Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
Greetings, dear body of Messiah, friends, sisters and brothers, greetings with love and prayer for blessing. May you be encouraged and blessed and may THE LORD be glorified and find pleasure in His body.
The intense and long holiday season has come to an abrupt end and we have been plunged into the pressure cooker again. It is an odd feeling to be standing with a tiny country alone against all of the other governments in the world. The lines seem to be drawn more deeply as the days draw short. There are those who do NOT believe in God but in (the god of) humanism. There are those who fight for other gods, (alla being the most obvious right now). And there are those who believe The One True God, who know and walk with His Son, The Lamb. It seems to me that the fact that it is a religious battle has become obvious even to skeptics. Where do we stand in this and HOW do we stand and walk?
My cell phone rang today while I was in prayer. It was a number that might have been important so I answered it. It turned out to be a most strange call.
“Shalom, Shula?’” the voice said.
“No. You must have a wrong number,” I answered.
“Who is this?” she asked.
I don’t know why I answered but I did.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?” she asked.
“I’m really busy now, I’m sorry,” I answered, but when she wanted to call back the following day I asked where she was calling from.
“I am from a yeshiva (learning school) that studies kabala,” she said.
Kabala is Jewish mystical studies. Jewish witchcraft in my understanding of witchcraft. (Feel free to look it up on google. I don’t want to go into it here)
“I fear God and study Torah (The Old Testament) and Neve’em (Prophets). I am not interested in kabala,” I said.
“Oh! We ALSO study Torah,” she continued.
‘Thank you but no, I am not interested.”
I thought the conversation was over, but she asked, “Can I put your name in the cave of the grave of Rabbi Shlomo?”
“No! Do NOT put my name in any grave! I stand before The Living God and I do not want my name in any grave or before any Rabbi.”
I had wished that I could tell her more, but I couldn’t for security reasons as she had my name and phone number. I wanted to tell her that I know The One who WAS dead and in the grave but Who is now ALIVE and owns the keys to death and hell. As usual I could kick myself when these times pass. Why didn’t I say more? But then I realized I was still on my knees and could pray for her. God could also prepare me for such opportunities and teach me HOW to MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN LIVES FOR HIM IN THIS TIME AND AGE.
People are discouraged and many have no hope. The pressure that comes from hearing constant criticism takes a toll. The pressure that comes from trying to explain again and again what should be evident settles like a yoke around the neck. When a 3-month old baby and a 21-year old woman were killed last week by a young Palestinian man who purposefully turned into a crowd standing at a train station, a collective pain went through the nation. The USA termed it “a tragic accident.”
But none of this takes God by surprise and that is so comforting!
The tree in front of our merapeset, with which He comforted me, covering me in His sukka just a short time ago, drops more leaves with every shake of the wind. The deep green is rapidly turning to yellow and brown and I can again see my husband’s shop across the road, no longer obscured by the rich foliage. My flowers are looking old and shivery. Today, as I walked from work to the bus today I took a deep look at the grapevines, fruit trees and abundance of flowering shrubs and they all seemed to be shaking off their summer splendor at once. It happens subtly and yet it seems to happen suddenly.
How the changing seasons reflect His faithfulness AND His character.
Rolling clouds block the sun and chill the air as helicopters circle above, adding sounds and tension to the heightened police presence through out the “city of peace.” The heart of the conflict.
Humorous articles appeared in the press today depicting the difficulty that Hebrew reporters have had finding the translation of the curse words that were spoken by a US administrative official concerning our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which was quoted in a respected American magazine. Curse words are NOT replete in Hebrew so how DO you translate that?
But we need the humor break now and then, as the events of the day/week/month/year have not been funny at all. Following the Gaza war this summer the Hamas leader called upon all Palestinians to take Jerusalem. Since then there have been daily riots, throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails, as well as several murders and attacks.
Last night after speaking at a conference concerning Jews praying on the Temple Mount, which is forbidden for Jews to pray there, the speaker was shot and critically wounded by an Arab gunman who was later killed by police. Simmering tensions boiled over. Today Temple Mount is closed to all.
Temple Mount: (har h’bayit in Hebrew) Mount Moriah − the place where Abraham took Isaac in wonderful obedience to God and then God provided the lamb. The place where the first and second temples were built, where God chose to put His Name, where Jesus, Yeshua, walked, stood, taught, prayed, healed, delivered. So much more can be said about this tiny spot.
Two older men sat near me on the bus, one sat across from me and the other beside me; “Ah! What a mess!” the first one said. “He’s a nudnik! I voted for him and he’s a nudnik!”
He was speaking about our Prime Minister. The heated world rhetoric has grieved, embarrassed and discouraged many Israelis.
“Ah, but look…just a few weeks ago during the war the US was behind us,” the other man replied.
“I don’t know. It’s bad…bad.”
The first one began referring to the prescribed scriptures. “Remember our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Abraham had Isaac AND Ishmael…they were brothers and then Isaac had Jacob and Esau.”
“Yes, they were twins and they struggled and fought in the womb and that is still happening today. We are still fighting with Esau through the Palestinians.”
The other one almost brought me into the conversation when he said “No. Esau is the father of the Christians.”
My eyes flew wide open and I turned to stare at him. Wow! I thought. He sure missed THAT one.
It was time for me to get up and run from the train.
The seasons change. It is in the air, in the colors, in the way people are dressing and walking. As I stood at the train station, an elderly street musician who made aliyah from Siberia began playing our national anthem, ha’tikvah, The Hope. It is a haunting melody and commands my heart and attention and speaks the words of a prayer.
I looked around and wondered if would any stop? Are they thinking as they hear this? Are they praying? It is not often heard in the streets. Some paces slowed a bit, some faces deepened. I have never heard him play it before. It arrested me as I tried to embrace the bigger picture swirling around me. May the hope and the VISION, not die, at least not the part that has been planted by God. May HE water it and dung it and give it the increase 100 fold. Here are the words translated:
English translation of Hatikvah
As long as deep within the heart
A Jewish soul yearns
And toward the edges of the east
An eye to Zion looks
Our hope is not yet lost
The hope of two thousand years
To be a free people in our Land
The Land of Zion and Jerusalem.
It is time to close this letter and get off to bed. I am so thankful for His body and thank you for praying His Heart for this season. God bless and keep you.
your sister in Jerusalem