Hello and Happy Resurrection Day! Thank you so much for stopping by for a look inside Israel today. J of Jerusalem shares some special thoughts and blessings in this letter she wrote on April 18th. I pray all of you are blessed today, as you celebrate your Risen King. Now, here’s J . . .
Last night the country burned its leaven. There were bonfires all around where people brought their left over baked goods. Also yesterday, one of the chief rabbis symbolically ‘sold the leaven’ to the Arabs. I really am not sure what that is all about, but I have not cared to take the time to figure it out…another tradition that avoids the keeping of the command?
Passover begins at sundown tonight.
I looked up ‘leaven’ this morning in my old Webster’s Dictionary, and it confirmed what I though; leaven is an agent added to baked goods that causes them to rise or ferment. That is pretty simple to me. So…what could be ‘not kosher for Passover’ in a hard candy or a soft drink, or a yogurt? Well…on to that later perhaps, but, it saddens me to see that what IS ‘kosher for Passover’ this year includes baking powder and baking soda! That boggles my (admittedly) simple mind. Perhaps you remember (those of you who have been reading my letters for awhile) the year when suddenly CHEESE disappeared because it was suddenly not ‘kosher for Passover’. Happily, it ‘became kosher’ the following year. It is easy to see what is kosher for Passover here because it is removed from the shelves, or, as I described in past years, entire aisles of the stores are shrink wrapped and sealed in plastic that is unlawful to break until the end of Passover.
Indeed, the injunction to every Jew is clear and strong in scripture and is given “forever”. HOWEVER…it is rather simple…’No leavened bread shall be found in your homes’…’No leaven shall be found.’ That is not hard. Jesus kept the Passover. After He was risen, His disciples kept the Passover. It is neither a ‘religious act’, nor salvation by keeping the law; but an act of faith and obedience to God’s Word and it is not hard.
But Yeshua rebuked our (His people), particularly the religious leaders, for straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. I am reading right now in Amos and Acts and read a portion that made me shiver. Amos chapter 2 from verse 4 on is written first to Judah and then to Israel (Judah and Israel are separated by this time) – perhaps I will share this later… or perhaps you will…I feel to move on.
I have not been able to write any personal letters lately, and I am so sorry! I continue from ‘crisis to crisis’ and it has left me neither time nor energy, but I am fine inside, so do not worry but thank you for your prayers for my family and for my nation. It is so intense. HE IS SUFFICIENT!
I wanted to share with you some ‘bits and pieces’ that so many of you seem to enjoy. You know how it is when you clean house? You are left with ‘bits and pieces’ at the end (or is it just me….). Well, Passover is SUPPOSED to be (according to scripture) the first day of the first month for us, so it is a good time to ‘remember’ and share some bits and pieces that are meant to glorify Him and to be a blessing and a witness.
Passover (Pesach) is the first of the spring feasts and flowers are now in full bloom everywhere. The latter rains end during this time and the end of Pesach marks the beginning of the ‘counting of the omer’ until Shavuot (Pentecost) when the first fruits are offered with thanksgiving. But even now the fruits of the land dazzle our eyes and noses! The shuk is a glorious array of colors and smells this week! Fresh strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, pineapples, pears, shesek, persimmons, nuts and dried fruits, fresh garlic woven into braids, aromatic and full, every kind of vegetable imaginable…what a sight! I stand back and think ‘This was a desert and YOU have made it to blossom!’ Crowds press into each other; ‘Ouch!’ ‘Slich’a (I’m sorry)’ ‘hag semach! (happy holiday)’
In the stores, food donation boxes stand by the doors encouraging you to ‘buy two and donate one’ and you are offered a chance to donate at the register as well. Everywhere people are speaking kind words to one another and thanking one another for their work. ‘I have an extra box of matzo. Do you need any?’ In the store I meet an old neighbor who had gone, with his family, to live in America for 2 years. ‘Yonatan! How great to see you! How are you and the family? How was it in America for you?’ He hugs me ‘My kids speak English now! Wait until you see them! They tell me what people say in English!’ I ask about how it all went and he tells me how well people live there and how easy life is there and how polite people are and how relaxed it all is…and then he is quiet and looks at me. ‘What?’ I ask, ‘Well…I am just glad to be home. People there talk about God…but it is like…it is different. Don’t misunderstand me…the people in the ‘inside’ (middle America) really seem to love God, but others…it is as if money is God…and money takes the heart…’ He looks at me to see if he has offended me. I tell him ‘Yes…except the ‘notzrim’ (Christians)! They are real!’ He agrees ‘Oh yes! Those are the people from ‘the middle’! They are like us…They believe.’ (He and his family are NOT yet believers) I go away wondering what witness he has been exposed to. I ask him to come and visit and I must pray now for an open door to share. Yonatan and Sarah are their names. Perhaps seeds have been planted and I can water them?
“He confirmed His inheritance when it was weary,” Don’t you love that verse? I certainly do, and that was JUST what He has done for me over the past 2 and a half weeks! I would like to give Him glory for His blessing in the presence of His people, for He is faithful!
We received, not one, but FOUR amazing blessings;
First came the stove: ‘It’s ok. It works’ (albeit the oven has two settings….’hot’ and ‘off’) ‘Thank you, but I’m sure there are others who need it more.’ That is what I told a friend of mine who is a Pastor’s wife and who administrates an ‘amutah’, a non-profit fund to help believers. ‘But I have the money NOW and your stove…well…it COULD bare replacing!’ she argued. I stood firm. HOWEVER…later that day, plop! The control knob fell off. ‘Hey! I didn’t know that could come off…I’ll scrub it.’ I did…and tried to put it back on only to discover that it had SHEARED off. Broken! Now I had NO way to turn on my ‘one stop’ oven. Instead of crying, I laughed and asked The Lord to forgive me for being so proud, and called my friend back. I am now blessed with a new stove! 2) That shabat, my Pastor’s wife handed me an envelope. The kehila (fellowship) had received a blessing and a number of us were given food coupons and it was enough to share with our girls as well. Two wonderful blessings in one week! ‘Thank You Lord!’ THEN (as if that wasn’t more then enough) 3) I got a call that ‘the Swiss believers are in town’. Now this is a special group of people…they come to clean! They clean streets, they clean the homes of ill and elderly…and they clean the homes of believers. I used to clean the homes of others, and I was blessed to volunteer to clean other places, but only once, after 6 weeks in the hospital with burns many years ago, did anyone ever clean my house. The sad fact is that for the past 3 years my life has been so intense and my health so poor that I have despaired over the mess and haven’t known where to start…should I ever get the time and energy. When I was asked if they could come to MY home…a strange thing happened. Yes, the embarrassed ‘refusal’ welled up in me, but a joyful acceptance usurped its place and, knowing that this would be greatly humbling… I said ‘YES’! Now, added to my other blessings I had clean windows, a clean bamboo pots and pans shelving and clean bathroom walls! FINALLY (as if more were possible) 4) , a dear sister from Texas, who does many things, but also leads groups to Israel, came and invited my husband and I to join them for dinner at their hotel. What a group! Each one was a blessing. We felt the strength of the body just being with them…the love of Yeshua enveloped us, and they blessed us with a gift of two months rent! HE CONFIRMS HIS INHERITANCE WHEN IT IS WEARY! The love of this group touched my husband’s heart as well J
I thank The Lord for this quiet time to write in the midst of so much activity! I have thought of several of you whom I love dearly in the line of the dangerous storms in the US. I have wanted to shout out about the murderers of the Fogel family being arrested and the responses…about the death yesterday of the 16 year old who was injured in the Gaza rocket attack about a week ago…about such a number of things that I do hope that you have read about in our news or heard about from the others you hear from. Others write so well and I know that many of you receive other letters. Thank you so very much for your prayers, for your letters, for your kindness, for you help, for all that you are in Him.
As we are one in The precious Pesach Lamb Who was sacrificed for OUR sins and rose again in victory, THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AFTER THE FLESH…for the salvation of our people according to scripture, that even THIS Pesach, eyes may be open and that the revelation of Yeshua may be evident! God bless you! May we glorify God, and finish the work that He gave us to do.