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Caring for the Community

Teaching Letter

CHOSEN—at a Price

{image_1} On the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa stands a magnificent building, the Mount Nelson Hotel, a testimony to South Africa’s bygone era as a British colony. As a child, I remember my awe as I entered the expansive, gloomy foyer where people spoke in hushed voices and glided about noiselessly on thick pile carpets. The focal point in the foyer was a well-lit display cabinet, advertising South Africa’s finest diamond jewelry. The combination of the gloom, the location of the cabinet, and its valuable contents captured almost everyone’s attention. In a sense, it was the “Israel” of the hotel foyer!

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ISRAEL—Whose Land Is It?

“Next year in Jerusalem!” 

{image_1} This has been the heartfelt cry of countless thousands of Jewish people over the centuries. It is recited daily in prayer, spoken out with longing and rejoicing, cried out in adversity, often hidden deep within hearts, and even thought of as an answer to dreams. What or whom has made this statement a reality for so many Jewish people from the time of Abraham to David––when Jerusalem was acknowledged as the capital of Israel in 1000 BC––right up to the past 100 years?

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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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Praying For Israel In Tough Times

Through the centuries, the Jewish people have endured persecution, danger, and death. They have experienced unparalleled pain as a nation throughout the long years of their dispersion. Hundreds of years of persecution culminated in the Holocaust as Hitler and the Nazis systematically attempted to annihilate the Jewish people. Six million Jews were murdered.

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Why Christians Should Study Torah and Talmud

{image_1}Perhaps this title intrigued you, but you aren’t sure why. After all, isn’t Torah (Gen.–Deut.) really something Jewish? And, isn’t the Talmud a set of writings by Jewish rabbis collected two hundred years after Yeshua (Jesus) lived? And if so, why would a Bible-believing Christian care about the insights and comments from Jewish rabbis, scholars, and sages? You may be worried that your Christian friends might think it strange if you began studying Jewish writings, or your Jewish friends might be offended if they learned you were studying “their stuff.” Let me suggest four reasons why the study of Torah and Talmud can be valuable for Bible-believing Christians.

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The Salt Of The Covenant

{image_1}Every Friday night, I enjoy a Shabbat (Sabbath) meal with Jewish friends in my neighbourhood. It is the highlight of my week.

The Elements of
 a Shabbat Meal
{image_2} Wine symbolizing Joy
{image_3} Challa (braided bread) symbolizing the double provision of manna
{image_4} The lighting of the candles  to remember and observe the Sabbath

When I first experienced a Shabbat meal, while in America, I learned about the symbolism of each part of the meal: the two candles, symbolic of the commands to both remember (Exod. 20:8) and observe (Deut. 5:12) the Shabbat; the wine, the joy of Shabbat; the two loaves of challah (Shabbat braided bread) reminded Jews of God’s double provision of manna in the wilderness on Shabbat (Exod.16:22); the table, a picture of the Temple’s altar; and the father officiating as the priest of the home.

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Yeshua and the Parables

{image_1}Everyone loves a great story! Although we often think of storytelling in terms of its educational and entertainment value for children, the ability to tell and to comprehend a good yarn has served teachers and parents, pastors and preachers, psychiatrists and bartenders very well throughout the ages.

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Bearing Fruit in God’s Kingdom


Throughout the Bible, God uses simple, everyday illustrations to communicate spiritual truth. Frequently these illustrations are taken from the agrarian lifestyle common in biblical times. These teachings were meant to bring clarity and insight to the readers in an easy-to-understand manner. Unfortunately, we live 2,000 years after the events of the Bible, and most of us are not involved in growing our own food. Even if we are farmers, the methods have changed dramatically over the centuries. We read Scripture through our own cultural eyeglasses, and often miss truths because we simply don’t understand the illustrations.

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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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