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, Dear sisters and brothers.
May The Lord be blessed and glorified and may His blessings and encouragement and breakthroughs be seen in your (and my) lives today.
“I’m traveling for a month. I’m going to New York, America!” Hezzi (short for Ezekiel or Ye’khez’ki’el in Hebrew – meaning God will strengthen me or God is my strength) announced to me with a huge, excited grin.
“You have never been to New York, America?” I asked him.
Hezzi is no longer a 25 year old youngster, but is a 68 year old news man, well known in Israeli radio and television. He grinned ear-to-ear. “Nope! I have never been to America! I am so excited to see New York and Los Angeles and Los Vegas.” He looked like a little kid.
Moshe walked in. “Hezzi is going to America for the first time,” I said.
Hezzi turned around with a big grin.
“America?” Moshe shook his head. “AWFUL place! Stay home and save your money! The fruit and vegetables taste old and expensive. A fortune!” He shook his head and hands at the same time before continuing. “AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT’S GOING TO RAIN. I mean…in the SUMMER ! You can’t even plan ahead because you don’t know! Crazy weather and crazy people! Stay home!”
Hezzie’s face hit the ground. Totally deflated and ready to give away his ticket was written all over him. “Moshe! ” I said, looking at him with eyes staring at him and hoping to make him feel a bit guilty. “Hezzie is excited about his trip and he is GOING TO ENJOY IT. It is JUST HIS FIRST TRIP there and he will come back and it’s going to be GREAT.”
Moshe caught my tone and changed his. “Oh yeah, Hezzie! Just a month long trip? You’ll love it. It’s going to be exciting. Everything is so big and so different than here. It will be fun!”
Hezzie perked right back and soon we were both wishing him. ‘Nessiah tova’. (have a good trip) I hope that he does enjoy it and comes back safe…AND…having heard a few testimonies perhaps. He has a childlike joy for learning. It will be fun to hear his report. I DID make sure to tell him though that NY, LA and Los Vegas are NOT QUITE representative of America. I think he got it.
School is out and Israelis are traveling. Some can afford it, many young ones or professors find work outside the country, some put their trip on overdraft − the Israeli phenomena where the bank becomes like a credit card. Just go into minus and deal with it somewhere down the road.
Israel can be a tense place to live. Travel is a way that many Israelis let off steam. We live in a tiny country where all of our neighbors are either at war or hate us and would like to engage us in a war − not to mention tension INSIDE our borders. But we have been given an amazing country, a most beautiful and fruitful one, and I for one, am happy to stay.
Daily I witness acts of mercy and kindness that I have come to take for granted.
Riding home on the train from work yesterday, I noticed the jovial mood among the armed soldiers also traveling for Shabat. There seemed to be more of them than usual dressed in sandals and casual civilian clothes with their weapons strapped on their backs and then it hit me: Summer. They are off to guard groups of young people on hikes or gathering for camps, and I remembered the unfamiliar feeling when I first understood this nearly 23 years ago, that the soldiers in our midst, armed with some heavy duty automatic weapons are there to PROTECT us and for no other reason. That was humbling, and still is.
I got off the train in front of my apartment and noticed that the ice cream place across the street from us was jammed with perhaps several hundred young people, laughing and carousing while they ate their ice cream. I was again impressed by the unique character of a nation that has fought to keep their children alive and still cherishes the children. I know that I have told you this but it bears repeating, that during WW2 there was a very large children’s aliyah. Many kibbutzim were often made up entirely of war orphans but for a few volunteer young adults or a doctor or director who would teach the children how to plant and build and defend themselves. These were literally communities of children caring for children. Many of them are still among us and perhaps someday God will give me a clarity of words to describe the relationship that this country has with her children.
In fact, I just found out that this has been designated “the week of the soldier.” Since the soldiers are all our own kids, it becomes very personal. I was listening to a description of what was happening this week to try to honor our soldiers. Seems as if many individuals and organizations spontaneously volunteered to come together and “Bless the Soldiers.” The ideas were to surprise them: with hugs, with free coffee, meals, goodies, free admission everywhere, spontaneous parties, pizza parties, water park parties and so forth. The public was encouraged to join in with donations, buying tickets and handing them to a soldier. It’s really catching on. But, being a people that can be known for … uh… emotional overkill, I had to laugh when I noticed a soldier on the train today being loved and encouraged by a couple of grandmotherly ladies. They wanted to get up to give him their seat and the like. I had the feeling that his mind was on guarding the borders, and perhaps he had had enough of being pampered.
In the light of the news TODAY, and in the Light of the Words that I read THIS MORNING, it is shocking how evident it is that we MUST hold fast to The Anchor that He has given us in His Word, by His Spirit or we WILL be swept away in the overwhelming flood tide.
Probably you know that two UN resolutions were passed: one denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the second, denying Jewish ties to Hebron. This is, in fact, the world standing and denying the Bible, and we must understand what this means. The Jewish ties to Jerusalem as recorded in the Scriptures, are far too numerous to begin to record here, and I am sure that you know them. It is interesting to me that on Shabbat as I read to my husband, we were reading of the purchase by Abraham of the cave in Hebron, Machpelah by name, as a burying place, first for Sarah. Last night, at kehila, part of our study in the Word included Joshua 14:6-15:
It surely seems to me that we are in a greater battle, contending for the Truth of The Word of God than perhaps during any other time in history. I keep hearing the serpent in the garden saying, “Has HE REALLY said…?”
I glance at the world news – fires, floods, wars, murders, freak storms, rages – and know that each of you is also in a pressure cooker, as the heat under the world is turned up on us all. I wonder how any of you can ALSO care about Israel…BUT…I know that as we cling to Him and His Word, we LOVE what He loves and our hearts bears what HIS HEART BEARS. So as the days wind down, the focus center in on Israel, and especially JERUSALEM.
It is interesting to note AGAIN that Yeshua and the disciples had ONE BIBLE and that did not include the New Testament. That holds so many implications for us. HE, Yeshua, Jesus, IS THE WORD. The living Word from Genesis through Revelation. All of it.
As I ride the bus and train, people are immersed in one of two things: their smart phones or the scriptures. In the morning, the train and bus are crowded with people praying and reading the scriptures. It is not at all uncommon to see people standing and facing the Temple Mount and praying in the Jewish manner of davening (a rhythmic half bowing), or tying on the tfillin, wrapping the leather strap around their left arm (to the heart) and continuing to secure the small box that has the law delicately inscribed within to their foreheads while committing their hearts and paths to The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
On the 18th of this month, it will be 23 years since we received our citizenship! It remains amazing to me…”The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” I would have NEVER GUESSED the path that my life has taken.
At work I get to speak with many people nearing the end of their lives. They are afraid and I ask The Lord, “How do I speak? How do I share with them when I can not share Your Name?”
He directs me to His creation, the doors that we entered through into this life and I find myself speaking to and comforting many with hugs and words that I can only PRAY direct them to HIM. It would make ME feel wonderful if I could share His Name, but without His door to the heart, it just hardens their hearts and I learn from Him how I am to share and pray for His increase.
And while daily life continues here in Israel, from our Northern Border with Lebanon, we have received the alarming news that Iran (Persia) has succeeded in supplying Hezbollah with much stronger and abundant weapon power and enabled them to build deep underground storage facilities as they prepare for the winding down of war in Syria and focusing on Israel.
We appreciate your prayers as always,
Your sister J in Jerusalem