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, 2 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. 3 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.’
4 “Hear, O Israel: [b]The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 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.