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The Western Wall – holy place of tears and prayer ignites conflict

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Western Wall Plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem

Shalom

“Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.” (Isaiah 8:18)

After the Romans captured Jerusalem in AD 70, they toppled the stones of the Second Temple leaving only remnants of the four Temple Mount retaining walls.

These were the walls that Herod built in 19 BC. It was an ambitious project to double the area of the Temple Mount; the walls alone are said to have taken 11 years to build.

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Herod expanded the platform for the Temple Mount by creating a
colossal box made of stone walls.

Before that project, the Temple Mount had been limited to the smaller area of Mount Moriah, the highest point being the Foundation Stone, which is the traditional location of the creation of Adam, the binding of Isaac and the Holy of Holies. (MFA)

Herod essentially built an immense box around the original Temple Mount and leveled the area inside the box, creating an enormous platform.

It was a remarkable feat of engineering.

And from before that time and since, Herod’s Temple was the most magnificent structure ever built in Jerusalem.

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Today the Al-Aqsa Mosque (left) and the golden Dome of the Rock (right)
sit atop the Temple Mount.

The Second Temple was central to the events recorded in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).

Miriam (Mary) and Yosef (Joseph) presented Yeshua (Jesus) in Herod’s Temple 40 days after His birth; there, Simeon and Anna recognized Him as the Messiah and Redeemer of Israel. (Luke 2:22–40)

At age 12, Yeshua stayed in the Temple discussing questions related to the Torah, and His understanding caused everyone to marvel. (Luke 2:41–52)

He had such a reverence for God’s Holy Temple that He cleared it of the money changers. (Matthew 21:12–13)

But when His talmudim (disciples) called attention to the splendid buildings on the Temple Mount, Yeshua warned them of the coming destruction of this grand, awe-inspiring Temple, saying, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” (Matthew 24:2)

This prophecy was fulfilled about 40 years later.

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An Orthodox Jewish man prays earnestly at the Western Wall, which is
considered holy because of its physical proximity to the location of the
Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago. Over time, the Wall
has become symbolic of the entire Temple.

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A Shadow of the Temple’s Former Glory

The Temple Mount walls are quite impressive by today’s wall-building standards.

They are five meters thick, founded on bedrock, and made of massive stones weighing an average of about 10 tons each. The stones are so precisely carved that they fit together tightly, without mortar.

We do not have the know-how today to create such walls or move such large stones without the aid of machinery.

To the Roman soldiers, however, these walls were mere shadows in comparison to the majestic Second Temple that stood atop Herod’s grand platform on Mount Moriah.

To their eyes, the destruction of the Temple Mount was complete. The Temple was burnt and destroyed, and the walls around the Mount were essentially buried behind the colossal rubble of the stones toppled from above.

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Western Walls stones dropped by the Romans from the Temple Mount.

In The Jewish War, The Roman-Jewish historian Josephus described the Temple’s ruin:

“It was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to….”

However, Josephus also explained that the Western Wall was intentionally left intact to provide a kind of fort for the soldiers and to “demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valour had subdued.”

With the Roman conquest, the Jewish People were barred from entering Jerusalem.

Over time, the areas beside these retaining walls were covered over and buildings were constructed on top of the ruins.

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The Western Wall Plaza can accommodate a huge crowd of worshipers.

For 2,000 years, the portion of the Western Wall—the HaKotel HaMa’aravi—that was left exposed came to be very significant once the Jewish People regained access to the Holy City.

Since it was all that was left of the Temple, it quickly became the holiest spot in Jewish life.

Because it was close to the original location of the Temple’s Holy of Holies, the Wall became a place of prayer and yearning for generations of Jews everywhere.

Throughout the centuries, the Kotel has been the first stop for Jews making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Even though it was a ruin, it was still impressive.

The 15th century Italian Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura, who had immigrated to the Land of Israel, commented on the majesty of the wall.

“The Western Wall, which still exists … Its stones are large and thick. I have not seen stones of that size in any ancient building, not in Rome and not in any other land,” he wrote. (HaAretz)

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Prayer at the Western Wall

That is not to say the Jewish People were always welcomed at the Wall.

The remnant living in the Land and Jewish pilgrims visiting the Wall met resistance. There were stretches, in fact, where they were not allowed to come at all.

For about 1,000 years under Muslim rule, to further humiliate the Jewish People, this wall was singled out as a place for dumping garbage.

In the late 16th century, Suleiman the Magnificent permitted Jews to worship at the Western Wall, but the prayer area itself was hemmed in by a slum and a parallel wall.

The heartfelt prayers and mourning for the Temple delivered at the Western Wall led the Muslims to call the Wall El-Mabka (the Place of Weeping).

While Gentiles came to call the site the “Wailing Wall,” this term is not used by Orthodox Jews.

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The Moroccan Quarter or Mughrabi Quarter and the Western Wall
between 1898 and 1946.

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During the Ottoman rule, Jews had to pay a tax to visit the Wall and also had to pay the leaders of the adjacent Mughrabi neighborhood, as a form of protection against harassment.

In 1887, philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild attempted to purchase this quarter of the Old City and rehouse the inhabitants in better homes elsewhere. The plan was at first accepted and then thwarted.

Things did not improve much after the British took control of “Palestine” in 1917.

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The Muslim Dome of the Rock, which is on the Temple Mount above the
Western Wall Plaza, covers the Foundation Stone, the traditional location
of the Holy of Holies.

On Passover in 1920, crowds of Arabs leaving the Temple Mount mosques attacked Jews on their way to the Wall.

Eight years later, an attempt to separate men and women praying at the Wall, was viewed by the Arabs as a change of the status quo, which caused riots.

This grew into a wave of violence over the entire country; 133 Jews were killed and more than 300 wounded.

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Wailing Wall, by Gustav Bauernfeind (19th century)

An international commission in 1930 gave ownership of the Wall to the Muslims, but reserved for the Jews the right to pray in the area in front of the Wall.

There is a story that the British governor of Jerusalem once said to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine (Israel):

“My dear friend, why are you insisting on this old stone wall? I’ll build you a wonderful wall of large and beautiful Jerusalem stone.”

Kook replied: “There are people with a heart of stone and there are stones with human hearts.”

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Renowned Torah scholar Abraham Isaac Kook
(1865–1935) was the first chief rabbi of “British
Mandatory Palestine” (Israel).

When Muslim hostilities broke out following the United Nations 1947 decision to partition Palestine, the Old City of Jerusalem, including its Temple Mount and Western Wall, was cut off from West Jerusalem.

In the 1949 armistice agreement, the hostilities of the 1948 War of Independence officially ended and the Wall came under Jordanian rule.

For the next 18 years, not one Jew was permitted to visit the Western Wall, in spite of a clause guaranteeing Jews the right to visit.

In 1967, Israel responded to Arab military forces once again amassing against her, as well as repeated acts of sabotage against Israeli targets, with the Six Day War, during which Israeli General Moshe Dayan and his soldiers reclaimed the Wall.

At the Wall, Dayan prayed that a lasting peace would “descend upon the House of Israel.” (Jewish Virtual Library)

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Shavuot at the Western Wall Plaza

Six days after the Old City of Jerusalem was liberated from Jordan, almost a quarter of a million Jews streamed en masse to the Wall on the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost). (Chabad)

It had been almost 2,000 years since a Jewish festival was celebrated in Jewish-controlled Jerusalem.

With Jerusalem reunited, the Mughrabi neighborhood was removed and its residents resettled in better homes.

The area was opened up into a large plaza for worship and various gatherings, including swearing-in ceremonies for soldiers.

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Jewish men pray in the men’s section at the Western (Wailing) Wall.

The Western Wall was declared holy by the Mufti of Jerusalem after the Balfour Declaration of 1917 because the Mufti feared that the Jewish People would take control of the Wall.

Although prior to 1917, the Wall was not considered holy to Muslims, afterward it was called A-Buraq (Lightning) for Mohammad’s magical horse that purportedly transported him from Mecca to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and back in one night.

Despite the long history of the Jewish People in connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Muslims have waged an intensive international propaganda war in the media to turn the tide of public opinion against Jewish rights to the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

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This reproduction of an Indian Mughal miniature shows a buraq, which is
a mythological horse that transported the prophets.

“There is not a single stone in the Wailing Wall relating to Jewish History,” the Palestinian Authority appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, told the German magazine Die Welt in 2001.

The Jews cannot legitimately claim this wall, neither religiously nor historically. The Committee of the League of Nations recommended in 1930, to allow the Jews to pray there, in order to keep them quiet. But by no means did it acknowledge that the wall belongs to them,” he claimed.

Earlier this year, the Israeli Arab group called The Al-Aqsa Heritage Institute issued a statement claiming that Jewish prayer and tourists at the Western Wall defile the holiness of the Temple Mount, currently occupied by the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Al-Buraq Wall [Kotel] along with the entire area around Al-Aqsa, including the Mughrabi neighborhood [the term used by the group
for the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem], destroyed in 1967, is holy Muslim land, and an inseparable part of the Al-Aqsa property,” the statement said. (Arutz Sheva)

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Jewish men pray at the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem.

Although the Temple Mount and the Western Wall are now in Jewish hands, the struggle to worship freely as Jewish People in Jerusalem is not over.

A recent policy statement by the European Union (EU) banned funding to institutions based or operating over the Green Line (the 1949 Armistice line), which includes the Old City of Jerusalem.

Such a ban acts threatens any Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, which of course includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

As well, delegates from Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which met recently in Washington, will resume peace talks this Wednesday in Jerusalem to continue hammering out an agreement to finally bring about a two-state solution: one for the Palestinians and one for the Jewish People.

The Palestinians will demand East Jerusalem as their capital.

If the PA and the EU have their way, the Western Wall will no longer belong to Israel. (Times of Israel)

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The Prophet Zechariah foretold a last-days battle for Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14)

Although, to our natural minds, the future of this city and the Wall may look uncertain, the Bible reassures that this is not so. The Lord has chosen Jerusalem and He has brought His people to the Land.

“But I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there; and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:6)

As you continue to stand as watchmen on the walls and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, please help us bring the Good News of Yeshua (Jesus) to the Jewish People.

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“Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.” (Psalm 122:6)

 
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Posted by on 12. August 2013 in Ukategorisert

 

Shabbat Shalom , Behaalotecha – the meaning behind the Temple Menorah‏ – is the Torah portion this week.

From: Messianic Bible
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 1:07 PM

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The Hebrew Scriptures

Shabbat Shalom

Welcome to our study of this week’s Torah portion, which is called Parsha Behaalotecha (When you raise). This is the portion that will be read this Shabbat (Saturday) in synagogues around the world.

PARSHA BEHAALOTECHA (When You Raise)
Numbers 8:1–12:16, Zechariah 2:14–4:7, Revelation 11:1–14

“Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the seven lamps, they are to light the area in front of the lampstand [menorah].’” (Numbers 8:1–2)

Last week, in Parsha Naso, the Levite men between the ages of 30 and 50 were counted and assigned tasks for transporting the Tabernacle.

This week, in Parsha Behaalotecha, we read that Aaron set the lights of the Menorah (which was hammered from a single piece of gold according to the pattern that God showed Moses) so that the area in front of the Menorah was lit.

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Lifting the scroll of Torah for all to see at the Western Wall

Only Aaron and his sons, the Cohanim (priests), were entrusted with the important duty of lighting the menorah.

The rabbis say that Moses’ brother Aaron was chosen because of his reliability in performing a menial task day after day.

There is a lesson in that for us.

It’s easy to feel enthusiastic about a task that is new and fresh, but we need to master the ability to sustain our enthusiasm, even once the novelty wears off.

God honors this kind of reliability.

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A happy Orthodox Jewish chef at a restaurant in
Safed, Israel.

Even the most mundane of our daily chores can be a joy when we do them “unto the Lord.”

God is not only interested in what we consider our spiritual activities—reading our Bible, attending congregational services, praying, or sharing our faith.

Adonai enjoys being part of every detail of our lives, whether we are working, playing, resting, eating, or just doing our chores—everything from feeding our pets to folding the laundry.

He also enjoys being part of our interaction with others.

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An Orthodox Jewish man kindles the lights of the chanukiah (Chanukah
menorah) with his child.

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Prominent Jewish Symbol: The Menorah

“I see a solid gold lampstand [menorah] with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights.” (Zechariah 4:2)

The Menorah is probably Judaism’s best known symbol.

It is especially prominent during the season of Chanukah, when the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem is celebrated.

In fact, lighting the Menorah was one of the very first tasks that the Maccabees (Jewish freedom fighters) accomplished when they reclaimed the Holy Temple from Antiochus IV, a vainglorious Syrian king who sought to entirely denationalize the Jewish People. (Jewish Encyclopedia)

For three years, the Temple had been desecrated by Antiochus who erected an altar to Zeus in it and ordered pigs to be sacrificed at the altar.

That is one of the reasons why the Menorah has come to symbolize spiritual victory that is gained “not by might, nor by power” (Zechariah 4:6), but by God’s Spirit, as is clearly emphasized by today’s Haftarah (prophetic portion) in Zechariah.


The priests light the Menorah in the Temple

Although we need to be strong and overcome all the obstacles that are preventing us from fulfilling our destiny in Messiah, the Apostle Paul (Rabbi Shaul) said, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Why? Because we are to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10) and not strong in ourselves and our own power.

It’s also good to remember that darkness is not driven out by force, but by light. Just as the Menorah’s seven lamps brought light to the Temple, Yeshua brings light to our hearts, minds and lives.

His light dispels the darkness, and we are to bring His light to the world (Matthew 5:14; see also John 12:36).

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The chanukiah has eight lights that symbolize the miracle of a single
day’s supply of oil lasting eight days when the Maccabees relit the
Temple Menorah at the first Chanukah. The candle in the middle,
called the Shamash (servant), lights all the candles on the menorah.
It is a wonderful symbol of Yeshua, the Light of the World.

The Meaning of the Menorah

“Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.” (Revelation 4:5)

The seven branches of the Menorah can be understood to represent the spiritual attributes described in the Messianic Prophecy of Isaiah 11:

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:2)

On the Temple’s seven-branched Menorah, the Spirit of the Lord can be interpreted as being the center light, with the other six branches representing the spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

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A reconstruction of the golden Menorah, made by the Temple Mount
Institute: According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the Roman legions
took the Menorah to Rome, Italy in AD 70, when the Temple was destroyed.

Yeshua, the Light of the World, certainly fulfilled Isaiah 11, as can be seen in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament):

  • The Spirit of the Lord rested on Him (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16; Luke 4:1, 14, 18, 21);
  • He was wise and because of that, able to pronounce sound judgment, and answer the ensnaring questions of the Pharisees (Isaiah 11:2; Colossians 2:2-3);
  • He was not only a gifted counselor, He was courageous and mighty in the execution of His counsel (Luke 4:36; John 8:10-11); and
  • He knew the deep things of God, and was also genuinely reverential and obedient to the Father (John 5:30).

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An Orthodox Jewish father teaches his son to follow the Siddur (prayer book)
at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.

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The Seven Menorahs

The Book of Revelation can help us discover deeper meaning in the seven lights of the Menorah.

Yochanan (John) had a vision of Yeshua (Jesus) standing in the midst of seven golden lamp stands, holding in His right hand seven stars.

“I saw seven golden menorahs, and among the menorahs was someone ‘like a Son of Man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to His feet and with a golden sash around His chest.… In His right hand He held seven stars, and coming out of His mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.” (Revelation 1:12–16)

Yeshua explained to Yochanan that the seven stars were the angels of the seven assemblies and the seven menorahs were the seven assemblies.

“Here is the secret meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand, and of the seven gold menorahs: the seven stars are the angels of the seven Messianic communities, and the seven menorahs are the seven Messianic communities.” (Revelation 1:20)

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A group of Orthodox Jewish girls visit the
Menorah, which is located close to the Western
(Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.

Further along in the Book of Revelation, John describes, “Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God which are the seven spirits of God.” (Revelation 4:5)

Obviously, the number seven figures prominently in the lights of the Menorah, and in the Book of Revelation. But why?

Since seven in the Bible represents perfection or completion, as in the seventh day Shabbat (Sabbath), we know that no improvements can be made to that which God has made. It’s perfect and complete on the Divine side of things.

So it is, too, with those who follow Yeshua.

Although on the Divine side, the Body of Messiah is complete and perfect, on the human side, we need to hold fast to the Light of the World, follow His lead, and repent of our sins. (Revelation 2:5; see also 2:16 and 3:3)

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A life-size replica of the Tabernacle in Israel’s Timna Valley.

Following God’s Lead

In this Parsha, we read that as soon as the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was set up, the cloud—God’s manifest presence—covered it.

“On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.” (Numbers 9:15)

When the cloud tarried, the people of Israel remained in place, whether it was for one day or for one year.

Just think of it! None of us have ever experienced a day when our entire nation would pack up and move.

And it was no small task to dissemble the Tabernacle with all of its parts and furnishings. It took a team of Levite men between the ages of 30 to 50 to get the job done.

“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” (Numbers 9:22)

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Likewise, in our walk with God, we should be seeking direction from His Spirit.

Sometimes God wants us to move ahead quickly and make great progress in a short period of time. Other times we simply need to stay in camp and wait until He gives the signal to move again.

Trying to move ahead of the cloud, the manifest presence of God, will only bring frustration. So will lagging behind if the cloud has moved on.

“He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails.” (1 Samuel 2:9)

As Believers in Yeshua, our light that comes from the Lord, the True Light, is not meant to be hidden but to be like a beacon on a hill, which beckons all to come toward the light.

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We take this calling very seriously. Please partner with us this Shabbat in bringing the Light of the World to Israel and the nations.

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Shabbat Shalom from our ministry staff!

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:7–8)

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Posted by on 25. May 2013 in Ukategorisert

 

Hezbollah To Open ‘New Front’ In Golan Heights

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Beloved Prayer Warriors ,

we are sending this prayer alert due to the fact that things are becoming increasingly hot on the northern border of Israel and the Golan could become engulfed in the war ! Read the articles and pray accordingly for the Head nation Israel! Pray also for the believers in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Syria 

111228_invadegazaIran has convinced Syria to allow Hezbollah to open a “new front” against Israel in the Golan Heights, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported Wednesday.

Tehran, seeking to prevent the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, asked Damascus if Hezbollah could set up a new military front against Israel in the Golan.

“All Arabs and Muslims” are requested to join the fight against Israel, Tehran said, according to Israel Radio.

The report comes a week after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to respond to Jerusalem’s ostensible aggression against Syria with the help of Syria’s advanced “game-changing” weapons. The next stage, he warned during a speech, would be opening up a front on the Golan Heights.

The Palestinian newspaper al-Quds also reported Wednesday that Tehran had persuaded Damascus “to open the door to jihad” in the Golan Heights in an effort enable Arab and Muslim fighters to unite and confront Israel, so that they’re “ready” if Israel strikes Syria again.

According to unnamed Israeli and American sources, Israeli planes struck sites outside Damascus twice during the first weekend in May, targeting weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah. The Syrian regime warned a few days later that it would retaliate immediately to future Israeli attacks on its soil.

The al-Quds website wrote that Iran also discussed the issue with other Arab leaders, namely Jordan’s King Abdullah, who expressed his own “concerns” about the surge of radical Islamist groups, such as the Jabhat al-Nusra, in Syria.

The Lebanese daily al-Akhbar suggested last week that Iran had “reached a final decision” to respond to Israel’s reported strike on Syria by “turning the Golan into a new Fatah-land. The front has become open to Syrians and Palestinians and anyone who wants to fight Israel.”
Earlier this week, the Syrian government announced that it reserves the right to invade the Israeli-held Golan Heights at any time, and accused Jerusalem of violating the terms of the 1974 ceasefire that ended the Yom Kippur War.

During a speech in Damascus, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi accused Israel of attacking sites near the Syrian capital, allowing rebel groups to operate in the demilitarized zone separating Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights, and letting those groups kidnap UN observers on multiple occasions.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Tuesday in what was described as a bid to prevent Moscow from selling the cutting-edge missile defense system, the S-300, to Damascus. Jerusalem fears that the advanced weaponry could fall into the hands of Hezbollah, Syria’s key ally in neighboring Lebanon.

Prayer Points : HE who watches over Israel does not slumber nor sleep ! Ps.121:4:

Ps.83: Isa.49:1-3: Isa.41:8-13

Prophetic Declaration Over Israel

He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 2 Kings:6:16

Pray in the Spirit and with understanding

 

We thank you very much for praying, may you and your families be blessed as you bless us by your prayers

“For Sion sake, I will not keep silent “

Kad Esh Map Team. 

 

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The battle for Judea and Samaria, Israel’s disputed Biblical hea rtland

From: Messianic Bible
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:09 PM

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Jerusalem

Shalom

“Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” (Isaiah 66:8)

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were on high alert last week, as Palestinians in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip, as well as pro-Palestinian supporters in other Arab nations, observed “Nakba (the Catastrophe) Day,” which marks the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

A number of incidents left Israelis injured as Palestinians hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces and civilians.

In Jerusalem, a group of Palestinians attacked Jewish worshipers as they made their way to the Western (Wailing) Wall on Wednesday afternoon for Shavuot (Pentecost) prayers.

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Jewish women pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall, which is located in the
Old City of Jerusalem.

As clashes continued, about 25 Palestinians were arrested during the course of the day in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Police also closed the Temple Mount to Israeli Jews and tourists on Thursday due to Palestinian demonstrations.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas marked Nakba Day with a televised speech. He said that the only acceptable solution to the conflict would be one that guaranteed Palestinians the right to a sovereign state on all the lands captured by Israel in 1967.

“We have made huge sacrifices—thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands of wounded. Today there is no country in the world, including the US, that denies our legitimate right to an independent state on the territories occupied in 1967,” Abbas said. (Jerusalem Post)

He was referring to the Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967) in which the Israeli military captured territory that included East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, Israel’s ancient heartland, after the surrounding Arab nations mounted their considerable military might against Israel.

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Jerusalem and the Temple Mount

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Telling the Truth about Judea and Samaria

On the international scene, Palestinian opposition to the State of Israel has gained momentum through a global campaign demanding boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel.

This campaign encourages punitive measures against Israel such as labeling and boycotting products made in the Jewish “settlements” of Judea and Samaria.

One BDS movement strategy is the false comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa and the claim that the State of Israel is a racist undertaking.

To combat this lopsided and deceitful campaign, the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council recently established its own Foreign Ministry Department and began reaching out to officials in the European Union to provide a balanced picture of Judea and Samaria.

This month, several parliamentary delegations visited the regions and witnessed firsthand cooperation and coexistence between Arabs and Israelis studying and working side-by-side in places such as Ariel University and Barkan Industrial Park.

Here, Palestinians and Jews work together at some 150 businesses, all receiving the same benefits, pay and the opportunity to move up into management.

The Palestinians often receive two to three times what they might make working at a job in the Palestinian areas. (CBN News)

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The Ariel University Center of Samaria is open to all Israeli students,
including Arabs; its student enrollment represents “the full spectrum
of Israeli society.” (Ariel Municipality)

After seeing the reality in Samaria, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Dr. Fiorello Provera denounced the boycott of settlement products by BDS supporters.

“I don’t support restrictions in this area (the settlements) because they can harm factories where Israeli and Palestinian employees work together, have similar salaries, make the same sacrifices and have the same possibilities for attaining a good standard of living in dignity,” he said. “Harming these factories’ ability to function would damage coexistence.” (Jerusalem Post)

He encouraged Israel to continue counteracting the misinformation about Judea and Samaria by educating the members of the European parliament.

“Most European Parliament members do not know what’s happening in Israel. Since I’ve been exposed to the settlement movement in Samaria, I feel a responsibility to open up my fellow European Parliament members to the reality here,” he said. (Arutz 7)

The truth is, however, the European Parliament members are not alone in their lack of knowledge. Few outside of Israel seem to understand Judea and Samaria.

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Orthodox Jewish Israeli children in Hebron

Judea and Samaria: Prophecy Fulfilled

“Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.” (Isaiah 37:31)

Settlement in the territories began after the Six-Day War in 1967, and today there are over 360,000 Israelis living throughout Judea and Samaria.

While the world largely takes a dim view of Jewish settlement in this area, it is the fulfillment of many Bible prophecies:

“The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess, says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 30:3)

Shomron Regional Council spokesperson David Ha’iviri said that the population in the region is growing at a rate five times greater than Israel’s national average. (CBN)

He pointed to the attractiveness of clean air, beautiful vistas, safe neighborhoods, and cool climate, and then added, “But aside from that, and even more important, there’s a godly process of fulfilling prophecy that’s beyond explanation. The prophets promised that the children of Israel would return to these mountains and rebuild these Jewish cities and Jewish towns. And that’s what’s happening.”

I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before.” (Jeremiah 33:7)

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Jewish men pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall

Large and well-established communities have been built in Judea and Samaria, including Ma’ale Adumim, which is roughly four miles (seven kilometers) outside of Jerusalem.

Kedar, Pisgat Ze’ev, Gilo, essentially neighborhoods of Jerusalem, were also built on territory acquired during the `67 war.

Despite the economic advantages enjoyed by Arabs coexisting peacefully with Jewish communities, the security threat to Israelis living in Judea and Samaria persists.

David Wilder, a spokesperson for Hebron’s small Jewish community, said the threat must be dealt with. “During the second intifada [armed Palestinian uprising], we were shot at for two and half years here. There are still terrorist attacks here,” he said.

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The victims of Itamar massacre

In 2011, in the town of Itamar, two local Palestinians murdered Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their small children as they slept.

While the world continues to call Judea and Samaria the “West Bank,” and the Jewish communities that live there “settlements,” this is the land that God promised to Abraham.

When God, who had brought Abraham to Canaan, appeared to him in Shechem, which today is a predominantly Muslim city called Nablus, He declared, “To your offspring I will give this land.” (Genesis 12:7)

God also told Abraham:

“Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you. So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the LORD.” (Genesis 13:17–18)

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Tamar and Yishai Fogel, whose
family was murdered in their beds by Palestinian militants.

Discover how you can make a difference in Israel that will last for Eternity

West Bank or Judea and Samaria: What’s in a Name?

The term West Bank (so named because the land is situated on the west bank of the Jordan River as opposed to Jordan’s territory on the east side) was coined only about 65 years ago.

The names Judea and Samaria are ancient and well-established.

Though smaller in size, their location roughly corresponds to the ancient Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, also known as the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.

These two kingdoms were created following the death of King Solomon when the 10 northern tribes refused to submit to his son, Rehoboam.

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After the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 720 BC, it was renamed Shomron or Samaria.

The Southern Kingdom of Yehudah (Judah) had a name change, as well. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was called Judea.

Samaria includes land that was originally a part of the inheritance belonging to the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, and Judea encompasses territory allocated to the tribes of Benjamin and Judah.

During the British Mandate period, the area of Samaria was an administrative district with that same name.

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The Disputed Biblical Heartland

When the British Mandate ended in 1948, Israel declared its independence as a nation. With the British gone, the surrounding Arab nations of Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria attacked Israel.

As part of the peace agreement in 1949 between Israel and these invading nations, a demarcation or “Green” line was established that allowed Jordan to occupy East Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria (Yehudah and Shomron), while Egypt held the Gaza Strip.

This demarcation line was never officially a border and a Palestinian entity was never created.

The Jordanian occupation, however, led to the desecration of Jewish holy sites, cemeteries, and historic synagogues, as well as the expulsion of all Jewish residents.

Jews were even barred from visiting the Temple site.

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In the “West Bank,” Judea is the
region lying to the south of
Jerusalem. The area north of
Jerusalem is Samaria.

On June 5, 1967, following a mounting threat by the same nations that invaded in 1948 and an attack by Jordanian forces on West Jerusalem, Israel encircled the Old City of Jerusalem.

The IDF successfully pushed the Jordanian and Iraqi armed forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and recaptured the Old City, including the Western Wall, Temple Mount and, finally, Judea and Samaria.

In the span of six days, what began as an attempt by Egypt, Syria and Jordan to destroy the nation of Israel, ended in a decisive victory for the 19-year old nation.

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Many key events in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) occurred in
Judea and Samaria. The Mount of Temptation where Yeshua (Jesus)
was tempted (Matthew 4:8) is generally identified as Mount Quarantania,
which is near Jericho.

The victory led to the reunification of Jerusalem and the capture of Israel’s ancient Biblical heartland—the entire region lying between the Jordan River and what people now refer to as the 1967 border.

Though Arabs demand these territories back, even the names of Arab neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria, such as Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron and others reaffirm the land’s Biblical Jewish roots.

The Tanakh (Old Testament) and Brit Chadashah (New Testament) record many events that took place in these ancient cities.

For example, Bethlehem is mentioned 44 times in the Bible and is the birthplace of King David and Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).

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Bethlehem

The Arabic name for the Palestinian village El-Jib comes from the name Gibeon, where Joshua commanded the sun and moon to temporarily stop during battle:

“On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’” (Joshua 10:12)

Anata, which is just outside of Jerusalem, is Anatot, where the Prophet Jeremiah lived.

“Jeremiah said, ‘The word of the LORD came to me: Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, Buy my field at Anathoth [Anatot], because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.’” (Jeremiah 32:6-7)

Tequa (Tekoa) is the town of the Prophet Amos, who God called to preach to the Northern Kingdom, particularly the cities of Samaria and Bethel (modern-day Beitin), which was once the site of the Holy Ark, although he was from the Southern Kingdom of Judea.

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Replica of the Ark of the Covenant at the Mamilla Open Mall in Jerusalem.

Hebron: The City of the Patriarchs

“Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.” (Genesis 35:27)

Today, many people are aware of the Biblical and religious importance of the Old City of Jerusalem, but few realize the long, rich Jewish history of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.

Hebron, for instance, which is south of Jerusalem in Judea, has the oldest Jewish community in the world.

It was in Hebron that Abraham first resided after arriving in Canaan.

This ancient city is revered as the place where Abraham purchased a field to bury his wife Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah. (Genesis 23:19)

At that same site are also buried the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the Matriarchs Rebekah and Leah.

Hebron was also King David’s first capital. He was anointed as king here and then ruled from this city for seven years until he conquered Jerusalem.

“David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.” (2 Samuel 2:3-4)

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The Cave of Machpelah or Cave of the Patriarchs: situated underneath this
Herodian-era structure are a series of subterranean chambers where
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah are buried.

Even after Rome destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Second Temple in AD 70, the Jewish People have lived in Hebron more or less continuously throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman periods.

During the British Mandate, violence against the Jews in Hebron grew.

In 1929, an Arab pogrom (often an officially condoned violent mob attack) caused the death of 67 Jews. In 1936, on the eve of the Palestinian Arab national revolt, the British Government moved the Jewish community out of Hebron as a safety precaution.

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Immediately following the Six-Day War in 1967, the Jewish community of Hebron was re-established.

Today, over 7,000 Jews live in a community adjacent to the city with the Biblical name of Kiryat Arba, the original name of Hebron.

“Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.” (Joshua 14:15)

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Following the 1995 Oslo Agreement and subsequent 1997 Hebron
Agreement, Hebron was split into two sectors: H1, controlled by the
Palestinian Authority, and H2, controlled by Israel.

United Nations Pressures Jews to Leave Judea and Samaria

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted in November 1967 after the Six-Day War, calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the “occupied territories” of Judea and Samaria.

In May 1968, Israel accepted the resolution when the Israeli ambassador told the UN Security Council:

“My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace.”

This resolution paved the way for the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995, a series of agreements that transferred land to the Palestinian Arabs.

Following the Oslo Accords of 1993, many urban centers in Judea and Samaria came under the control of the Palestinian Authority, including Jenin (where the IDF withdrawal in 2005 forced the dismantlement of several Jewish settlements), Bethlehem, Jericho, Shechem, Ramallah, and Hebron.

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Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, United States President Bill Clinton,
and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony
on September 13, 1993.

The Oslo process, rather than encouraging peace, however, seems to have sent a clear message that terrorism pays.

Moreover, the UN is now calling for other major settlement areas to be abandoned. Those settlements include the following: the city of Ariel, which sits 10 miles east of the “pre-1967 border;” Modi’in, a Jerusalem suburb of over 75,000; and Gush Etzion, a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s current Speaker of the Knesset (parliament) who lives in Gush Etzion, said that such a plan would leave Israel open to attack.

“God forbid, Palestinian terrorists, Hamas terrorists, would be standing here. They would basically be in total control. And they won’t need long-range missiles. They could reach basically to every town and city in this area,” he said. (CBN)

“I know that strategically, many things have changed in modern war. But on the other hand, without our total control here in these areas, I don’t think we’d be able even to run a normal country.”

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While many around the globe call for a boycott of products made in Jewish
settlements, such boycotts also result in the loss of Palestinian jobs, as
many of these factories also employ Palestinians who work side by side
with the Jewish People.

Regardless of the strategic importance of this area to the nation of Israel, the United Nations continues to put pressure on Israel to withdraw and to give to the Palestinians the land Jordan controlled before the Six-Day War in 1967, including the eastern half of Jerusalem.

To that end, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva recently approved a report calling for a boycott of all Israeli products coming from settlements in Judea and Samaria.

This international body continues to consider all neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria illegal and destined to be included in a future Palestinian State, even those that now are a part of Jerusalem proper, such as Gilo, which is in southwestern East Jerusalem.

Most of Gilo’s land was legally purchased by the Jewish People before World War II. That land was never relinquished, but the UN still considers Jewish settlement here illegal.

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Gilo

Despite the Biblical, historic and strategic significance of Judea and Samaria, Israel has shown itself willing to negotiate with the Palestinians and trade land for peace.

It must be remembered, however, that the Jewish People have been in the Holy Land for over 3,000 years, and the restoration of the nation of Israel and the return of the Jewish exiles is Bible prophecy fulfilled.

Although the term “Palestinian” gives the impression that the Arabs living in Israel have ancient ties to the Land, most Arabs living here today are here because of a massive 19th–20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Muslim countries.

The Palestinians, with the aid of the world’s media, however, have cast Israel as the aggressor who has snatched Palestinian lands.

As well, since Jordan (and not the Palestinians) held Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem for only a brief period, its claim to the Holy Land on the west bank of the Jordan has never been recognized, and Arab locals never had the power of self-government.

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The presence of the Jewish People in the Holy Land is more than fulfillment of Bible prophecy; it is evidence that God loves the Jewish People and is actively at work in their midst.

Please help us to bring the message of Salvation through Yeshua HaMashiach, the Prince of Peace, to Israel and the nations today.

Pleasegive a special gift – $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1000

Or sponsor a chapter of the Messianic Prophecy Bible or Jewish Outreach or become an Israel Covenant Family Member

You can also designate your tithe for the salvation of the Jewish People

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

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Posted by on 20. May 2013 in Ukategorisert

 

The Israel Controversy #2

independence65CONFLICTING OPINIONS

Why are the nations in uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? Psalm 2:1

After 65 years of the miraculous establishing of the modern day state of Israel, the controversy against it and its people seem to be raging more than ever. Many people groups are claiming the Land of Israel as “theirs”.

WHO IS THE OWNER OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL?

First of all as we celebrate Israel’s 65th Anniversary let us remember a few things. 
The Land belongs to YHVH.

The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. Leviticus 25:23

He has given it to the People of Israel forever! (Genesis 12:7, Genesis 13:15, 15:18, 17:18, 24:7, 26:3, 28:4, 13, 35:12, 48:4, Exodus 32:13, 33:1, Deuteronomy 1:8, 11:9, 34:4, 2 Chronicles 20:7, Nehemiah 1:8, Jeremiah 23:8, Jeremiah 30:10,11, 46:27-28, 1 Chronicles 16:13-18)

All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. Genesis 13:15

Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Exodus 32:13

He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, 9 the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac.10 Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, 11 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance. Psalm 105:8-11

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the flesh are the Jewish People of today. (See Hosea 1:6, 7, the Book of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah)

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Posted by on 28. April 2013 in Israel

 

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Shabbat Shalom – the Torah portion is EMOR – the Callings of Holiness

From: Messianic Bible
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:48 PM

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Shabbat Shalom from the Holy City of Jerusalem,

Welcome to our study of this week’s Torah portion, which is called Emor (Speak).

Discover new insights into the Word of God as you read along with us this portion of Scripture that will be read in synagogues around the world this Shabbat (Saturday).

PARSHA EMOR (Speak)
Leviticus 21:1–24:23; Ezekiel 44:15–31; Luke 14:12–24

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean….'” (Leviticus 21:1)

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This young man at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem is preparing to
read from the Torah scroll. The small black leather boxes on the forehead
are called tefillin. They contain a parchment inscribed with verses of Torah
and are worn by observant Jews during weekday morning prayers.

In last week’s combined Torah portion, Parsha Acharei-Kedoshim, we discussed what it means to live a holy life.

This week’s Parsha continues with the theme of holiness, specifying that the Cohanim (priests) must adhere to a higher standard of sanctity since they ministered to the Lord on behalf of the people.

“Because they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, they are to be holy.” (Leviticus 21:6)

God prohibited the priests from following several customs of the heathen nations, including shaving their heads, shaving off the corners of their beards, cutting their flesh, and marrying prostitutes or divorced women.

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Based upon the Bible’s injunction not to shave the
corners of one’s head, in the Orthodox Jewish
community, payot (sidelocks or sidecurls) are
grown long.

Furthermore, a Cohen (priest) who was deformed, blemished, or defiled could not go into the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem.

Yeshua (Jesus) conformed to this exacting standard of holiness. As our High Priest, He was without sin.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

Yeshua is coming back for a people who strive to be holy as He is holy, so let us prepare for His coming, living lives that are worthy of Him.

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14–16)

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A young man recites prayers at the Western (Wailing) Wall. The straps
on his hand and the small leather black box on his forehead are tefillin.
Tefillin symbolically binds together heart, mind and deed to remind the
wearer that our thinking, feelings, and actions must be submitted to God
in order to live a holy life. Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah wore Tefillin as
a Torah observant Jew.

God’s Appointed Times: The Callings of Holiness

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord [Moed YHVH], which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.’” (Leviticus 23:1–2)

God not only sanctifies people and places, but also time.

People, place, and time are a three-strand cord held together by the One who sanctifies and makes each of us holy.

In the second part of Parsha Emor, God lists the annual Callings of Holiness, in which He appoints certain days as celebrations or memorials of Him.

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Carrying the Torah at the Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem

These celebrations are called Moed YHVH.

Indeed, the Hebrew word moed means appointed time, place or meeting. It is often translated as festival or feast.

YHVH is the sacred name of the Lord. It is often transliterated as Jehovah or Yahweh, but Jewish people avoid saying the Lord’s actual name because they believe it is too holy to speak.

Therefore, many English Bibles substitute the name YHVH with the LORD. This is why Moed YHVH is translated feasts of the Lord in Leviticus 23:2.

Similarly, when Jewish people read the Torah and come to the name YHVH, they will say Adonai (Lord) or HaShem (the Name) in an effort to prevent using the name of the Lord in vain.

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Jewish man reading from a Torah scroll

Are the Feasts of the Lord Relevant to Believers Today?

People often refer to God’s appointed times as the “Jewish holidays” or the “Feasts of Israel.”

Many non-Jewish Believers don’t observe them, fearing that they will appear “too Jewish” or that they have “come under the Torah (law).”

But God calls them HIS feasts—HIS appointed times.

If they belong to God, then they are also the privilege of the people of God, both Jew and non-Jew.

If these appointed times were only for Israel, then we might also be tempted to think that the Messiah and even the Bible itself were only for Israel.

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A depiction of Yeshua (Jesus) teaching on the Shabbat

You can click here to give an offering to Adonai while sharing in the beauty of the Jewish Shabbat

The following are seven appointed times of God or feasts of the Lord:

1) Shabbat: The Foundation

The first “appointed day” is Shabbat (the 7th day). All the other feasts build upon this foundation.

The Hebrew word Shabbat comes from the root S-B-T, which means to cease, to end or to rest. That is what we are to do. For one day a week, creative activity is to come to a halt.

Shabbat symbolizes our “works” being finished.

It’s an eternal sign that God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh. It is also a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt (Genesis 2:2; Exodus 31:15–17; 16:23).

Although we have come to expect a five-day work week, in the ancient world, the concept of having a day off was radical.

“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11)

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2) Pesach (Passover): Festival of Deliverance

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.” (Exodus 12:14)

The second appointed day is Passover (Pesach), followed by seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag haMatzot).

The Hebrew root of Pesach (P-S-CH) means to pass over, to exempt or to spare, since the angel of death “passed over” the Israelites in Egypt when he saw the sign of the blood on their homes in Egypt.

Today we also recognize that the blood of the Lamb of God, who is Yeshua, symbolically covers the doorposts and lintels of our lives in order that the coming wrath of God will “pass over” us.

One day, the judgment of God will come upon the earth. At that time, God will once again “pass over” His people in Jerusalem and rescue them.

“Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; He will shield it and deliver it, He will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.” (Isaiah 31:5)

The coming seven plagues described in Revelation 16 are reminiscent of the plagues that God poured out upon Egypt in order to liberate the Israelites.

But no matter what happens in the last days, Bjoern, we are to be confident, knowing that God is our refuge and strength, and our perpetual help. Even if the mountains fall into the sea, we should not succumb to fear (Psalm 46).

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On the first night of Passover, Jewish families gather for the
Passover Seder, a ritual feast at which the story of our
deliverance from Egypt is retold, as Scripture commands.

3) Counting the Omer: Yeshua’s Resurrection is a Sign of Things to Come

“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:15–16)

The second day of Passover (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) begins the barley harvest, a time of reaping the produce that had been sown over the winter.

On the first day of the barley harvest, the first sheaf of barley (an omer or unit of measure) was presented in the sanctuary.

Every feast in the Torah points to Yeshua as the coming Messiah (Mashiach), and so does this feast.

Yeshua rose from the grave on the day of Waving the Firstfruits, the first day of celebrating a new harvest and counting the Omer.

He is the first fruits of all those who will also be raised up into new life (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

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4) Shavuot: Promise Fulfilled

“When the day of Pentecost came.… All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:1–4)

Shavuot is an agricultural festival associated with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

It’s also called the Feast of Weeks because it’s celebrated seven weeks after the beginning of the Counting of the Omer (Leviticus 23:15–16).

Hellenist Jews called this holiday Pentecost (from the Greek meaning 50 since it falls on the fiftieth day after Passover).

On this day, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) came upon the apostles who awaited the fulfillment of the promise in Acts chapters 1 and 2.

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4–5)

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An opened Torah scroll

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5) Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah): The Call to Repentance

“On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.” (Leviticus 23:24)

Although the first day of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar is traditionally celebrated as a Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), the Torah calls this day Zikhron Teruah, a memorial (zikhron) accompanied by a teruah (blast) of horns.

A teruah usually signals an alarm or call to pay attention to a command. It’s also a call to self-examination leading to repentance.

Indeed, Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the High Holy Days called Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim), and the ten days of repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah)when Jews consider their behavior in the past year and ask forgiveness from those whom they have wronged.

These ten days culminate in Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

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Blowing the shofar on Yom Teruah

6) Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): A Covering for Sin

“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves [fast] and not do any work—whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you.” (Leviticus 16:29)

Yom Kippur, which falls on the tenth day of the seventh month, is a “Shabbat Shabbaton” —a Sabbath of Sabbaths.

While a regular seventh-day Shabbat is a time of joy and feasting, this Shabbat Shabbaton is a day to fast and afflict our souls (Leviticus 16:31).

Anyone who refuses to afflict their souls on this day is cut off from the people of Israel (Leviticus 23:29).

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An observant Jewish man reciting prayers of repentance called
Selichot at the Western (Wailing) Wall during the Days of Awe.

The Hebrew word for afflict shares a root with humility.

This is fitting since as we afflict ourselves through denial of food and drink, we identify with the afflicted of this world and are spurred to greater mitzvot (good deeds) towards those who are homeless, hungry, and poor.

Isaiah tells us that this is the type of fast that is acceptable to the Lord (Isaiah 58).

Kippur comes from the root kapar, which means to cover.

On this day, we remember Yeshua who gave His life as a kapara. His blood covers our transgressions (Romans 3:23; 1 John 2:2). It’s not a sacrifice that we should treat lightly.

“How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)

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7) Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths): Prophetic Promise

“On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.” (Leviticus 23:24)

Five days after Yom Kippur, God appoints the time of Sukkot for joyous celebration.

For seven days, starting on the 15th day of the seventh month, we are to live in sukkot (temporary dwellings) and rejoice before the Lord.

This festival is a memorial of the time the Israelites lived in sukkot in the wilderness after God delivered them from Egypt.

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Wooden sukkot (booths) line the streets of Israel during the week-long
Festival of Sukkot.

The sukkah is a picture of the covering and protection that God gives us. This holiday reminds us that even in a desert wilderness, God provides our needs.

Indeed, Scripture says that in times of trouble, He will hide us in His Sukkah (Psalm 27:5).

Sukkot also points to the Messianic Age.

In the Bible, the number seven represents fulfillment or completion. This seventh feast will be fulfilled when the Messiah returns and tabernacles with us.

“God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes.… There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3–4)

What joy awaits us in that day! We can take heart in knowing that our current afflictions are light and momentary in comparison to the eternal weight of glory they are achieving for us (2 Corinthians 4:17).

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An observant Jewish man faces Jerusalem as he recites the blessing over
the Arba Minim (Four Species) during Sukkot. The Four Species are the
four plants mentioned in Leviticus 23:40 as relevant to observing Sukkot.

Have God’s appointed times been abolished? Bible prophecy related to Sukkot demonstrates that they are not.

In Zechariah 14, when the Messiah returns to win a victory for Israel against all the nations who have come against her, all the survivors of the nations will be commanded to keep the Feast of Sukkot.

All the nations that refuse to keep the Feast of Sukkot will be cursed with drought.

The Callings of Holiness (Moadim—Feasts), which are infused with so much spiritual and prophetic significance occur on an annual cycle. Jump in at any point, and celebrate the greatness of our God!

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Posted by on 28. April 2013 in Ukategorisert

 

Terrorist missiles hit Eilat

‘Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day and this morning we received a painful reminder of the reality in which we exist’

Wednesday, April 17, 2013  Israel Today Staff

130417_eilatTwo missiles slammed into the southern Israel resort town of Eilat early Wednesday morning, causing damage to a residential area, but, miraculously, no injuries.

Area children, who had only recently arrived for school, were rushed to bomb shelters.

Israeli forces said the missiles were fired from the Sinai Peninsula, where various regional terrorist groups including Hezbollah and Al Qaeda are known to have set up shop in recent years.

Egypt initially rejected reports that the attack had emanated from Sinai, but later Egyptian forces began searching the area for possible launch sites.

Israeli Water and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom spoke for the government when he issued the following statement:

“Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day and this morning we received a painful reminder of the reality in which we exist. The shooting highlights our need to protect ourselves and not put our fate in the hands of others.”

Later in the day a Salafi Muslim group calling itself the Mujahedeen Shura Council claimed credit for the attack, announcing on its website that its fighters had managed to “target occupied Eilat with two Grad rockets.”

 

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