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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 —

“Chag Sameach!” or Joyous Holy-day from Jerusalem, dear sisters and brothers.  BLESSINGS IN THE LIGHT OF YESHUA to each of you.  To the Light of His Face may we be drawn and in that Light may we be changed by Him and for HIS glory Alone.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

I wondered what I would do.  This year, for the first time, I did NOT seem to have Sukkot (feast of tabernacles) on my mind or in my heart.  WHAT TO DO?

“LORD HELP!”  I prayed.

Since we live in this apartment, it is difficult to make our merepesset (balcony) into a sukka, and with my husband away, the difficulty is compounded.

He left for England to visit our older daughter and family early yesterday morning.  I was up at 3 a.m. to have some time with the Lord and have his breakfast on the table by 4.  We have a system here that I think is great: the sheroot.  Any of you who have visited Israel will likely at this point roll your eyes, laugh, and remember a weird and harrowing ride to or from the airport.

Sheroots are generally 9-11 seater vans that pick you and your luggage up at your apartment for about a third of the price of a taxi. Only, the drivers are humorous and sometimes grumpy total maniacs. It can be scary, downright terrifying for the uninitiated.  The assortment of people, languages, and cultures in any given sheroot can be an education. The cell phones can be maddening.  I find it funny.

The sheroot came to pick him up at APPROXIMATELY 5 a.m. A quick prayer and kiss and they were off…and there I stood.

Alone!

It was still very quiet, except for the garbage truck. At 5:15, the second morning train appears and stops for 10 minutes in front of our apartment until the 5:30 schedule gets flowing. Public transportation here does NOT run through the night but stops at 11 or 12, depending upon the line, and begins again at 5:30 a.m. It also does not run on Shabat or holy days.

As I crossed in front of the train I glanced up to see the driver.  She happened to be a woman and was intently powdering her nose in the mirror of the train. For some reason unknown to me, I began to breathe again and to feel some life come back into me and laugh.

Although I had been up for two hours already, I knew that much lay before me. I wouldn’t see my bed again for at least 15 hours.

One of our very dear brothers at Kehila lost his father on Yom Kippur.  We knew that he was taking it hard. Despite MUCH prayer and sharing, and the fact that he was with his father when he passed, his father had not turned his life over to Yeshua before dying that he knew about. I knew his grief was deep.  It is a common situation here sadly, painfully, to find ONE member of a family who knows Him. It is my situation still as well

I have explained before about the Schiva or the practice of sitting in a place of mourning for 7 days with the door open. EVERYONE comes to comfort you, to talk, share, remember, bringing food and eating WITH the grieving people. They do this so the mourning family can keep their strength up and also are distracted somewhat from focusing on their profound loss.  In this case, because Sukkot is a high holyday, one commanded in scripture, they had to get up from thjeir mourning at noon today, so the schiva was shortened.

Our brother and his family live in Modiin, a town or small city half way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  It is over the green line so we need to go through check points.  My dear sister, who is 83, offered to take me because we don’t have a car. I knew it was going to be interesting when she said, “I’m not sure how to get there but you can direct me and read the signs as I can’t see very well.”

I rode with her to Kehila on Shabbat so I know that she has a habit of just stopping in the middle of the road while she’s driving along the highway to decide if she’s going right. Armed with MUCH PRAYER, a 2005 map, and a vague address, we took off into the hills.  An hour and a half later we were stopping people in the town asking for directions.

“Give me your phone, I’ll set up your way (the local GPS) for you,” said one young man when we showed him the map.  He didn’t know what a map was.  We handed him in our phones and he couldn’t figure out what THEY were either.

“I’ll photograph the directions for you,” he kindly told us, “where is the camera?”

The generation gap was physically tangible!

BUT being lost in Modiin had one great advantage.  EVERYBODY and I mean EVERYBODY was busy building their sukkas, the old fashioned way AND I CAUGHT THE VISION AGAIN.

Here in Jerusalem over the years these sort of instant sukkas became more and more popular: either a plywood shack with a bamboo mat cover or pre-fab metal poles that hook together with prepared stamped design material walls. You know, a plastic Christmas tree approach.

When we first came to Jerusalem, everyone had palm frond roofs with rugs and assorted material walls. They were very creative and special.  In Modiin people were everywhere carrying branches and palm fronds and woven rugs made the sides. I smiled dspite the fact that we were heading to a schiva to comfort our brother.

My joy increased as we sat in a full room, off to the side with our brother, and found that The Lord HAD INDEED been encouraging his heart and the victory was all over him.  Our Lord is faithful! We had wonderful fellowship, encouraging one another with the faithfulness of The Lord.   I came home alive, inspired, victorious and exhausted.

But there ARE sukkas everywhere here as well, pre-fab and not. They are in front of every restaurant, alongside the bus stops, at the supermarket, on sidewalks, housetops, in parks, and so forth.  I, along with the other inhabitants of Jerusalem, have been delighted by what the Lite Rail has done, taking school children’s drawings and patterning them like a quilt design, printing them on a long strip like wallpaper. They plastered the ceilings of the train with these colorful rug designs.   It’s delightful.   I love to walk the dog at night and see the lights inside and the shadows of the families, laughter ringing out as they celebrate together in their homes. Many will sleep and eat there for the full 7 days.

Anyone can go into anyone’s sukka and just sit down and soon you are friends with everyone. It is a country of open houses right now as we participate in His pattern to: ‘REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US WHEN HE BROUGHT US OUT OF EGYPT WITH A STRONG OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND WE DWELT IN TEMPORARY, FLIMSY DWELLINGS.”

We get to look up at the vast sky filled with dreams of universes of stars through the God-made network of branches and tree limbs and remember how small and finite we are. He is HUGE and INFINITE!

HOW BLESSED WE ARE IN THIS!  Would that we LEARN and bend our stiff necks to worship and not forget…

It was such a short time ago that I wrote to you about the almond blossoms and the tiny first buds of the rimon (pomegranate).  Today as I arrived at work, the trees on the block were full of bursting red, ripe pomegranates.  The almond tree in front of my work is dropping its ripe almonds.

The fullness of time HAS COME!

I am writing now BECAUSE I was alone tonight in my sort-a-non-sukka-sukka.  When I walked the dog, we cut many leafy branches, including a couple of small palm fronds, olive branches, pomegranate branches, fig branches, but I couldn’t make a ceiling nor really hang up sides. So I assembled something leafy. We have a big leafy tree that hangs over our merepesset, so I look up and smile, and give thanks to HIM Who cares so tenderly and is so totally faithful, EVEN WHEN WE WALK THROUGH FIRES AND FLOODS, We must gaze at the gates of death.

So on this, the first night of Sukkot, I am finally off to bed.  Thank you for taking the time to read, thank you for your love, thank you for the encouragement that I receive through many of you, but mostly, thank you for your prayers and for being a delight to Him Who is worthy.!

God BLESS you!

Lovingly, your sis

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Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

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 —

Greetings with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus, Lord, Saviour, Messiah, King of kings.  May HE be known, glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and edified.  May we all hunger for Him more and more, and be restored to our first-love.

As I begin this letter to you the world is in such turmoil.  Terror attacks, bombs, destroying storms and fires, wars, a world being propelled out of control.

And yet, some things continue in their cycles, even if the very seasons seem to become more unbalanced.

Yom Kippur is fast approaching, on the heels of Rosh h’shana.  Yom Kippur − the most somber of days on the Hebrew calendar arrives tomorrow, Friday at sundown and takes us through sundown Shabat.

It is “The Day of Awe,” the day of fasting and prayer, the day of repentance − seeking forgiveness for sin.

According to Judaism, The Book of Life is opened on Rosh h’shana, and sealed for the year ahead at the end of the Yom Kippur fast.  It is the time of reckoning, of weighing, of seeking, and of judgment.   It is a time of cleansing and changing and it is an awesome time.

The entire country comes to a full standstill.

NO stores, NO restaurants, NO public transportation, NO PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION. TV and radio broadcasts cease, the airport shuts down, many people neither wash nor wear leather items, the synagogues stay open and the prayer books open. Only hospitals remain open for emergencies. Ambulances make quiet rounds as people will not use phones to call an ambulance if one is needed, so ambulances quietly roam the streets and can be flagged down.

Yom Kippur (the day of the Atonement) is the singular day that MOST Jews, secular as well as religious and traditional all observe.  Statistics report that somewhere between 73%-95% of all Israeli Jews observe the total fast of Yom Kippur.

LEVITICUS 23:27-28 says: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.”

LEVITICUS 16:29-31 says:   “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.  For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.  It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.”

Perhaps it would interest you to read a bit of one of the sources of information:

When the second Temple was destroyed in the year 3830 from creation (70 CE), the Yom Kippur service continued. Instead of a High Priest bringing the sacrifices in Jerusalem, every single Jew performs the Yom Kippur service in the temple of his or her heart.

Forty days before Yom Kippur, on the first of Elul, we begin blowing the shofar every morning and reciting Psalm 27 after the morning and afternoon prayers. In Sepharadic communities, it is customary to begin saying Selichot (*PRAYERS SEEKING FORGIVENESS) early every morning (Ashkenazim begin just a few days before Rosh Hashanah)—building an atmosphere of reverence, repentance and awe leading up to Yom Kippur.

For the week before Yom Kippur (known as the 10 Days of Repentance), special additions are made to prayers, and people are particularly careful with their mitzvah (COMMANDMENT) observance.

Just as Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, the day before Yom Kippur is set aside for eating and preparing for this holy day. Here are some of the activities that we do on the day before Yom Kippur:

Kaparot (FORM OF SACRIFICE)  is often performed in the wee hours of this morning

We eat two meals, one in early afternoon and another right before the commencement of the fast.

Many have the custom to immerse in a mikvah (RITUAL BATH) on this day.

Extra charity is given. In fact, special charity trays are set up at the synagogue before the afternoon service, which contains the Yom Kippur Al Cheit prayer.

Just before the fast begins (after the second meal has been concluded), it is customary to bless the children with the Priestly Blessing.

Holiday candles are lit before the onset of the holy day.

Like Shabbat, no work is to be done on Yom Kippur, from the time the sun sets on the ninth of Tishrei until the stars come out in the evening of the next day.

On Yom Kippur, we afflict ourselves by avoiding the following five actions:

Eating or drinking (in case of need, consult a medical professional and a rabbi)

Wearing leather shoes

Applying lotions or creams

Washing or bathing

Engaging in conjugal relations

The day is spent in the synagogue, where we hold five prayer services:

Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur;

Shacharit, the morning prayer, which includes a reading from Leviticus followed by the Yizkor memorial service;

Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service;

Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah;

Neilah, the “closing of the gates” service at sunset, followed by the shofar blast marking the end of the fast.

Beyond specific actions, Yom Kippur is dedicated to introspection, prayer and asking Gd for forgiveness. Even during the breaks between services, it is appropriate to recite Psalms at every available moment.

All around me, I observe the above traditions being applied in a myriad of subtle but real ways, both personal and public. I ask God to show me how to walk in the midst.  It is amazing how the secular music on the radios playing on buses and in other public places expresses so poignantly a sincere and naively unashamed cry of the heart to KNOW and be close and restored to God, from Whom we really don’t WANT to stray.  It is not unusual to hear religious songs on our secular radio stations, but I am always riveted when I hear the heart of a secular musician crying out and seeking God through his music.

In my own life experiences, this is unique.  It’s funny in a way because when I first came to Him, one of the first and immediate responses I had toward His love was to turn completely away from all secular music. It represented my past and I wanted nothing to do with it.  It dragged me down to my filthy memories.

Here, in a different language and culture, it doesn’t always hold the same sinful connotations for me and doesn’t stir the same memories and emotions. So it allows me a certain freedom to listen to the words with clean ears and heart.  I don’t know if ANY of that makes sense to you AT ALL, but it gives me a taste of the hearts of the people around me and the ones whom I am praying for or wanting to pray for. I am thankful for that.

So, the music takes on a longing note.  The party stops and people begin to say to one another, “gmar chatomah tova” or “may you end (the fast) with a good signature.”  This means “MAY YOU BE INSCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF LIFE!”  What a greeting, when you stop to think about it!

When we first came I used to answer, “Thank you.  I know that I am.”

But whereas,  I felt good about saying that, it impacted no one, and people would just look at me strangely.  None the less, I couldn’t bring myself to use that greeting UNTIL THIS YEAR.  Suddenly the question came to me, “Don’t you WANT them inscribed in the Book of Life, as you are?”

I thought, “Well…yes I do, but not in a superstitious way, but in reality!” And I thought, “So why don’t you STAND in that as a prayer as you say it? Stand in the prayer for them to be inscribed in THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE?  YES!  So this year I echoed the prayer back to each one, and as I did, I stood in my spirit in the gap for them and their families.  For me it was a liberating experience in prayer and I do pray that it will be FRUITFUL which is all that really counts.

MEANWHILE, AT THE SHUK − The separate section for the shuk h’kaparah is set up. It’s the place where the rather strange old custom of sacrificing a chicken, swinging it over your head while reciting a prayer for forgiveness of sins takes place.  The chickens are then donated to charity.  As animal rights activists have gained more voice over the years, there is now the counter demonstration taking place outside of the cordoned off sacrifice area.  I admit to this being a sometimes bizarre scene and even more surreal as it takes place in the early morning hours. BUT LOOK AT THE LENGTHS THAT PEOPLE GO TO, TO GET TO GOD.  And HOW do I translate His Way to those whom I long to see rejoice at the sight of Whom they seek.

Who would think that a day of fasting for an entire nation would be preceded by such a focus on food!  You would think that a mighty winter storm was approaching if you entered the shuk or the market and joined the throngs stocking up least we starve.  Everyone comments every year:  “Why is it that we need so much FOOD for a fast day?”  I agree.  It’s funny.  Even at this, the holiest most profound day in the Jewish calendar, there is comic relief. QUICK! RUN TO THE STORE!  WE ARE GOING TO FAST!

And fast we do, as a nation, as a people, as believers fasting for the salvation of our people. For the scales to FINALLY come off of EVERY EYE. FOR ALL OF ISRAEL TO BE SAVED AS IS WRITTEN IN ROMANS 11:25-27

 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;  For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

AND IT FINALLY COMES TO PASS AS ZECHIARIAH WROTE IN CHAPT 12:10-14

 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;  the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;  all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

ZECHIARIAH 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’

HE IS ONLY GOOD AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER. May you be encouraged by His faithfulness as you pray for His purposes to be fulfilled in and for the whole house of Israel.  May you be comforted in your griefs and needs and pains by The God of all comfort.  May you be found hidden in Him as we face ever increasing disasters.  May you fulfill all of His purposes for HIS GLORY.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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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 —

Greetings with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach.

May HE be glorified and blessed and may HE anoint my small offering that you may be encouraged and blessed.

Rosh h’shana is here, beginning on Wednesday at sundown.  How in the world did the beginning of the Fall feasts creep up on us so quickly?

Tourists are already flocking into Jerusalem from all over the world. Among them, many are Christians who come to attend one of any number of prayer conferences and convocations held during the hagim (holidays). Rosh h’shana is the first.

The Scriptural commands concerning Rosh h’shana are as follows:

 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.” (LEVITICUS 23:24-25)

“And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.  You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish.” (NUMBERS 29:1-2)

Also, I personally believe that PSALM 81  is a deep revelation of this feast day. Perhaps, it was written as a worship and meditation for this holiday, which in the Hebrew is called Yom Teruah ‫יום תרועה ” or literally “the blowing of the shofar.

 “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,  At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.  For this is a statute for Israel, A law of the God of Jacob.” (Psalm 81-3-4)

So, why in the world is Rosh h’shana (or the “head of the year”) celebrated as the Jewish New year when the Scriptures clearly tell us that the first day of PASSOVER is to be the “head of the year” for us??

I have no idea!

I have mentioned this many times in the past and have asked many rabbis. I have read a number of commentaries (thank you google) and find no reasonable or convincing answer. TRADITION in this context seems to me to have overruled God’s command, but I will leave that one to others as far as this letter is concerned.

The signs of the fall feasts are in the air.

Since the first day of this month of Elul, which will change to the month of Tishrai at Rosh h’shane, the wonderful blasts of the shofar (ram’s horns) have resonated early in the morning in the synagogues. The horns can be heard throughout the neighborhoods, calling the people to prayer and repentance in preparation for these 3 fall feasts: Rosh h’shana, Yom kippur (the day of atonement) and finally Sukkot (Feast of tabernacles).

I love the shofar blast. It sends chills down my spine, Somehow, it is not quite earthly, or perhaps it calls to mind the call from heaven, a sound bridge between heaven and earth.  I LOVE IT!

As I ride the bus and train early in the morning, there is a new crowd.  Those on their way to the Western Wall of the Temple in the Old City for early morning prayers while those heading to work are reading and praying through the Psalms or other prayer book portions, seeking to prepare their hearts.  In many cases, they do it in sincerity.

When I get off of the train at the shuk to continue my way to work. This is now my exercise walk, which takes about a half hour. It adds extra prayer and worship time for me. Many local tourists are crowding the coffee stands and bakeries for an early morning snack.

It is a long standing tradition for the secular, or the inquiring, to visit the old synagogues in the area of the shuk during this season of repentance, to learn and to taste what they normally distain. Perhaps it’s not unlike the crowds that often attend church at Christmas and Easter only.

And now the seasons have indeed changed and the fall feasts are feasts of the ingathering and harvest, the abundance that God has provided is evident.  Grapes the size of plums, all colors and sizes, pomegranates, apples, the new tangerines (Clementine) – green skinned and tart – boughs of new still-yellow dates – dried figs and nuts. What abundance to thank God for!  And, the apples and honey, the symbol of Rosh h’shana.

“Shana tova omevorach omitokah.” (May you have a blessed and sweet new year) This is the greeting.  Honey cakes are baked (I bake mine with apples and almonds, sort of putting it all together) and shared.  Small gifts are given in thanksgiving.

Today I had an appointment at the hospital (Hadassah Ein Kerem) and some young religious girls handed me a lovely little box on which was written “shana ova” with a small honey cake inside.  What a nice way to lighten hospital visits.

And looking around the hospital made me think of you all again, wondering how I could describe this phenomenon that seriously defies words, wondering how I could fit it into a letter about Rosh h’shane, but the little gift cake bridged it for me, because Hadassah Ein Kerem IS a wonder indeed and not like any hospital you have ever seen.

It stands a fortress on a small mountain of its own, built into the rock. I have heard that it is built to withstand nuclear attack, which would not surprise me.  It’s history is worth reading, if any of you would take the time to google it.

It boasts Chagall windows (the famous artist Marc Chagall) and a piano in the main new entry way that someone is always playing. Sometimes an entire orchestra sits there to soothe the patients and doctors alike.  Yes, the patients and Doctors — Arab, Jewish, Druzim, Bedouin, Religious, Secular, foreign, Iraqi, African, and South American. Both doctors AND patients represent all of these groups and more.

The hospital is so huge that no one can find their way around it anymore. I’ve heard that even the doctors get lost if they have to venture into an area they are unfamiliar with, but a kind and friendly hand will always help you find your way.  It has a full service shopping mall, hotel, post office, bank, and heliport. It is a major research center and a leading medical university.

It is built above ground and below ground.  In my opinion, the workers there are kind. If you are ever here, I ENCOURAGE you to avail yourself of a tour of this unique place.  As I was weaving my way through it today, I was thinking how this place was a world within a world, a full service city. But you know what?  The people milling around in a leisurely manner are DIFFERENT.  Some are wearing pajamas, some have I.V.s in their arms and no hair (chemo), some are wearing face masks (transplants), some are pushing tiny Baby buckets loaded with newborn Babies, and others are pushing strollers where small ones are also receiving chemo.

AND MANY BELIEVING NURSES AND DOCTORS WORK HERE.  WHAT A PLACE!  And no one seems to take notice who is wearing a Jewish head covering or a Moslem one or bandages, or no head covering at all…hair or not.

But I’m digressing.  I DO get carried away because in my eyes I want to shout:  Come and see what GOD HAS DONE!

And that brings me again to Tamima Ben Tsvi.

I have spoken of her much over the years.  I love Tamima. Her name means “the simple purity of God.”  She was in the Doctor’s office where I worked several days ago, and we were speaking about our roots.

The newest secretary, Mirav had never heard Tamima’s story.  I was honored to hear yet another portion that I hadn’t heard before.  We had spoken often about her experience when Jerusalem was liberated.  She was very poor and her family lived in a small room built against the Old City walls.

So in 1967, when the fighting was fierce, it was often happening right over their heads.  She had told me that when she heard our soldiers entering the Old City, she ran out of her hiding place and followed them in.  With amazement I listen to her.  But this time I learned that her family was from Iraq and that they left forcibly and with nothing, although they had been wealthy there.  They traveled by foot. She was just a tiny child.

The winter that they arrived Israel was still destitute and they lived in tents, but it turned out to be the coldest and snowiest winters on record — that and the following one.  It was decided by the government that the children could not survive these winters in tents in such poor conditions. So all small children were taken to kibbutzim to be cared for.  Tamima did not yet know Hebrew but she learned by hearing and was warm and cared for during those 2 winters.  She spoke of the loving care given to the children by those who weren’t really much older than they were.  And then we spoke of the wonder of the country growing out of such beginnings.

The wonder of the abundance!

The wonder of the blessings!

The wonder of Israel just BEING again…after 2,000 years!

And so, as the shofar sounds loud and clear on Wednesday night and throughout Thursday. My prayer is that we will HEAR and HEED and LISTEN TO and OBEY the call from heaven;

TO REPENT.

TO REMEMBER.

TO BE THANKFUL TO THE LORD WHO KEEPS HIS WORD.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

 God bless you and thank you SO MUCH for your prayers,

Lovingly,

your sister J in  Jerusalem

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Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

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 —

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”  DEUT 29:29

” The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”  PSALM 25:14

Beloved,

Greetings with grace in the mercy of our Lord Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, Who is and was and will be and Who Alone is righteous and just.  May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and encouraged.

I am scrapping the letter that I began several days ago and praying that The Lord will anoint this one for His purposes.

I want to share what is taking place here from my standpoint (always realizing that it is opinion as everything else that we read.)

This morning is so very quiet and pleasant.  The song birds are singing their hearts out and the trees and flowers are stunning in their full display; it reminds me of a lovely, happy and healthy person in their prime…perhaps 32?  That is how the day appears.  It is Shabbat.  The “settled Shabbat peace” is not deceptive, but it is a comma or parenthesis around the events of the week.

Last Friday, two young Israeli Policemen, Druze (not Jewish) were gunned down as they sat and stood talking to one another at their post by the Lion’s Gate of the Old City, the same Gate through which the City was liberated 50 years ago.  Their murderers came running off theTemple Mount with guns.  This is an extraordinary event.  Israel immediately closed Temple Mount and installed metal detectors.  The result has been: world condemnation and bloody riots. NOT about the murders nor about the fact that guns were smuggled on to Temple Mount, but about the metal detectors.

Daily the Palestinians have called for Days of Rage and riots, which have grown daily, watered by inflaming rhetoric.  As Friday Moslem prayers approached there was much tension and calls from many nations to take down the metal detectors.  They were not taken down and prayers were quiet, but the days of rage organized in surrounding areas were quite violent. Three Palestinian rioters were killed in the battles.

Last night a Palestinian man, incited by his leaders who called for liberating the Moslem holy sites from the infidels, entered a home in a Jewish village and murdered 3 Israelis sitting at Shabbat dinner.  AND THAT IS ALL THAT I WILL SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT THE SITUATION FROM MY STANDPOINT.

It’s been HOT  and we are a hot natured people.

On Thursday I stepped off the train in front of our apartment and was greeted by my husband and our little bouncy dog, along with billowing smoke.  The acrid smell filled my nostrils and the appearance of large snowflakes (ash) falling from the sky cast the hot day into a surreal framework.  No doubt about it, a fire was nearby. A big one and a rapidly moving one.  My husband looked up at the same time. It was just beginning, but oh my, was it moving on quickly!

We may be smack in the center of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is surprisingly small in size. The Jerusalem Forest begins just 2 or three blocks below us. Stone homes may not burn like wooden ones but they form a perfect oven to cook the contents.  People began to come out of buildings, pointing at the darkening sky.  The fire was very near.  “It’s coming up the canyon right on the street behind our apartment!” my husband yelled.  “We’d better get some things and be prepared to run for it.”

He immediately took off down toward our daughter’s apartment to see if she and the children were safe as they are right up against the Jerusalem Forest. I heard sirens and called our daughter who said that the police were already evacuating the area.  I threw a change of clothes, money and passports, daily medications and my Bible into my agala (shopping cart) and looked ruefully around at family photos and a house decorated with mementoes of our life. I was sad that I felt sad at the thought of them burning up.  I readied my canary for a trip away from danger, but just about then the water and retardant planes began flying over in a masterful display of rescue: birds dancing in the sky to distract the fire breathing dragon.  Rescue and fire truck sirens bounced off of the hills and buildings, and thankfully the fire was put out with no loss of life and little property by nightfall. Such fast and skillful work, but such a reminder of the suddenness with which it all can change.

I know that MANY of you reading this are also in the midst of MAJOR fires (DEAR ones in California!) and other disasters (earthquake in Greece and Turkey)  and this fine-tuned my prayers for you.

And as always – there is a lighter side of life in Jerusalem.

Each day as my bus passes the first station (our old wonderful Orient Express train station turned into historic entertainment area). Seriously, the Orient Express used to come here and part of the line and original cars were still in use when we made aliyah. We got to ride on it!  I have been noticing the merry-go-round on my trip home from work.  I have always loved horses so as a small child, growing up in a big city, the merry-go-round was the closest thing I had to a horse at that time.  My Granddaughter Maya is now 3 and all I could think: “Gotta take Maya to the merry-g- round.”

And I did.

But even that turned out to be an ‘Israeli experience’.

The day was HOT so we left early, not as early as I wanted, but we had fun on the bus and the train.  She was already a bit tired by the time that we arrived so I knew that it would be a short but fun trip UNTIL I WENT TO BUY MY TICKETS.  “It’s only kaytinoat in the morning.  You can come back after 1:30.” 

OF COURSE!  I am Israeli!  How could I not have remembered?  “Kaytina” an Israeli institution that I have described in past letters.  With the very high cost of living here, it is expected that both parents work.  NOT to work is considered a huge luxury and few can even pay the rent on one salary, let alone food, etc. So children are cared for from very young ages in a variety of creative (and usually excellent) ways.  There are gans (or nurseries) for very young children. After school hoogim (activities structured for every possible talent) for older and in the summer there are kaytinot, which are SORT OF like day camps, but not quite.  The variety is HUGE. Art? Science? Play? Legos? Swimming? Sport? Crafts? Drama? Play? Trips?  YOU NAME IT – there is a kaytina available. AND a way to find help to pay for it.  Children are considered our national treasure.

So on that Tuesday, 10 groups of religious girls (kaytinoat), each accompanied by her armed soldier to protect her from unseen events were scheduled to ride the rides and blow the bubbles and play in the gymboree.  Maya looked as if she wanted to cry and so did I.

I looked up at the kindhearted ride operator and started begging as only a Jewish Grandmother can.  Perhaps not your most spiritual or gracious response, but yes, an Israeli one.  He caved in immediately.

Obviously he also had a Grandmother.  I purchased tickets for two rides and he quickly scooted us on to the merry-go-round before the next group of girls could gather.  We picked the BEST horse!  The camp director was furious but the ride operator came to our defense and winked at us.  As the horse began to go up and down Maya’s eyes got as big as saucers. She looked up at the decorated ceiling and burst out in a passionate soprano rendition of “twinkle twinkle little star.”

It was surely a Grandmother moment!

BUT THE ISRAELI MOMENT WAS NOT OVER.

Our benefactor forgot the merry-go-round on our behalf and let it go around 14 times.  When the ride finally ended, we still had one more ride ticket and Maya wanted to go on the miniature train, but no!  The camp director was counting 15 campers to a ride and Maya was not one.  It got hotter.  Tears began welling up.  The ride man looked over and pointed to a long locked container decorated like a train car and signaled for us to go up the ramp and knock on the door.  Ok:  I’m adventurous.

As I got to the door a man about my age walked out and eyed us suspiciously.  “The man down there told us that we could come in here for awhile because we can’t get on the rides and we didn’t know that it was only for kaytinot this morning.”

He looked a bit annoyed but opened the door and asked Maya what her name was.  “Maya.  You can go in if you PROMISE NOT TO TOUCH anything but the buttons,” he said as we entered an extraordinary hidden treasure.

As you know, virtually all Israelis are in the Israeli Defense Forces, some for much of their lives.  The Israeli Defense forces are probably unique for MANY reasons.  I have often noticed that there is a creative and delightful sense of the secret…and we were walking in on one of those “secrets.” The entire inside of the double container had been set up with a miniature world spanning at least a century and connected by a system of miniature trains moving by the upgrade of precision computers, lights flashing, tiny terraced farms operating, villages going about daily life as the trains passed through. IT WAS AMAZING!

The man told me that the oldest and most intricate trains and miniatures were from Germany, about 100 years old.  Some were modern, some things were plastic, but what a tiny world. He had rewired everything to work by computer (he even had a schedule log for switching tracks).  There were buttons that Maya could press to cause a monkey grinder to play music or a Ferris wheel to go around, or farm equipment to operate. I don’t know who was more amazed: she or I.

“I’ll give you 10 minutes.” he told me somberly.  I was delighted, and so was Maya.  It was a day well spent: an Israeli day.  Nothing went as planned, but even better.

On the bus going home I pulled a small finger puppet out of my purse to entertain my Granddaughter, and immediately the woman across the aisle, with 7 daughters, pointed and they all gathered around grinning.  In one big family some moments are happy ones.

BLESSINGS, WITH GRACE AND PEACE AND MERCY AND HIS PRESENCE TO YOU!  Lovingly,

your sister in Jerusalem

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Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

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 —

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

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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 —

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day, declares the LORD, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the LORD of hosts, their God.’ “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem. “And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. Zechariah 12:2-8)

I greet  you with a longing heart to lift up praise and worship worthy of the Lord. May our love for one another, our encouragement of one another, our admonitions and edifications and exhortations to one another be a blessing to Him. May The Lord be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed and encouraged for His glory.

Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) began this evening (now yesterday evening) as the sun was going down. Not just any anniversary of the day that Jerusalem was liberated, but the 50th year since she came again into the inheritance God Almighty intended for the children of Jacob. It takes reading from Gen 1:1 – Rev.22:21 to begin to get a ray of understanding, enough to humble us − knowing that we will NEVER see the whole picture in this life. But, oh, we KNOW that it will be breathtaking!

YOM YERUSHALEYIM  looks like this in Hebrew יום ירושלים

Fifty years ago today on the Hebrew calendar, Jerusalem was liberated from Jordan and like the rest of those whom the Lord had sent into exile, She came home.

It has been QUITE a week here (this may be the understatement of the year).  I listened to all of the meetings with US President Donald Trump as it becomes daily even more impossible to trust the media. So I listened carefully, giving far more time to the coverage than I would have chosen, but I’m glad that I did.  Yes, I have opinions and observations and wonderings, but they are all dwarfed in the face of YOM YERUSHALAYIM. This 50th anniversary of GOD’S HAND  landing here and re-writing history in a matter of a shocking 6 days.

Today is the 24th of May, 2017 and I walked most of the way to work this morning, despite my current lack of physical strength. I wanted on THIS day to walk these streets, pray these streets, sing these streets, and open my eyes to whatever He would show me.

Although I left my apartment at 6:15, the train, which ran all night last night – usually it stops between 1 am -5 am – so the celebrations could take place all through the night. The train was full of religious people, making their way to the Western Wall.  Oh yes I DID so want to go this morning to thank Him, but of course I thanked Him as I walked and sang amidst the birds, the flowers, and flowering trees, wondering what it all means. I prayed for mercy and the fear of God, God ALMIGHTY

You KNOW of course, that Allah is NOT the same GOD, right? I have told you before that written around the inside of the Dome of The Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, are the words (in Arabic) “Allah is one AND HE HAS NO SON”.  He said it himself.  If we say that Allah is the same God that we worship, then we are denying Jesus, period.

And so I sang: (no this is not me singing Psalm 147:12, 13, but a better rendition.)

I HAVE A FAVORITE QUESTION that I ask everyone at this time of year who is old enough to remember:  “WHERE WERE YOU ON THIS DAY IN 1967?”

The answers usually bring tears to my eyes and a sense of awe as each one speaks of “the miracle that GOD has done.” Their eyes ALWAYS mist over.

Shlomo Levi  is not our patient, but Dr. Meshulam’s patient.  I’ve seen him over the years but usually Dr. Meshulam’s secretary is working and I don’t serve him. However I was alone on Friday when he came in.  His jet black hair belies the fact that he is 81, which I saw when I opened his chart.  “Adon Levi, where were you at this time back in ’67?” I asked.

He looked shocked for a moment and then as if transported to another place, that mist fell.  “I was at the Kotel (the Western Wall),” he said.

I thought that he meant he had followed the throngs in after it was taken, the thousands of survivors that poured weeping through the Old City gates, to touch the remaining wall of the temple, denied to them for 2,000 years.

‘Yes?’ I asked, urging him to continue.

“You have heard of Motta Gur?” he asked.

“OF COURSE,” I answered, remembering the iconic Corporal who led the advance.  I was carrying around his proclamation in my purse to give out to people as a reminder: ‘The Old City is in our hands!’  He wept over the radio as he made the earthshaking announcement. Later promising before God in prayer – also written on my copy of the proclamation, that we would watch over Jerusalem faithfully,  keeping her for God.  OF COURSE, we ALL know Motta Gur.

Shlomo began to quietly speak, “I carried his radio equipment.  I had to stick to him like glue, but I was there when he made the proclamation.”  Tears began rolling down BOTH of our faces and I jumped up and gave this small religious man, not much taller than I am, a big hug and thanked him.

His eyes shined with the wonder of His memory, he pulled out his teudot zehut  (Identity card) and said, “I was given this special stamp in my ID.”

I looked at a seal of Jerusalem and the notation of honor to those who took part in the battle for the liberation of Jerusalem.  “It was a miracle you know,” he said.  “There was NO way that we could have done it.  The fighting was fierce…we were weakened with no food or water for so long…out-numbered…it was a miracle!”

Yes, it WAS a miracle, and those words are repeated again and again with each story.

I was surprised when I asked Avi where he was on that day.

In 1967 I was a wild hippie, out of college, and didn’t THINK of Avi being a kid, so it took me back when he said, “Well, I was only seven so I couldn’t fight but my Mother kept us children in the shelter. But I lived in Sanhedria and the Jordanian barbed wire – and so the fighting – was on our street – fierce fighting.  I kept trying to peak out.  My Mother had a job keeping us down and quiet.  It was SO exciting when the guns became silent and the people began running out, yelling, ‘The Old City is Free!’ They were dancing and crying in the streets and thanking God.  I didn’t understand really but we were all so happy.”

The city really did a marvelous job of security closures while U.S. President Trump was here.  The street closings, as difficult as they always are, seemed much more orderly this time, and although not easy, I WAS able to get a taxi home as opposed to when U.S. President Obama was here. Then I had to walk the lengthy distance home.

My taxi driver was seventeen in 1967, JUST under the eighteen year age where he could join the army. BUT he was welcome to join the “mitnadev” or “volunteer army,” running errands, filling sandbags, bringing messages, food, and water

“I lived in Mamilla.  Do you know where Mamilla is?’ he asked.

Mamilla, like Sanhedria, was RIGHT on the border with Jordan, right against the Old City walls.  My dear friend Tamima has delighted me with her stories of growing up there and then being there for the liberation.

“Yes I do.  My friend Tamima grew up there.”

He looked at me. “Tamima Ben Tzvi?  Yes, I know Tamima.  We were all together like one family back then.”

We smiled.

“It was all so intense…so much shooting…wounded…helping at the hospitals…but then it was over.  My two friends and I walked ALL around the walls of the Old City.” He shook his head in wonder before continuing. “And then we walked to Hebron where we went to Machpelah (the cave of the Patriarchs, where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are buried…the burying plot purchased by Abraham as recorded in Gen 23:1-20) to pray and give thanks for this great miracle. (This taxi driver was not religious).

Others told me of defending their kibbutz or smaller community outside of the city with furious fighting and miracle after miracle. GOD WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AS THE AUTHOR OF THIS ASTOUNDING GIFT.

I handed out my copies of the proclamations made at the wall by Motta Gur and Rabbi Goren, the Rabbi who is seen in all of the historic photos blowing the shofar on that day of days back in 1967. (You can check the photos here.)

I must close now. My husband has come home for supper.  May His joy overflow to you and HIS concern, His heart, His plan and His purposes.  I once again quoted from Zechariah 12 at the top of this letter.  Thank you for praying with us as the world closes in on us, but our God will not be mocked.  He has been glorified, He is being glorified (though not enough) and He WILL be glorified.

God bless you.

Lovingly,

your sister J in Jerusalemnn

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US Embassy: This Year In Jerusalem

The following article appeared as a guest column on World Net Daily two days ago:

US Embassy: This Year in Jerusalem

Exclusive: Larry Nevenhoven says God placed Trump in office for “such a time as this”

President Donald Trump repeatedly promised during his presidential campaign that if he were elected, he would move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

His counselor, Kellyanne Conway, backed up Trump’s words last December in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “That is a very big priority for the president-elect, Donald Trump. He made it pretty clear during the campaign…”

Vice President Mike Pence revived President Trump’s promise in March 2017 at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington DC, “After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

But is President Trump really a man who honors his promises or just another political hack, blowing smoke into the ears of Evangelical Christians and American Jews to garner their support?

The modern history of Jerusalem dates back to the armistice signed after Israel’s war of independence in 1948 when Jerusalem was partitioned into two parts. The western half of the city became part of Israel, while Jordan controlled the eastern half, along with the Old City. West Jerusalem became Israel’s capital with the nation’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches set up there.

This East-West partition remained in effect until Jordan attacked West Jerusalem on the second day of the Six-Day War in 1967. The bloody fighting ended with Israel capturing and annexing all of Jerusalem and the entire West Bank. The city has been unified under Israeli control since 1967.

In 1980, Israel passed a law stating Jerusalem was the “complete and united capital of Israel.” The United Nations declared Israel’s law was a violation of International Law and ruled it was null and void. The UN also called upon member nations to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city.

American politicians soon entered into the Jerusalem dispute with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush backing the moving of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during their respective presidential campaigns in 1992 and 2000. Both showed their true colors when they reneged on their promises as soon as they entered the White House.

In 1995, Congress joined the cause by passing a law, which declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and required the US embassy to move its offices to Jerusalem by 1999. Failure to comply would cause the US State Department to lose half of its budget. The law allowed presidents to waive its requirements for six months at a time if it was determined to be in our nation’s best interests. Clinton, Bush, and Obama have dutifully signed waivers every six months since the passing of the law.

President Trump will face his first six-month waiver deadline in June.

Now, there’s no doubt Trump is up to his hips in alligators as he attempts to drain the swamp in our nation’s capital. Obamacare, building a wall, sanctuary cities, immigration issues, judicial court overstepping, budgetary problems, job creation, and so forth are more than enough monsters for any administration to handle. Yet, let’s be honest about these issues, okay? Trump needs the help of Congress and the Senate for significant changes to occur with these issues. And there’s no guarantee this will ever happen in today’s political climate.

Even so, it’s my deepest belief that the Lord placed President Trump into the oval office for one main reason: moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. Has the Lord ever done something like this before?

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Over fifteen hundred years ago, the Lord set a Jewish girl named Esther into a leadership position as the Queen of Persia. She risked her reputation and life to fulfill her divine destiny by standing up for the Jews. Esther’s legacy still stands today as a shining example for government leaders to follow.

What are the legacies for the two presidents who defaulted on their promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem? President Clinton is a convicted liar and President Bush is forever labeled with these words: “Bush lied and thousands died.”

It is tough to look in the rearview mirror to gauge the what-ifs of history, but let’s do it anyway. What might have happened if the two presidents had kept their promises about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem? It’s my opinion the Lord would have honored His promise in Psalm 122:6 by somehow covering their mistakes.

Clinton and Bush are forever cemented into their presidential legacies, but President Trump doesn’t have to make the same mistake that they did. He can honor his promise by moving the American embassy to Jerusalem now.

Let’s pray he does.

Larry Nevenhoven is a Christian author/businessman who has written over 1,400 articles on his Larry Who blog (www.larrywho.com) and published 13 eBooks on Amazon. His letters to editors have appeared in major newspapers from the LA Times to the Virginian Pilot with a dozen or so published on WND.

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