Inside Israel – Sirens For A Season


Hi and welcome to another look inside Israel today!  This is from an April 8th letter our sis in Jerusalem sent as she shares about the time leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day.  Thank you for praying for Israel and our sis there!  Now, here she is . ..

The air already carries a grey mantle of mourning.  The television stations are shut down showing only several powerful Holocaust movies over and over and interviews with survivors interspersed with history.  In an hour and a half the opening ceremony will begin at Yad v’Shem, our Holocaust memorial, and we will again share the grief as those who lived through the horrors open their hearts and their memories.  They can’t bare it alone, so the nation bares it with them…and there is healing in that.  Somehow it works.  Somehow it acknowledges that they walked that impossible path and they can go on through another year. 
Tomorrow at 10:00am the soulful siren will sound and bring the country to a silent, still 2 minutes of remembrance.  Places of entertainment and restaurants will be closed.  Do I get ‘used to’ this?  No.  It brings tears each year.  The news announced that there has been a 30% rise in violent anti-Semitic acts in the Western nations this year.  Right now, this will have to be VERY short as our nation is the subject of an active ‘cyber-attack’ and I don’t want to leave my computer open.  I will enclose an article that I found a real blessing.  Perhaps it will be safe to write more tomorrow.  God bless you all! Love, your sis
Palestinians visit Yad Vashem: ‘A tragedy beyond words’

Bassam Aramin, whose 10-year-old daughter was killed by IDF rubber bullet, visits Jerusalem’s Holocaust museum, says ‘I surely can identify with feeling like a refugee – humiliated, weak, lost – but the tragedy of the Holocaust is very different’
Noam (Dabul) Dvir

Ahmed al-Jaafari, a 43-year-old Deheishe refugee camp resident, stands opposite the list of Jews who were sent to the Sobibor death camp. At a certain point, he turns to the guide, Roee Hanani, and asks “why did they keep such an organized list if they planned on killing them all along?”

Hanani replied him in Arabic “the Nazis were very organized. They believed that they were solving a world problem and wanted to take pride in what they did.”  
As part of a unique “Combatants for Peace” trip to Yad Vashem, eight Palestinian Authority residents visited the museum to learn of the fates of European Jews during the Holocaust.
“This was a jolting experience for me,” said al-Jaafari. “I saw the reactions of people who were here and wanted to experience it for myself. I heard and read about and saw movies on the Holocaust, but nothing comes close to a visit in which I can see it with my own eyes. I don’t understand how the world conspired a crime like this.”  
Al-Jaafari continued by making a few comments with which Jews can identify, but likely to cause Palestinians to become irate. “When you look at the background of the Jewish nation, you can try to understand your anxiety and fears. A nation that went through something like this cannot live without scars. I don’t agree with the comparison between the Holocaust and the situation in the territories, and people who make this comparison make it out of pain and anger.”
“Combatants for Peace” was established by a group of Israelis and Palestinians who participated in what they call the “circle of violence” in the region,” and have now abandoned their weapons in favor of peace and coexistence.
However, not all the Palestinians who registered for the tour, made it to Yad Vashem. This is due to the difficulties they had attaining entrance visas into Israel.
No Arab Righteous Gentiles
Upon arrival to the station dedicated to the Righteous Gentiles, Hanani told the participants about a devout Muslim couple that hid the Jewish Habilio family in their home in Sarajevo. The couple also took the father in, who managed to escape a labor camp. The Habilio family immigrated to Israel in 1984 and turned to Yad Vashem; bringing recognition to the Hardega family as Righteous Gentiles.
The story did not end there. During the civil war which saw the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Sarajevo was under massive attack. Yad Vashem and the Joint Distribution Committee brought Zaynba Hardega to Israel with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. Zayba has since passed away, but the rest of the family still lives in Jerusalem.
Hanani explained to the group that there are still no Arab Righteous Gentiles, but the relevant committee is currently discussing a few cases in which North African citizens saved Jews during World War II.
“I began taking an interest in the Holocaust 20 years ago when I saw the movie ‘Schindler’s List,’ said Bassam Aramin, who organized the tour on the Palestinian side. “Since then, I have seen it four times.”
“Less than a month ago I was at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. When you arrive at a place like this, you forget who you are. This is a tragedy that cannot be described in words.”
Some five years ago, Aramin’s 10-year-old daughter was killed by an IDF rubber bullet. When he hears comparisons being made between the territories and the European Holocaust, he becomes indignant.
“This is a big mistake. These are very different things. As a person who lives under occupation, I surely can identify with feeling like a refugee – humiliated, weak, lost – but the tragedy of the Holocaust is very different,” said Aramin.
Nabil, another participant, said that he didn’t think twice about joining the tour. “As soon as I was called I said I was coming. I heard a lot about the Holocaust and wanted to see Yad Vashem with my own eyes. I am not afraid of reactions from the Palestinian side. I think that everyone needs to come here and see it with their own eyes.”
Published in: on April 28, 2013 at 7:16 am  Comments (12)  
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Inside Israel – Jerusalem Holocaust Day Observed

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today, as J of Jerusalem shares what she sees and experiences there as a believer in Yeshua.  This is from a while back, April 18th.  Thank you and God bless you as you pray for Israel and for J and her family!  Now, here’s J . . .

The soulful, sorrowful refrains of the songs resound from each apartment television or radio, and they also waft to my ears on the unusually strong wind, as we live so near to Yad V’Shem, where the ceremony is taking place at this moment.  Once again…the ‘Yizkor’ (to Remember) ceremony…and the entire country participates.  How does one remember 6 million?  Looking into the faces of those Holocaust survivors who yet remain, it is easy to see that everyone must help them carry the memory: it is too heavy for them to bear alone.  Six brave, very elderly people, come forward one by one.  Some are accompanied by a Grandchild, or a soldier…one walks alone…slowly they come forward and are handed a torch – their shaking hands guided toward the pillar to be lit with an eternal flame.  As one sits, another rises and another ‘story’ is told…how this one was 4 when they were taken to Bergen Belsin…left alone as his entire family was killed…his story…he lights a torch and the next story of horror is told.  Six torches representing 6 million. 
Yom h’Shoar, (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is always an intensely emotional day, ushering in a week that yearly has defied my ability to describe it (as it is followed in 6 days by Memorial day for soldiers and victims of terror and then immediately by our Independence day).  I was thinking about how to write this letter as I traveled home from work this afternoon.  My bus turned at the walls to the Old City and I rang the bell to get off.  Moving quickly to catch my train which stops about a block away, I approached the back entrance to our ‘City Hall Plaza’ and I suddenly heard a song that has moved me exceedingly.  It is from the prayer ‘Shma Yisroel’ (HEAR, ISRAEL). My heart jumped and I speeded up, realizing that a live performance was taking place just then.  I came into view of a rehearsal for a memorial service to be held tomorrow morning and I bowed my head and prayed and wept as the song was sung.  I stood there alone watching in the big square in the center of Jerusalem and wondered again at the significance of it all…’Why, Lord? Why me?  Why am I allowed to witness such things?’  Please take a moment and listen to it?  The English translation is printed along with it: 
 But this day has arrested all of us with several added…dare I say… ‘signposts’?  The day was particularly hot.  Spring is like that here…One day hot and the next one cold.  Today began with a sha’arav (a heat wave coming off of the desert- incredibly dry, full of sand and a wind that seems to suck out the moisture).  This one caused the death of a young soldier in training in the south of the country.  Later in the day the wind picked up dramatically as the temperature began to drop (from 32celsius –about 90 farenheit. – to 16 celsius – about 62 farenheit.) There were preparations under way on Mt. Herzl for the Independence Day events to take place next week.  The wind buckled a structure killing one young soldier and severely injuring several others.  Everyone was stunned and shaken.  The day continues…and the sun goes down…and the mantle of grief falls again…the memorial day begins (as all Jewish ‘holidays’) at sundown. 
Ok…this is what I’m thinking:  Is this how the coming of The Lord will be?  A ‘regular’ day…a day then disrupted with too many intense events…too much begins to happen and I begin to wonder; ‘will they postpone the memorial day events?…Will they say ‘Let’s put it off until tomorrow’?  But they can’t…It continues…And I find myself wondering ‘how can I be ready to focus on the memorial’ and ‘what will that day be like when The Lord comes’.  Will it be a ‘busy day’?  A day full of turbulent events?  Will He find me ‘disrupted’ and unsettled…or will I be found of Him at peace?  Waiting and watching?  Surely the day won’t stop and allow me to compose myself…I must be prepared minute by minute.
So, as I go to bed now, I think of the Holocaust survivors, weak, aging, exhausted with carrying such a burden…and tomorrow the country joins together to carry the burden with them, to lift it a bit as one man…to bring comfort…and to do that – NOT with the luxury of having intensity stop for a moment – but to do that ‘in the midst’ of the turbulent world events. And I ask that my focus be fully on Him as I am required to go about daily events, both usual and unusual…and with confidence I can thank Him that He is well able and willing to set my feet in a balanced place though the earth trembles, because, even so Lord, You WILL glorify Your Great Name!
And now…if any of you can understand ANY of this, it is truly a miracle!  I send much love, your sis in Jerusalem 
ani b’derek
Published in: on April 29, 2012 at 7:22 am  Comments (6)  
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Inside Israel – Holocaust Memorial Day and more

“Hi” and welcome to Inside Israel, where J of Jerusalem shares her insights as a believer in Jesus there in the land of His earthly birth. God bless you and yours, as you read and pray, according to His will.
Also, a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends out there. You are beautiful!
Now, here’s J . . .

This week we saw both heaven and hell open up to receive some of the ‘shining stars’ of each kingdom… and I ask: ‘God? WHAT IS MY RESPONSE TO BE’…and somehow sense that His answer is very important and I must listen closely.
I am sure that we can all say; “What a week this has been!” Heaven opened up to welcome David Wilkerson… hell opened its gates to receive Osama Bin Laden. Each had worked well for his respective king. In between we saw tornadoes strike the southern US with a vengeance, we saw Kaddafi’s youngest son and small children killed, we saw hamas and fatah sign a peace accord, we saw Egypt’s new ‘democratic’ leaders opening the border with Gaza while moving toward annulling their more then 30 year peace agreement with Israel…and today, at 10 am our two minute siren sounded bringing the country under the mantle of shared grief as Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs Day fully settled upon us.
Late last night I had wanted to write and knew how I would begin the letter. I would tell you of the change in the very ‘air’ here as the evening approached and ‘the silent group’…the older people with numbers tattooed on their arms and scars in their bodies and hearts lifted their heads and walked out toward Yad V’shem for the lighting of the torches of remembrance. I would comment on the evolution of the name of this day…how it was Holocaust Martyrs Day when we came 16 years ago, but how tenderly the understanding emerged that those who survived the holocaust lived with a life long guilt for having lived when so many died…and so…quietly…the word…the title ‘Heroes’ took the place of ‘survivor’. I had PLANNED to go deeply into some of these thoughts, and share my bus ride with you.
But as the 6:30am news came on, instead of speaking of the day, the first announcement was ‘Osama Bin Laden has been killed’, and I stopped in my tracks. Quickly the reports began pouring in…the reactions. What a difference to the ‘announcement’ of the death of David Wilkerson! It came to me word of mouth and, although I searched, I could find very few reports. When David Wilkerson was killed (I believe on the 27th) I also stopped in my tracks. He had deeply touched my life for The Lord, and countless other lives as well. I wept…for a moment…and then began to worship and rejoice, for a dear brother had finished His course and had run well and was home safe and had entered into our promise and was seeing Him Face to face!…”O death where is thy sting…o grave, where is thy victory”! Today…how must I react? I also began to worship. I began to worship The God of Truth and to call upon The Name of Yeshua. I couldn’t isolate what I was feeling…but I KNOW that ‘something big’ has shifted and I want so badly to remain quiet and listening and not to assume.
And I was in for a shock.
Our bus buzzed with the news of the assassination, but it was serious and subdued. When I got to work and could open the news, I saw rejoicing in the western world. It wasn’t what I expected! It was parties and joy and shouts of joy…and it looked just like the Arabs rejoicing over the death of Israelis. I had not seen this kind of rejoicing in the west before over the death or an enemy…I had only seen it in the Arab countries…and I felt very very sad. NOT for Bin Laden…but that SOMETHING isn’t sitting right. Could I rejoice over a sinner going to hell? I would turn and worship The King in His just judgment…but could I rejoice that hell had opened up. I kept wanting to quiet my heart and HEAR God and not my own thoughts.
“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth lest the Lord see it and it displease Him…” Prov. 24:17 popped into my mind. ‘Humble me Lord! Let me learn!’
What TIMES WE LIVE IN! I became very aware of a new prayer that I need to lift up…’Lord, teach me how to walk in THESE days and in those yet approaching! Teach me what manner of woman I must be and how to be humble in all situations!”
The siren sounded at 10 am and for 2 minutes everyone stood silently. Again I witness as that strange mantle draws us into one body sharing the grief of the witnesses of such things that my own eyes have not seen…sharing the pain that they carry in their hearts over the years, day and night, in private…it suddenly becomes public and shared … if somehow they can be ‘not alone’ in it and find the courage to walk through another year.
They carry a burden to ‘Never forget’ and to ‘Tell them what you have seen’.
And we, as believers, carry a promise to ‘Never forget’ and to ‘Tell them what (WHO) WE have seen.’ Witnesses!
So, in this very very emotional week I try to find my balance in Him…LORD! MAKE ME A WITNESS TO YOU IN THE MIDST OF WHAT IS AND WHAT IS TO COME!!! Help my FOCUS to be YOUR focus! I have not been here before and I do not know how to walk. Teach me!
Oh my, this letter is SO FAR SHORT of what I wanted to share, but you are all feeling and experiencing so much. If you should find ROOM in your pressured and stretched lives to pray for ONE MORE PERSON, I would like to ask for prayer for the salvation of one very special (to me) holocaust survivor…Kala Zeltza. This lady is a hero to me and I have grown to love her dearly and she doesn’t have long left. I have shared some about Him with her and have sent her a gospel of John, but I ask now for prayer for her. I will also share that I am having blood problems again (neutropenia) like I had last year when I was in hospital. It’s not that bad yet and I don’t want it to get that bad, but I am extremely tired.
God bless you, Dear brothers and sisters. May we glorify Him and finish the work!

ani b’derek

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