The Shuk in Jerusalem
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, brothers and sisters IN HIM Who is our Peace and leads us by His Peace, the peace that passes all understanding and that is able to guard our hearts and minds. He IS The Prince of Peace! May He, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, be glorified and blessed, and may you be edified and encouraged.
As you know I was able to return to work quite quickly and His Hand was tremendously evident in the outward healing from the surgery, for which I thank Him wholeheartedly. My absence from work reminded me of the depth of relationships that I have been able to form with the many patients, relationships that I could have never even imagined before this job, which were SO TOTALLY out of the range of any of my natural abilities twenty years ago.
Elana Levi came in and literally ran around the desk to grab and give me a strong, loving hug. What a surprise! Elana is 85 and not a particularly warm person, but over the past twenty years I have gotten to walk with her and her husband Yerimiyahu (Jeremiah) through some very serious events in their lives. I would have never known them aside from this job opening the door for me, neither of them speak a word of English.
“Hooray!! You are back!” she yelled throwing her arms up in the air as she ran toward me. “I prayed for you. We missed you!”
That was voiced over and over and the warmth of the sincerity of the affection flooded me. Shelly Beno, also in her 80s, shoved a bag into my hands containing a lovely blooming cactus. “We missed you,” she smiled. She and her husband are originally from Turkey, and they returned there as Israeli ambassadors for years.
Then there was Tsvia, who brought soup to my home, carrying plates of sweet Kurdish pastry that she had made. “Just something sweet for you.” What expressions of love!
God’s ways and thoughts are so SO NOT mine. His are SO much higher and wiser. I try to ‘\fix and plan and work through my own limited perspective and opinions and interpretations and yet HE WORKS.
Who would have thought that this new immigrant, having almost no Hebrew, 90 pounds at the time, having never worked in a front office, or in the medical profession or with computers, being a hermit by nature, running from stressful situations. For many years not even owning a telephone because of its intrusive qualities, living in rural Alaska for the quiet of it all. That was me twenty years ago!
It’s just a miracle! HIS doing, HIS way, it has NOT been easy but I can only stand amazed and pray, “Get glory for Yourself Lord.”
And so, Mali (whom many of you have prayed for) has left working alongside me and her cousin Kinneret has taken her place as the secretary for Dr. Meshulam. WHAT A STORY KINNERET HAS! Oh yes, I ask for prayer for her. She is a delightful, qualified, kind, gentle young woman.
No one would guess that she has 5 children between the ages of 2 and 16 and that her mother has been permanently institutionalized in a mental hospital since Kinneret was two. With joy she described to me how her loving father raised her alone, an only child, and how happy her childhood was, but when she was just 14, her father had a work accident and broke his neck. Surgery was necessary but it left him totally paralyzed and in a coma for six months.
When he awoke he was moved to rehabilitation for six months, but at 15, Kinneret, who was now living ALONE, attending school daily, doing her homework at the hospital, taking care of herself, was told that she had to find a home for her 49-year old Dad who would not recover. She told me how she visited all of the facilities and thought, “How can my young strong Abba sit all day with these Alzheimer geriatric patients? His mind is so sharp and young…”
But she found him a place where one of the doctors would sit with him, writing the things that he said in books because he was so brilliant and deep. Kinneret loved him and continued doing her homework with him daily. He died suddenly when she was 16 and then she was alone, but not for long. She told me that she married her husband at that time, when she was 16 and that he was a lot older.
It wasn’t until I was thinking about her amazing story that it occurred to me that he was likely her father’s friend. So I asked her and yes, that was the case. I am just getting to know Kinneret, but I KNOW that God put her with me for His purposes. Surely this young woman has had quite a time thus far. Perhaps you will pray for her, Mali’s cousin, and The Lord will open a door for me to share with her. NOT IN MY OWN STRENGTH, BUT IN HIS NOT WITH MY WORDS, BUT WITH HIS?
The people who ride the train and bus with me in the morning are still there. The bus driver greeted me with a warm smile having not seen me for three weeks. Most assume that I was on vacation and that is fine with me. There are three interesting Russian men whom I see most mornings on the train. They form quite an old world trio, sort of stereotypes. They are all in their 60s I would guess.
The one whom I call the conductor is the intellectual. Right out of a Russian movie, this dude is cool! He dresses the part in his levis and corduroy jacket with leather patches on the elbows and sandals, summer and winter. He leads the conversation. He is the lecturer. Of course, I don’t speak Russian, but the tone is always revolutionary and intense. His students carry their lunch in a bag. One dresses conservatively and wears a knitted kippa (a skull cap that is crocheted…each different kind of kippa identifies partially the path of Judaism chosen). He listens skeptically to the professor’s discourse and doesn’t often say “dah” or seem to agree.
The second student is a blue collar worker. He also doesn’t say much but his expressions are openly skeptical. The Conductor’ is never discouraged. He seems to know that he is superior and that it will take much patience for these countrymen to get it. The scene repeats itself daily, just another little window into the varying cultures that surround me.
As I left work on Friday, a car stopped and called me over. Another ex-Russian was inside but one that I love so dearly. Avital Sharansky, the wife of Natan Sharansky. (used to be ‘Anatoli’ when he was a refusnik imprisoned in the Siberian gulag for so many years and I used to pray for him and his wife by name as I picked berries on the tundra of Alaska…what a privilege to now be considered their friends!) Avital is a woman of incredible courage, dignity and amazing compassion. (Avital Sharansky you can see her and read a bit about her by pressing on the link – and Natan Sharansky by pressing on this link)
Currently Natan has been leading The Jewish Agency and has held many important government seats. He is a brilliant, kind, sensitive man. They are our patients. And so I got another hug.
Alas, I wish that all of our encounters were so straight forward and loving. Moshe Ma’iri seems like SUCH a lovely man with an Iranian and Yemenite background. He visits his relatives in the cemetery daily. There are just so many of them there and, well, they are all buried together, and his cousins come too. So they meet there every morning to honor their parents and have a coffee with each other. Why not? It’s good company.
I LIKE Moshe, but he isn’t honest. Compounding the problem, he’s my husband’s landlord for the barber shop that has been my husband’s livelihood and place of social interaction for some 18 years. We did not rent the shop from Moshe, but from his Mother, Malcha (now one of the cemetery residents). Malcha and I became close friends and when she had a stroke she did let me pray for her in Yeshua’s name.
We were still in aliyah crisis when I saw the “for rent” sign on the shop that was to be my husband’s workplace. We called and Malcha who did not speak any English, so she put her son Moshe on the phone. He came along to interpret when we met a few minutes later. I’ll never forget that meeting: The Lord was there!
Although I wasn’t SPEAKING much Hebrew yet, I DID understand what they were saying between one another. We kept our side in English because my husband didn’t speak any Hebrew. Moshe quoted us a price that was too high for us, but before we could say anything, his mother, looking deeply at my husband said in Hebrew, “Lower! They can not pay that,” to us she just kept smiling. He lowered it and she said, “Lower!” again.
I remember Moshe saying, “Ema! We can get much more for the shop!”’
She glared at him. “Moshe, this is a ben adam (a ‘real person…a good person). We give it to them for lower.”
He sighed and we rented the shop.
Corruption charges are rocking the government at the highest levels. YES there are political motives and filthy lies abounding, but there is also corruption, bribes, all of the degradation that tempts those with power and money. I do not know THE TRUTH about all of the allegations. I have my opinions. We will NOT go there. WE WILL PRAY AND PRAYING WE WILL ASK FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE AND TRUTH, NOT as man sees but as God sees.
As I daily read the prophets I shiver to see that these are no ancient books but current events. That is NOT to say there are no just and God fearing in our midst or in our leadership. It is to say that we are flesh and blood and need God’s mercy and the revelation of Who He Is!
In a quick nutshell: what is happening here? There are HOT spots all around us. The fighting in Syria is heated by serious presence of Iran, Russia and the USA. Iran has been building weapons factories for Hisbollah right on our border. Things with Iran ARE HEATING UP!
Turkey is always brooding. Egypt is currently all out in fighting against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, where they have gotten a huge stronghold. From there, they have been wrecking havoc upon Egyptians, particularly the Christians. There have been several deadly tragic terrorist attacks here in our midst, leaving more tears and orphaned children and more cross border attacks from Gaza. More rhetoric…more hate…more more. (and yes, we grieve with the tragic events in your countries as well, shaking so many of you.)
NONETHELESS, HERE I can report: children, even small children, still walk the streets alone in safety and 16 or 18 year olds will celebrate their birthdays with all of the passengers on the bus (with Jewish and Arab alike) by handing out candies or pretzels that we can all bless them.
Below I do have LOCAL news links and a brief description. I ‘bookmark’ these sites and usually check them daily. I hope that these are helpful for you:
ISRAEL HAYOM more right leaning…many excellent bright writers.
YNET NEWS more left leaning (often quite anti govt.) but some up to date articles and insights.
JERUSALEM POST written with an Anglo perspective
TIMES OF ISRAEL well written, again, more left leaning
ARUTZ 7 right leaning, religious
INTERCESSORS FOR ISRAEL this is our IFI site and the news insights are accurate
ISRAEL PRAYER CENTER this is my Pastor’s site. It is not often updated, but worth the read.
Again, I want to thank you for your prayers. Like with many I hear from, there has been a struggle going on. We have an enemy. Currently I am dealing with a new level of deep fatigue that is nearly debilitating, although I set my will against it. HE IS OUR STRENGTH, our wrestling is not against flesh and blood. AND HE IS OUR PEACE.
We are again on our way to Purim and so soon after arrives Passover I send you my love. May we be found abiding in Him, lead forth by His Peace.
your sister J