Inside Israel – A Time of Sharing / Part 1

JerAtNight1

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel! Today our sis in Jerusalem shares more of what she has been seeing and walking out.  Thank you for reading and praying!  God bless you! Now , here’s she is . . .

Dear Sisters and Brothers, friends,
I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!   All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
.” 
 
I wasn’t sure how to start this letter…except in my heart.  As I began to search the scriptures for the words “bless The Lord”, the verses welled up my heart and overflowed, but this one from Psalm 22:23,24 stood out in particular: I declare YOUR Name, Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus, in the midst of the assembly of my brethren.  Those who fear The Lord and all of the descendants of Jacob are exhorted to praise HIM.  It is an exhortation to me, and so prayerfully I begin to write in the hopes of glorifying Him, edifying His children, and being a faithful witness of those things and events around me.  Bless The Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His HOLY NAME! 
 
And that is exactly why I HAVEN’T been writing; I have been stuck in a nasty pity party pit and it is IMPOSSIBLE to be a blessing to The Lord from there…and we are not much good to our brothers and sisters either!  The Lord has forgiven me and I ask you to forgive me too.  I will share more personal stuff at the end of the letter
 
Yesterday, (Friday) on my early morning trip downtown, I finally found a blessing in connection with the train: It was warm and no one could get on and open a window!  That’s right.  Our ‘train’ is so modern that it has an automatically set ‘climate’ (along with everything else) and no windows that can be opened without a sledge hammer.  Along with everyone else, I was NOT happy about having vehicles with windows that couldn’t open, but this winter I am blessed by them.  I tend to suffer a great deal from the cold.  Added to that our apartment is cold and so is my work place.  I have suspected that one way in which The Lord tries me with this, oh so common scenario:  I have been waiting at the bus stop and am cold.  The bus finally arrives and I get on and…ahhh!  It is warm!  None of the windows are open (atleast not near me) and it is cozy! I am able to sit down and, davka, at the very next stop someone gets on and announces ‘Mah zeh!  Hom meod poh! Ain avir!’ (‘What is this? It is so hot in here! There is no air!’) and immediately they begin to open windows, beginning with the one in front of me. Now I am stuck with not-too-nice thoughts…and the battle is on; flesh vs spirit! Does my ‘nah nah nah’ win out or can I be like Paul and Silas, who must have been pretty uncomfortable bound in jail?  I am sure that we all fight this particular battle.  Funny, but it is one of the few things in our lives over which we really DO have any actual ‘control’: How will we respond to what is in our path. Daily, minute by minute, we have this choice and I continue to fight this battle. I listen to far greater more spiritual brethren discussing passionately the times and the seasons and I am still trying to walk through daily life with His Peace characterizing my every word, action and thought! Kita aleph (grade 1) perhaps, but I dare not move on to the next until I get THIS one down!
 
The battle of the mind; As I was passing through the shuk last week, a man carrying a huge wooden tray of fresh pita on his head rushed past me.  This is a common occurrence which I usually take no note of anymore, but I was very suddenly reminded of how unique it looked to me…how ‘picturesque’…when we first arrived.  I began looking about me and noticing afresh what people here wear on their heads.  In the Middle East it is often easy to know much about a person’s probable lifestyle by what they have on their heads.  I began to list them: there were kippot’ (the small ‘cap’, ‘beanie’, ‘yarmulke’ worn by religious Jewish men but what stream of practice they follow can be identified by many things: is the kippa ‘knitted’ or is it material? Is it satin or velvet? Is it black or colors? There are religious women with all manner of head coverings, each style also identifying her with her practices.  There are some with scarves, some with hats, some with wigs, and some with turbans.  Moslem women have their style of scarf, tied differently then the way that the Jewish women tie them.  Then there is the keffiyeh that Moslem men wear, the checked head wrap, also distinguishing identity, position and belief by the color of the check and the twined rope used to hold it.  I am not even going to begin to mention beards and hair styles, also prescribed for different groups of both religious Jews and Moslems.  Add to this mix the secular, who often distinguish themselves by proudly shaving their uncovered heads (both in the case of men and women) if being simply uncovered isn’t distinct enough.  I thought about head coverings a great deal during this wonderfully rainy season too, as I noticed afresh one day all of the Haradi men (I neglected to mention them in the ‘hat list’.  They wear black hats…velvet, fur, felt, again identifying much about them…and their hats, being very expensive, are a specially prized possession.) dressed in ‘plastic bags’. Yes, I mean that literally.  When it rains the hats are covered with a plastic bag from the market.  It works…but I was reminded how ‘funny’ it looked to me when I first arrived in the country. I was also reminded of how we used plastic bags in Alaska to line our boots and it was a wonderfully practical addition (particularly to ‘moon boots’) both for dryness and warmth.  I know that many people, when finding themselves suddenly exposed to the weather here, will line their coat with plastic bags.  I have done this myself and realized that it is surprisingly good insulation. 
So much for a ‘winter survival lesson’! 
This began with what was going on INSIDE of my head, where it counts.  No matter what manner of hat we dress ourselves in it won’t change what is in our heads and hearts. Funny…it might ‘identify’ us to one another, but God has eyes that see through all of that. 
 
It is now 17th Feb…my birthday in the (swiftly aging) flesh and it is a real joy to be spending this time with you!  I want to continue with the thought I left off with last night…about what was going on INSIDE of my head…and I wondered how different we are then those who identify themselves by their ‘head covering’.  What IS ‘my head covering?’ I wondered.  Am I as ‘kind’ as I appear?  As ‘nice’?  As ‘wise’?  As ‘spiritual’? Are these ‘coverings’ or ‘identities’ misleading or announcing me to be someone whom THE LORD does not see me to be when He uses His ‘searchlight’ in my spirit? Wow…that is heavy.  I am reading through both Isaiah AND Jeremiah and tremble when The Lord addresses those who do things in secret and that in the temple!  That is what we are…His temple…and what is done within the secret place of my thought life…am I sure that it is not offensive in there? 
 
All of this came about from ‘head coverings’. May our heads be covered with grace and filled with minds washed by the water of the Word, letting this mind be in us which is in Him!
 
your sis in Jerusalem
continued next Sunday . ..
Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 9:02 am  Comments (10)  
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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 – Bits, Pieces and Thoughts Part 1

 

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today as J of Jerusalem  shares some of  what she sees and experiences as a believer in the Holy Land.  She sent such a long wonderful letter, I decided to break it up into parts. We’ll get to enjoy it longer that way.  God bless you and yours as you pray and stand with Israel. Now here’s J . . .

I want to greet you and to lift up The Name of The Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ.  May HE Alone be glorified and blessed and may you, my sisters and brothers, be blessed!  I once read the testimony of a dear Korean (I believe) believer, imprisoned and tortured during a war with (oy) China (or was it Japan!).  I have not read the book in some 25 years, but I do not forget a prayer that she prayed that ‘changed me’.  As she was tortured and near death, she wept for God (not herself! )whom, she understood, must be suffering from seeing His CHILDREN being so cruel to one another, and prayed that she would live for no other reason then “to bring pleasure to The Heart of her Father”. 
May we ALL be that sweet smelling savor!  May this letter, and each one that I write, also serve that purpose alone.
Probably some of you have seen pomegranate trees. They are a wonder to me!  Along with so many other fruit trees, flowering trees, olive and nut trees, they grow in great abundance around the country and even in the city.  To the discomfort of many allergy sufferers, our streets are lined, according to the season, with buds, blossoms or fruit of different citrus fruits, fig, shesek, grapes, apricots, peaches, olives, almonds, (too many to name really) and to my delight, pomegranates.  The flower announcing that the pomegranate season is approaching is a long, bright pink-orange one that shoots forth as if it would be a horn, but the horn ends in a crown.  Soon, TINY green pomegranates begin to appear…NOT here and there, but in abundance!  They enlarge daily, thriving in the summer heat, and soon begin to turn red.  Even spindly new trees, still in pots, bare their fruits.  It delights my eyes and heart.  In my regular morning reading (I read in order every morning –Mat-Rev, Gen-Malachi…a chapter from the first covenant, a chapter of Psalms and a chapter from the new covenant) I just finished Exodus and am in Leviticus.  I always wonder at the exacting detail with which God laid out the patterns for the temple, the garments, the offerings, and the laws of daily life.  I long not to MISS anything and yet I get something new each time.  I have often thought about the alternating “bells and pomegranates” hanging from the hem of the Priest’s garment.  How beautiful!  I wonder at exactly what it must have looked like (oh, I have seen people’s ‘replica’s, but I wonder what Betzalel, the artist assigned to the work by God Himself, made.)  ANYWAY…The pomegranates are growing daily right now and the street that I walk to work on is lined with such an array of baby pomegranates, grapes and olives that I just had to tell you about it!  J  The land that was a desert less then 100 years ago…a daily visual reminder of His Faithfulness!
As I walk toward work in the morning, I write this letter (and others) mentally in my head and wouldn’t you know that I totally forget what I wanted to remember by the time I can sit down at the computer!  :-\  I have often thought to tell you about our street cafes.  Israeli’s LOVE street cafes…even though they literally ‘sit on the street’!  I know that these are very popular in Europe as well, but I wonder if they are quite so ‘in the traffic’.  It’s the ‘hip’ thing to do… people watching while relaxing, but I never developed a taste for it…coffee mixed with exhaust fumes… resting among throngs of people walking past.  Give me a quiet corner, please.  HOWEVER, it is a good way to see what each restaurant serves before going in. Being that this IS Israel (I don not expect that this is acceptable in Europe!) people will go up to a stranger and say something like ‘That looks good!  Is it?’ and PERHAPS even ask how much it costs.  This is NOT considered ‘rude’ here…after all… we are ‘family’ and, well, ‘family’ takes care of one another.  In the winter, tall kerosene heaters (perhaps 5.5 feet tall) are set out in the midst of a group of tables to warm the hearty customers.  They give off a surprising amount of heat!  Now, since the ‘lite rail’ goes up Jaffa Road, tables line the tracks.  Even in the shuk there are cafes with tables set out among the shopping carts and hustle and bustle.  And THAT was another ‘picture’ that I have been wanting to share with you. 
What a country of polarities!  And the word ‘polarities’ seems to so categorize the extremes of opinions that are expressing themselves worldwide…and here as well!  As believers how DEAR must be the love of The Truth to each of us, eh?  Particularly as I see peoples so polarized even in the body over different interpretations of scripture, I cry out for true humility and the fear of God and that He will give me His precious gift of DISCERNMENT to know TRUTH!  May God keep us from the division that comes from pride and error (I know that often God Himself divides… may we know the difference!)
love from J!
Published in: on July 1, 2012 at 9:30 am  Comments (13)  
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Inside Israel – “The Long Way Home”

Hi dear ones and welcome to a look inside Israel today. J of Jerusalem shares insights into the people, the nation, and her own heart. Thank you so much for stopping by and praying. God bless you and lead you in all ways today! Now, here’s J . . .

18 June 2011
This first week back at work after being in the hospital was a long one, but not without some special touches. My pita man at the shuk was so happy to see me again, as was the cucumber man. With all of our desperate struggles going on here, we find time for a ‘facebook page boycotting cottage(cheese)’ since the price has gone up so high… we still find humor! Special touches…

For example, I met Ruth (Ruth in Hebrew is pronounced ‘Root’) Evenshtein’s Mother.
Ruth is a woman of about 40 who has 3 small children…and cancer. The cancer took her by surprise (I guess it takes all of us that way) and I have been able to be a bit of a support system for her. She found a ‘lump’ behind her ear yesterday morning and came to the doctor with her Mom. Ruth is a lovely, attractive woman, but her 70 year old mother is downright stunning!

Ruth introduced us and when her Mom found out where I was from (in the ‘old country) she was thrilled; “Oh! I have always longed to visit there… to see the beauty and the expanse! I hear it is so beautiful!” We began sharing about our pasts, and, after a bit about my hippie background, her Mom said that she had been in Berkley Calif in the ‘60s. I asked her about the path that her life had taken her. Ruth piped in: ‘My Mother was a child holocaust survivor.’ her Mother continued; ‘Yes, I was just 5 when my father and I were released from the camps. We alone survived. It was 2 years before we could get to Jerusalem. Back then it was hard to get in. They were limiting the Jews.’

She told me that she was so thankful to have been with her father as so many children that age had no one left to care for them. ‘Jerusalem was such a small town back then in the 60s. My husband got a job teaching M.E. studies in Berkley and we went there. It was such culture shock for me! I would say to people “I did not know that America is like this!” and they would say to me “Berkley is not America!”

My heart was beating quickly. ‘This is amazing!’ I said. ‘We experienced the hippie years as Jews from the opposite perspective!’ ‘What do you mean?’ she asked me. ‘Well…as a Jewish child born immediately after the holocaust, from my earliest memories ‘something’ that I couldn’t understand was driving me, gnawing at me, filling me with grief and hopelessness. Do you realize that most of the early hippies were Jews? We were so filled with rage and lawlessness and a passionate drive that we didn’t understand…but I didn’t realize until years later that most of the people were Jews!’ I continued, ‘You, on the other hand, were thankful for life and had a passion to live and to build Israel, and to do the very best that you could. It seems to me that we were both caught up in something much bigger then ourselves.’ She told me that she had begun writing her memoir, not beginning with what went on inside the camps. ‘There is so much written about those horrors. But when we were released…they just opened the doors…we walked out of hell…filled with disease and starving…and the people around us tried to kill us… they were afraid of us… we had to hide all of the time and dig for food…I will give you a copy of what I am writing.

Two years ago I was in Detroit and I had an urge to go and see a movie called ‘The Long Way Home’. I was shocked, and cried my eyes out through the entire movie. It was my story! That is what made me decide to write.’ The door to the exam room opened and it was time to go in, thus ending our conversation. My phones (mercifully silent for that short time) began ringing again and the meeting ended, but not the fragrance of it.

Ruthie came out of the exam room and fell into my arms crying uncontrollably “It’s a bug bite! It’s just a bug bite! I was so scared! I don’t want to die, I just want to live and raise my babies!” I began to laugh (her Mom had gone on ahead and was out at the car) ‘Ruthie! With a legacy like yours a little thing like cancer isn’t going to get you down. Listen to your Mother…look at how much they survived.” She nodded and added ‘And my Grandfather, my Mother’s Dad, just died at 97’ we began laughing together. ‘It’s bigger then us Ruthie.’

Please pray that I, or someone else, will be able to tell her…them… about “The Bigger”…The One Who Alone is able to keep us alive…and bring us home.
The name of the movie stuck in my mind; “The Long Way Home’. It is, indeed, a long way home. Sometimes I feel as if I have lost my way. I never would have thought that I would say that, but The Presence of The Lord sees so far off. My prayers seem so dry, so empty. I read this morning in Psalm 29:7 “The voice of The Lord divides the flames of fire.” and I immediately turned to Acts 2:3 “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, and one sat upon each one of them.”

I thought of the 3 friends of Daniel who came through the fire without even the smell of smoke, and the great and precious promise in Isaiah that though we walk through the fire it shall not scorch us. It is all His Voice…His Presence…that divides the flames of fire and that leads us ‘The Long Way Home’. No other voice can save us from the flames of hell. No other Presence can ‘shine in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of God in the Face of Jesus Christ’.

How I NEED that Presence, that Voice again in my life. What good is it to share Him with those who need Him unless we do it with The Presence of The Almighty God and The Power of the Holy Spirit? There is nothing in ME that can give anyone new life…only in Him as I convey Him to another. Oh yes, my dear sisters and brothers…I need Him desperately! I am not where I have been at other times (this is not condemnation…it IS confession and a request for prayer). With my sister scheduled to arrive on the 8th of July I long to be walking in His Spirit and available for Him to use me.

I did not intend to write what I just did, but I’m glad that I did. When we are needy we need prayer. I confess to Him and to you that I am needy!

And our nation needs prayer as the world, with it’s upside down thinking tries to close its noose upon this tiny place. There has been a steady stream of European leaders here for the past two weeks pressuring out Prime Minister to ‘give up’. The next ‘flotilla’ is preparing to set sail to Gaza, and, on the same day that my Sister is scheduled to arrive, so are huge numbers of demonstrators planning to disrupt our airport, arriving as ‘tourists’. I will add the IFI prayer notes for those of you who use them.

Thank you so very much for your strength in the body! May The Lord bless you with His very best for each of you. Lovingly, your sis

Friday Prayer Points
17 June 2011
1. Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, O seed of Abraham His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance, when they were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another ! people, He permitted no one to do them wrong; yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, saying, Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.
Psalm 105:1-15 NKJV
Give thanks:
· God is doing mighty works
· He has an everlasting covenant with His people
· He has chosen us to show His mercies
· He has chosen Jerusalem to show His mercies
· When two or three are gathered together He is in our midst
· We welcome You, O God!

2. The possible second flotilla
The IHH (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation) is now thinking about pulling out of the planned flotilla planned to sail to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade. Now it is possible for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza through Egypt (as well as through Israel). Last year’s flotilla and its outcome caused a dramatic deterioration in relations between Turkey and Israel. Pray:
· Thanks that there are these signs of reduced interest in sending another flotilla. This is a definite answer to our prayers.
· Lord, dissolve the poison of animosity towards Israel!
· Give wisdom to the leaders of Israel and help them to be prepared for every eventuality.
· Don’t allow Israel to be drawn into any confrontation which is not of Your making.
· Prevent any flotilla being used to cause harm.
· Thank you, Lord that Israel has signaled her willingness to defend her borders and exercise her responsibility to protect her citizens as with the flotilla in May 2010 and with recent attempted incursions in the Golan Heights.
· May well-meaning but misguided people involved in these plans to come against Israel be caused to fear the possible consequences.
· Pray that the second flotilla would not take place.

3. The borders of Israel
· We give thanks for the firm stand which our Prime Minister has taken against a return to the pre-1967 borders.
· Thank you, God for your covenant with Abraham to give this land to your people. (Psalm 105:9 and following)
· Pray that Binyamin Netanyahu will continue to hold fast to what God has established in His word.
· Shield Israel from international manipulation intended to make her relinquish the land, particularly Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
· May the plans to rob Israel of her inheritance come to nothing.
· Strengthen all those in the nations (notably many in the US Congress) who are standing up for Israel.
· May the borders of Israel be the borders You want them to be, O Lord! Prepare Israel to protect these borders!

4. Fear of God in the surrounding nations.
From this week’s prophetic portion:
And (Rahab) said to the men: I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Joshua 2:9-11 NKJV
So many of Israel’s neighbors, many of which are declared enemies of Israel, are going through times of great upheaval and shaking at this time. We prayed that God would use these things to bring about His purposes, and equip the believers in these nations to be used by the Lord in great power.
· May the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, come upon the Arab/Muslim people in the nations surrounding Israel.
· When they are caused to fear God would they cry out to Him to reveal Himself.
· Would You pour out revelation about what You are doing with Your people in Your land.
· Give believers in these nations the grace to withstand persecution and may the persecutions not hold back the knowledge of the living God and His word.
· Let Your voice be heard, O God, in the power of Your word!
· Shake many out of their familiar ways and when they cry out in confusion and in pain empower the believers to show the answer. May the perfect love of Yeshua (Jesus) cast out the fear of man!

5. Crying out to God
Last week we prayed that in their need and desperation, the people of Israel would cry out to God and there would be calls to prayer from among them. This week in a neighborhood in Jerusalem, fliers were circulated which invited the residents to volunteer to commit to prayer regularly during a particular hour in the week, with the aim of establishing a 24/7 prayer chain. Praise God for this immediate answer to prayer. May He multiply this many, many times over! There are many initiatives calling for worldwide prayer for Israel or for Jerusalem. However, these have come from people in the nations like Robert Stearns and Glenn Beck. We thank God for these initiatives, but we long that Israel too will cry out on her own behalf.
· May Israel cry out:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills-from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV
· As Israel cries out to You, may we see You intervening:
The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest, and hailstones.
Isaiah 30:30
· May the leaders and the people of Israel not trust in man but in the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 NKJV
· Cause Bibi Netanyahu and his family to recognize the awesome responsibility of the leader and to become desperate for Your intervention.
· Break religious pride. Let our people cry out to You because we depend upon Your grace and mercy and not because we “deserve” Your help.
· Drive home our need for You. Make us desperate before too much more blood is shed!

6. Salvation of Jewish people
· Thank you, Lord that You desire us much more than we desire You.
· Open their spiritual eyes! Lift the veil which blinds them to the knowledge of the truth! Break through the barriers of history which prevent Jews from knowing the true Son of God (as opposed to their wrong image of Him).
· Pour out a spirit of grace and supplication as You have promised:
And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced.
Zechariah 12:10 NKJV
· Save the elderly, the holocaust survivors, the sick – those whose earthly hope may have ended. When You pour out the spirit of supplication on them, be there for them, O God!

7. Aliyah
Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul. For thus says the LORD: Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this! people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.
Jeremiah 32:36-42 NKJV
These words have not yet been fulfilled, but they are being fulfilled. Aliyah is the necessary step for most Jews to be saved. Many Jews fear man rather than fearing God. They fear the desire of Israel’s enemies to wipe out the Jewish people when they are all gathered back in the land of Israel. Pray:
· Thank You that You break down the barriers of fear as people put their trust in You and step out in faith.
· Bring the Jewish people to their senses and come back to their land.
· May the Jews see that their inheritance is in the land of Israel.
· Break down the barriers which materialism, language, culture, comforts, government regulations, etc. place to the aliyah. May Your people no longer be held back and may they not perish in the nations!

8. Shabbat
· Thank You for our true rest in Yeshua.
· Thank You for the quietness which comes when we let You do the planning.
· Thank You for the heavenly peace of this Shabbat.
· Lead Your people into Shabbat rest. Give Your Spirit and salvation in Yeshua.
· Thank You for Shabbat as part of Your covenant with Your people.
Shabbat Shalom!

ani b’derek

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 6:15 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – “The Long Way Home”  
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Inside Israel – The Shuk . . .the Bus . . and More

Hi everyone! God bless you and thank you for taking a look inside Israel with me. Today I have an older letter from J of Jerusalem, in which she shares some of the lighter side of life there. Praying your day is blessed and now here’s J . . .

Some days bring more humor and smiles then others. Some days are full of time to make observations and to ‘think’. Today’s mammoth 3 and a half hours stuck in stand-still traffic on the bus lent itself to just that. In the midst of the horrific situations that we all see around us and so many of us are also in, I thought I would pass along ‘a moment’ with the hope of bringing a smile and warming a heart.

I decided to write this when, tired and hungry and waiting at the shuk for the last bus that I needed to wait for today, a woman with many packages pushed her way to a spot that wasn’t quite empty, beside me, and planted her very heavy bag squarely on my foot. ‘Ow!’ I turned to her. She looked at me and said ‘There is room for both of us’. True…there is now that she wedged in…’ But your package is on my foot and it hurts!’ I told her. ‘Oh no! I’m so sorry! I didn’t see! Will you forgive me??’ Her response was so warm and sincere and her face so round and animated that I almost burst out laughing. I told her ‘With a face like that, I could also kiss you! Of course I forgive you!’ (yes, this is how we Israelis talk to each other. Really!) It was the beginning of a (short but) lovely relationship, and it began me thinking of all of the poignant, little things that take place in the course of my day here simply between the buses, my work, and the shuk.

I decided, against my better judgment, to stop at the shuk on the way home from work. With the (Esther) fast day ending and tomorrow being Friday, I needed to make up some Purim baskets for some children. The shuk was jammed with people doing just as I was. The stands selling nuts and dried fruit, candy, fruits, baskets and goodies, had crowds 5 deep and I joined the throngs. It was a mild day and the beggars were out in full force. I met several people that I knew; ‘Hi! Nice to see you! How is the family? I tried to call the Doc today but the phone was busy…could you please have my prescriptions ready for me in the morning? I’ll come by around 7:30’. I made a mental note and decided that I wouldn’t remember, so I noted it on my cell phone and set the alarm for 7:20. I filled my ‘agala’ (shopping cart) and knew that I would also have to stop at the super market, like it or not…I just couldn’t get all that I needed to in one trip.

The supermarket has changed dramatically since we immigrated 16 years ago. It was just renovated again (the renovations are done ‘around you’ while you shop. There is no thought of, maybe, doing the construction during slow hours, so, after taking my life in my hands to go shopping for the past 3 months, it was now delightful to enter this very modern, updated store.) We shoppers felt somewhat like tourists being introduced to all of the the new additions, polished and smiling…very nice indeed! Being so tired, I began musing about the ‘good old days’ and chuckled to myself…wondering if you remembered some of the stories, like…. when I bought a turkey and no one could figure out what ANYONE would do with so much meat and… how in the world I would cook it…probably outside on a fire? Then there was the time I bought popcorn and everyone in line wanted to know how to cook it and how do you eat it. Perhaps one of my favorites was, well… ‘celery’. When we arrived, you could either buy a celery root…or celery leaves… but the stalks, the part of the food that I was used to using… that was considered inedible I think…and just wasn’t sold. Several years ago I found my first celery. It had practically a full TREE of leaves on the top, and since the vegetable man was there I asked him if he would mind cutting it off (that was a full half of the celery!). There were two other women there and one about grabbed me physically and said ‘What are you doing???!? Are you crazy??? That is the part you eat!’ ‘No!’ I said emphatically…THIS is the part that I eat!’ Horrified she said ‘you ARE crazy! That isn’t healthy! It’s the leaves that are good!’ The other woman piped up and said ‘I like cosbara leaves better myself.’ Recipe time had arrived! ‘Cosbara I like too’ I said, ‘but celery leaves I don’t’. hum. ‘What do you DO with ‘that’ part of the celery then?’ she asked (lady number one was fed up, so I gave her my leaves and shared celery recipes with lady number two). Times have really changed! People are so sophisticated now, buying all sorts of food besides celery, popcorn and turkey…everything from sushi to…well…zucchini!

And finally…although I’m too tired to write more, this ‘Israel story’ is too ‘funny’ not to share. My husband’s brother sent him a gift (we are again allowed to receive packages without paying the ‘package tax’ that was placed on packages for awhile…you just have to be WISE when you declare what is in the package…creative!) His brother made a mistake and WROTE on the declarations slip: ‘contents’ “SMOKED ALASKA SALMON, value $200” NOT smart! what followed? Here is an ‘only in Israel’ story: My husband’s brother called us more then 2 weeks ago and said that he had sent a package of smoked king salmon strips for us, second day air express. We waited. We waited. We waited. FINALLY, we got the notice (apparently they thought it said ‘second WEEK air express’)…but the notice said ‘come to Tel Aviv to pick this up, and to pay the taxes, and we are open from 8am-noon 5 days a week…you will pay [through the nose, I might add] for every day that you don’t come’. Well….THINKING that they MIGHT have a ‘heart’ [forever an optimist] I CALLED the number given and said ‘I am a little old lady and we live in Jerusalem, I work and don’t drive, and my husband just had a heart attack which is why his brother sent him this gift….a get well gift. If I send you the tax and fees, could you mail it to Jerusalem PLEASE?’ Now, I thought this was, just perhaps, reasonable. She asked me for the tracking number of the package (she also thought it was a reasonable request), which I had right at hand – because I had EVERYTHING they could possibly need at hand, including my birth certificate – and she looked the number up and began fighting with a man in the background. I waited patiently. She calmly came back to me and said, “It’s fish! You can’t bring fish into the country! Period!” “WHAT??” said I…”We have been getting fish in the country without a problem for 16 years. (this is true. They just don’t write ‘FISH’ on the package!) My husband is an Israeli Eskimo and it’s his traditional food [like my mother used to send me gefilte fish] [but you NEVER write ‘fish’ on the package…you write something like ‘personal family items, no commercial value’, which is basically true…] NOPE! THERE WAS NO WAY AROUND THIS! IT IS FISH AND FISH IT IS AND IT CAN’T COME IN THE COUNTRY…”SO” she continued calmly “When do you want to come in and pay for the package?” I missed something here…”So if I come in and pay you, can I get our package?” She is smarter then I am, so was exasperated that I had not understood. “NO! It’s FISH! It CAN’T come in!” Obviously stupid me then asked “ok…they WHY then would I come there and PAY you???” At her wits end with me she explained that then either “I could sign to have it sent back [at who’s expense I wasn’t sure] OR I could have it to throw out there in front of their eyes” Now, I was thinking…hum… I could EAT it there…but, after 2 weeks I would probably end up in the HOSPITAL with botulism or worse, if there could be, SOOO I said, “You want me to come there and throw it out or send it back? HA!! BYE!” [I’m Israeli too].

Now, I KNOW that this was a silly letter…but sometimes…well…I need comic relief, and I do thank The Lord of life for walking with me through laughter too!

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – More Thanksgiving

Hello everyone! I’ve missed you while away from posting for a few days. J of Jerusalem is my guest here today as she describes how Thanksgiving went for her there, inside Israel. Enjoy! And I’ll be back to regularly posting again tomorrow! 🙂

27. Nov.2010

Thankful greetings from Jerusalem!

I thought that you might enjoy some ‘observations’ mixed in with a bit of an update (as I have been SO encouraged and humbled by the amount of prayer and love poured forth on our behalf!).

My husband came home for a ‘vacation’ on Thursday (what a wonderful Thanksgiving gift!) and is to go back to the rehabilitation hospital tomorrow, Sunday.

We have a wonderful service here, free of charge- it is considered a work of mercy; there are ambulance services to transport people in wheel chairs or on stretchers or life support. That way, those who would be confined to home or institution can be transported to family events as well as doctor’s appointments etc. We were quite impressed as ‘our ambulance’ drove up to the hospital to take us home and to transport another lady, well over 90, to hospital for dialysis treatment. We had a fiasco getting my husband’s wheelchair down 3 steps and up 3 others leading into our apartment, but he was finally home and welcomed by our dog and cats and bird and neighbors. Then we got to settle in to the reality of the many obstacles posed by our apartment that we don’t have to face at the hospital.

Since we planned a Thanksgiving meal with our full family for Friday (Thursday being a work day) I had much work to do. For the past several years there has been a large immigration (aliyah) from North America, and so Israeli butchers have become ‘Thanksgiving sophisticated’ (or at least they THINK they have!).

I haven’t been to the shuk for a month, but made a quick ‘run’ on Wed. morning and there, by a meat ‘stand’ was a turkey! Now, mind you, this bore NO resemblance to the first turkey that I purchased some 16 years ago (to the protest of the benevolent butcher who assured me that not only would it NEVER fit into my stove, but no one on earth could eat that much meat!). That first turkey was…well…feathered after a fashion. To be more accurate, PARTIALLY feathered. It was also flat. Well…they probably didn’t have a box that it would fit into so they had SMASHED it into the box. And the skin was pretty ripped up…patchy might describe it. I recall looking at it sadly and asking The Lord to cause it to be pleasing and tasty, ANYWAY. I’m sure He did. Well…this was NOT the experience this year. Oh no! Every butcher stand had a turkey displayed, but this one caught my eye; he had a raw turkey sitting out on a fancy platter perched on a stool. This man had done some homework and had an imagination to boot. Realizing that Thanksgiving was a real ‘holiday’, he thought to ‘dress the turkey up’. So what could be more festive then to drape it with cousbara (cilantro) sprays, some chili peppers, and pour hummus beans (garbanzo beans) all over it? A LOVELY middle eastern display. Wish I’d had a camera J. I also found that when I ordered a ‘whole turkey’, the butcher immediately began speaking to me in rehearsed English; ‘Ah! You wish a THANKSGIVING! So…when IS Thanksgiving this year?’ He asked smiling. ‘Friday’ I said, hedging the question a bit.

Then there was the young secretary whom I work with. I told her that my husband would come home for Thanksgiving and she asked me what ‘Thanksgiving’ was. It didn’t occur to me that she had never so much as heard of the holiday, and I was blessed by the challenge to describe it to her in Hebrew. When I was finished, she surprised me by asking ‘Where is it in the Tenach?’ (Bible), because religious Jews ONLY celebrate prescribed holidays. When I told her that it ISN’T prescribed in the Tenach, she got tears in her eyes and said; oh…so it isn’t a Jewish holiday. The Book of Psalms came to mind…FULL of commandment to Thank, Worship and Praise Him. I don’t know if she was fully convinced, but I will believe I will be able to pursue it; the understanding that all creation is called to thank and praise Him Who is the One True God, and the fact that there are two countries that do this nationally (aside from here) is a blessing and brings Him glory.

One final thing along these lines; Having been raised with the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I am always interested in the comments that I receive from the many friends that I have from other nations. This one thrilled me and I thought that there might be others who would be encouraged to embrace what this family has done. This is sent by a dear South American sister:

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Of course, there is no such thing here. However, our daughter Carolyn and her husband David, set a day aside to celebrate their own thanksgiving, and I think that is so wonderful. They say they are so blessed with their children (all believers) around them. Their eldest, Denise, is now married, to a man whose Christianity goes back to the Huguenot times!! They escaped from France, and yet each generation has kept the faith.”

I know that I had more observations to share, but it is time to make lunch for my husband. I have been negligent to share the ifi notes and hope that some of you do go to their website and keep up that way. For those of you who find web pages a challenge (I’m one of those!), here are this weeks.

Oops…update first. Some have asked – thank you SO much for your prayers! No, our older daughter and family have STILL not found a place to live. They looked at 2 two bedroom places yesterday…but with 3 children (the third due early Feb) and husband needing a studio (he is an artist) I am praying that they can afford a larger place. My husband is healing slowly, but he IS healing and we need patience and a tender, thankful heart. Our younger daughter is enjoying her work in a plant nursery and sales and her eye (which will have the stitches taken out in April) is still doing well. I am SOO thankful!

I owe SOOO many letters and emails…and I DO apologize. If you only knew how much I write in my head…

May He be glorified in our lives…may we look up and worship Him ALL along the path! Lovingly, your sis

Published in: on November 28, 2010 at 7:08 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – More Thanksgiving  
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