Courage, Loving-kindness and Truth – America?

When I see the drama unfolding around the election results in the USA my reaction is a mixture of disbelief, disgust and concern. Who would have thought that in a cultured, educated society, in a country that has become one of the greatest in history given its relatively short existence, one would witness the kind of behavior that is being exhibited by some of whose party lost the election?

Concern is understandable. ThIngs around us are changing at an unprecedented and rapid pace and there are many real issues that threaten to affect the norm and balance that we are accustomed to. Upheaval, terror, financial uncertainty, and more, are realities that suddenly are looming like dark clouds in our once clear, blue sky. People generally deeply dislike change; anything that rocks one’s comfortable boat. Rethinking, reevaluating, doing what in Hebrew is called cheshbon nefesh – an accounting of the soul, doesn’t come naturally, nor is it easy.

A story is told about William James, who was a Professor of Psychology at Harvard almost a century ago. At the end of one of James’s public lectures, a man from the audience approached him.

“Professor James,” the man began. “I was a student of yours ten years ago, and I heard you lecture on the exact same subject. But what you said tonight totally contradicted what you said then.”

“My good man,” James replied. “Do you think I’ve been standing still?”

Growing requires the courage to re-examine our assumptions and values, to admit that who we are today is not the best that we can be, and sometimes to expose ourselves to the challenge of reassessing and maybe even contradicting our own positions and tenets. As George Bernard Shaw said, “False consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Perhaps a large portion of the American population has woken up to the fact that some radical change is needed in what has become the status quo and are ready to face the nitty-gritty of what is real, honest, and true, no matter the challenge that entails.

We always must continue to grow, change, and push ourselves to become a better person and to reflect a better image of God. In these difficult times, we can afford to be only one kind of person – the kind who is moving forward in courage, hope, and trust in the Creator of all whose character is chesed ve’emet – Lovingkindness and Truth. 

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Rosh HaShanah Greeting 2016 / 5777

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L’Shanah Tovah  May you have a Very Good and Fruitful Year!         ב״ה

 Happy is the people who know the shofar sound,
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your presence. (Psalm 89:16)

Dear friends of His-Israel,

We stand on the threshold of the new Hebrew year 5777. The number 7 is associated with completion and fulfilment, and an anticipation of the promise and freshness of a new beginning. At Creation, God set apart the 7th day of the week and called it holy. The 7th month of Tishrei also carries special holiness and significance. The first day of Tishrei, Rosh HaShanah – the New Year, was celebrated even in ancient Israel as a recognition of God as Creator, King, and Judge. The sounding of the shofar, the keynote of the season, is first and foremost a joyous proclamation of God’s sovereignty. Let us trust our faithful Father and King for the strength, inspiration and enabling we need in order to accomplish His plans for our lives during this important year of sevens!

May we also enter this new year with grateful hearts for His many gifts and blessings. Let us, every new morning, celebrate the wonder of being alive and not take anything for granted – not a day, not a moment.

Life is precious, wondrous, and fragile. At this season, comprised of the month of Elul, Rosh HaShanah, the Ten Days of Awe, and Yom Kippur, we are encouraged to open our eyes and see the world afresh, to realize that we are a part of God’s plan for bringing healing and redemption to the world in the power and authority He has invested in His Son and our Messiah, Yeshua.

Cindy and I want to thank you sincerely for your friendship and your encouraging support for the work we are doing at His-Israel. As we wait on the Lord for His further direction, we continue to press on faithfully and joyously with all He gives into our hands to do. We also welcome your suggestions, feedback, and ideas! We deeply appreciate the gifts you have given and value those who have committed to give regular financial support to the work of His-Israel. Due to the unexpected escalation of my living costs in Israel, if you have not yet done so, please prayerfully consider financially blessing our work this year. Thank you.

In anticipation of the joyous coronation of the King of kings in His holy city Jerusalem,

Keren Hannah

THE QUEST FOR REDEMPTION

THE QUEST FOR REDEMPTION

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Passover – Shavuot

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God spread out the heavens and sprinkled the night with sparkling stars. He placed in it the large, glowing orb of sun to set the rhythm of the day. He placed the small, gentle luminary of moon to set the rhythm of the month, and He placed Earth in perfect position to set the rhythm of the year with its color-filled adventures of the seasons.

When all was done, He formed a being in His likeness called Adam, man, from a lump of clay, adamah, and breathed life into it. From the side of this being, He created a living, perfect counterpart called Chava, Eve, woman. The two halves were designed to live in harmony and balance and to reflect His own Being – the Source of Life and Love. They were placed in the center of His beautiful Garden of Creation and given the joyful task of overseeing it together with Him. With the abilities and talents God had given them, the two were free to choose, to make decisions. All was very good. Then came a deception, a temptation, a fall and an expulsion from the Garden; a separation from the Presence of God. And all changed.

Ever since, man has been searching for the way back to the Garden; back to the wonder and fullness of the Presence of God. Just as we do, He longs for the reunion and the restitution of the glory and beauty of Creation as it was intended to be. The good news is that we humans are not alone on our search; we are not abandoned in this Continuing Quest. God has been guiding us along the path of this Redemption, century after century. Generation after generation, He calls and encourages and places signposts along the way to guide us in our search for what was lost; for that for which our spirits yearn. When we search for Him, we slowly realize that we already are found. He has faithfully been waiting while He gently wooed us out of the darkness of our understanding.

All of History is the story of His wooing. The cycles of His Word are the rhythm of His unfolding redemptive courtship of us, the blueprint of His plan of reconciliation. All we need do is to take hold of it with all our hearts and minds and strength, in love for Him, and to walk in its pleasant paths (Proverbs 3: 17,18).

At the set time, He sent His uniquely begotten Son to show us how to do this, and, in suffering the pain himself, to break the lies and bonds of sin and death. Then, the knowledge of God, the Father of all, spread to the four corners of the earth and the way was opened for all to return to the Source of His Life and Love.

This is the central story of the season we now are entering: Pesach/Passover – the 49 days of the Omer – Shavuot/ Pentecost.

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The eight day holiday of Passover / Pesach, celebrates the deliverance of the people of God, the Israelites, who were enslaved under the dominion of the rich and powerful Empire of Egypt. In a mighty display of God’s power, Pharaoh and his kingdom were crushed and God drew back to Himself the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and those who had joined them. He founded a treasured people for Himself, an Am Segullah, who were to be a “light to the nations.”

We relive this Exodus and deliverance, and the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb slain on our behalf, at the Seder meal on the first night of Passover. We then walk through the following 49 days, or seven weeks, shavuot, with intentionality in preparation for the Jubilee feast that crowns the redemption of the Exodus – the revelation at the time of Shavuot / Pentecost.

At Shavuot, God poured out the gifts of the revelation of His Presence, the sound of His voice, the speaking of His commandments – the Ten Words; words to live by in the illumination of His Torah. Into the world of suffering, idolatry and the treading down of the weak and helpless, came the teaching of love and morality, of kindness to the poor, the orphan, the widow and the stranger. God again offered us, in the establishing of His Kingdom and by the power and grace of His Spirit of Holiness, the means to become who He created us to be and to partner with Him in His world and to participate in His plan of Restoration. The gift of His Word, of new life and the opportunity to once again “walk and talk” in His  Presence are celebrated at Shavuot.

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Each year we walk through this biblical Festival cycle and, if we have had eyes to see and hearts of awareness, we have made another spiral upwards and have gained deeper knowledge of and , as a result, are closer in relationship with, our awesome Father and wondrous Creator, the One God of the Universe. Through HIs Word of truth and commandments of love; through His forming of “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” and in the light of His Messiah and King – our High Priest, “— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Rom.8:34), He has laid out a clear path upon which to walk in order to enter and draw closer to His loving Presence once again.

~Keren Hannah Pryor

Chag Pesach Sameach!

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A REMINDER to log in to the website, or His-Israel on Facebook, to join us in COUNTING the OMER – from 24 April through Shavuot on 11 June, 2016.

PASSOVER 2014 – SUKKOT 2015 The Blood Moon Tetrad of the Century!

PASSOVER 2014 – SUKKOT 2015

The Blood Moon Tetrad of the Century!

~Keren Hannah Pryor

As many of you no doubt are aware, there is  great interest and excitement, even consternation, regarding the NASA-based facts of the appearance of a sequence of ‘blood ‘or red moons that are scheduled to appear at key Biblical Feast times during 2014 and 2015. With these “signs in the heavens” along with significant other fulfillments of Matthew chapter 23, the question being asked is, “Are we indeed in the End Days?”  If so, and even if not, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I prepared for Messiah’s arrival as the King of kings?”

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The fact that a “blood” moon is appearing at the season of the sacrifice of the lambs in Egypt, the lambs at the Temple, and the Paschal Lamb certainly should give us pause for thought. As my late husband Dwight (z”l, obm) expressed in his teaching on the theme of Redemption:

“From the time of the Church Fathers to today’s televangelists a ‘Scarlet Thread of Redemption’ has been touted as the main storyline of biblical revelation, weaving itself through the tapestry of Scripture in diverse images and incidents: from the blood shed to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve in the Garden, to the blood applied to the doorposts of Israelite homes in Egypt, to Rahab’s scarlet thread in Jericho signalling Joshua’s men, to the blood shed at Temple sacrifices for the sins of Israel. “

All these, it is said [in Christian tradition], are precursors to the real story of the Bible, namely, Jesus and his blood shed at Calvary for the redemption not alone of Israel but of the whole world.

As marvellous and indisputably central to God’s purposes in the earth as is the story of redemption, I would suggest nonetheless that another theme surpasses the ‘Scarlet Thread of Redemption’ as the overarching meta-narrative and unifying motif of the biblical story. We might call it the ‘Golden Thread of the Kingdom.’”
~Dwight A Pryor

 

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Gold, generally, is the color and metal associated with kingship; with royalty. We see one example of this in the wondrous 60th chapter of the prophet Isaiah, prophesying the Redemption of Israel, where he says, in regard to Jerusalem, “… they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” He continues, ”…and for brass I will give you gold.”  We are seeing the awesome beginnings of the fulfilment of Isaiah’s words in our own days, and await with great anticipation the further fulfilment when,

“Your people shall all be righteous;  they shall possess the Land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.” “I am the Lord;  in its time I will hasten it.”

The ‘Golden Thread’ referred to is thus the Kingdom or the Kingship of the One God of Israel. Going back again to the beginning in the Garden; God, the Creator of all, shared rulership over the earth with Adam and Eve. They forfeited that honor when they disobeyed the rules of the Master Gardener and chose to decide for themselves what was right or wrong. Self and independence triumphed over the will of their Father, God. Ever since, through all the centuries of man’s history, and in each individual journey of life, the goal has been to overcome this selfish lust for power and drive for dominion-on my-own-terms and to yoke it to the will of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; to humble ourselves in service to His gracious Sovereignty.

In another mighty in-breaking of history, God sent His beloved Son as His anointed Messiah to restore His Kingdom to its rightful place in the world and to free those enslaved to sin and bound in the kingdom of darkness and idolatry. In his preaching, teaching, parables and deeds, Yeshua continually and insistently emphasized the reality of the Kingdom of God and the life-giving power of repentance and obedience to the will of our Father. After his submission to suffering and crucifixion, followed by God’s raising him from death to new resurrection life, he now is seated at the right hand of the Father’s throne in heaven and has been given all authority and power to reign over His Kingdom. As Paul so eloquently wrote, we can pray:

“May the God of our Lord and Messiah Jesus, the Father of glory, give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you,

what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Messiah when He raised him from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
(Ephesians 1:17-20)

 

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His Kingdom is here and now and also will be established in its fullness on this earth. As Dwight reminded,

“The Kingdom of God will occur in Zion, not in heaven. Yes, there will be a ‘new heaven and earth,’ but a renewed Jerusalem will still be at its center and the Jewish nation still central to the purposes of the Creator.”

We need not be surprised, then, at the vicious opposition to the establishment and prospering of the Jewish State of Israel. All the selfish drive of fallen and idolatrous human nature rises up against it. But, at this occurrence of the Blood Moons, let us remember that, yes, the blood of sacrifice is found at the heart of God’s plan for Redemption; however, the Golden cord encircling it all with its emet and kedusha – its powerful light of truth and radiant glow of holiness – is the reign of the Kingdom of God.

That is where our focus should be, where our hearts should be centered, as we await the arrival of Messiah as King, and anticipate His glorious reign over all the earth. Eventually, we understand that “…at the Last Day when death is no more, then the Son will hand the Kingdom back to the Father, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24, 28). Until then we can be working with Him zealously in the redemptive process of tikkun olam – the restoration and redemption of Israel and the nations of the world.

Le’ma’an Shemo b’ahavah! For His Name’s sake, in love.

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THOUGHTS on PURIM – Adar 5776 / March 2016

Every Festival of the Hebrew calendar year reminds us to take note, to be aware and to  be surprised by the newness that God continually offers us. We can look back to where we were the previous year and consider how far we have come spiritually. The  Festivals of the Bible do not measure chronological time, such as birthdays and anniversaries do, but serve to measure spiritual progress and growth.

Each festival we can ask ourselves, ‘Have I spiralled upward and drawn closer to God?  Or have I allowed myself to drift and, as a result, spiralled downward and further away from His Presence?’ Hopefully, the answer will be positive. If not, we have the opportunity to wake up, to repent, to reverse the downward spiral and to draw close to Him once again.

The happy festival of PURIM is celebrated this year on Thursday, 24th March. SO…

10401556_10153098422600396_1546700984751018294_nPURIM SAMEACH – HAPPY PURIM! 

Purim is renowned for its fun and games, dressing up, giving gifts of miscellaneous edible goodies such as cookies, candy, wine, etc.; in accord with Esther 10:21-22. The scroll of Esther, megillat Esther, is read aloud and it’s a great party! If we only celebrate it as a reason to party, however, we are in danger of missing the heart of the matter. 

THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER:

* The Unity of God’s People  

The key verse in the scroll of Esther is, “To the Jews there was light and gladness, joy and honor.” (8:16) Le’Yehudim haitah ohrah ve’simcha ve’sasson ve’ikar. Although we are told Mordechai was from the tribe of Benjamin, throughout the story he is referred to very specifically as Mordechai the Jew – ha’Yehudi. This is the first time in history that God’s people are referred to collectively as Yehudim – Jews.

When facing danger from an outside enemy,  people tend to stand together in a stronger bond of unity. Thus, the enemy’s evil intent actually serves to strengthen the unity of the targeted victims. In Persia, at the time of Esther and Mordechai, no matter from which tribe they may have originated, the people of the God of Israel all faced the same fate at the hands of a murderous foe. This caused them to rise up as one, to unite in fasting and prayer to God, and to defend themselves victoriously against the enemy’s threat of annihilation. Ever since, as it was written by Mordechai and Esther to do, the Jewish people, including all those who who would join them in praise of the One true God (9:27),  have celebrated these days together in joy and gladness.

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Pic: Young Orthodox Jewish boy dressed as an IDF paratrooper
delivering a mishloach manot – ‘goody basket’ to friends.

* “But Mordechai would not bow…” (Esther 3:12)

The young, orphaned Jewish girl, Hadassah, who became Esther the Queen of Persia, is the heroine of the story. Although it meant risking her life, she responded to the call of her uncle Mordechai to act on behalf of her people as she had been placed in that position by God, “for a time such as this.”  If we look closer, we realize what caused the evil Haman to formulate his murderous plot – his resentment and jealousy of Mordechai, the Jew who would not bow to him.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin points out that historically there are only two ideologies regarding the nature of a human being.* He asks: ” Is the human created in the image of a loving God of compassionate righteousness and moral justice? Or, is the human merely a complex animal in a universe in which only the most powerful [the “fittest” – or smartest, or most technologicaly savvy!] survive and deserve to survive?” The latter being an existence in which “might makes right, the weak must submit to the strong, and the victor gets the spoils.”

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The Bible tells us clearly that God created us in His image; that our bodies are endowed with a spirit that connects us to Him. The great and central maxim of His Word, as highlighted by the Sages Hillel and Akiva, and taught by Yeshua himself, is to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “…to love your neighbor as yourself.”

He then underscores: “On these two commandments depend all the Torah and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).

The image of God is expressed in the ability to communicate lovingly and by the uniquely formed faces, talents and characteristics of each of His children. Rabbi Riskin suggests that the hatred and opposition of the God of Israel and His people is evidenced in today’s Hamans and Hitlers when they publicly relish execution by beheading, for “…it bespeaks a denial of the image of God in man!”  Therefore Mordechai the Jew, in accord with God’s justice and morality, refuses to bow to totalitarian tyranny. On many levels, we cannot  bow to those who use their position and power and, lacking compassionate righteousness, choose to “lord it over” those who are weaker for their own selfish ends.

* There was Light and Gladness – Ohrah ve’Simcha 

What light is referred to here? There is only one major source of light in Jewish understanding – God Himself. So, although He is not specifically referred to in the scroll, we find clues as to His hidden Presence. God can perform wondrous miracles in an overt manner; such as the splitting of the Red Sea in the deliverance of His people from Egypt. Then, they were helpless and “newborn,” as it were, and needed His strong manifest intervention. However, just as we grow stronger physically and mature individually and, consequently, need our parents’ help less, so it is with His people. God, our Father, always assures us of His Presence and love, and His ‘hidden’ support is there, but He is gratified when we stand on our own feet and act as His mature sons and daughters. He has given us the Light of His Word – the Ohrah of His Torah! What Simcha, gladness it affords Him, as well as it does us, when we follow the Shepherd and walk in His light.

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* Jerusalem Post, Magazine article, March 6, 2015

A NEW SEASON and the New Jerusalem

Shalom dear friends,

This is indeed a new season! The world, together with us here in Israel, has been stunned at the rise of terrorism and vicious disregard of life by militant and radical Islam. Along with sorrow, one can be forgiven for allowing feelings of outrage and even despair.  However, we are reminded of the enduring faithfulness of our Almighty God as the Hebrew month of Shevat ushers in a new season in Israel. It is the joyous herald of Spring. The majority of the winter rain has fallen and the sap has risen in the trees. The New Year for trees is celebrated on the 15th of the month, Tu B’Shevat.  The almond trees are the first to burst forth in a profusion of beautiful blossoms, sometimes even surrounded by sparkling snow. Then the remaining trees, which stood bare through the cold winter months, begin to sprout green leaves and buds as they bear the promise of the fruit harvest. We happily anticipate the proclamation of the Beloved, as described in the Song of Songs (2:10-13):

“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.”

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Note: For an in-depth look at the month of Shevat and the celebration of a Tu B’Shevat Seder where the fruits of the Land of Israel are enjoyed, see ‘Appointments with God‘.

The freshness and “newness” encompassing everything after the rain is a reminder of our hope in the Giver of rain and of Life. As it is written, when the King of Righteousness reigns, “each man will be like… streams of water in the desert, and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land” (Isaiah 32:2). The warfare and attacks we see engulfing the world are I believe a reflection of a raging spiritual battle – all centered upon the God of Israel, His Land, and the city where He has chosen to place His Name, Jerusalem. Our part in this battle is to earnestly pray, to comfort, to speak encouragement to the people of Israel, and indeed to all peoples:

 Say to those with anxious heart,  “Take courage, fear not.  Behold, your God will come with vengeance.  The recompense of God will come,  But He will save you.”  Then the eyes of the blind will be opened  And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.  Then the lame will leap like a deer,  And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.  For waters will break forth in the wilderness  And streams in the Aravah, desert. (Isa. 35:4-6 NASB)

Indeed, when He comes again as King of all the earth, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Streams of living water will pour forth bringing life to all dry and barren places.  HalleluYah!

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Anticipating the New Jerusalem

In our generations, God has performed the miraculous return of His people to His Land and we are taking root deep in her precious soil; branches are reaching to Heaven and there is promise of harvests of great fruit. One day, known only to the Father, although it seems to be drawing very near, Israel will be redeemed from her “shame” in the eyes of the nations and from the sin of her unbelief. Our Almighty God has promised, for Zion’s sake, for Jerusalem’s sake to not  rest, nor hold His peace, until her righteousness “goes forth as brightness and her salvation as a blazing torch” (Isaiah 62:1).

The ‘brightness’ will be the revelation to the ends of the earth of Messiah’s return to Zion in glory, and the ‘blazing torch’ will be the righteousness he establishes as he rules and reigns in God’s redeemed city. Jerusalem, in her renewed identity as City of the Great King, will become “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord (Isaiah 1:3). She will be the shining symbol of His everlasting sovereignty and the shining heart of His Kingdom in the earth.

So, dear friends, let us rest in that hope and “strengthen weak hands” as we allow His life to flow through us as a refreshing spring of living waters, and as we stand with Jerusalem and the Land and people of Israel, until the Lord comes to establish her as “the joy of the whole earth.”

Psalm 84:5-7 encourages us:

 “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage [up to Jerusalem]. As they pass through the Valley of Baca [weeping] they make it a place of springs [living water]; the rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.”

 

Joyfully in His praise,

Keren Hannah

 

ISRAELI STREET ART

Israeli street art is very creative, inventive and colourful! It often serves to hide an unsightly object, brighten up a dull corner, convey a message or simply add some fun and humor to your walk.

 

A selection seen in the widespread Nachlaot neighborhood that surrounds the famous Mahaneh Yehudah Shuk (market).

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Reach for Heaven and stay rooted in  אמת –  Emet – Truth!

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Fruit juice stand!

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Also Art…

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Rain! Thanksgiving amid the Tension – November 2014

SHALOM dear friends, from a cool, Autumnal Jerusalem –  although the season is short and we quickly encounter the start of a full-blown Winter!

I came across a quote recently by Shira Tamir…..

“Anyone who thinks Autumn leaves are dead, has never seen them dance on a windy day.”

To me this also captures the joyful realisation that death is a simple transition into new life. A beautiful thought when you know the One in whose hands your life is lovingly held for Eternity.

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NOVEMBER  has been a full month here in the capital of Israel, containing both joy and sorrow.  We experienced the joy of Thanksgiving and the first rains that washed away the dust of the long, hot Summer. We also experienced the deep pain, and still shocking and not quite comprehensible, terror attacks on Rabbi Yehuda Glick and, on an even larger scale, the massacre at the Har Nof synagogue. Four Rabbis, who were described in accounts after their brutal murder, as gentle, loving and caring human beings, were shot and hacked to death while praying the silent, personal Shacharit Amidah – the morning prayer that is prayed while standing enveloped in one’s tallit (prayer shawl). The beautiful prayers while donning the tallit include the words:

“How precious is Your loving-kindness, O G-d, and the children of men
find refuge under the shadow of Your wings.
They are filled with the rich plenty of Your House.
You give them drink from Your river of delights [the Living Water of His Word].
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
Continue Your loving-kindness to those who know You,
and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.”

~The Koren Siddur (Jewish Prayer Book)

I came across more meaningful words that were quoted after the attack of Taliban terrorists  on the compound of Christian Aid workers in Kabul, Afghanistan, during which they murdered the South African worker and father and his two teenage children. They apply to the lives lost here too and in the case of all who serve the One and living God of Israel.

“They buried us, not knowing we were seeds.”

 

RAIN…AND MORE RAIN…

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We had half the annual amount of rainfall in one week! Real gully-washers! Many accounts of leaks and water damage in dwellings not used to such extreme downpours but, in general, exhilarating and refreshing – carrying the promise of new life!

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Anyone remember the happy song?

It’s beginning to rain, rain, rain – hear the voice of the Father, saying:
“Whosoever will come drink of the water.
I’m beginning to pour My Spirit out on my sons and my daughters.
If you’re thirsty and dry look up to the sky.

It’s beginning to rain!”

 

BLESSING…

I enjoyed a birthday filled with many beautiful friends and blessings. Here is one I share and pray for each of you…

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So thankful for each of you and rejoicing,

In Him Who loves us,

Keren

WAR – SHMOR! The Gaza War and death of Robin Williams

19 August 2014

Daily life here in Israel proceeds in a state of animated suspension after the drama of the weeks of Operation Protective Edge and the engagement in Gaza – now followed by the seemingly nebulous and likely hopeless ‘diplomatic’ talks in Cairo.

Amid all the horrors being perpetrated by the Islamic State & Co in Iraq, Syria, Africa and who knows where, and the demonstrations of Anti-Israel/Jewish hatred in major cities worldwide,  the sudden death of star comedian and actor Robin Williams (obm) focussed the mourning of thousands worldwide on this one tragic death.

Robin Williams was born an Episcopalian in Chicago, but his humor often had a definite Jewish flair and was sprinkled with Yiddish terms. He occasionally referred to himself as “an honorary Jew.”

 

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Comment by Rabbi Stewart Weiss – Aish.com

“What strikes me today is the lesson to be learned from Williams’ life – and death – here in Israel. In a sense, we, too, live a “bi-polar” existence. We as a nation, as a People, are constantly pulled between the extreme poles of ecstasy and tragedy. We are either celebrating wonders and miracles, or grieving over the loss of our loved ones. We create a great country, from the ashes of the Holocaust, and then we are immediately filled with anxiety and worry over the existential threats emanating from our hostile neighbors.

We win wars, thank God, against all the odds, but then we must agonize over the aftermath of every conflict. Each cause for celebration is tempered by a warning against over-confidence, while every dark cloud contains its own silver lining. Even our calendar echoes this duality, as our many joyous holidays are interspersed with no less than six fast days, reminding us that we are never too far from some ominous note – or some reason to rejoice.

Our latest, ongoing war has injected some measure of depression into our populace, as we worry where all this is going, and wonder aloud what the solution is to a seemingly insoluble predicament. Suicide is not an option. We have weathered every storm throughout our history and, with God’s help, we will successfully navigate this latest crisis as well and emerge to even greater glory.

Robin, fly upon your way, find shelter in some Heavenly nest. As the Talmud says, one who makes others smile and laugh is secured a place in the World to Come. And we, too, will seek our own shelter, nestled in the wings of the Almighty and in the strength and security of His people and His Land of Israel, whose greatest moments are yet to come.

Ethics of the Fathers (2:4) quotes Hillel who said:

“Do not judge another until  you have stood in his place.”

Since it is impossible to stand in another person’s place, to be them, to have their baggage or to live their struggles, we can never judge another. Instead, we should be kind, sensitive, supportive and understanding of everyone around us.

Ian Maclaren, a 19th century Scottish author and Theologian said it well: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

 

Memorable quote by Past Prime Minister Golda Meir (obm)

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WAR – SHMOR!   A little humor helps!

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Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer: [in control room] Good Morning, Vietnam!
In Saigon today, according to official sources, nothing actually happened. One thing that didn’t officially happen was a bomb didn’t officially explode at 1430 hours, unofficially destroying Jimmy Wah’s cafe. Three men were unofficially wounded, the fire department responded, which we believe to be unofficial at this present moment…

 

* A young Israeli was drafted into the IDF – Israel Defense Force. His father gave him advice: “Don’t rely on miracles my son. Recite a few verses of Tehillim (Psalms) before going into battle and you will be safe.”

 

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Looking back… The Six-Day War in 1967

  • In New York, a Jewish paper the Forverts, disgusted with the UN’s dallying at the height of the crisis, did a little transposing… Reading from right to left, as in Hebrew, the UN was changed to “NU?”

Have also heard…UNnecessary, UNreliable, UNdesirable…

  • Needless to point out, the lightning speed with which the Israeli army and air force clobbered the several opposing armies surprised the Egyptians. But they are a practical people. After the first day of the war the Cairo-Hilton reportedly began taking reservations for Bar-Mitzvahs.

 

* Even Frank Sinatra got into the act, a few days into the war he quipped at a banquet in Hollywood , “Soon I’ll be going to Israel to see the pyramids.”

 

  • Even the Soviet Union was taken aback by the swift advance. Russia airlifted 200 tanks to Syria, each equipped with back-up lights and white surrender flags.

 

  • True story… an Israeli soldier came upon a battered, burned-out Egyptian tank somewhere in the Gaza Strip. He left a sign on it… “OIL AND CHICKEN SOUP DON’T MIX!”

 

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HIstorically, Jews have reserved their adulation and respect for the intellectual, the scholar, the teacher, the scientist, the humanitarian, but in the 1967 war the bravery and military genius of Ariel Sharon won him the acclaim of “Lion”  Ariyeh.

Moshe Dayan, the brilliant and charismatic Israeli Minister of Defense, was much in the news and an object of admiring humor. “Mighty Moe” once quipped, “The only revenge I will take on the captured Egyptian soldiers will be to make them eat the same food our boys have to eat.”

 

The Joke of Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in retaliation against Hamas in Gaza:

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No comment!

Gaza / Hamas and Israel at War – Operation Protective Edge – July/August 2014

DAY 23   – Tuesday, 5th August

A BREATHER  – hopefully! Ceasefire declared – beginning 8:00 a.m. today (Tuesday, 5 August) Hamas fired heavy barrages of rockets at Jerusalem and the coastal region minutes before the start of the 72 hour truce. Iron Dome intercepted several incoming projectiles. IDF has withdrawn from Gaza but is keeping troops at the border on stand by. Previous ceasefires have been abused by Hamas and the IDF will be prepared to act in response to further attack on Israel.

Regarding the objective of destroying the vast tunnel network in Gaza, journalist, Ya’akov Lappin of the Jerusalem Post, reports: The IDF has destroyed Hamas’s flagship terrorism project: its network of tunnels that snuck into Israel.

Hamas spent five years preparing this strategic threat; the IDF wrecked 31 tunnels in two weeks.

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Many of the underground passages were designed to send heavily armed murder squads into Israeli communities and to attack army positions from the rear. They were filled with weapons, explosives and other equipment, enabling terrorists to enter a shaft in Gaza dressed in civilian clothing and emerge in Israel, disguised as IDF soldiers and equipped to inflict mass casualties.

In some of the larger tunnels, the army discovered motorcycles that Hamas had earmarked for speedy raids into Israel and subsequent retreats back into Gaza.

Despite very difficult fighting on the ground, which included Hamas cells using heavy rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missile and automatic rifle fire, and despite the painful price Israel has paid in lives lost, the army is very close to achieving this key goal of its offensive.

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We mourn together with the families of the 64 soldiers who have been killed during the ground incursion and, in extreme gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice they made in defence of the country they loved as we all do, take comfort that their memories are a blessing.

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We pray too for refuah shlemah – swift and total healing – for the hundreds of wounded soldiers as well as for the innocents wounded in the fighting in Gaza.

We continue to pray for Divine guidance, wisdom and strength for Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, Commander of the IDF, and Defence Minister Ayalon. And for G-d’s continued protection over all Israel. For His ultimate glory in all the earth. Amen.

 

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DAY 13  –  Sunday, 20th July

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HEARTBREAKING NEWS: The IDF announced this evening that 13 Israeli soldiers from the Golani Brigade, (brown berets) an elite unit that always fights in the front lines of the battle, were killed overnight in Gaza between Saturday and Sunday (20th July).

The Golani, whose motto is Golani Sheli – My Golani – has the insignia of the olive tree, indicating that the ultimate goal of any defensive battle is the desire for peace.

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FURTHER O.P.E (Operation Protective Edge) NEWS: This afternoon it was reported that the IDF struck 566 terrorist targets throughout Gaza since the start of the ground offensive on Thursday night. Over 50 targets have been hit on Sunday. They included 23 homes used as command and control centers, seven underground rocket launchers, six rocket launchers that contained medium range projectiles, and a Hamas tunnel. The IDF detained 22 terrorists prisoners, and they are being questioned.

Wounded IDF soldiers were brought from the fighting in Gaza to a number of hospitals across Israel on Sunday morning. The IDF is setting up a field hospital which will begin functioning at 8 p.m. tonight and is intended to serve injured Palestinians. The IDF said that will serve mainly women and children and will include a delivery room.

Please note that Hamas uses hospitals as shields for their terror bases – and no provision is made for attending to their own wounded.

And still the barrage of rockets continues over towns and homes in Israel.

See ‘The Jerusalem Post’ link on the right for ongoing up to the minute reporting.

You can also download the Red Alert App, which gives regular information of the rockets fired into Israel and the cities, towns and areas targeted. You can leave an encouraging message for Israel and the soldiers there if you would like to.

This passage quoted from an address given by Rabbi Porush in 1968 still rings true!

“In our immediate context we could in our imagination envisage a Middle East in which good will, mutual respect and harmony would prevail between the Jews and the Arab nations, initiating an era of peace and prosperity that would be a blessing to all.
We know that this is the constant aspiration and the constant yearning of Eretz Yisrael, and that Israel’s search for peace comes not only from practical considerations, but also from deep-seated convictions — the emblem of the Israeli army is characteristically a sword wreathed in an olive branch — and from the unshaken trust in the teachings of our prophets and the ideals of our tradition.”

~ Rabbi Israel Porush, in a talk delivered at the Great Synagogue in Sydney, one year after the Six-Day War in June 1967.

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Please continue to pray, in accord with the Word of God,
for the peace of Jerusalem and all Israel.

 

 

 

 

SHAVUOT SAMEACH! ~ The Joy and Blessing of Shavuot

Shavuot is a time when we celebrate our freedom as redeemed children of God and lift the first fruits of our labors before Him in love. We also can trust to receive the gifts of His clear guidance, inspiration, anointing and enabling for the work of His Kingdom that we will be moving into during the intense growth of Summer before the final harvest in the Fall.
CHAG SHAVUOT SAMEACH!  JOYOUS SHAVUOT!
 
In Israel, Kibbutz children are adorned with flowers, and offer dances of thanksgiving before the G-d of Israel who provides all good things for our needs and enjoyment!
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The book of Ruth and the Psalms are the main focus of study at this season. Shavuot is considered the day of the Psalmist King David’s birth and death, and the link in lineage between Ruth, David and Messiah is celebrated. Psalm 68 is considered a special psalm to be read at Shavuot.
During synagogue services, the Hallel Psalms are read (Psalms 113 – 118). In addition, there is a special reading of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19-20), during which the congregation stands in order to re-enact the receiving of the Torah at Sinai.
At the Temple on Mount Zion, the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples of Yeshua, thus it is worthwhile to include a study of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in our lives at Shavuot.

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After a light celebratory dinner, Leil Shavuot, the night of Shavuot, is devoted to the study of Torah – an all night event for the stalwart!  It is customary to eat dairy foods rather than meat at Shavuot, based on the verse,

The knowledge of Torah is like milk and honey under the tongue.
~ Song of Songs 4:11
Cheesecake, of course, is the perennial favorite.  Some Sephardic communities bake specially decorated seven-layer cakes to indicate the completion of counting the Omer – the seven weeks of anticipation after Passover that connect it to Shavuot.
There also is a mystical belief that there are seven spheres, or heavens, that separate man and God. Thus, “…the seven layers of the cake represent the mystical celestial spheres that God had to traverse to deliver the Torah to the Jewish people.”  And which, conversely, our spirits need to spiral upward through as we grow spiritually and draw closer in intimate relationship with Him.
This Shavuot, may you ENJOY, dear friends, all the wonder of His Word, the provision of all good things, and the joy of His Presence.
 
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Almost 7-layer delicious cheesecake!
Pic: Emma Redlinghuis
~ Keren Hannah Pryor

JERUSALEM – YERUSHALAYIM – Throne of the King

 

O Jerusalem, Yerushalayim… 

Thou art the house of royalty, thou art the throne of the Lord.”

~ Yehudah HaLevi

In honor of Jerusalem Day 2014 and to encourage us to remember to pray constantly, expectantly and hopefully for the Peace and protection of the royal City of G-d, two articles are posted below. May they encourage and inspire you to hold Jerusalem of Gold securely in your heart.

1) FROM JERUSALEM TO SYDNEY AND BACK…  

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ISRAELI JOURNALIST, ISI LIEBLER , in an article in “Israel HaYom” / Israel Today on the occasion of Jerusalem Day, 28 May, 2014, shares a very stirring sermon that was delivered by his late father-in-law, Rabbi Israel Porush, at the Great Synagogue in Sydney, one year after the Six-Day War in June 1967. The main message is as relevant today as it was then. It is fairly lengthy but worth the read!

Rabbi Israel Porush (1907-1991) was a fifth-generation Jerusalemite. His father was the first administrator of Shaarei Zedek hospital. He received his rabbinical ordination at the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin, and also obtained a doctorate in mathematics. He was minister at Finchley Synagogue in London before taking up his post as rabbi of Sydney’s Great Synagogue (1948-1975).

Excerpted from his sermon:

At the outbreak of the Six Day War, “Israel stood alone in that hour of crisis, surrounded by a ring of modern armor of terrible deadliness, and beleaguered by the armies of seven nations who were united in the hate of Israel and in their sinister plot to destroy it. The rest of the world cynically played a waiting game. Is it surprising that we view with a measure of cynicism the advice given us by our friends now?” he said.

“And what of churches? Not a word of comfort in the hour of danger, not a sound of condemnation of the threats to our existence. The so-called ecumenical spirit, or the so-called dialogue between church and synagogue, which was promoted in some quarters, especially in the United States, has suffered a setback from which it will not so easily recover.

“Did I say Israel stood alone? Israel never stands alone. ‘The Guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.’ And the people of Israel in all their dispersion were roused as never before in prayer and in action and stood united by the side of Medinat [the State of] Israel. …

“The Jewish citizen-soldier knew what the stakes were, and he was ready for every sacrifice. And many hundreds of the cream of Israeli youth paid the supreme sacrifice upon the altar of Jewish survival. …

“[We] offer thanksgiving to the Almighty for the wonderful delivery of Israel from danger and fear, for the retreat of the enemy beyond wider and safer frontiers, and for the transformation that has taken place in the whole security situation of Medinat Israel. …

“But who can be unaware that our deepest emotions and our profoundest sensitivity revolve around the liberation of Jerusalem, which has been restored to its rightful owners after nineteen centuries of dispossession? …

“Yerushalayim is a magic word for the Jew. It is pronounced in awe. It conjures up associations and feelings in our ears that no other word does, and that no other nation or religion can remotely experience. To us, Yerushalayim personifies the presence of God in our midst, the Shekhinah. It is the soul of our people. It is the national and religious center of all Israel, whether in its glory or in its ruin. Jerusalem is eternal; it can never die or be destroyed. Wherever the Jew settles in the four corners of the earth, Jerusalem is alive in his heart and near to his life.

“Jerusalem is mentioned 630 times in the Bible, as the city of God, the capital of the nation, the seat of the Temple, the center of piety and learning, and also as the emblem of the kingdom of God that will ultimately rule on earth.

“When the captives of Judea sat by the rivers of Babylon weeping over their humiliation, and their captors invited them to sing one of the songs of Zion, they replied: ‘How can we sing the song of the Lord in a profane land?’ and they swore, ‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.’

“Throughout the 1,900 years of exile, there was never a time, with the possible exception of two brief periods, when Jews did not live in Jerusalem, at times facing great peril, at times massacred by fanatics.

“Our prayers were always directed toward Jerusalem. The prophet Daniel, we are told, recited his three daily services with his face toward Jerusalem, and so have done all Jews in the synagogue to this day. There is not a service, there is not a simcha [celebration], there is not a meal, when we do not remember Jerusalem and pray for its restoration. And when we sit in mourning over its destruction, we mingle sorrow with hope, and grief with glorification, and lament with pledges of eternal loyalty to Zion, as is reflected in the moving ode of Judah Halevi:

“‘Thou art the house of royalty, thou art the throne of the Lord. … O, who will make me wings, that I may fly afar and lay the ruins of my cleft heart among thy broken cliffs. … Happy is he that waiteth, that cometh nigh and seeth the rising of the light, when on him thy dawn shall break — that he may see the welfare of thy chosen, and rejoice in the rejoicing when thou turnest back unto thine golden youth.’ …

“Jerusalem is the physical capital of the nation and at the same time the spiritual centre of all Israel wherever they live. …

“Jerusalem must return to its old destiny as ‘Ir Shalem,’ which means on the one hand ‘the City of Peace,’ but also on the other ‘the City of Completion, or Unity.’ It is unthinkable that the unity between the people of Israel and its spiritual cradle will ever be allowed to be severed again.

“The attachment of a people for 3,000 years as intense as that of the Jews to Yerushalayim cannot be set aside by international decree. None need be afraid that the Jews would deal ungenerously or restrictively with the Holy places and legitimate interests of other religions and communities. We have proved that already. …

“Our rabbis also speak of Yerushalayim as the ‘metropolis of the world.’ There is undoubtedly also a universal facet in the image of Jerusalem, embracing the whole of humanity, and that goes back 2,500 years, to the days of our prophets who prophesied in the name of God that the Messianic order on earth would begin with the restoration of Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem would become then the fountainhead of a new mode of living which would lead the world out of the morass of strife, hate and division towards brotherhood, righteousness and peace:

“And many people shall go and say: ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the word of the Law from Jerusalem. And he shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’

“Jerusalem is more relevant to the ultimate salvation of humanity than Athens and Rome because it taught the world the supremacy of righteousness, brotherhood, and charity. And even if the complete fulfillment of this ideal state of affairs would have to wait for the fullness of time, the inspiration of this vision could stimulate now the troubled peoples of the earth towards a more just and peaceful order of life.

“In our immediate context we could in our imagination envisage a Middle East in which good will, mutual respect and harmony would prevail between the Jews and the Arab nations, initiating an era of peace and prosperity that would be a blessing to all. We know that this is the constant aspiration and the constant yearning of the Yishuv/Eretz Yisrael, and that Israel’s search for peace comes not only from practical considerations, but also from deep-seated convictions — the emblem of the Israeli army is characteristically a sword wreathed in an olive branch — and from the unshaken trust in the teachings of our prophets and the ideals of our tradition.”

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2)  THE SIX DAY WAR REUNIFICATION OF JERUSALEM

2014 marks the 47th year since the reunification of Jerusalem the 3,000-year-old capital of Israel, which occurred as a result of the Six-Day War, which was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, with Israel defending herself against Egypt, Jordan and Syria who were supported and fortified by the armies of by 10 other Arab countries

JERUSALEM DAY celebrates the day the war ended, when the paratroopers liberated Jerusalem and restored it to Jewish sovereignty for the first time since the Roman general Pompei invaded Jerusalem in 63 B.C.E.

In many ways, the Six Day War – like each of Israel’s wars of defense –  is considered one of miracles. Most of the individual battles which Israel won can be explained as, although the Arabs outnumbered and outgunned Israel on four borders, Israel enjoyed specific tactical advantages – shorter supply-lines, superior communications, a fortuitous wind in the Sinai Desert which raised a dust-storm at just the right moment, the rising sun dazzling the Egyptians in the morning of the first day of the war, the setting sun dazzling the Jordanians that evening, Egyptian soldiers who were unable to read the instructions for their missiles and were therefore unable to fire them…the list goes on.

The statistical likelihood of all these events occurring by pure happenstance is minuscule. In the Six Day War, Israel had zero margin for error. Hostile Jordanian forces, stationed in the centre of Jerusalem (half of which was under illegal Jordanian occupation), were poised to sweep across Israel from east to west, to link up with the Egyptian army preparing to invade from the south-west. Meanwhile the Syrian Army was preparing to attack from the north and then sweep through the country to link up with the other Arab forces in the Tel Aviv region. Had any Arab army won even one single land battle, then Israel would have been destroyed. Israel had no strategic depth, no opportunity to recover from a single lost battle.

Under those circumstances, the perfect functioning of all Israel’s military systems without even a single mishap over the course of the war was statistically impossible.

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Key: Light yellow area demarcates land held by Israel pre 1967 war and light brown the areas regained by Israel thereafter. Note that the 1967 lines of demarcation were never officially recognized borders under international law but simply indicated the disputed territories.

What may, in retrospect, be seen as another miracle… on the 11th of Sivan 5727 (19th June 1967), just nine days after the war finished, Israel declared that she was willing to withdraw from vast areas of the land recovered in return for peace treaties, normalization of relations with the Arab states, and guarantee of navigation through the Straits of Tiran. The Arab response was expressed in the Khartoum Conference two months later: “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”

The Six Day War was indisputably a series of miracles. And the aftermath – by now close on half a century – has been a series of miracles no less.

Baruch HaShem! Praise G-d!

(Based on information from Arutz 7 & Wikipedia)

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The now famous photographs of three of the paratroopers who were in the group that liberated the Western Wall in 1967 – all were overwhelmed at their first sight of it.            On the right – the same three men in 2007.

Hopefully, b’ezrat HaShem, with G-d’s help, we will see them together again in 3 years time to clebrate the 50th Jubilee of Jerusalem in 2017!

The Wonder of the Restoration of Israel

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
…They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our G-D.

~ Isaiah 35:1-2

Riders traverse the southern desert area in modern Israel, which is reprentative of the barren landscape that comprised much of the Land until its rebirth during the past century.856562_10151417548345053_1776331928_o

No Flowers!

There is a record of the first ambassadorial visit to Israel of foreign dignitaries, who happened to be the President of Thailand and his wife. Golda Meir was Foreign Minister at the time and shortly before their scheduled arrival she asked her personal assistant to order a large bouquet of flowers to present to the First Lady. The problem arose that there were no flowers to be had!

The nation’s first preoccupation, besides the challenges of defense against constant attacks, was building housing for thousands of immigrants and refugees who were arriving from the four corners of the earth! Any further time and resources were devoted first to planting trees on the denuded hills and to clearing stoney ground and draining swamps in order to plant crops for food. There certainly was no opportunity to establish gardens or greenhouses to raise flowers. That was a luxury. Fortunately, they were able to arrange for some to be flown in overnight from Europe and the presentation could be made.

One aspect of the miracle and fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy is that today, only 50 or so years later, Israel is one of the largest exporters of flowers in the world. The desert truly has blossomed!

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 “And I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel,
and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them…”
~ Amos 9:14a

 TEL AVIV – Hill of Spring – nothing but sand dunes!

Digging the first foundation in 1908.

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 TEL AVIV beach – 100 years later

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TEL AVIV –  Rothschild Blvd – the “old” and the new!

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TEL AVIV at night.

The southern-most tip of Israel. A marina in the rebuilt city of  EILAT on the shores of the Red Sea.

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The beautiful port city of HAIFA on the Mediteranean coast north of Tel Aviv.

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Haifa at night! 

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THE ONE AND ONLY CAPITAL OF ISRAEL ~ REBUILT JERUSALEM.

The Golden Gate and Old City from the Mount of Olives.

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A city compacted together… new neghborhoods spreading out over the Judean hills.

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 Pic. Elchanan ben Avraham

Sparkling like a jewel at night.

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YEHUDAH and SHOMRON  ~  JUDEA and SAMARIA

“But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt.”

~ Ezekiel 36: 8-10

Brave planting and building on the desert mountains.

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I will give this Land to Abraham's seed

 

“…and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof…”  

~Amos 9:14b

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…they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
~ Amos 9:14c

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Photo: Geneva Seeds    Artwork: Betty Rubenstein, Lavender Garden, U-Boutique, Israel

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The photographer describes it well: “This is not Tuscany! It is Bitronot Ruchama in Israel” – a beautiful nature reserve one hour south of Tel Aviv.

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With full hearts we  praise and thank the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ~ the God of Israel ~  for being faithful and true, in His great compassion and love, and for the miracle of the Restoration of His Land, to His people in accord with His Scriptures.

“And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them,” says YHWH your God. 

~ Amos 19 :15

 So we proclaim. Amen and Amen.

Cycles & Recycling – 2

Not sure why these are catching my eye… but hope you also enjoy them.

1. An exhibition in Jerusalem’s Safra Square in the Municipal Buildings.  When one rides the bicycle it operates whatever feature is above it – the fan spins, the phonograph plays, the drum beats, flowers bloom, spotlight shines, etc. Great fun! Kids love them…
and I think the Orthodox fellow was tempted until he saw my camera!

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2. Very enterprising!

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3. Bob Dylan’s portrayal of a bicycle…

 

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4.  Must be Florida!

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[Thanks to Taryn Daley for pic.]

 5. Rustic charm…

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[Thanks to Barbara Whiting for pic.]

 6. Happy days in Israel … good kibbutz transport!

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PURIM in JERUSALEM – March 20014 / Adar B 5774

PARTY IN THE PARK

The City of Jerusalem hosted a celebration in the Safra Square Park at the municipal building complex on Jaffa Road. At the time of Mordechai and Esther, “walled cities,” such as Susa the capital of Persia, had an extra day of celebration (see Esther 9:18), so Jerusalem is one big party today (15th Adar B).  Kids, families, costumes, music, parties everywhere!

 

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PLEASE JOIN IN THE FUN

Make your choices from the 20 Purim pictures and place your 5 votes in the Comments box below.
Type the letter of the category with the number of the picture of your choice
For example:  A – 3 ;  B – 12 ;  C – 18   etc.      
Enjoy! 

CATEGORIES:

A. BEST FAMILY PIC

B. BEST QUEEN ESTHER

C. BEST GIRL PIC

D. BEST BOY PIC

E. YOUR FAVORITE PIC OVERALL

2. Sweet Queen!

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5.   Where’s Ima?! He took my crayon!

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6. Beautiful Queen Esthers!

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7. Zebra and Ninja ~ brothers!

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9.  Little Queen Esthers and Abba

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10. Keren and Penguins or PingGwins in Hebrew – Happily no ice in sight!

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11. Time out for coloring in.     Mmm… I’ll just enjoy my ice-lolly.

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15.  A sad little Brave…

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19. Mordechai and Esther

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20. That’s all folks…I’m exhausted!  Shalom and Lehit’ra’ot – till next time!

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