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A Ray of Hope

Life in Israel

The Story of God’s Deliverance—Pesach

{image_1} Pesach (Passover) is one of three pilgrimage festivals during which all the men of Israel are to come up to Jerusalem. The other two are Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Celebrated on the Hebrew month of Nisan 14–21 (generally in April), Pesach is an eight-day holiday remembering the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt. Unlike most of the biblical feasts, Pesach is celebrated primarily in the home with friends and family, not in a synagogue. At least 98% of Israeli Jews participate, to some degree, in Pesach, celebrating God’s protection and provision. It’s a popular time for Jews from the nations to visit Israel, and many Israeli families take week-long vacations.

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May Those Who Love You Be Secure

{image_1} “Do you ever feel scared over there?” my aunt wanted to know. I was home visiting family I had not seen in a while. Moving from America to Jerusalem had made me a bit of a curiosity to relatives who had, for the most part, stayed close to home. They had a lot of questions mostly about whether or not it was safe to live in Israel.

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Israel Tourism Revisited

By Joshua Spurlock, Correspondent, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio

{image_1} Imagine horseback riding on a mountain, kayaking downriver, relaxing in a spa, and visiting a city that never sleeps—all in one vacation! No it’s not a hectic cross-country trip in the United States or an exotic trip to some far-away island; it’s just a few of a multitude of options a tourist has when visiting Israel. From the lush Golan in the north to the awe-inspiring desert in the south to central, busy Tel Aviv, the modern state of Israel is realizing exactly what God meant when He promised them a good land. Thanks to the relative peace since the end of the Second Intifada terror war, tourists are realizing it too, in record numbers.

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Exodus Passenger Makes Aliyah

{image_1} On July 19, 1947, Frances Greenberg, then 27, and 4,514 other olim (immigrants) aboard the ship Exodus were denied their dream of entering the Land of Israel. On July 22, 2008—61 years and three days later—Frances and 209 other olim achieved that dream on a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight, a new adventure for all of them, and for Frances, coming full circle. Joining her on the aliyah (immigration) were immigrants from across the United States and Canada, who came from a variety of occupational backgrounds, including 23 who are joining the Israel Defense Forces.

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Living in Bible Times

By Cheryl Hauer, International Development Director

{image_1} One of the most common statements uttered by Christians as they explore the Land of Israel is, “It would have been so wonderful to have been here during Bible times.” Their minds are filled with first-century images of quaint villages in the Galilee, the mighty Temple in Jerusalem, and eager crowds gathering to listen as itinerant rabbis preach from hillsides—definitely “Bible times” images. But those images are no more so than the exciting and diverse sights and sounds that are everyday life in this remarkable nation today.

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The Exodus

{image_1}Originally a US packet steamer, the President Warfield made
trips between Virginia and Maryland from 1928 to1942. During WWII, it
served both Britain and America. Afterwards, it was sold to an American
shipwrecking company that served as an agent of the Jewish underground
defense force Haganah and was renamed Exodus 1947 after the biblical
exodus from Egypt.

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Transportation in the Holy City

By Melissa Reagan, BFP Graphic Designer

{image_1} It was about a week and a half after first moving to Israel that my cell phone rang as I was at the Jerusalem Municipality waiting in line to get the water service turned on in my new apartment. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the soft, southern drawl of my former boss back in America. When I explained where I was and what I was doing, she replied, “I’m picturing camels lined up out front…”

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Golda’s Kitchen Cabinet

{image_1}
“When the word ‘greatness’ comes to mind,
Golda Meir comes immediately to the forefront. Her commitment to her
Land and to her people was the paragon of human dedication. Her
complete involvement, tempered with love, fired by fierce devotion,
caused the world to know that she was a true mover of
mountains.” What a great description of Israel’s
fourth prime minister, who was only the third woman in the world to
hold such an office. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime
minister, called her the “only man in the
government”!  

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“Peace, Peace!”  But…There Is No Peace

{image_1}It’s around 8:30 p.m. in Jerusalem on March 6. A group of men in an upstairs classroom at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshivah (religious school) are just finishing evening prayers. The night commences the start of the Jewish month of Adar, the festive month in which Purim is celebrated, the festival that rejoices in the bravery of Queen Esther and the salvation of the Jews from destruction at the hands of their enemy Haman. But unbeknown to the men completing their prayers, an enemy of the Jewish people is walking into the yeshivah, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. The bullets begin firing. The men in the classroom can hear the incessant shots. Jose can see into the study hall below, a separate area from where the shooting was taking place, through a window, as students are running. Jose and the other men turn off the lights, barricade the doors, and lay on the floor.

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The Hurva Rises Again

{image_1}The Hurva Synagogue, in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, was Israel’s largest and central synagogue for 84 years. In 1948, it—along with 28 others—was destroyed by the Jordanians. Now, its famous dome is rising above the city’s skyline to once again become a prominent piece of Jerusalem’s landscape. This house of prayer, as Jewish people call it, has a glorious history that matches its former glorious interior.

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