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A Ray of Hope

Insights from the Hebrew Language

Things I Have Learned in Israel


In the seventeen years I have lived in Israel, I have been blessed to learn many things which have given me fresh insight on the Scriptures. Some say that my husband and I, and the staff of Bridges for Peace, have given our lives to the Lord’s call to Israel. That is true, but what is also true is that Israel has given us new life as well. Christians who visit Israel invariably remark about how their Bible reading has come to life after a trip to Israel. In this Israel Teaching Letter, I want to share a few things that I have learned.

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Loving God with All Your Life—Nephesh

August 3, 2006

The command to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind is the greatest commandment. It Is part of the Shema, the prayer that Jesus and all Jews since Him have prayed morning and evening to commit themselves to follow the Lord. When we think about those words, we tend to pass by the phrase “heart and soul” quickly, probably thinking that it means that we should love God with our spirit and emotions, and very passionately.

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A Jot or a Tittle


“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18, NIV

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The Refreshment of Dew—Tal

February 1, 2006

“Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb.” Deuteronomy 32:2 (NASB).

Often in the Bible, the imagery of rain (geshem) or dew (tal) is used to denote great blessing. To see why, we need to understand the weather that is unique to Israel, and how it colors the Bibles’ imagery. Between the spring rains that end in April, and the fall rains that begin in October, six months go by with clear skies over Israel. By fall, all the grass dies and stored water supplies dwindle. The inhabitants’ very lives depend on the coming of the fall rains, something that is not at all certain in that arid Land. When the rains return again, it is received as a miracle directly from God’s hand.

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Walking God’s Way

{image_1} My husband, Tom, and I frequently walk in the evening after work for exercise and just to spend a little time together in conversation, which we enjoy because it is our time. We live in Gilo, a southern neighborhood In Jerusalem, which is the highest point in the city. No matter how hot the day is, there is almost always a cool breeze in the evening. Recently, I was reading in Ephesians chapter five and noticed a repeated theme of walking. It was an emphasis of how we live or “walk” out our lives, that led me on a trek through the Scriptures to see the connections between walking and God.

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