Inside Israel – Jerusalem Day

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel as J of Jerusalem shares her experiences and helps us see behind what we may hear on the news.  God bless you and yours today, as you pray. Now, here’s J . . .

Yom Yerushaylem – Jerusalem Day!   
On the 6th-7the  of June 1967,(the 27-28th of month of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar, which is why it is celebrated today) Jerusalem was returned to the Jewish people, united, for the first time in 2,000 years, since God exiled us as a people, fulfilling His Word by sifting us throughout every nation of the world…the result of our stiff necked disobedience. 
“When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with singing.  Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad”. Psalm 126:1-3. 
This is proclaimed, along with all of the Psalms of Ascent (Ps.. 120-134) during the trek to Jerusalem, as groups from all over this land of miracles ‘come up’ to Jerusalem to celebrate by walking and praying through the old city, remembering the wonder, by gathering at the western wall, by participating in some of the many ceremonies, memorial services, learning sessions, walking tours, or simply to visit the many museums for free (as they are this day as a gift).  Soon crowds will begin to gather in the center of town to march (we are never sure of the route until the last moment)…many have been gathered though out the old city and at the western wall since last night, to pray and give thanks. It is truly a wonder…the scripture alive, being written STILL…before our eyes and in our lifetime. 
A people scattered for 2,000 years, holding on, none the less, to ancient promises given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, repeated to Moses, David, Solomon, the prophets, over and over recorded in the scriptures and committed to  memory, passing them on – generation to generation… Jews prayed (and still do) 3 times daily, facing Jerusalem (as Daniel did) – the Passover service has ended (and still ends by those living outside of the land) “This year we celebrate in the diaspora, but next year in Jerusalem.” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the longing continued through  two millennia
“How shall we sing The Lord’s song in a foreign land?  If I forget thee, o Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning!  If I do not remember you let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.” Psalm 137:4-6   is recited at many Jewish weddings (definitely here and) worldwide.   
When the Israeli paratroopers reached the western wall and the shofar was sounded on that historic day in 1967, at the culmination of the 6 day war, the chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren proclaimed Jerusalem day a minor religious holiday (minor because it is not prescribed in scripture).  It remains that today.  There is a small, one page web site that so well shares what he said …the prayer of rededication of the city to God and our commitment to keep her from being divided again.  It also has that historic photo of the soldiers seeing the wall for the first time.  It is well worth reading the prayer and taking a moment to look at it.  (if you can’t access it, please write and I will copy it for you) 
Last night, at our fellowship meeting, we took time to pray in small groups for Jerusalem.  Before we went to prayer, our pastor, who is a native born Israeli (a sabra’), shared with us his memories of that day 45 years ago.  I have heard it first hand (and shared with you over the years) from a number of people who played dramatic roles, but this is the first time from the mouth of a believer.  He had fought during the war on the Egyptian front, and his father, an Israeli General at the time, had participated in the retaking of Jerusalem.  He (our pastor) said that the very air was permeated by change of nature; it was as if the air itself changed and cleared and everyone was as one in a dream…the joy, unspeakable.  Everyone KNEW that EVERYTHING had changed…that the moment was pivotal.
It is THIS Jerusalem that I write to you from today…It is THIS Jerusalem that I speak of…and will pray until her name becomes a PRAISE UNTO GOD, and unto all the earth. 
There is a ‘popular song’ sung that I particularly love as it is from Psalm 147:12, 13 and 2  Although it will be foreign to your ears, perhaps you would like to listen with me?  I have included 3 renditions…2 with beautiful video of Jerusalem, and two are sung by believers from here whom many of you might know (Barry and Batya Segal – but without footage) and Carol Cantrell.  The third is also most special. 
May you…and we all…catch a glimpse of HIS understanding and purposes for both the fulfillment of HIS Words concerning the earthly Jerusalem as well as the heavenly!  May we who are here accomplish His purposes for today and be a sweet smelling savior from the tabernacle of His body (as the body IS His temple!)  Thank you so much for your prayers!  Lovingly, your sis in Jerusalem
(first, here are the wordsJ
Shabechi Yerushalaim et adonai
Haleli elohaich tzion
Shabechi Yerushalaim et adonai
Haleli elohaich tzionKi chizak berichei shearayich
Ki chizak berichei shearayich

Berach banayich bekirbech
Berach banayich bekirbech
Berach banayich bekirbech

Haleli haleli elohayich tzion
Haleli haleli elohayich tzion

Jerusalem praise God
Tzion praise God
Jerusalem praise God
Tzion praise GodFor He made your gates locks strong
For He made your gates locks strong

For blessed the sons that sit in your city
For blessed the sons that sit in your city
For blessed the sons that sit in your city

Praise God Tzion
Praise God Tzion   –   by Barry and Batya Segal
ani b’derek
Published in: on June 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm  Comments (8)  
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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

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