Inside Israel –

 

Hi and welcome to this Sunday’s look inside Israel.  This letter is dated from Sept. 21, 2012, but I hope it is still a blessing to you, as J of Jerusalem shares what has been happening in her life and country lately!  God bless you as you pray for Israel, J and her family.  Now, here’s J . . .

Dearest friends, sisters and brothers,

Shabat before Yom Kippur is just coming in and there is so much to reflect on from this week.  Greetings in The Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ.  May The Lord be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed! 
My heart is bursting with wonder at just the small part of The Lord that I know…can you imagine what it will be like in heaven, when our capacity is enlarged to know and understand and see and the shadows and limits flee away! 
I had a wonderful experience this week at the shuk.  Before aliyah I was a rather bold witness.  I don’t think that I often went through a day without speaking to someone about The Lord.  It was different after aliyah.  First, there were threats and real danger of being deported and loosing our citizenship…and that brought fear.  Secondly, people here don’t respond to the type of sharing that I was used to…and with limited language skills, I felt such a lack of anointing to share effectively.  Since no one shared with me (I met Him Face to face) I could see how I would scoff at a witness the way it was given in the West, and I did not want to be the cause of someone, God forbid, hardening their heart and rejecting Him…so … slowly I became pretty quiet. 
I have told you in past years about Yom Kippur and how, without the temple sacrifice, there really IS no scriptural way to provide atonement for our sins…UNLESS we know HIM Who freely paid the price.  Over the centuries since the destruction of the temple, our rabbis have come up with ‘prescribed ways’ to ‘be redeemed’.  One (which I have shared about in much detail) is the sacrifice of the chicken at the ‘shuk h’kaporah’ (the ‘sacrifice market’).  Another is through sacrificial giving of money (could that be considered ‘buying your soul’? I often wonder).  All this past week, orthodox men sat offering redemption through the collection of money.  So many people sit with them…fill out the form…are prayed for…enclose a large gift for the poor…it breaks my heart! 
On Tuesday I was at the shuk, wending my way past the ‘soul savers’, when a Haradi (ultraorthodox man with side locks in black and white) man of about 50 pleaded with me to take my soul seriously and ‘buy redemption’.  I looked at him and, unexpectedly the words began to pour out of me; ‘Thank you for caring about my soul, but I already know that I HAVE redemption and I have been redeemed for free by The Blood of Yeshua h’Meshiach!’ He stared at me, his face really quite tender and open. ‘How do you know this?’ he asked me.  ‘I have opened my heart to Him, Yeshua the Messiah, and asked Him to live in me and He has washed me and I am free!’ I answered.  He looked longingly at me; ‘I do not understand.  Are you a Jewish woman’?  I answered ‘Yes’.  He looked intense ‘Then how can this happen to you?’  His eyes were so hungry.  ‘Yes I am a Jewish woman, but it is US whom He came for FIRST.’  I was not able to share much more, but the boldness with which I shared shocked me…I believe it really WAS HIS SPIRIT sharing with this man, who’s eyes remained so soft and hungry.  As I left he blessed me and smiled and I prayed that the very small seed planted would take root and grow and produce fruit 100 fold for the kingdom of God. 
To know that we have been redeemed and that our salvation is sealed and that we are acceptable and even pleasing to the Lord through the Blood of the pure Lamb is such a gift!  My brothers and sisters seek to be pure in His sight by keeping the law and yet lack assurance…because they have NOTHING clean enough to offer for their soul!  May many hungry hearts find Him this Yom Kippur, Lord! (Please see IFI notes below)
My husband and I have entered a new period in our lives, or so we thought.  Suddenly it was just he and I…for the first time in 37 years!  No calls from our girls, no bulging of our happy noisy dinner table…we came to this moment with some trepidation, but I, for one, had a determination to cross this bridge ‘well’, and to that end I have been praying.  Over the past 10 days, since the last of them left, I have been making special dinners and making real TIME to listen and to just ‘be there’.  We even went to the beach together early one morning and plan to walk to the Old City tomorrow.  We spoke about facing the potential upcoming w_r (remember…I leave the tell tale ‘a’ out of that word to beat the computer system!) together and what it would mean…what preparations we should be making.  I have also been encouraged by the meals that we have been sharing with others from the body, as my husband has been out of fellowship for so long. 
So far so good, right?
But our ‘genetic makeup’ seems to contain a ‘crisis’ gene!  I finally heard from our younger daughter.  Generally with this daughter, silence does NOT signal ‘all is well’!  You might recall that she had a cornea transplant several years back.  Actually, the first one rejected but the second one has done well…until now.  About a month ago she apparently contracted a nasty infection in the eye.  She and her husband are young and are in the America (Canoga Park California these days) without health insurance.  She tried treating it herself and finally had to go to a clinic where she received antibiotics.  They didn’t work.  She has been in a great deal of pain, not working, home alone…getting depressed.  We spoke at 4am this morning (our time) and are sending her a ticket home to come and see her eye doctor.  She is to arrive at 1pm on Sun and the eye clinic closes at 3. Please pray for favor and that the transplant does NOT reject.  She is very unhappy about leaving her husband behind and he is quite tearful about her leaving (he is working.  They ended up with a ‘start up’ business so are not even clearing their rent yet), but the eye doctor told us that if this transplant rejects she could be permanently blind in that eye.  Please pray for wisdom all around…for grace (for my husband in particular), for an inexpensive ticket, for safety but most of all for HIS Salvation to come to both her and her husband.  Thank you for praying for our family! 
Our nation awoke to a surprise call up of both the northern and central command and other armed forces for a war drill on our Northern border during Rosh h’shana.  Today one of our soldiers was killed on our southern border with Egypt in a well planned terror attack.  The 20 year old young man, Natanel Yahalomi (Natanel meaning ‘given to God’ or ‘given by God’- and Yahalomi meaning ‘from diamond’), was from an ultra orthodox religious family.  He had joined a special top notch unit that studies Torah and serves the nation according to the call in the book of Nehemiah.  He was killed among soldiers who went to give water to African migrants stopped at the border fence.
There are many wonderful ‘blogs’ out there…some excellent writers, strong discerning believers, wise, knowledgeable people and I have often thought about recommending one or another…but today I do want to recommend a very special site written by a friend called The Two Spies (bringing a good report from Israel). http://the2spies.blogspot.co.il/  We are friends from IFI Friday morning prayer meeting and I am so edified by this blog…it is accurate, discerning, gives an accurate, un-embellished picture of life here as believers, and I think that you would also be edified by it.  The articles are short and easy to read, and include many photos.  Enjoy! 
I must close and see to some necessary matters here.  PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING WITH OUR PEOPLE AS THEY FAST – SEEKING REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THE LORD TO BE REVEALED TO MANY MANY AT THIS TIME.  Again I apologize for such a fragmented letter.  May The Lord, Who has our days in His hands and even our hairs numbered, be blessed and glorified.  I miss you my friends, my family!  Lovingly, your sis

Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 8:05 am  Comments (13)  
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Inside Israel – Shabat

Hello dear readers!
Thank you for coming by for another look inside Israel through the eyes and faith of J of Jerusalem. Today J shares about a very interesting meeting and conversation in the check out line!
God bless you and yours, as you pray, praise and worship Him!

It is almost sundown. Shabat will be announced by the ‘shabat horn’ blown through out the country shortly and the quiet that dignifies shabat is already settling around us. May HIS Peace fill each one of you, and may HIS Peace be known throughout this nation … even now…even this shabat, Lord, reveal Yourself!

HIS Peace; what a GIFT that is!

Neta approached me earlier today while I stood on the check out line at the store. “I can only buy these at the sale price if I spend 70 shekels, and it looks as if you will be spending that much. Would it be ok if I put my items in your basket and give you the 26 shekels?” This is common practice at the market, so of course I told her yes. She was a slim religious woman of Yemenite background, with piercing eyes.

“Would you happen to know of an apartment for rent around here?” she asked. “I’m 36 and STILL single.” She continued, rolling her eyes…obviously not happy to still be single.

“No. Apartments are a real problem.” I told her that I also rent and had just gone to Bituach Leumi (our National Insurance) this week to see if there was any way I could possibly work one day less a week, as I am so tired and I am past 65.

“I see I will have to work until the end just to pay the rent” I told her.

There was a mess at the checkouts and we were told that ‘this would take awhile’…It looked as if we would be together longer then we had expected so I asked what she did… if she was a student or working. That opened the door for a VERY interesting conversation!

Neta used to be a psychology student, but had become religious (this is called ‘ba’al h’troova’…or ‘repentant one’) and joined the ultra religious ‘Hassidim’… her particular group follows the teachings of the, now deceased, Menacham Shneerson, the Lubavicha Rabbi. If you have visited here (or NY City for that matter) you likely saw posters of an elderly man with a white beard and a black hat… his hand raised in what might be a wave, or an attitude of giving a blessing. He was believed by so many to be King Messiah! When he died in June of 1994 and did not raise from the dead, many explanations were given, the most common that I have heard is that his ‘incarnation’ lives on and is always among us. He was, apparently, a very wise man who shared much wisdom from the scriptures. His followers are very charismatic and enthusiastic; Neta was one of them.

She began sharing with me the wonders of following this ‘messiah’ and I asked her if she reads, also, the ‘Tenach’ (Old Testament books of the law and history) and the ‘Ne’vi’im (Prophets).

“Oh yes!” she answered. “It is so important that we read constantly or else we will not recognize Messiah when He comes!”

Good answer…I agreed. “Yes. It is written in the Psalms ‘In HIS Light we see Light’.”

She agreed and lit up with joy.

“I, too, believe and love Messiah, but I do not follow your Rabbi. I am a Messianic Jew.”

She looked at me with disbelief. “What do you mean?! Are you a follower of Jesus??” she looked stunned.

“Yes.” I answered, with new strength: “He IS The Messiah and He has come and will come again.” To my surprise she smiled and asked me if I were Jewish from a line of Jews. (as opposed to a convert) “Yes. As far back as we can go” I answered. “Then it is okay” she said, “for you will keep reading and you will find the error of your way as more Light comes in.”

I smiled back “Or, perhaps, YOU will find Him Whom your heart seeks, because He said ‘Seek and you SHALL find’.” She beamed…I beamed back. This was a SURPRISING check out line conversation!

“You should be a sheliach! “ (‘sent one’… this is the Hebrew word used in scriptures translated as ‘apostle’, but in modern terminology it would be a person sent on a mission – I don’t write the full word…ending in ‘ary’ on email as it is a key word to trace) she said to me. “I don’t think I would be accepted!” I laughed. “Oh! But you WOULD! You seek Light! You would be a WONDERFUL sheliach!”

The line began to move and our discussion ended…but not without some soul searching on my part. I DO believe that I planted some seeds and that she will be the one to ‘find’… but ‘sheliach’…’sent one’… ‘one sent on a mission’… yes…I am this… (you are too) and what kind of job am I doing for my Master? She was so diligent and full of passion, although I don’t think many would have been ‘won’ to her Rabbi… but where is MY passion?

I have found that I face a number of questions. No…NOT concerning Messiah!… but concerning my fatigue… concerning my lack of full fluency in language…concerning my seeming inability. “Lord? YOU sent me, and I long to be faithful! Teach me from this meeting.” So I want to commit to pray for Neta and also to be lead in the path that He has for me.

I sense that it (my path) is changing. As part of my daily devotions I was reading Psalm 71 this morning. I was praying about v 16 “I will go in the strength of The Lord. I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.” As I looked at the original Hebrew, I was struck by the meanings of the words which are translated: “I shall come (and confront my enemies) with the mighty deeds of The Lord Elohim.” As opposed to our English translation ‘the strength of The Lord’ (don’t be too impressed by my knowledge… I was aided by an interlinear translation!)

Have I had a wrong understanding of the ‘strength of The Lord’? I have been expecting Him to infuse my weak physical body with His strength, but I began to see that His strength is already with me… in His mighty Wow! This was a new focus for me… recount…and walk in (as if it were a physical path) His mighty deeds! That brought to mind the scripture (Rev 12:11 I think) “And they overcame him by The Blood of The Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and loving not their lives unto the death.”

Now, before you say ‘I don’t follow you, and now I KNOW you have gone over the edge’, I will confess to you that I still see this ‘through a glass darkly’…but I am excited by it! I see that there is a place of strength available for me beyond the understanding that I have had…and that is SO GOOD TO KNOW! If any of you have understanding to share with me, PLEASE do so!

On to another topic: I shared recently about our ‘cottage cheese’ war here. I told you how ‘our revolution’ was taking a different tone then those going on in neighboring countries and we were asked to refuse to buy cottage until the price went down. It worked, and the price dropped (for now)!

Meanwhile, our doctors are striking for really necessary changes in the national health system that haven’t been addressed since the 70s and need to be.

This boosted some ‘action’ concerning a GLARING, actually alarming need; the cost of housing. Our last administration (Olmert) allowed for a huge increase in the building of exclusive, shockingly expensive apartments that were priced for overseas investors rather then locals. Combined with that was the spiraling cost of rents and purchase apartments, even the middle class has been priced out of apartments. This week saw tent cities springing up all around the country as the dissatisfaction grows louder. Since most of us love our country, almost no one wants to destabilize the government so these actions are interesting for me to see…they lack to bitterness and hatred of what we are seeing in countries nearby, but simply are addressing real needs. Whereas Israel is said to have an excellent economy, this has to do with investment and larger issues and is not filtering down to the people. So we are experiencing our ‘social changes’ here as well as in neighboring countries. But as I said, no one wants to destabilize the country.

Rockets have been falling steadily on our south again, coming from Gaza and our borders are far from quiet. Relations with Egypt have grown very bad since their ‘revolution’ and our gas supply (an agreement signed with Mubarak) has been stopped 4 times due to the pipeline being bombed in the Sinai by Egyptian Moslem groups who want to see the ‘peace’ with Israel overturned. Israelis are vigilant and want to see justice without putting ourselves in further jeopardy.

Again, thank you so much for your prayers for our family and for our people and nation.
God BLESS you and keep you in the center of His heart! Lovingly, your sis

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