Inside Israel – Emotional Rollercoaster of Sukkot

Hi! Welcome to a look inside Israel today. I goofed this weekend and accidentally posted an Inside Israel yesterday. oops. But, maybe that is as it should be, so we could finish up J of Jerusalem’s Sukkot sharings. This last one is so powerful. Praying that it stirs your heart for Him and His as well. God bless you as you read and pray. Now, here’s J . . .

I find myself wondering if you already KNOW what an emotional roller coaster this day has been for us here in Israel. I am assuming that most of you were able to watch the dramatic events that unfolded today as the world media covered it so very widely. The sampling of the foreign media coverage that I caught in between work and sukka guests, was compassionate, generally speaking, but it is hard to experience something like this ‘up close’ and not be softened to some extent, and world media was here in force! I am speaking, of course, about the release this morning of our soldier, Gilad Shalit, ending 5 years and four months of captivity in Gaza, apparently in solitary confinement.

As I wrote last, the events surrounding the release were controversial, dramatic and painful…but all of that took a ‘haf-seka’ today, that is…a ‘break’…everything ground to a halt and emotions other then …hum…what emotion is this HUGE ‘feeling’?? It is ‘love’, ‘heartbreak’, ‘joy’, ‘quiet compassion’, ‘pain’, ‘wonder’, ‘thanksgiving’…all rolled into one. Most people had their tv, computer or radio on by 6am this morning. Although it had been announced that the swap would begin at 11, we know our country and that didn’t mean anything. It turns out that they began shuttling prisoners down to the Egyptian boarder by midnight last night. By 6am we realized that ‘things were moving along quickly’ and every eye turned south. We heard at around 10:30 that Hamas had officially turned Gilad over to Egypt, and a short time later we heard that he was in Israeli hands…and 15 minutes later…back on Israeli soil! That meant only one thing; He was ALIVE! And that was the unspoken collective ‘breath holding’ hinge…would he be another cruel joke and be turned over to us in a box, as were the 3 captured by Hizbolla shortly after he was. But no…he really was ALIVE, and that was the word that went out everywhere: “Hoo HI!” (“He is ALIVE!”)

Someday those words will be spoken about Yeshua…Jesus. Someday there will be the same awestruck barely able to believe wonder spoken at the same moment by the whole country…”HE is ALIVE!”…but it wasn’t about Yeshua- not YET…Today it was about Gilad Shalit…every Israeli’s son today.

Do you need me to describe the events? I doubt it. I suspect that every one of you followed it to some extent or other. If I am mistaken, please ask me to send you information. You likely know that the Egyptian tv interview with him was ‘forced’ and had not been expected. You likely saw how he is so pale and thin and yet happy. We were all told to ‘keep back’ and to ‘leave the family alone’ but the streets were lined with flags and people threw flowers at his passing car. There was dancing in the streets.

At the same time…455 terrorists passed into Arab territory or a third country. They were greeted as heroes by huge crowds…many thousands…rejoicing and celebrating. In contrast to Gilad’s emaciated and pale body, they appeared very well fed and sun tanned. They proclaimed this as a great victory…and yet…on England’s BBC (of all places) an interview took place that took a surprising turn and startled even the interviewer. An Israeli woman, who had survived the Park Hotel Passover night bombing, but lost her entire family, was being interviewed. She was asked about ‘her emotions’ since the murderer of her family was being released. She looked very sad, traumatized, yet said that she was so happy for the Shalit family. The interviewer pushed further; ‘But the killer of your family is released. Aren’t you scared?’ she asked. ‘Ofcourse I am scared, we are all scared, but keeping him won’t bring my family back and now the Shalit’s won’t have to feel the pain that I live with.’ The interviewer was surprised ‘Well that is very generous of you but how can you back such a deal? It is not fair. Aren’t you angry at the government?’ She answered ‘Fair? Listen. One of our people IS worth 1000 of them and they know it and I know it and we have our son back. We honor life…they honor death. The government was brave.’ The interviewer was shaken.

And today this was echoed around the world. It is a philosophical argument. In this world where ‘life is cheap’, Israel paid a heavy price for one skinny boy. Our Prime Minister spoke briefly and quoted the prophet Isaiah 9:2 “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” I wondered if The Light to the nations was shining in hearts…if there was a ‘pause’ through out the world just as there was a ‘pause’ here. Would The Lord use this to speak to hearts in the middle of our chaotic world where right and wrong are turned upside down…could this all speak to hearts somehow for His kingdom?

And…did He answer our prayers and manifest Himself to Gilad Shalit during those 5 years and 4 months? He is a prayer answering God…but it remains our part, to simply pray.

I was at work through out the release and could only follow the events of the day on the computer edition of the printed media (we can not access video media at work) but I watched the patients. One called in to order prescriptions and gave me (literally) a ‘blow by blow’ account of what she was seeing and what was being said on tv. Another 80 year old woman came in rejoicing and telling me that it was ‘her day’ to ‘man’ the protest tent that Gilad’s parents had been living in near the Prime Minister’s office for the past year and a half, but instead she would be hosting a lunch party at her home for volunteers. ‘We call our children to protect us and they are willing to die doing it. In turn we promise them that there will not be ‘one left behind’, and today we restored their belief that we mean it. We have strengthened the hands of the army- our children- today.’ Said yet another.

So I went out into the sukka to read my Bible some more when I came home from work. Several couples from our fellowship came over to ‘sukka sit’ with us, and we took time to pray…sitting in a little tent covered with palm branches for a roof so that we can see the sky…can look up and think of Him Who watches over us and CALLS US to ‘WATCH AND PRAY’… in this little tent all decorated with fruit and flowers and the goodness of His abundance – some say it is like sitting inside a Christmas tree! – we worshiped Him in the middle of Jerusalem and wondered and paused and wondered again. And pray we did; for Gilad and his family – for victims of terror – for the terrorists (yes, we did) – for the government – for the body – for Lord to be glorified and for so much more. Kind of makes you wonder what tomorrow will hold! What a Sukkot!

It’s after midnight and I’m off to be. God bless you, dear dear brothers and sisters. Love, your sis in Jerusalem

ani b’derek

Published in: on October 30, 2011 at 8:06 am  Comments (6)  
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  1. “…One of our people IS worth 1000 of them and they know it and I know it and we have our son back. We honor life…they honor death…”

    Wow! Who can argue with this viewpoint? Certainly not me. God bless this woman.

  2. We have our son back…We honor life…they honor death…
    Very touching

  3. Larry, that really impacted me too. And how the view was that he was everyone’s son. I think the interviewer expected something else from her, was trying to get other emotions stirred up, and I’m so glad that this is what came out instead and wasn’t edited out.
    God bless you, Larry, as you honor His Life.

  4. God bless you, faith filled fisherlady, as you live for the Son today!

  5. Wow – “we honor life, they honor death” – powerful, and sure to be repeated for many generations. What an amazing story and glimpse of what happens when many join hands to hope and pray!

  6. I’m so excited that this has touched you too. I love being able to share what she shares . . .just feel there is something in it that He wants us to know. God bless you, dear panaquarium, as you hope and pray!

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