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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 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Never Again: Israel Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018 

by Ilse Strauss

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Vehicles at a standstill alongside the ancient walls of Jerusalem’s Old City as drivers honor the memory of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Thursday, 12 April 2018 | Sundown last night in Israel ushered in Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The day marks 24 hours dedicated to remembering those who were wrenched away by a fanatic regime determined to exterminate every trace of Jewish life from the face of the earth.

More than 70 years ago, the Nazis and their collaborators set about their mission with fervent zeal and meticulous efficiency. Within a decade, European Jewry had all but disappeared. Collected from urban and rural homes, they were swept into the yawning voids of concentration camps, crematoriums and mass graves. Six million Jews were murdered. Millions more emerged from a living hell to find every shred of their previous lives erased.

The figures are staggering; the timeframe in which they were tallied up ridiculously short. But more than anything, the Holocaust brings with it an overwhelming sense of loss. It is a gaping hole where an entire generation of mothers, fathers, siblings, families and friends should have been. So, as the sun set over the Jewish homeland last night, Israel mourned a generation of loved ones who were lost.

On the eve of Yom HaShoah, sorrow and reverence wrap like a blanket around the hearts of Israel. A hush descends over the usually vibrant city streets as movie theaters, bars and restaurants lock up early. Flags hang half-mast. Israeli radio and television stations take a break from their customary entertainment offerings to make way for shows and songs that help keep the memory alive.

Then, at 9:50 a.m. this morning, all activity in Israel ground to a halt. The throng of cars speeding along the main highways slowed to a crawl. One by one, they pulled over to the side of the road. Car doors opened and drivers poured out to stand waiting on now- deserted lanes. On every street in every city, from houses and schools and office buildings, Israelis stood to mourn those they lost.

Those who stood in the silent vigil are those who survived. Many are the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. This has been the tradition in Israel for some 60 years: to stop, to stand, to look up or out at what has been built, while remembering those who were destroyed.

The air raid siren screamed at exactly 10:00 a.m. For two minutes time stopped as all of Israel mourned the shrill horror of their history. It is a loss that resonates in the heart of every Jew because every Jew has been touched by the terrible past in some way.

But the legacy of 6 million murdered, the inheritance left by this lost generation, is not death or defeat. The legacy passed on to those who survived, to those who came after and lived, is life. It is a legacy of life infused with resolve, fierce joy and grim determination. Woven into the very fabric of Israel today is the knowledge that the Holocaust was one episode—one horrific episode—in a series of similar events. The Nazis were not the first to attempt to wipe out Jews from the face of the earth. Moreover, judging from repeated calls by the likes of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic State and rising tides of European anti-Semitism, sentiments like those that drove the Nazis are anything but gone.

That is where the motto, “Never Again”, comes from. It is a pledge pouring from the heart of every Israeli, uttered with resolve and grim determination.

It is that responsibility that echoes in the words of Israeli Air Force [IAF] pilots who flew over Auschwitz on the 60th anniversary of its liberation, “We, the pilots of the IAF, flying in the skies above this camp of horrors, arose from the ashes of the millions of victims, and shoulder their muted cries, salute their courage and promise to be the shield of the Jewish people and its land—Israel.”

On this solemn day of remembrance and yearning, the people of Israel stand strong in the knowledge that the Jewish people survived. Again. Despite the attempts of fanatic regimes to exterminate every last trace of the Jewish people from the earth, they have survived. Despite the Nazi’s fervent zeal and meticulous efficiency, they have survived.

Am Yisrael Chai! Let it be known across the earth and for all time: even while air raid sirens wail and Jews stand still to mourn, the people of Israel live.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 April 2018)

Photo Credit: Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Lift up the entire Jewish population across the globe as their hearts are torn with sad memories and they face the brutal history that still has an impact on their lives today. Give thanks to the Lord that in the wake of anti-Semitism, they can embrace God’s goodness, celebrate life and enjoy a bright future in their own homeland, Israel.

Scripture

And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.


- Job 11:17-18 ESV

IDF Hits Hamas Target, Terror Group Hits Israeli Home in Return Fire  

by Yoav Zitun, Elior Levy and Matan Tzuri

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Israeli fighter jet (illustrative)

Thursday, 12 April 2018 | Israeli fighter jets attacked overnight Wednesday a Hamas terror position in the northern Gaza Strip in retaliation for an explosive device that detonated Wednesday morning near an IDF [Israel Defense Forces] force on the border.

After the attack, a terror cell in the Strip fired bullets at the aircraft, triggering two Code Red alert sirens in Israeli towns neighboring the northern sector of the Hamas-ruled enclave.

One bullet fired from the Strip hit the roof of a home in an Israeli community. No one was hurt in the incident.

The device that detonated in the early hours of Wednesday, which was planted east of Sujjaiya near the Karni Crossing, was the latest in a string of similar incidents as tensions have escalated in recent weeks on the Gaza border. No one was injured in the bombing.

The Israel Air Force (IAF) again responded to the gunfire, killing Mohamed Hajila, a Hamas military operative, and seriously wounding another.

The IDF later confirmed that it had carried out the attack against a Hamas military compound.

“After the IDF attack in the Gaza Strip, a cell of terrorists fired at the jets which did not hit or cause damage. The gunfire activated Code Red sirens,” an IDF statement said two hours after the sirens blared in the region.

“The IDF, using aircraft, attacked the cell. The IDF sees the Hamas terror group as being responsible for all terror activities emanating from the Gaza Strip, and will act firmly against any attempt to carry out terror attacks against the citizens of Israel or IDF forces acting to defend them,” the statement continued.

The first Code Red siren was sounded at 1:33 a.m., followed by the second at 1:36 a.m. in the Negev and Sdot Negev Regional Councils, an hour after Palestinian reports surfaced about the IAF attack.

Over recent weeks, Hamas has attempted to shoot down Israeli drones using heavy gunfire.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 12 April 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/facebook.com

Prayer Focus
Bring the people of Israel living near the Gaza Strip to the Lord, asking Him to protect them and grant them peace when the sirens sound. Pray for the healing of the long term psychological effects that these attacks have on the nation. Remember the IDF that protects Israel at all times and at all costs.

Scripture

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.


- Psalm 34:15-18

Israel Allegedly Strikes Iranian Drone Base in Syria 

by Yoav Zitun

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The type of drone Iran launched from Syria into Israeli airspace in February  (illustrative).

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 | The target of an airstrike early Monday at the T-4 airbase in Syria was apparently an Iranian drone base.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said at least 14 people were killed in Sunday’s raid, including four Iranian “military advisers.”

While Russia, the United States, Syria and Iran have all attributed the strike to Israel, Jerusalem has neither confirmed nor denied it.

The T-4 complex in the eastern Homs province, 60 km. [37 mi.] east of Palmyra, has recently been used by Iranian-backed militias fighting in Syria. It was built at a strategic location, close to Syrian gas fields, and was under ISIS control until the Syrian army, with backing from Russian forces, reclaimed it.

Two months ago, an Iranian drone coming out of the T-4 base was shot down by Israel. During a retaliatory IAF [Israeli Air Force] strike on the drone’s point of origin in Syria, one Israeli F-16 was shot down by Syrian aerial defense. Israel struck back with a larger scale attack, hitting 12 targets in Syria. It is likely the Iranians have been working to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed in the Israeli attack.

Earlier Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency named the four killed Iranian military as Seyed Ammar Moussavi, Medi Lotfi Niyasar, Akbar Zawwar Jannati and Mehdi Dehqan Yazdeli.

Yazdeli was reportedly a member of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, a division that operates drones, which further strengthens the assertion Iran’s drones array in Syria was the target.

Syria initially accused the US of carrying out the strike in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack Saturday in Douma, which was attributed to the Syrian regime. Washington denied the charges, and later confirmed Israel was behind the attack, and that the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] informed the Americans of its intentions beforehand.

Russia too accused Israel of carrying out the airstrike, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying the air strike “was a dangerous development.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 09 April 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Truthdowser/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for peace and safety of those living in northern Israel as every incident adds fuel to the fire. Ask God to guide the leaders of Israel and the IDF in their words and deeds. Give thanks for the soldiers who are putting their lives at risk for others, serving their nation every day.

Scripture

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.


- Isaiah 41:10

Prominent Iranian Cleric: Hezbollah Will “Turn Haifa and Tel Aviv into Ghost-Towns”

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Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 | A prominent Iranian cleric said last week that Hezbollah, the terrorist organization that exercises complete political and military control over Lebanon, will “turn Haifa and Tel Aviv into ghost-towns,” The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, who made the threat in his Friday sermon, is a senior member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts and was referring to Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal that includes missiles with a range of 70 km. (43 mi.).

“You’ve tried your chances twice and failed,” Khatami said, referring to Israel’s wars fought against Hezbollah in 1982 and 2006. “Despite the fact that Hezbollah is stronger today than ever, if you want Tel Aviv and Haifa razed to the ground, try your chances again.”

Khatami’s threat on behalf of Hezbollah was in response to an assessment by the head of IDF [Israel Defense Forces] operations, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, in February that Israel faced an increased likelihood of war this year. Allon told Army Radio at the time that “this year has the potential for escalation, and not necessarily because either side wants to initiate it, but because of a gradual deterioration. This has led us to raise the level of preparedness.”

Referring to Hamas’s so-called Great March of Return, Khatami said of Israel, “”The Zionists can only be answered with the language of resistance and force.”

The cleric also referred to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s repeated prediction that Israel will be destroyed within 25 years, saying, “Perhaps it is God’s will that, with all the madness they are causing, [Israel] will be destroyed even before.”

Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah threatened two years ago to attack now-closed ammonia storage tanks in Haifa, saying that striking the tanks would create “a nuclear bomb effect.”

A few months later Nasrallah said, “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 10 April 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Mostafameraji/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray protection over the airspace of Israel, especially over Haifa and Tel Aviv, and declare that threats and actions of the enemy shall be met by the God of Israel with miracles to protect His chosen ones. Give thanks for all those who serve in the security forces and for their ability to protect the nation in more ways than we can ever imagine.

Scripture

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things!


- Psalm 72:18

Israel Thwarts Major Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terror Plot

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Israeli Navy patrol boat in the Mediterranean (illustrative)

Monday, 09 April 2018 | The Israeli navy thwarted an attempt by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Gaza-based terror group that is backed by Iran, to carry out a “major” terror attack, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

The incident took place last month, when the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] boarded a fishing boat that had gone beyond the distance it was allowed to travel from Gaza. The IDF arrested ten Palestinians and took them into custody.

During interrogation, one of those arrested, Amin Sa’adi Muhammad Jum’a, the alleged ringleader, confessed that the boat was part of a plot to lure an Israeli patrol boat into an attack. The goal was to get an Israeli boat to approach the first boat, after which a second boat would fire a Kornet missile at it. The terrorists would then board the Israeli vessel to kidnap sailors who survived the initial attack.

According to the Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization], Jum’a had been collecting intelligence for PIJ for a while in preparation for the attack.

“I praise the IDF and the ISA [Israel Security Agency] for thwarting the terrorist attack at sea planned by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. The security forces will operate on every front to protect the State of Israel and its citizens,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. He continued, “This is proof of the true intentions of the terror organizations in Gaza which are trying to camouflage their murderous intentions by organizing provocations on the security fence, the goal of which is to provide cover for terrorists to carry out acts of terrorism against Israel.”

This is the latest attempt by PIJ to attack Israel. Members of PIJ were killed, along with members of Hamas, in October when Israel destroyed a terror tunnel that was being built into Israel. According to the IDF the terror group also launched mortars into Israel late last year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last year that Israel would hold Hamas responsible for any terror attack launched from Gaza given the terror group’s complete military control over the territory.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 04 April 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord for the work of the IDF and ISA that thwarted a major terror attack at sea. Continue to lift up all the IDF units, praying for God’s guidance, for wisdom to protect themselves and the nation and ask Him to expose all the enemies’ plans and threats.

Scripture

Now the LORD gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings.


- Jeremiah 11:18

Palestinians Defy Taylor Force Act, Reiterate Commitment to “Pay to Slay” with New Budget

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US Army veteran Taylor Force was stabbed to death in Israel two years ago by a Palestinian terrorist.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 | Last month, the United States enacted the Taylor Force Act, which will deduct the amount the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays to terrorists and their families from the amount of US financial aid to the PA. Within days, the PA passed a new budget that allocated millions to pay terrorists and their families.

The PA’s response to the passage of the Taylor Force Act is emblematic of an ongoing dynamic. The US calls for an end to Palestinian support for violence and the PA then refuses to comply.

In 2002, the Israeli navy intercepted the Karine A, a weapons-laden ship, in the Red Sea on its way to the PA from Iran. The capture of the ship and the intelligence gleaned from it by Israel forced the US to go “from viewing Arafat as an eccentric but necessary peace proponent, to viewing him as the heart of the terror problem.”

In a speech given a few months later, then-President George W. Bush called on the Palestinians to elect “leaders not compromised by terror.”

“Today, Palestinian authorities are encouraging, not opposing, terrorism. This is unacceptable. And the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure,” Bush said.

Later he added, “To be counted on the side of peace, nations must act. Every leader actually committed to peace will end incitement to violence in official media, and publicly denounce homicide bombings.” And he called on leaders committed to “stop the flow of money” to terrorists.

The US reaction to the Karine A incident led to the sidelining of Yasser Arafat as the Palestinian leader and his replacement by Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected to a four-year term as president in January 2005.

While Abbas hasn’t been implicated in directing terror against Israel the way Arafat has, his record as PA president has shown that he has continued incitement to violence and has ensured that his government has continued the flow of money to terrorists as incentives.

Two years ago, when US Army veteran Taylor Force was stabbed to death in Israel, then US Vice President Joe Biden, in a rebuke to Abbas, said that the US “condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts.” Even after meeting Biden, Abbas refused to condemn the terror attack. Abbas’s refusal to accede to Biden’s demand came in the wake of an official social media post by Fatah, the political party headed by Abbas, that called Force’s murderer a “heroic martyr.”

Following his inauguration as president, Donald Trump has been very vocal in demanding that Abbas and the PA stop encouraging terror.

In May of last year, Trump met with Abbas twice and directly conveyed this message to him.

Trump told Abbas that “no lasting peace” can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians “unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence.” And a few weeks later, when they met in Bethlehem, Trump said during a joint appearance, “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”

The Trump administration has taken notice.

In a conference call organized by The Israel Project this past September, former Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams said that Abbas’s rhetoric during last summer’s riots over the Temple Mount inflamed, rather than calmed the crisis, and that his behavior “really changed their [the Trump administration’s] opinion of him.”

The budgeting of millions to pay terrorists and their families continues a practice that incentivizes terror. Coming at a time when the US, with bipartisan legislation, had just signaled that it would not tolerate the encouragement of terror, Abbas’s and the PA’s defiance is astounding.

The US is insisting that Abbas and his government live peaceably with Israel, which should be a minimum requirement for coexistence. And yet Abbas continues to say “no,” to this reasonable demand.

If there’s no Palestinian-Israeli peace, Abbas’s refusal to stop encouraging and incentivizing terror is a primary reason for that.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 06 April 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: www/mfa.gov.il

Prayer Focus
Cry out for God’s mighty hand to intervene in this situation of Abbas and his team that blatantly refuse to halt financial incentives for killing Jews. Ask God for favor as PM Netanyahu is laboring in the nations to gain support, teach the truth and beseech God for nations (including your own!) to wake up to the reality of terrorism that affects the world. Give thanks for President Trump’s willingness to spearhead this fight and support Israel.

Scripture

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.


- Genesis 12:2-3

Saudi Crown Prince: Israelis Have Right to “Their Own Land”

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud

Monday, 09 April 2018 | Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, said Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg published on Monday in The Atlantic magazine. His comments mark another public sign of the growing relationship between the kingdom and the Jewish state.

Reuters reported that when asked if the Israelis have a right to a nation state in their ancient homeland, the crown prince replied: “I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.” He added that “we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”

Saudi Arabia, the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, does not recognize the State of Israel and the two countries maintain no official diplomatic ties. However, Iran’s rising power in the region—spanning from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen—have led to shared interests that push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together against what they perceive as a common Iranian threat.

Prince Mohammed is currently touring the United States to garner support for his efforts to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East. “There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries,” Prince Mohammed stated.

Last month, the kingdom opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel with the inauguration of an Air India route between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. Flight 139 landed at Ben Gurion Airport after a seven-and-a-half hour journey, marking a historic shift for Riyadh.

While Saudi Arabia opposed the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Arab officials said at the time that the kingdom is on board with the broader US strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

In November, an Israeli cabinet member disclosed covert contacts between Saudi Arabia and Israel, a rare acknowledgment of long-rumored secret relationship which Riyadh still denies.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 03 April 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public domain/wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for what He is doing in the Middle East amid tension and continuous activity of terror organizations against Israel. Cover this relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia with protection, asking for God’s will and His guidance to light the way forward. Pray that Arab officials will strongly oppose Iran’s threat and join hands with Israel.

Scripture

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You. Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; in You I take shelter.


- Psalm 143:8-9

Students Discover Lamps from Talmudic Period, Testifying to an Ancient Jewish Community in Samaria

by Itay Blumenthal

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Ancient clay oil lamp (illustrative)

Thursday, 12 April 2018 | Elementary school children from the Samaria region of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] have made an exciting discovery during archaeological excavations next to the Barkan industrial zone, finding oil lamps made of clay from the Talmudic period, an indication that a Jewish community lived there over 1,500 years ago.

The excavations were carried out as part of an educational project that aims to connect today’s youth to Israel’s legacy and history.

“During the excavations we found two clay oil lamps with decorations and protrusions that were made as they were casted,” explained archaeologist Ahiya Cohen-Tavor, who’s collaborating on this dig with Ariel University.

“These kinds of lamps teach us a lot about the local population, since as night came, all family members would gather around them,” he added.

In addition to the decorations, the potter’s fingerprints were also found on the lamps, as the clay was fresh when the decorations were imprinted.

“This is delicate pottery made by artists, and in addition to its practical use, it also had a decorative use, since the lamp was placed in the center of the house. This comes to prove that during the Talmudic period, this place was inhabited.”

Students “very excited” with find

Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, visited the excavation site. “The decision to support the school in its goal to teach the students history through their hands and feet turned out to be a wise decision that bonds the students to the land and its roots. This shows the long-lasting bond between the Jewish nation and the Samaria region, a thousand-year-old bond to our land. If anyone wants to find our connection to this place, he can just start digging into the ground,” he said.

Yoav Mustaki, Daniel Ben-Ami and Ido Haim, three of the students who uncovered the lamps, talked about how excited they had been by the discovery.

“It wasn’t a given that I would dig and find something from 1,500 years ago,” said Mustaki. “I imagined a family living a life different from ours with no light or electricity; I imagined the kids and how they must have felt in the darkness. It was very exciting.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 08 April 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Prayer Focus
Rejoice as lamp artifacts reveal the truth of history—that Jewish communities indeed existed in Judea and Samaria millennia ago. Give thanks to the Lord for new discoveries that are still found 2,000 years later, perfectly preserved. Also thank God for Israel’s effort to teach children in a very real way about their history and ask God to guard the many other jewels awaiting discovery.

Scripture

See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give to them and their descendants after them.


- Deuteronomy 1:8

Netanyahu Meets IDF Orphans, Shares Pain about Fallen Brother

by Moran Azulay

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to a young girl’s personal story of loss at a memorial for fallen IDF soldiers.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Sunday with bereaved siblings and orphans of fallen IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers ahead of Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism.

During the meeting, organized by Yad LeBanim and IDF Orphans and Widows organizations, Netanyahu listened to the children’s personal stories of loss and shared his feelings about the loss of his brother Yoni, a commando who was killed during the Entebbe Operation to rescue Israeli hostages in 1976.

Mai Goldmacher, who lost her brother Nadav during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, shared a letter she wrote to her brother: “It is true that you are no longer here with us physically, but in my heart and dreams you exist.”

The prime minister told her, “That is the secret, they continue living within us. My brother continues to live within me just as you described.”

Talking about his brother Yoni, Netanyahu said, “I was a little bit older (than you are now) when my brother fell, I was 27. There were many letters he wrote to people, they were given to us and we turned them into a book. That was mainly what we did for the first year. It really helped me, it gave me something to do.”

“Therefore, your activities are important, not just in your studies and otherwise, but also activities related to this. The fact you partake in activities related to grief is not a bad thing, it is fine, it really helped me,” Netanyahu added.

“You know the enormity of the loss, so you can also appreciate life. I will tell you something that sounds strange, but each and every one of you will be able to overcome many problems in life because you will persevere,” the prime minister concluded.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 09 April 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/GPO/Benjamin Netanyahu/facebook.com

Prayer Focus
Ask God to comfort these widows and orphans who lost their loved ones due to terror attacks. Thank God for organizations like Bridges for Peace who support programs to help them overcome their loss and deal with the frightening reality of terror within a community that understands. Ask God to bless PM Netanyahu who encouraged them with hope by sharing his own personal story.

Scripture

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.


- Psalm 147:3

Action
Bridges for Peace is actively involved in comforting Israelis whose lives have been touched by acts of terror. Please consider a donation to our Victims of War fund today so that we can do even more.

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