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Life in Israel

Remembering Yuri Shtern — Founder of the Christian Allies Caucus

March 18, 2007

“Israel lost a hero when our dearly beloved Yuri Shtern passed away after a long fight with cancer. As I marched in the funeral procession with thousands of Israelis and other Christian leaders, I thought to myself, not only Israel lost a hero, not only Israel lost a great man, but the Christian world lost one of their best Israeli friends. I for one am going to mourn over the loss of this great man.”

—Rebecca J. Brimmer, January 17, 2007

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A Reader’s Point of View

January 3, 2007

We received the following letter from a Jewish reader in Jerusalem in response to our October 2006 Israel Teaching Letter. We thought you would enjoy it as much as we did.

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The Jordan River—A Political Bargaining Chip

January 3, 2007

Naaman the leper was told by Elisha to dip seven times in the Jordan River and be healed. Today Gidon Bromberg, the Israel director of Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), says the Jordan River is a health hazard because of sewage dumped into the Jordan. “Almost no fresh water is flowing down the Jordan River anymore. It’s true there are springs along the way which replenish [it] a little bit, but unfortunately it has become the dumping yard of countries,” said Mira Edelstein, an expert on the Jordan Valley and a spokeswoman for FoEME.

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Mount Hermon—Israel’s One and Only Ski Resort

January 3, 2007

I enjoy seeing the look on people’s faces when I tell them that the first time I ever went snow skiing was in Israel, and only one day after Hizbullah fired a couple of rockets at the mountain.

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Temple Rededication

December 4, 2006

The word hanukkah means “dedication.” After the Jewish revolt in 165 BC against Syrian-Greek forces, the Temple in Jerusalem was left desolate, having been desecrated when juice from cooked pigs was poured over its altar. The book of 1 Maccabees describes the extent of the damage: “They saw the Temple laid desolate and the altar profaned and the gates burned and the courtyards overgrown with plants as ‘in a thicket’ or like ‘one of the mountains’ and the chambers laid in ruins.”

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Hezekiah’s tunnel

December 4, 2006

When I heard there was a Bridges for Peace trip planned for Hezekiah’s Tunnel, I packed my backpack full with the necessary gear: a flashlight, camera, an extra pair of shoes and shorts, and a water bottle. When the day arrived, I was the first to arrive at our designated meeting point just inside the Dung Gate of the Old City, the exit from the Western Wall plaza. The majority of the participants were in what I call the “Silver Years Club,” all with a spirit of adventure.

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Nobel Prize Winner – Israel’s Survival Questioned

December 4, 2006

Professor Robert Aumann, the Israeli-American who won the Nobel Prize for economics last year, warned that Israel may not be capable of continuing its existence long term. Aumman moved from the United States to Israel in the 1950s.

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A Hanukkah Miracle

December 3, 2006

“Whosoever preserves a single soul, Scripture ascribes merit to him as though he had preserved a complete world.”
—Mishna, Tractate Sanhedrin

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I want a better life: “This is the thought that never left my mind”

December 3, 2006

“This is the thought that never left my mind,” writes Natalya as she tells us her story of how she made aliyah (immigration to Israel). Life in Ukraine was hard for her and her husband. Sometimes they “had only bread and water to live on and went on foot to work, as there was not money for public transport fees.” They had no money to pay for utilities, and their debt grew. There was no money for home repair, so after ten years, “our apartment looked like a shed.” Proper food and new clothes were like a “far off dream” for them. “I went mad,” she said whenever she thought of ways to improve their life, because there were no options.

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The Making of Tefillin

December 3, 2006

As I was walking through the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, I spotted a sign hanging outside a Judaica shop that said “Torah Scribe” and sofer stam in Hebrew. Sofer means “scribe”; stam is an acronym for Sefer Torah (“book” of Torah, Gen.–Deut.), tefillin (phylacteries), and mezuzot (Scripture boxes affixed to doorways). In Orthodox circles, only a certified scribe can copy the Torah for a scroll, as well as the Scriptures inside the tefillin and mezuzot.

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RESOURCES

ISRAEL & THE CHURCH:
GOD’s ROAD MAP

REBECCA J. BRIMMER
& BRIDGES FOR PEACE LEADERS

Full color, revised edition introduces the Hebraic roots of Christianity and tells the story of God’s covenant relationship with Israel. Study questions, excellent for small group or personal study.

(288 pages)

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