern border.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.- Proverbs 3:5–6
World Leaders Queue and Spew at UN General Assembly
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 | The queue of world leaders marching to and from the podium of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway. Virtually every speaker has had something to say that has a direct impact on Israel.
Iran's President Rouhani encouraged the world to re-embrace the goal of "full nuclear disarmament, ...and not allow the Zionist regime to remain [this goal's] only impediment." He also blamed the world's affliction from terrorism on "the occupation, invasion and military intervention of yesterday." One specific cause, said Rouhani, is the "US military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq." The other root of global terrorism, he argued, is "the US’s unwarranted support for the inhumane actions of the Zionist regime against the oppressed nation of Palestine." If it were not for these things, he asserted, "terrorists [today] would not have an excuse for justification of their crimes."
Putin argued that the world keeps repeating its own and others' mistakes. His example was "the Middle East and North Africa" where, several years ago, there was a regional cry for democracy, a movement called "Arab Spring."
How did it turn out, he asked. Because of "aggressive foreign interference," the result was "violence, poverty and a social disaster." What's more, he added, "no one cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life."
"I cannot help asking those who have caused this situation," Putin said without naming the United States or other countries, "do you realize now what you have done?" The resulting "power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Africa," he continued, led to the "emergence of anarchy."
Directly challenging US policy, and indirectly challenging Israel, he asserted that the world "should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad's Armed Forces and Kurd militia are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria."
President Obama defended US opposition to Assad. Decrying "might makes right," he argued against "retrenchment." It is this mentality, he said, that supports "tyrants like Bashar Assad." Paradoxically, most in the Middle East see the United States pursuing a policy of retrenchment that has served to undergird Assad. And into the vacuum created by US entrenchment, Russia has marched with no one to stop it.
Arguing for negotiation not war, Obama boasted about the pending international deal with Iran that will allow it to keep and develop its weapons-grade nuclear development program. The result of negotiations with Iran, he exulted, "is a lasting, comprehensive deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while allowing it to access peaceful energy."
Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egypt's President Sisi had a few words about Israel, however. Sisi, no friend of Iran, implicitly agreed with Rouhani's diagnosis. Using gentler language, he argued that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a key contributor to Middle East instability.
In his own way, Abdullah concurred. After outlining an idealistic vision for Middle East peace, he clarified that "nothing can be more important [in this matter] than rejecting threats to the Holy Places and the Arab character" of Jerusalem.
But the star so far, and by far, at least in UN eyes, has been Roman Catholic Pope Francis. His call was for a stronger United Nations "in the face of world-wide conflicts." Because of those conflicts, he said, "the future demands critical and global decisions." Francis's words were consistent with a 2009 encyclical written by Pope Benedict XVI. "There is urgent need of a true world political authority," Benedict wrote in 2009.
Up next this week in New York: Palestinian President Abbas addresses the nations tomorrow and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Thursday. Abbas is likely to appeal to a United Nations with "real teeth" to establish a Palestinian state by fiat, apart from negotiations with Israel. For his part, albeit diplomatically, Netanyahu is likely to argue that relentless and imbalanced critiques of Israel by the United Nations indicate its need for an ideological rabies shot.
Source: (Excerpts of article by Bridges for Peace, 29 September 2015)
Photo Credit: Shealah Craighead/wikipedia.org
Plead with the Lord to pour out a spirit of repentance upon the world, whose leaders seem determined to live in rebellion against His Word. Pray for courageous men and women to speak, calling for righteous action rather than the empty rhetoric being spoken at the UN.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.- Psalm 27:12
President Rivlin Addresses 5,000 Christian Visitors to Jerusalem
Friday, 2 October, 2015 | Tuesday evening (Sept 29) President Reuven Rivlin addressed the 36th Annual Tabernacles Festival of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, attended by 5,000 Christian visitors to Jerusalem from 85 countries. Among them [were] around 50 ministers and members of parliaments, from around the world, who are members of the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation.
President Rivlin welcomed the visitors to Jerusalem, and stressed the importance of the Jewish people's return to Zion, both in ancient and modern times, as an inspiration to all peoples, "What an inspiration," he said, "was the return from exile in Babylon for the Jewish pioneers of the 19th century—and indeed for the 17th century pioneers fleeing European persecution, seeking freedom in the New World, and eventually founding 'One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.'"
The President told the attendees of his own family's arrival in Jerusalem over 200 years ago. He thanked the visitors for their support, and for coming from around the world, and said, "Thank you for standing with us."
Source: (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs originally published this article on 29 September 2015. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)
Photo Credit: Mark Neiman/GPO
Give thanks for all believers who stand with Israel, those who came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feasts as well as those who were not able to be here in person.
How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! Blessed is he who blesses you…- Numbers 24:5, 9b
Blood Moon Hails First Day of Sukkot
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 | Early yesterday morning saw enthusiasts from across the world crawl out of bed long before the crack of dawn for a glimpse of a rare confluence of a total lunar eclipse, known as a blood moon, and a super moon.
This is the first time in 33 years that these two events have made a joint appearance. Moreover, the next twin act is only expected in 2033.
Yet the fact that such a celestial coupling comes but once every few decades is only one of the reasons why millions around the world followed the heavenly display with rapt fascination.
Monday morning’s spectacular was the final blood moon in a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses coinciding with the biblical Feasts commanded by the Lord in Leviticus 23. Known as a tetrad, the phenomenon resulted in two successive years on which the first day of both Passover and Sukkot was marked by a blood moon.
The first in the series appeared on the eve of Passover, 14 April 2014, followed by the second lunar eclipse for the year on the eve of Sukkot, 08 October 2014. The third in the series once again coincided with Passover on 04 April 2015. And yesterday morning, the fourth and final blood moon concluded the tetrad on the eve of Sukkot.
The rare celestial event has sparked intense discussion on whether the tetrad blood moons serve as a sign of the times. The idea comes from Joel 2:31, where the prophet tells us that “the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.”
“Many are closely observing these events,” explains Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO of Bridges for Peace. “Is God speaking? What is He saying? Does it mean blessing for Israel? Is it a signal of judgment on the nations? Is Messiah coming soon?”
The much-anticipated final blood moon in the tetrad appeared in Israeli skies at about 3:10 a.m. yesterday. Thousands from across the world thronged to lookout points like the Mount of Olives to greet the sighting with songs and blasts from the shofar.
A blood moon refers to a full lunar eclipse where the rays of the sun penetrate the earth’s atmosphere, coloring the moon in blood-like haze.
It is extremely rare to have four of these successive lunar eclipses fall on biblical Feasts. Moreover, in the past, blood moon tetrads coinciding with the festivals have marked significant events for Israel and the Jewish people.
A tetrad blood moon occurred on the Passover and Rosh HaShanah festivals of 1493 and 1494—mere months after all Jews were expelled from Spain. Columbus also discovered America, the country that would one day offer a safe haven for Jewish people, in the months before the lunar eclipse.
A tetrad blood moon on Passover and Sukkot marked Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948 after some 2,000 years of exile in the nations. Nineteen years later saw the Jewish people reclaim their ancient capital, Jerusalem—and another four blood moons coinciding with Passover and Sukkot.
As dawn broke yesterday morning, signaling the end of yet another series, many wondered whether the pattern of history would repeat itself. And if so, what would the implication be for Israel and its people?
Only time will tell.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 29 September 2015)
Photo Credit: Luisalvaz/wikipedia.org
Pray that the recent tetrad of blood moons will remind many to earnestly seek the Lord while He may be found.
Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.- Isaiah 55:6
SodaStream Offers 1,000 Jobs to Syrian Refugees
Friday, 2 October 2015 | Israeli home beverage company SodaStream is offering jobs to Syrian refugees at its factory near the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert.
According to the announcement, which was made with Talal Al-Krenawi, the mayor of Rahat, SodaStream and Rahat can effectively absorb 1,000 people, or up to 200 families, giving them jobs and an opportunity to create a new life for themselves in Israel.
“As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I refuse to stand by and observe this human tragedy unfold right across the border in Syria,” said SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum in a recent statement.
“Just as we have always done our best to help our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the West Bank [Judea–Samaria], the time has come for local business and municipal leaders to address the Syrian humanitarian crisis and take the initiative to help those in need. We cannot expect our politicians to bear the entire burden of providing aid for the refugees.”
“Human dignity and hospitality are core values in our culture and we will not allow indifference to the suffering of others,” added Al-Krenawi. “In this first stage, we will be able to receive 1,000 refugees, and then through ongoing collaboration with SodaStream, we plan to help more. Our hope is that the government will then support our joint effort.”
SodaStream’s offer has still to be approved by the Israeli Government. Syria is still formally at war with Israel.
Rahat is the largest Bedouin town in the world with a population of 55,000. SodaStream moved its factory to the city over a year ago after shutting its controversial factory in the West Bank. Today some 30 percent of SodaStream’s 1,100 [person] workforce in the factory are residents of the town.
Photo Credit: WestportWiki/wikipedia.org
Give praise to the Lord for the heart of SodaStream’s CEO who is reaching out to Syrian refugees with an offer of practical help in their time of need.
Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.- Psalm 41:1