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What Would Jesus Do?

Friday, September 24, 2021

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Every week, we post 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.

US $1 Billion Funding for Israel’s Iron Dome Up in the Air

by Kate Norman

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Iron Dome battery in southern Israel (illustrative)

Thursday, 23 September 2021 | A member of the US House of Representatives introduced US $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in a separate bill on Wednesday after it was dropped from the government’s spending bill the day before.

Israel found itself in the middle of a political tug-of-war in Congress this week. Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reportedly tacked on the $1 billion in Israeli funding to her spending bill at the last minute in order to entice Republican lawmakers to pass it.

However, not enough Republicans were swayed to vote for the bill, which would raise the budget ceiling and increase government spending, so Pelosi caved into pressure from the progressives to pull the Israeli funding clause from the bill.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy took to Twitter to blast the decision.

“Democrats just pulled funding from the Iron Dome—the missile defense system that has saved countless lives in Israel from Hamas’ rocket attacks,” McCarthy wrote. “While Dems capitulate to the anti-Semitic influence of their radical members, Republicans will always stand with Israel.”

Though a majority of Republicans back Israel, support for the Jewish state is not necessarily a partisan issue. Several Democratic members of Congress, including progressives, voiced their anger over the funding pull.

Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres from New York tweeted his response to the vote: “A missile defense system (i.e. Iron Dome) defends civilians from missiles. Hence the name. Only in a morally inverted universe would this be considered a ‘controversy.’”

New York Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman defended the decision to pull the Israeli funding clause because of its last-minute addition, saying there had been no time to discuss it.

“It’s not about Israel,” Bowman told Bloomberg. “It’s about, once again, leadership throwing something on our table last minute and expecting us to decide in five minutes what to do with it.”

The mixed responses from across the aisle suggest that the pull was not likely an anti-Israel issue, but rather a political tug-of-war over the budget—a bill that Pelosi needs to pass successfully before September 30 to prevent a possible government shutdown.

Nonetheless, Representative Rosa DeLauro, the Democratic leader of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced a separate bill on Wednesday to pull through on the $1 billion funding for the Iron Dome, an issue that has been high on the agenda for discussion between Israeli and American lawmakers.

In fact, Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid just after the vote on Tuesday and “assured him that bill was going to pass this House.”

Lapid in his own statement downplayed Tuesday’s move as a “technical delay” in the funding.

After the volatile 11-day conflict in May in which terrorists in Gaza fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, the Jewish state’s Iron Dome batteries were depleted. According to the Israeli military, the Iron Dome intercepted 90% of the incoming missiles, saving countless lives.

President Joe Biden promised after the conflict to replenish Israel’s supply and renewed that promise during Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to Washington last month.

“The United States’ commitment to the security of our friend and ally Israel is ironclad,” Representative DeLauro said in a statement on Wednesday as she submitted the separate bill. “Replenishing interceptors used to protect Israel from attacks is our legal and moral responsibility.”

“While this funding would ordinarily be included in a year-end spending package,” she added, “we are advancing this legislation now to demonstrate Congress’ bipartisan commitment to Israel’s security as part of a Middle East with lasting peace.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 23, 2021)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the strong support for Israel in the US Congress and pray that it will continue and not be crippled by political maneuvering. Pray also, however, that all Israel will continue to recognize the God of their Fathers as their shield and defender.

Scripture

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.


- Psalm 20:7

Iranian President Bashes Israel, US in First Speech at UN

by Kate Norman

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 | In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi used the platform to attack Israel and the United States.

“Sanctions are the US’ new way of war with the nations of the world,” Raisi said, referring to Washington’s sanctions against the Iranian regime imposed by former US President Donald Trump in 2018 after exiting the 2015 nuclear deal.

Delivering his speech remotely from Tehran, the Iranian president added, “What is seen in our region today proves that not only the hegemonist and the idea of hegemony, but also the project of imposing Westernized identity, have failed miserably.”

“Today, the US does not get to exit Iraq and Afghanistan but is expelled,” Raisi added, alluding to the disastrous American military exit from Afghanistan and the phasing out of its military presence in Iraq.

Sure not to leave the Jewish state out, the Islamist leader derided Israel as “the occupier Zionist regime” and “the organizer of the biggest state terrorism, whose agenda is to slaughter women and children.” This vilification was coming from a man nicknamed “the Butcher of Tehran” due to his role in mass executions in the 1980s.

In fact, while Raisi’s speech was being delivered to the UN, headquartered in New York City, New Yorkers outside were protesting the butcher and his regime over human rights abuses. Trucks bearing the slogan “Stop repression of human rights in Iran” as well as a photo of the president, pointing out that he has been “sanctioned for massive human rights abuses,” circled the area.

Raisi, who has close ties to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, assumed his new position as president in August after what has been derided as a rigged election.

Former President Trump exited the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018. Current President Joe Biden, who was serving as vice president under then-President Barack Obama when the deal was made in 2015, has been working to negotiate a return to the deal since taking office in January.

Multiple rounds of indirect talks have been fruitless—and stalled altogether when Raisi, described as a “hardliner,” took office, as the world stopped to see what the butcher would bring to the negotiating table—or whether he would sit at the table at all.

Iran’s state news agency announced yesterday that the nuclear talks will resume in a few weeks.

In his own address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Biden reiterated that “the United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon,” adding that the US is “prepared to return to full compliance [of the JCPOA] if Iran does the same.”

The president also reiterated “the commitment of the United States to Israel’s security” and Washington’s “support for an independent, Jewish state.”

And after voicing again his administration’s support for a two-state solution, Biden admitted that “we’re a long way from that goal at this moment.”

Israel’s foreign ministry responded to Raisi’s speech with a statement lambasting the “regime of the Iranian ayatollahs” as a “clear and immediate danger to the Middle East and to world peace.”

The Israeli statement pointed out that Iran’s new government, “headed by the ‘butcher of Tehran’ Raisi’” and comprising ministers “suspected of terrorism” who are on “sanctions lists throughout the world,” is “the extremist face of a regime that hurts Iranian citizens for more than 40 years, funds terror and destabilizes the whole Middle East.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 22, 2021)

Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that US President Joe Biden’s statements of support for Israel will indeed be true and will inform the actions of the US government. Pray also that American leaders will realize the folly of their attempts to resurrect the JCPOA and will have the wisdom to recognize the “regime of the Iranian ayatollahs” as a “clear and immediate danger to the Middle East and to world peace,” as stated by Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Scripture

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.


- Proverbs 14:12

Bahrain’s First-ever Ambassador to Israel Presents Credentials to President

by Joshua Spurlock

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The flags of Israel and Bahrain

Monday, 20 September 2021 | The relations between Israel and Bahrain took another significant step forward last week, as the first-ever Bahraini ambassador to Israel presented his credentials to Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Yet even as the focus was on Israel and Bahrain, Iran was still looming in the background.

“At this point in time, as new, credible reports are coming in of Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons capacity, it is more important than ever to be united in our struggle against extremist forces working to undermine stability and peace in our region,” said Herzog on Thursday following the ambassador ceremony.

Herzog, whose comments were part of a joint statement with Bahrain published by Israel, believes the impact of the Israel–Bahrain relationship—made possible by the Abraham Accords peace deal—will go much, much farther than Iran.

“Brave states take brave steps…The growing partnership between our countries is a model for the entire Middle East, and I hope that other states in our region will be inspired by your example,” said Herzog to Bahraini Ambassador Khaled Yusuf Al Jalahma.

For his part, Jalahma called it a “great honor” to be his country’s first ambassador to Israel. “Peace is the strategic choice of the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said Jalahma in the joint statement. “…I am confident that this historic step will lay a solid foundation for relations between our two countries, based on the values of tolerance and coexistence between peoples, beliefs and religions.”

Jalahma sees his personal efforts as part of that broader mission as well. “In my role, and in cooperation with the government of Israel, I shall strive to make our relations constructive and beneficial for both sides,” said Jalahma. “I also expect, on a personal level, to develop relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel in various fields for the benefit of both states and their peoples, for the benefit of mutual assistance and strengthening security, stability and development in our region.”

The ceremony marking Ambassador Jalahma’s service in Israel came the same week as the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords, which were initially signed between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since then, Sudan and Morocco have joined the peace pact with Israel as well.

Marking the momentous anniversary, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in a separate statement published by his office on Friday called the Accords “unprecedented agreements” and “a new chapter in the history of peace in the Middle East.”

Said Bennett, “I would like to thank the leadership of the UAE and of Bahrain for the courage and the daring that enabled the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the American administration, which tirelessly led, supported and mediated the success of this achievement.

“Relations between the countries are only at their beginning and are already bearing [much] fruit.”

Like Bennett, Ambassador Jalahma sees the significance of his work and the Abraham Accords not only in making history, but in offering hope for the new era going forward.

“These are not only brave and historic steps, these are giant steps into a future of peace, security, and prosperity for us all,” Jalahma said in the joint statement. “I am confident that the Abraham Accords will forge a path and inspire all nations to strive for a better, more prosperous and secure world.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Mideast Update on September 19, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: jorono/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the growing relationship between Israel and Bahrain and for the commitment of both nations to peace, security and mutual development in various fields. Pray that Israel will move forward with wisdom as this and other relationships in the region continue to grow and bear fruit.

Scripture

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.


- Proverbs 3:13–14

Playing the Hero: Hezbollah Funnels Iranian Fuel into Lebanon

by Ilse Strauss

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Hezbollah flag

Friday, 17 September 2021 | Israel’s arch foe Hezbollah is attempting to step into a new role: the hero of the Lebanese people. The Lebanese terror group perched on Israel’s northern border yesterday funneled more than a million gallons of illegal Iranian diesel into the country crippled by dire fuel shortages, highlighting the Lebanese government’s failure to provide for the basic needs of its people—and Hezbollah’s ability to step into the gap as national savior.

Lebanon is currently in the grip of one of the worst economic meltdowns in modern history. The Lebanese pound has plummeted to desperate lows, 75% of the population lives in poverty and electricity is restricted to a few hours per day. Petrol and diesel are unheard-of luxuries, which means that generators are simply not an option and desperate motorists spend hours or even days in queues for a rationed amount of precious fuel. Government efforts to alleviate the crisis, switch on the lights and get the fuel flowing again have proven futile. Enter Hezbollah.

Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iranian terror proxy, promised in August to provide Lebanon with the diesel to help alleviate the fuel drought—and then looked to his terror puppet masters in Tehran to make good on that promise. Iran did not disappoint.

Earlier this week, an Iranian fuel tanker—reportedly the first of four—docked at Syria’s Baniyas port. Days later, two convoys of 80 trucks allegedly carrying four million liters (more than one million gallons) of fuel rolled into Lebanon from Syria via an illegal crossing, according to Hezbollah’s Al Manar television. The Iranian fuel will reportedly restock a distribution company owned by Hezbollah that has been sanctioned by the US since February.

Cheering Hezbollah supporters came out to line the streets as the convoy rolled past, hoisting the yellow flag of the terror group high, bobbing to stirring anthems, distributing sweets and happily firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades into the air.

The Iranian fuel provides but a trickle of what fuel-parched Lebanon needs, but in a country crippled by needs that the government seem unable to meet, Hezbollah is making a stellar effort to worm its way into the affections of the Lebanese population.

Israel will undoubtedly keep a close eye on the situation. The Lebanese terror group currently takes one of the top spots on the list of Jerusalem’s most imminent threats—and for good reason. Hezbollah openly hails Israel’s annihilation as its chief aim, possesses an impressive arsenal of sophisticated weapons to achieve the objective and is perched within easy striking distance on the Jewish state’s northern border.

Israel has suffered nearly four decades of Hezbollah terror. The Jewish state and the terror group also faced each other on the battlefield once, and experts agree that a second round is a matter of when, not if. But this time, they say, Israel will face a foe that is more determined, more devious, battle-hardened and armed to the teeth. This round, they warn, will be bloodier, more violent and costlier than anything Israel has experienced in nearly half a century.

Hezbollah functions as a terror army, rather than a terror group. Its fighting force numbers some 45,000, many of whom have gained valuable battlefield experience fighting alongside Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War. Tehran also used war-torn Syria as a supply route to smuggle game-changing weapons to Hezbollah, and the group now boasts an arsenal of 150,000–300,000 precision long- and medium-range rockets, larger than that of all Europe’s armies combined.

Now, the Lebanese government failing to do what it was elected to do may provide Hezbollah with an opportunity to strengthen its hold on Lebanon and take it from terror group to a beloved household name. Whether the Iranian terror proxy will be able to buy the Lebanese population’s loyalty with precious fuel remains to be seen.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 17, 2021)

Photo Credit: upyernoz/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that the people of Lebanon will not be taken in by Hezbollah’s attempts to buy their loyalty. Ask the Lord for a move of His Spirit that would bring relief to the Lebanese rather than the duplicity of a terror organization.

Scripture

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You.


- Psalm 5:9–10

In Major Win for Israel, 31 Countries to Boycott Anti-Semitic UN Conference

by Itamar Eichner

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UN meeting (illustrative)

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 | Thirty-one nations have so far decided to boycott a United Nations meeting marking the 20th anniversary of the Durban World Conference on Racism later this week due to the event’s anti-Semitic nature in the past, marking a major diplomatic win for Israel.

The first conference was held in Durban, South Africa from August 31 through September 8, 2001, and covered several controversial issues, including redress for transatlantic slavery and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

The United States and Israeli delegations withdrew from the event over objections to a draft document equating Zionism with racism.

The conference’s goal was to tackle the issue of racism, but quickly devolved into an openly anti-Israel event, led by Palestinian and boycott groups.

Since then, a follow-up conference has been held at the UN General Assembly every five years. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was invited to speak as a guest of honor in the event’s 2009 edition and called for the destruction of Israel.

Earlier this year, the United States and Israel voted against the approval of the UN budget for 2021 in protest of the organization’s decision to hold the rally at this year’s General Assembly.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism includes general hatred toward Jews, Holocaust denial and “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid led the efforts to boycott the commemorative event, having spoken to dozens of his counterparts around the world. Other Israeli diplomats also took part in the boycott campaign, spearheaded by Israel’s permanent representative to the UN Gilad Erdan.

“Reaching a situation where 31 countries boycott the Durban Conference is proof of a political power that has not been around for a long time, and that…theory that everyone is against us is incorrect,” [Lapid said].

As of Sunday, 20 countries have already officially announced their intentions to boycott the conference, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, France, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, New Zealand, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Eleven other nations have also decided to pull out from the event but have yet to issue an official statement.

Other nations that will take part in the conference, such as Belgium, were convinced to downgrade their delegates participating in the event.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 20, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Marcello Casal JR/ABr/Agência Brasil/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Thank God that 31 nations have determined to boycott the UN meeting being held to mark the anniversary of the Durban World Conference on Racism. Pray that their decision will send a very strong message of support for Israel and against the anti-Semitism that is rampant in some quarters of the UN and also growing globally. Pray that Israel’s position at the UN will be strengthened and attention will be drawn to the need for every nation to take action against anti-Semitism.

Scripture

Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him.


- Psalm 68:1

Bridges for Peace CEO Listed among Top 50 Christian Allies of Israel

by Janet Aslin

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Bridges for Peace International President and CEO Rebecca J. Brimmer

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 | Bridges for Peace International President and CEO Rebecca J. Brimmer was honored by the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), named as one of the top 50 Christian allies of Israel.

For the second year, during the week of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), the IAF has published a list recognizing public Christian figures from around the world who have taken a stand in support of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

The 2021 list is a veritable “Who’s Who” of prominent names, such as former US Vice President Mike Pence and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, as well as others less well-known. It is also a diverse list with the names of pastors, politicians, leaders of Christian organizations, businessmen and even an American sports figure, along with several from the entertainment field.

Rebecca J. Brimmer, the head of Bridges for Peace, an international organization headquartered in Jerusalem, was included in the IAF’s “Top 50 Christian Allies” for the second year in a row. A resident of Israel for more than 30 years, Rebecca joined Bridges for Peace in 1993 and has since used her strong leadership and management skills to elevate Bridges for Peace to its current position of prominence as a strong and committed friend to Israel and the Jewish people.

When asked why she feels so strongly, Brimmer replies, “As a Bible-believing Christian, I love and support Israel because I love and support the God of Israel.”

IAF director Josh Reinstein told the Jewish News Syndicate, “It is only due to Christian political support for Israel, which we refer to as faith-based diplomacy, that Israel enjoys such steady support…It is Christians, not countries, that we can count on to always stand with Israel.”

It is not by chance that the list is published during Sukkot, a significant time for Bible-believing Christians. In prior years, thousands of believers came to Israel to celebrate Sukkot in a foretaste of the prophecy found in Zechariah 14:16, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 22, 2021)

Photo Credit: bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that Israel’s Christian supporters span the globe and run the gamut from entertainers to Christian leaders to many in the highest of political offices. Thank Him for His blessing on Bridges for Peace that has allowed us to build relationships of mutual respect between the Christian world and Israel and for Rebecca J. Brimmer who has led Bridges for Peace with integrity and distinction.

Scripture

You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come.


- Psalm 102:13

Survey Finds nearly Two-thirds of Jewish Students Feel Unsafe, Half Hide Identity

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Thursday, 23 September 2021 | A new survey has found an alarming level of anti-Semitism experienced by Jewish students on college campuses, with students who claim a strong sense of Jewish identity and connection to Israel feeling unsafe and the need to actively hide their identity.

The survey, which polled 1,027 members of the predominately Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) and the leading Jewish sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi), found that nearly 70% of the students surveyed personally experienced or were familiar with an anti-Semitic attack in the past 120 days, with more than 65% of these students feeling unsafe on campus and 1-in-10 fearing physical attack. Furthermore, 50% of students said they have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity.

The poll was conducted between April 14–20 by the Cohen Research Group in conjunction with the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. It was the first to specifically examine rates of anti-Semitism among college students who claim a strong sense of Jewish identity, with more than 60% of the students surveyed belonging to Hillel and nearly half to Chabad on Campus, and more than 80% supportive of Israel and 60% having visited Israel.

The survey noted that campus anti-Semitism is most often experienced through words and offensive statements targeted at Jews as a community, including comments such as Jews are “greedy” or “cheap.” Additionally, it found that Jews have a collective responsibility for Israel’s military actions was “relatively common,” noting that it was conducted before the May 2021 Gaza conflict, which saw a major spike in anti-Semitism across the United States.

“Students are experiencing traditional anti-Semitism in the form of anti-Semitic tropes and a newer form of anti-Semitism as it relates to Israel,” according to the survey. “It is significant that the anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism reported in this survey was experienced before the recent Israel–Gaza hostilities. It is likely that had the survey taken place in May, the number of anti-Semitic incidents relating to Israel would have been higher and the percentage of students expressing fear of being targeted would have been greater than reflected.”

Kenneth L. Marcus, former assistant US secretary of education for civil rights and founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, said the findings ring some “consequential alarms” and more “closely resembling previous dark periods in our history, not the 21st century in the US.”

“They reveal that students for whom being Jewish is a central or important aspect of their identity are feeling increasingly unsafe visibly expressing their Judaism for fear of harassment, social bullying and other anti-Semitic attacks,” he said. “And they expose that increased anti-Semitic acts, which attempt to hold Jews responsible as a collective, for the actions of the Israeli government, are driving more and more students to hide their support for Israel.”

Similarly, Jim Fleischer, CEO of AEPi, called the results “staggering and alarming.”

He said more needs to be done not only to “push back against the rise of anti-Semitism on campuses but to make sure that every Jewish student who wants to express their pride in their heritage or religion can do so without fear of violence or harassment.”

“In 2021, Jewish undergraduates should not have to hide their identity,” said Sharon Raphael, national president of AEPhi. “We are in a time when college students are leading the way in equity and inclusion, Jewish students must be included in that activism.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on September 23, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Andrii Koval/shutterstock/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for an end to anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism on college campuses. Pray for effective educational programs and the enforcement of anti-racist policies, and beseech the Lord that no Jewish student will live in fear of revealing their Jewish identity.

Scripture

Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. Let them be as the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up.


- Psalm 129:5–6

Thousands Attend Priestly Blessing at Western Wall for Sukkot

by Kobi Nachshoni, Gilad Cohen

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Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall (illustrative)

Thursday, 23 September 2021 | Thousands of worshippers flocked to the Western Wall plaza on Wednesday for the traditional two-day priestly blessing prayer held in celebration of Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles].

The ceremony itself is a high-profile event held only twice a year on Sukkot and Passover, during which a group of cohenim (Hebrew priests and descendants of Aaron) recite a prayer from the book of Numbers meant to bless all Israelites.

The priestly blessing has been held at the Western Wall plaza twice a year for over 40 [years] and has been regularly attended by tens of thousands of people, be they religious, secular, Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] or even non-Jewish tourists.

This year, due to the COVID pandemic and restrictions meant to prevent a mass outbreak following the prayer, entry to the Western Wall plaza has been limited to no more than 8,000 people, while the plaza itself has been divided into 15 prayer capsules meant to prevent overcrowding.

Unlike previous years, the cohenim will conduct the prayer on both Wednesday and Thursday in order to allow more people to attend the ceremony and hear the prayer either in person or through a live feed despite the restrictions.

In preparations for the event, the police deployed thousands of officers all around as well as inside Jerusalem’s Old City, where the Western Wall is located, in order to ensure the visitors’ safety.

Entry to the area with private vehicles has also been prohibited—except for local residents. Those wishing to arrive to the Old City can do so via the city’s public transportation, which has been reinforced to facilitate the large amount of visitors expected to reach the site.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 22, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: askii/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this dramatic display of faithfulness to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Pray for the thousands who were in attendance and for others in Israel and around the world who honored the Lord by their participation through for the use of technology. Beseech the Lord for a year of His richest blessings of peace, health and prosperity on all Israel.

Scripture

I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered.


- Psalm 108:3–6a

Israeli Firm Heads for Future Where Buildings Generate Own Electricity

by Janet Aslin

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The Turbo-Gen micro-turbine provides an innovative way to keep the lights burning (illustrative).

Monday, 20 September 2021 | Electricity is one of those silent structural foundations of our lives—we only really notice it when our lights go out, the air conditioning stops and the conveniences we’ve become dependent on are gone. Turbo-Gen, an Israeli firm, has developed a lightweight, high efficiency micro-turbine that operates entirely off the commercial power grid, thus freeing buildings from power outages during heat waves, wind storms or other natural disasters.

The Turbo-Gen micro-turbine is not a generator but rather a CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power) system that works 24/7 to produce all the electricity needed by multi-story office or residential buildings, hospitals and hotels. The current models use natural gas but research and design personnel are working to adapt the design for use with other fuels.

The company’s CEO, Yaron Gilboa, told Israel21c that the micro-turbine design is based on “proprietary jet-propulsion technology developed by [Israel’s] Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.” Extremely efficient, the system can produce energy for five years before needing maintenance.

The micro-turbine comes in two sizes and can be linked together depending on the needs of the building. The smaller unit produces 40KwH while the larger one produces 250KwH of electricity. Unlike many CCHP systems, these micro-turbines are lightweight and can be hauled in the freight elevator rather than requiring a crane to lift it into place.

In addition to its small size and efficiency, the Turbo-Gen system lowers the greenhouse gas emissions of the building by 30%. Currently, office buildings produce 28% of the greenhouse gases that are causing a gradual warming of the earth’s climate.

Gilboa told Israel21c that the company’s first commercial installation is planned for the first half of 2022 in Manhattan. A high density area with many demands on the aging electrical grid, this is a prime location for the product.

The company’s R&D personnel, comprising 80% of the 25-member company, are working toward the ability to charge electric cars on-site as well as adapting the design for use with solar-generated, biogas and hydrogen fuels.

Turbo-Gen has made great strides in the CCHP field since its founding in 2014. This Israeli company is well on the way to fulfilling its vision of becoming a leader in the provision of on-site energy for buildings.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 20, 2021)

Photo Credit: Colin Behrens/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the development of the micro-turbine and the great potential it has for providing safe, clean energy off the power grid, giving millions convenient access to consistent power without outages. Thank Him for blessing Israel with another invention that is being used in turn to bless the nations.“The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 28:8

Scripture

“The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.


- Deuteronomy 28:8