Category Archives: Jerusalem

Inside Israel

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 —

“Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest.  And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.  You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month.  You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ” So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.(Leviticus 23:39-44)

Greetings AGAIN, dear brothers and sisters.

May The Lord be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed and encouraged, even though you did not expect to hear from me YET AGAIN during this cycle of fall feasts.

But today is ‘Simchat Torah’ and  the singing and dancing around the Torah scrolls that we watched from our merepesset (balcony) this morning  (because the singing and dancing was in the square across the street, outside) brought joy to my heart. Perhaps I can speak words of joy and we can provoke one another to seek more of Him.  The songs calling for Messiah to come still ring in my ears.  HE IS coming AGAIN!

Reasons that I’m writing again:

Last night I spoke with a friend in New York, the one friend that I am still in contact with since high school.  What a story, but no I won’t tell it.  Suffice it to say that after I met Him and after she was in the Moonie cult for many years, she gave her heart to Him.  When we spoke last night, she reminded me that they had been with us during the fall feasts a number of years ago, while I was finishing up radiation treatments.

I had forgotten, but she had not, and she told me how it had changed her forever, sitting in our sukkah with various people, both His and those not yet His. And also watching the march of the nations, the believers from all over the world singing and dancing through the streets blessing the people. And then, Simchat Torah where men and women dressed in white lifted the Torah scrolls in the air and danced through the streets singing.

She, like me, being raised Jewish in New York City, had not witnessed this type of joy growing up, and it branded her forever.

That came on top of another sister telling me that she had gone to the parade and witnessed it first hand and experienced the wonder that I had described in the past. The hearts of the locals lining the road being lifted higher and higher on the blessings of the believers from around the world, marching in colorful costumes of their countries through the streets.

Interestingly, this takes place at the same time the UN General Assembly is meets yearly, bearing “civilized witness” to the curses of the nations against Israel.  One is cursing by throwing accusing lies and here are the believers, standing on the Eternal Word of God and casting blessings before them.  It IS truly a wonder, an exchange that happens which only He could initiate.

So, even though I participated in far less ‘activity’ this year, even though I was neither at the parade, nor did we have our own sukkah. But here it is again, Simchat Torah, and I could only write one more time!

On Friday night (Erev Shabbat – the festive evening dinner of Shabbat), we were invited to the sukkah of dear friends where we were blessed with the richest of fellowship. One of the many edifying things that happened was that we spoke briefly about dates. The setting of dates and debate about dates and our brother said simply, “I always felt that if a date was really important for us to know that The Lord would have put it into the Bible.” 

My thoughts jumped back more than 40 years to a “hippie” Bible Study that I was attending.  Everyone there was a new believer from the streets we were studying the book of Job.  One fellow, not yet a believer, kept interrupting and asking about dinosaurs.  The man leading the Bible Study wisely (and with authority) turned to him suddenly and said, “If The Lord had thought that they were important …He would have put them in The Bible!”

That silenced the young man who was seeking to sow discord and unbelief into the group of very young sprouts, but instead,  the wisdom of the statement sent deep roots into my heart which I have never forgotten.

And The Lord HAS set dates in His Word.

Not always the ones that we have focused on, but dates were given: “you SHALL do this and you SHALL do that.” It is really a wonder to know the dates that He has set – the holidays and the Shabbat – they are still observed.

That brings us to Simchat Torah.

As you can see in the scripture above, the Lord (through Moses) told us that Sukkot would last for SEVEN days. ThenHe adds:  AND ON THE EIGHTH DAY (you shall have) a SABBATH REST!”

EVERY year there is a bit of a belegan (confusion) among the entire population of Jerusalem as to WHAT day is the last day we eat in the sukkah? Is it Sunday or is it Monday?  Even some of our calendars have it wrong.

So, WHERE DID SIMCHAT TORAH COME FROM?

I decided to do some research.

I found out that the body of information is huge and extremely varied.

SOMETIMES, we are “The people of The Book” but SOMETIMES we are “the people of TRADITIONS.”

We are ALL familiar with Matthew 15:2-6 –

“Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,“Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?For God commanded, saying,‘Honor your father and your mother’; and,‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother,“Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his fatheror mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.”

Thankfully, I really don’t think that this tradition transgresses the commandment of God.  Sometimes our traditions enhance or illustrate The Truth of His Word and Who He Is.  GENERALLY I think that is the original purpose and source of most traditions. But when they go wrong and make the commandment of no effect, it can be hard to let go.  But this is another subject.

AS IT STANDS TODAY: You know that Jews read the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) according to a yearly cycle set out with weekly portions. Many, but not all, also read a portion of the Prophets at the same time (h’ftorah).

It is in prescribed sections and was established during the dispersion to keep the Jewish body unified although we were scattered around the world.  The rabbinic council in Babylon wielded the most authority and much of Orthodox modern Rabbinical Judaism is derived from the interpretations of the leaders from Babylon.  Indeed, the Babylonian Talmud, the Mishna and Kabala all claim origins from the sages in Babylon (don’t forget, Daniel was there, Ezekiel and many of the other prophets and wise men were looking for a way to keep the Jews in the dispersion from scattering and embracing paganism).

Back to Simchat Torah.

Last night, the yearly cycle of reading ended with the last chapter of Deuteronomy.  People stayed up through the night reading and welcoming the morning with Genesis 1:1, as the cycle has begun again. We have been given The Torah and in it we will rejoice!

According to the sources that I perused, Simchat Torah began to look something like it does now somewhere between the 7th century and the 16th century. That’s a LOT of years.  Here in Jerusalem, I have found that the holidays change color year after year, perhaps just a tiny shade, but the traditions expand and contract.  That should not take me by surprise because The Word IS Alive and Living and HE IS THE WORD and ONE DAY HE SHALL BE RECOGNIZED AS THE WORD MADE FLESH.  We shall TRULY rejoice and worship The One Who IS and WAS and ALWAYS WILL BE THE WORD!

TOTALLY ASIDE BUT CAN’T BE IGNORED:  One last thought and NOT about Simchat Torah.  I saw (and perhaps you did too) a video taken on a cell phone of the approaching tsunami in Indonesia and the vain cries of the man taking the video to the people on the street below to take cover in the building.  He could see the tsunami and they could not.  His cries were mostly unheard or unheeded and he broke into pathetic tears as the people below were swept away as he watched. I wept with him and could only think: “This is exactly how I feel as a believer here! I see the approaching tsunami but who will hear?”

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR THIS PEOPLE…THIS LAND…MY RELATIVES AFTER THE FLESH AND FOR HIS OWN REASONS…IN THE HEART OF GOD.  THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR HIS PURPOSES…FOR HIS GLORY ALONE.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Yeshua,

I greet you AGAIN in His Precious Name and for His glory Alone.  May you be blessed and encouraged and may HE be glorified, magnified and BLESSED.

So quickly, again, running together, the quiet overtakes the noise. Runningis the word that comes to mind for me because in less than an hour begins the last of the three Fall Feasts, and, yes, they RUN on the heels of one another.  Sukkot, known to most of the Church as the Feast of Tabernacles, is here in 45 more minutes.

The commands for Sukkot, to me, are quite beautiful.

” ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a Sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a Sabbath-rest.  And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:39-44)

 and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.  Not a hard command to keep…what a GIFT!

I have enjoyed the many lessons that He has taught me sitting in the booth, the little sukka built outside our rented apartment, with a rug on the earth and pieces of gaily decorated material for the walls. Palm branches form the roof, through which we can see the stars.  I enjoyed decorating ours with mostly live fruit from the shuk, nearby trees, and a huge assortment of flowers and branches cut around the neighborhood. Scriptures pinned to the curtained walls in Hebrew and English.

We put a table inside and chairs and pillows and have invited many guests over the years. Both those who know Him and those who don’t yet. I have prayed that it would be a testimony to Him and a place where He would be spoken of and glorified, and it has been.

Alas, this is the first year that I have nothing even resembling a sukkah set up.  Since we moved to this apartment up two flights I have struggled to decorate our inappropriate merepesset (sort of balcony), but this year even that little bit didn’t happen. I find transitions sad.

The sun is setting so I am off to my daughter’s family sukkah 2 blocks away and I will continue this letter soon. Well, it IS a seven-day holiday.

 

Good morning to you all or ‘chag semaech!’ (joyful holyday).  I love waking early on these silent mornings and spending the richest of times with Him as the sun begins to rise and the early birds begin their songs.

At our feast that we shared last night in the sukkah of our daughter’s family, we spoke to our little granddaughters of the things of God that their young hearts could understand. How HE made the stars and HE made us and HE is big enough to take care of all. The stars, the birds, the cat trying to get the chicken on the barbeque and us.  Maya, age 4, sang a Sukkot song for us in Hebrew that she learned at her gan (pre-school) and I prayed that He Who reveals Himself in such perfect ways will reveal Himself to them.

I believe that these HOLYDAYS that HE has given us are for reasons far deeper than we begin to understand. So, I like to ask The Holy Spirit to help me remember the Sukkots since we have been here, over the past 24 years. He has taught me so many layers of lessons, each a bursting revelation on my mind.  I think of the night during the last intifada, when so much blood was being spilled in the streets, such a traumatic, unsettled time. And yet, there we were.  STOP!  BUILD LITTLE BOOTHS!  SIT IN THEM! Flimsy, little temporary dwellings and we did.

I remember looking up at the sky through the branches of my palm-roof and seeing the stars through the trees above me, hearing the quiet wind and KNOWING that HE had it all in control. The understanding burrowed deep into the very roots of my being.  I knew that I was indeed nothing but a flimsy little sukkah of a body containing a vulnerable soul. Yet when that soul was given over to THE KING OF kings AND THE LORD OF lords, The Holy Spirit would inhabit this weak sukkah and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!

That knowing burst into my very being. Perhaps the sukkah is intended to be one of HIS places of revelation knowledge.  NOT on our terms, only on His.  He gives to us (or not) Light according to HIS choice.  Have you ever waited for a Word or a Revelation and it HASN’T come?  I have!

God KEEP me from running anyway even when I have NOT heard that Word from Him.  God FORBID that I should ever run with a counterfeit.

Sukkot was commanded to bring in the harvest…to remember His goodness and abundance and to give back to Him and to others.  It was ALSO commanded to REMEMBER WHERE WE CAME FROM, the promises, the journey, our failures in the light of His perfect faithfulness. We were ALL slaves in Egypt at one time.  REJOICE IN HIS GOODNESS.

The symbols of these three fall feasts still sit together on the tables: the shofar (ram’s horn) The Word, honey, apples, the good fruits of the land, grapes and almonds, pomegranates and dates, figs and citrus. And the people rejoice.

It is such a unique season because the streets are also filled with believers from the nations around the world who have come  to participate in one way or another in the fall feasts.  Many come to take part in the conferences and convocations – Christian gatherings for times of prayer and teaching.

Because this IS one of the three feasts where all Jewish men were COMMANDED to come up to Jerusalem and to worship and to bring an offering in the place where The Lord put His Name. There will be the ceremony of the blessing of the Cohenim (or the high priestly blessing) which takes place at the Western Wall, when the blessing of Aaron will be pronounced and many thousands upon thousands will participate.

As I walked through the streets of Jerusalem it seemed to me that there were less sukkas this year, but the ones that we passed last night on the way home from our daughters resounded with the warmth of songs and laughter.  Everyone whom we passed greeted us with “hag sameach.”

“MOEDIM L’SIMCHA!” is the way in which we greet one another now, whether friends or strangers whom we are passing on the street.  These are the days called khol h’moed – or the “in-between days” of the holyday.  The meaning of simcha is joy or rejoice and the meaning of moed (moedim being the plural) is an appointed time of meeting. So these are the appointed times for meeting (with) with joy.  Pretty neat, eh?

But that is my translation.

Although translations are thought of as standard and pretty well perfect by those of us who are not particularly gifted with many languages, I have been shocked to learn just how SUBJECTIVE language translation can be for everyone. I have mentioned before that Hebrew seems to me to be like a sculpture, each word describing an entire object or concept including its history.

In contrast I see English as a line drawing, carefully describing details line upon line. And yet even in English, how we can misinterpret one another.

And so, MOEDIM L’SIMCHA. 

No matter WHAT happens between Russia and us.  Moedim l’simcha. No matter what takes place at the United Nations gathering.  Moedim l’simcha. Despite the fires and floods and the awful battles at the Gaza border and wars and personal griefs that we cannot escape. Moedim l’simcha.

LORD!  Give us ALL eyes to see, and ears to hear and a heart that beats with Yours!

 

But now I WILL leave you with a Jerusalem story:

I was coming home from work last week (between Rosh h’shana and Yom kippur) and I was T-I-R-E-D.  As I approached the crosswalk on the road to my bus stop. Alas! the bus was approaching.  I sighed.  Another 25-minute wait.  Oh well, I have learned the hard way that my days of running for the bus have past, since my last fall and broken rib.  The bus pulled up to the crosswalk and stopped for me to cross.  Huh?  Ok, but still I wasn’t about to run to the bus stop, but he parked the bus a bit further back than usual and WAITED. It is now against the law for bus drivers to do anything special for anyone and even with the BACK door of the bus open.  Ok, I sped up still figuring that he would pull away before I got there but he didn’t.  I got on through the back door and passed my card up by way of other passengers to the front of the bus to be processed.  I couldn’t see the driver, but the bus emptied quite a bit before I got off so I made my way to the front.

“Toda reba reba!” I said (thank you very very much) as he approached my stop.

He turned and smiled.  “I would stop for you ANYWHERE and ANYTIME!” 

I smiled back. ‘Orie,  thank you.”

It was deeply humbling as recognition set in.  He was one of our patients and I really had been quite concerned about him when he fought a grievous illness a number of years ago.  Yes, I did sort of go the extra mile to accommodate his needs at times but I NEVER expected this.  It was a delightful gift because Jerusalem may be the center of the world’s conflicts and The Place where THE LORD OF ALL chose to put His Name.  But it is still a small town, reminding me that we are all so small, flimsy temporary dwelling, chosen to be indwelt by The Living God.

Moedim l’simcha to all of you.

Lovingly,

your Sister J in Jerusalem

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Prayers for Israel (7/17/2018)

The Apostle Paul made a statement about his Jewish brethren that has always given me the shakes:

With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. (Romans 9:1-3 NLT)

The Apostle Paul was willing to give up his eternal salvation and take his Jewish brethren’s place in Hell if that would provide salvation for them. This is the same love Christ had for Israel.

My love for Israel hasn’t reached that level yet, but if I want to be an intercessor for the nation, it’s the level my love needs to attain.

My prayer today:

Lord, give me Your love for Israel, no matter what it may cost me.

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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Prayers for Israel (7/10/2018)

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you.. (Isaiah 62:1-4)

My prayer today:

Lord, set watchmen on Jerusalem’s walls who will never hold their peace day or night and will continue to speak Your name and give You no rest until Jerusalem is the object of praise in the whole earth. (Based on Isaiah 62:6-7)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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Prayers for Israel (7/3/2018)

 

The Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in the Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon — grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things “when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Judaism 101)

My prayer today:

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever. (The Shema Israel)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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Prayers for Israel (6/19/2018)

In 539 B.C., Daniel discovered that Jeremiah’s prophecy about Jerusalem being a desolation for seventy years was about to be fulfilled. What did Daniel then do?

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Daniel 9:3)

Instead of running out and telling everyone about his revelation, Daniel did everything he could to bring the prophecy into its fulfillment through his prayers and fasting.

“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” (John Wesley)

One of God’s biblical principles is that He longs to partner with believers to bring forth His unfulfilled scriptural prophecies. We pray and fast and then God provides the miraculous power to bring forth the prophecy into its manifestation here on earth.

This is the reason, we need to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem now because the days are ticking off God’s calendar before Jesus’ return.

Lord, raise up American believers who are willing to partner with You and Your Word so that Your end-time prophecies for Jerusalem and Israel are fulfilled according to Your plans.

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for Israel and Jerusalem.

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Inside Israel

SHUK

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 —

Blessings Dear Sisters and Brothers in The Name of The Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and edified.
Our four-year old Granddaughter surprised us at lunch the other day by quoting verses in Hebrew before we ate.  “She learned it in gan,” (pre-school) our daughter told us.

I was blown away.  I am still trying to say the whole portion in Hebrew, and she had learned it in a government secular pre-school. Wow!

Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and [a]be careful to observe it,that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’

“Hear, O Israel: [b]The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.(Deuteronomy 6:1-9)

This portion of scripture – the Shma– is the main prayer of Judaism.  Shma is the command: Hear. However I was surprised to hear our 4 year old repeat it fully.

Israeli state radio begins the 6 a.m. broadcast with the Shma every morning, as do most observant Jews and many traditional Jews. SHMA YISROEL, ADONAI ELOHENU, ADONAI AHAD!  HEAR OH ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.

This scripture (verses 4-9) along with Deut. 11:13-21, is contained in the mezuzah (the little box affixed to the door frame of Jewish homes).  The tefillin box that I described to you recently, also contains these verses along with Exodus 13:1-16.  Of course, like my 4 year old Granddaughter, we can put the scriptures in our heads, write them on our doorposts and wrap them around our bodies, but they only change us and glorify The Lord if they are in our hearts and life breathed into action by The Holy Spirit.

None the less, we plant The Word in our hearts and in the hearts of our children knowing that one sows, and another reaps, but only GOD gives the increase.        

 And here I walk the streets in “the land of The Book” surrounded by and part of the people of The Book. I pray: “LORD! Breathe Your Spirit of LIFE into us all that we would become the testimony that You want us to be, the display of Who You Are”

   I asked for prayer for Kinneret in my last letter and many of you responded that The Lord had put her on your heart.  So you need to know that the very next day after I sent out the prayer request she told me, “It is really a miracle!  My son got an appointment to be interviewed for intensive day treatment at Hadassah Hospital. (One of the best mental health facilities) It is a miracle that he got the appointment so quickly!”

Happily I told her that I had shared some of her story and needs with my praying friends outside of the country by mail.  She was amazed and couldn’t imagine such a thing that people would pray for her family.  So I do have a further request to tack on, for those of you who are praying for her. Their daughter – Shir – is having her Bat Mitzvah this coming Sunday and her twin brother (the one who is hidden in his room) will not be coming. That is breaking his mother’s heart. She has asked if I would please come to the Bat Mitzvah to be there like a Mother for her.

I told you that her mother has been committed to mental hospital since Kinneret was 5 and it broke my heart.  It will be difficult for me to go as it begins at 7:30 p.m. and I work on Monday. But I feel that it is important.  If it is The Lord’s open door, will you pray with me that I am able to go?

I cannot tell you how encouraged she is to know that you are praying for them.  And the fact that she is glad, encourages me.

I went to the shuk and prayed which way to go. With things so tense in the country these days it is wise to take nothing for granted, but that is always wisdom for each of us anywhere, eh?

I went to an Arab vendor whom I like and asked him how he was.  He mumbled “b’seder” (ok, fine) under his breath and continued looking down.

Once again I spoke strongly, my boldness surprising me. “No you are not.  What’s wrong?” I demanded.

He looked up at me startled and recognized me. A smile spread across his face. “Ah mah me.” (‘mah’me’ sounds just like mommy and is an affectionate Hebrew term that DOESN’T mean mommy but is a warm sign of friendship.’It’s this FAST!  (Ramadan) I’m hungry and tired. I work all day and party all night and then comes the 2 a.m. call to prayer, just as I get to sleep, and then it is 4 a.m. and I have to get up to go to work. It’s hot and I’m HUNGRY!  Not sleeping and not eating makes us crazy,” he laughed and I groaned.

“Oy!  I understand,”I said.

“It’s almost over,” he continued.

So, when I stopped by his stand today I asked, “Are you less tired and grouchy now,” figuring that Ramadan was over.

“No!” he barked. “Eid-al-Fitr! Just as bad! Two more days!”  He shook his head.

Along came an old religious Jew and they began talking happily about a rabbi that they both knew had said and I had to chuckle.

WHAT A MIXTURE!

Burning kites sent by the hundreds across the border from Gaza to set afire the ripening fields of the south of Israel. So what do we do? Kite making camps are held on the Israeli side of the border to teach the kids the beauty of kites so that they won’t be afraid of them. They float beautifully designed back across to Palestinian Gaza.

Meanwhile, as we seek a solution, so much of the land in the south has burned, so many crops and food destroyed. The farmers are dismayed. So many questions and so shockingly much MIS-information on international news.

Israel demolishes 15 homes in our own Gush Etzion village of Netiv HaAvot.  One of the homes was the loving home of a friend of mine – a family of six, a secretary whom I used to work with.  I heard her speak on the evening news as she can speak English.  The land had a claim filed against it and although it is still disputed, the law ruled to destroy the houses. We are a people with a law.

And then there is suddenly rain in June. But it is our dry season and the rains have passed. Yet the desert is closed to trips because of flash flooding.  Whereas May was 2 degrees warmer than normal, June so far is 2 degrees cooler.

Over the noise…no, the ROAR, of the world being shaken from its foundation…may the cry go up from our hearts:  I WILL LOVE THE LORD MY GOD WITH ALL OF MY HEART AND SOUL AND STRENGTH AND MIGHT!  May we each do it, believe it, walk it and share it for His glory.

I am more and more convinced that there is no other way.

Sincerely,

J

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