Inside Israel – Report on Jerusalem Day

Hi and thank you for stopping by for a look inside Israel. Today J of Jerusalem shares about the differences she found in Jerusalem Day this year from previous years. God bless you and yours, as you read and pray, for J and for Israel! Now here’s J . . .

Jerusalem Day was different this year.
If you have ever flown to Israel on our national airline, El Al, you were likely exposed to and interesting intrigue. We were puzzled by it when we immigrated, nearly 17 years ago, but now we understand. What happened was this; We asked where the El Al gate was, since it wasn’t posted, and we were told that ‘it would be announced.’ We waited…and waited… and WAITED, getting a bit nervous. Finally there was a whisper and a quick announcement… ‘El Al will be departing from gate 3’. We ran to gate 3 on the other side of the airport where we checked in through Israel’s famous ‘tight security’. We were asked if we ‘needed to go to the bathroom’ because we wouldn’t be allowed to go after this. Hum. We entered a secure, roped off area and waited, curious at all of the cloak and dagger. About 10 minutes before we were supposed to board the plane, we were hurriedly informed, as a group, that we needed to RUN to gate 73 (seemed about 10 miles away). It was the most ‘remote’ gate at the airport. We got there and boarded so quickly that it was startling, and before we were seated, we were in the air!
Jerusalem Day was like that this year!
In years past ‘the March of the Flag Dance’ came through the center of the city, from King George to Jaffa Road, through the Old City gates to the Western Wall. Many thousands of people would fill the streets rejoicing, singing with great joy and dancing the traditional ‘circle dances’ with Israeli flags lifted high and waving about. It is a contagious joy and I have loved it, particularly the songs thanking God for Jerusalem and singing from the many Psalms concerning Jerusalem.
But this year…hum! The FIRST thing that I heard was that the March of the Flag Dance would NOT be going down Jaffa Road because our notorious ‘lite rail’ is busy ‘practicing’ and we can’t possibly ‘interrupt it’. (That sounded fishy to me) Ok. WHERE is the march? I called, I asked, I searched the web. Nothing! Others began asking me ‘Where IS the march route?’ No one seemed to know.
Our older daughter called me; “Ema? Are you going to the Flag Dance March? I’m thinking of bringing the children.” Finally, yesterday I narrowed it down to TWO areas. Our ‘Official municipality web site’ said that the march would go from both Sacher Park and Independence Park through Jaffa Gate to the Wall. The radio news said that the march would begin in an East Jerusalem (Arab) neighborhood that has had disturbances lately, and enter the Old City through the Damascus gate…through the Moslem quarter to the wall. Hum! That would be ‘making the point’ that our Prime Minister announced so clearly “United Jerusalem will NOT be divided”. We had a 50% chance of hitting the march. We opted for the ‘easy way out’ and took a taxi to Independence Park (MUCH closer to us, thus a smaller fare).
I found a taxi and we piled in. “Shalom! Yom Yerushalym Semach! (happy Jerusalem day) Do you know the route of the march?” Stony silence! Wouldn’t you know it…an Arab taxi driver on Jerusalem day! “No idea!” he answered sullenly. “Where do you want to go.” It was a sober, silent ride. Quite different then my morning trip to the shuk where I made a point of wishing my favorite vendors “Yom Yerushalym Semach!” and they responded joyfully, often with song.
We got out at Independence park, although we saw immediately that there was no one there. We joined the throng outside the park walking toward the old city and were encouraged by seeing a flag here and there. We asked people along the way “Where is the march?” and received the same response over and over “I don’t know! I heard here and I also heard East Jerusalem.” It became humorous as people began putting together ‘clues’. “You know…It CAN’T be here because there isn’t enough security! I hardly see any soldiers!” Right! Smart man! Another added “And the street below us isn’t closed…” Someone piped in “well… but the march should come along the Old City path so they don’t need to close the road down there.” Now we were working together “Oh yes they would. They need to rope off the whole area…” Ok! Convinced I said “Come on kids! Let’s head to Damascus Gate” A chorus of voices protested “I’M TIRED SAFTALI! LET’S GO HOME!’
We DID walk toward the Damascus gate and saw parts of the 40,000 people who were dancing with the flags, but it HAD been hours already and the children had HAD ENOUGH, so we joined the masses of people looking for taxis. FINALLY piling the bedraggled children in, I greeted the driver “Shalom Adon (sir)!” I smiled and told him the address. Before we had gone far we were blocked by dancing rejoicing people. I smiled. The driver began to curse them “Look at them! Idiots! No respect for the law! Get out of the way! (honk honk) Look at these people! They don’t even come from here and they block the roads. None of these people come from here! They don’t love the land like those of us who are from here!”…ah me…we had another Arab taxi driver…and this one thought he had tourists, because that is the ‘line’ that they feed tourists. I have been told about it and now I was experiencing it. I began to pray. “Wait a minute!” I said. “I work in a doctor’s office and MANY people have been born here through out the generations. I know that for a fact.” He backed up “Well 50% come from other places.” Feeling self conscious now that we were immigrants I prayed, how do I proceed? I listened to him spout and prayed for wisdom. I agreed with him where I could. Even the children were silent. Suddenly I turned to him and said “Do you have any Grandchildren?” Ah HA! Caught him off guard! He smiled broadly “THREE! I have THREE.” “AH!” I said to him “These are MY 3! Wonderful isn’t it!” He was grinning ear to ear. I asked him about his children and learned that he had 3 children as well, and that they were thriving. All had gone to university HERE and become professionals … doctors… successful business men. He was now glowing with the joy of one who has a very satisfying life. “I am driving a taxi, but I also have a University degree. I worked for a long time as a teacher, but chose to drive taxi instead. I love to be outside and this way I see so many things.” He was happy and relaxed now. “This country has been good to you” I said, and he could only agree…”God has blessed you”. He was smiling when we got out. “It was very nice talking with you, sir” I said. “And I enjoyed meeting you” he answered.
No…this was NOT a Jerusalem Day like any other I’ve experienced. As we sit on the verge of a week full of explosive potential, perhaps it was a prelude. Our armies are prepared for 3 scheduled days of ‘border storming’ by countries around us, and a call for uprising in Jerusalem…AND…Wed is Shavuot…Pentecost! Explosive? What a week to expect miracles…to call for The Hand of God to reveal Himself…to believe in faith that PERHAPS this WILL be the week that The Holy Spirit is poured out AGAIN in this place!
Yes, Shavuot is next…the time of the first fruit offering…Shavuot…Pentecost…and that is another letter. I must go to bed. Thank you so much for your prayers! Lovingly, your sis.

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – For His Glory

Hello to all who have come by for a look inside Israel. J of Jerusalem takes us along with her for encounters with Yeshua and those He would place in her path. God bless you as you pray for Israel and J today! Here’s J . . .

(It has NOT been without difficulty that this letter comes to you with love and blessing in The Name of Yeshua! I began writing:…)

“Yesterday, 15th of Jan 2010, was my 36th birthday in Yeshua! He found me, 36 years ago, in the mud, washed me in His PRECIOUS Blood, and has kept me these many/few years and I want to worship Him with you for that. He has done the same for you. WOW! Worthy is The Lamb that was slain and lives forever! May we be a blessing to Him, living for His glory alone! AMEN!

I have a story (or two) to share:

Israelis are very direct and to the point. They don’t like to waste time or beat around the bush. They want ‘truth’ and they want it NOW! This characteristic is often misinterpreted by non Israelis as ‘aggressive behavior’ but I have come to admire this blunt directness. It says to me ‘We are stressed and desperate. We have no time to wait. We need the Truth NOW!’

But HOW to communicate that Truth effectively is something I passionately seek…and yet sometimes, I confess, shy away from. It is like being an archer…you either hit the target…or you don’t. Each word is weighty and important. What a responsibility!

I generally get a ride to kehila (fellowship) with Marin, the woman whom I asked prayer for a short time ago. She is newly widowed. Rudy (whom you prayed for and who asked came to Him at the last minute) was her husband. Our kehila rents a space in a large building and if no one is at the main door to let us in, we ring a bell and a guard comes down. We get varied reactions from the building guard who must ask where we are going. Yesterday, however, two policemen were entering the building when we arrived so we waited for them to open the door. One asked ‘Where are you going?’ We answered, giving the name of our congregation and the floor number and he asked ‘What is that?’ I said ‘We are Jewish believers in Messiah. It is a Messianic congregation.’ He scowled and said ‘I have a big problem with that.’ Marin asked ‘What is your problem?’ He responded ‘I believe in One God … “Hear o Israel, The Lord your God is One God, The Lord your God is One”. (He was quoting the ‘Shma’…the most important prayer in Judaism) You believe in a man who is Messiah. I have the same problem with Habad. They also believe that a man can be Messiah.’ (Habad, or Chabad, or Lubavich is the ultra orthodox sect that, like the Haradim, wear almost only black and white and extreme clothing and believe that this rabbi or that is or was Messiah-VERY brief simplistic description!) Marin began to answer and I was thankful because his statement addressed things that my Hebrew wasn’t deep enough to answer. Our elevator ride was short, but I suggested that he come to our floor and ‘observe’. He seemed shocked ‘Oh! I couldn’t do that! I don’t want to be one!’ He was scared. ‘We are not missionaries’ I explained. ‘You are welcome to just see who we are and what we believe and no one will accost you.’ When they left the elevator Marin bemoaned ‘How will one like him ever be reached! We must pray for him!’ And that IS EXACTLY the answer! That is also the ONLY way that I was reached in the deep mud pit that I was in…through prayer touching the Heart of God…because no man was used to touched me…I would have listened to no man. How wonderful that He cares and how we must pray…how I must pray!

(NOW…THAT IS WHAT I WROTE ON THE 16TH. THIS IS THE NIGHT OF THE 19TH….LETS SEE IF I CAN FINISH THIS)

And…I GOT TO SHARE AGAIN TODAY! At work we have a bit of a crisis. It takes 4 secretaries to keep the Dr. office working. I’m the ‘mama’ of the pack as they are usually young girls. Well…the last 3 young girls quit at the same time…it’s been… STRESSFUL! A new girl was hired this week. She’s 23 and sharp as a whip! The daughter of doctors, they made aliyah from Russia 8 years ago. Her Hebrew is perfect, unaccented. Finally today we found some time to talk and I surprised myself by sharing with her immediately that I was a believer. She was totally accepting and told me that she had no problem with this…but didn’t know what it was. The door was open for me to share and I was thankful for the grace to share in Hebrew more easily then usual. Our time was short before work poured in upon us again, but her name is Ala (a Russian girl’s name) and I do ask for prayer for her.

Sundown tonight ushered in the celebration of Tu b’shvat…’the birthday of the trees’. It’s a lovely celebration marked by songs, planting of trees and the eating of dried fruits and nuts and giving of flowers. It is a time of being thankful for the miracle of the cycle of growth (this is the time that the seeds, particularly of fruit trees, swell in the ground and sprout…when buds form on the trees, fruit forms in the flowers) and a thankfulness for the fruitfulness of the land that God has given us. (I am NOT able to do this letter justice…I am SO tired…but if it isn’t finished tonight, it won’t be…so please forgive that it’s unraveling a bit…) The shuk is loaded with fruits and nuts and my Grandchildren are singing delightful songs and dancing with flowers in their hair. It’s lovely!

BUT…the joy is NOT reflected on the buses this year…oh no it isn’t! You may recall some of my descriptions of the construction of our ‘lite rail system’. It seriously defies description…but I’ve tried. You see…this is year NINE of construction…or is it ten. OBVIOUSLY it has been the subject of HEATED public debate through the entire time, and no place is it more heated then on our buses. The bus riders are your least ‘powerful’ people in our society; the people with no cars. We are a perhaps colorful, but rather voiceless ‘mass’, and the ‘lite rail construction’ could easily be considered ‘bus-rider-abuse’ as our routes have been changed, lengthened, increasingly crowded and expensive as the roads used by the buses are also the route of the train. WELL…Saturday night, Jaffa Road, our main artery, was officially and permanently closed to all motor vehicles and city buses were permanently diverted to new ridiculously long routes which turned narrow one way streets into two way BUS traffic streets! The word ‘belegan’ (which loosely means ‘chaos’) was indeed created for this! I thought the BUS DRIVER would have a stroke on Sunday morning as he maneuvered his way down Agrippas (a narrow street in the back of the shuk) at 6am stuck behind trucks unloading at the shuk. My normally 1 hour ride to or from work now takes 1 and a half hours (or 12 minutes by car…) I think that this was the first time that I heard the DRIVERS actually ANGRIER then the riders! The riders have been angry for 9 or 10 years now while the bus drivers shook their heads. Right now it’s the riders shaking our heads as the drivers yell. There is STILL no ‘lite rail’ running, by the way… but they still do tell us it WILL happen. But there was no dried fruit or nuts being passed around the bus as it has been in the past. I had ample opportunity to pray for my OWN spirit to be quiet this morning in light of the situation, and as I gain the victory I will be praying for my fellow riders as well. I look forward to telling you of the victory and hope that we are soon singing on the bus again.

Well, with all of the important things happening in our country and around us, I have shared none of it. I also have some serious prayer requests to share…and will only ask right now for prayer for our older daughter who is about to give birth and is exhausted (they just moved and have all been down with stomach virus). She was quite ill with serious post partum depression 4 years ago, and I ask you to remember her this time for victory…ALL of the family. I ask specific prayer for our 7 year old Grandson.

With SO much more to write I am falling asleep. God bless you. I can not tell you how much each of you mean to me. Very lovingly, for His glory, your sis

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