In a reincarnation of the spirit of Amalek, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime instigated the most aggressive program to annihilate the Jewish people in the history of mankind.
You can choose to ignore the animus focused on the Jewish community and delude yourself into thinking you have no responsibility. Or, you can choose to follow Esther’s example and stand in solidarity with and as an advocate for God’s Chosen People.
While God set the stage for a dramatic intervention, the players who had been strategically positioned to meet a clear and present danger still had a choice as to whether they would fulfill their destiny.
Each person’s conduct toward Israel and the Jewish people has both broad and personal implications. It’s a simple choice. Intentionally choosing to benefit Israel in a practical way invites the corresponding blessing God promised.
Rabbinic tradition likens the celebration of Simchat Torah to a father who invites his family to a seven-day feast, but when it is time for his children to leave, he’s having such a wonderful time that he begs them to stay an extra day (Shemini Atzeret)!
Sukkot is not only a joyful commemoration of God’s dealings in the past, it also exuberantly typifies the fulfillment of everything God has purposed through His covenantal relationship with Israel.
“For Jews who have lived through the Yom Kippur War, the holiest of the High Holy days will never be the same. For us, it stands not only as a day of atonement but as day of gratitude to God for the miracle of survival.” Itzhak Brook, MD
For the past decade, I have taught that the elements of the predicted alliance in Ezekiel 38 could occur at any time. A year ago, one significant piece of the puzzle fell into place. . .
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.”
Shana Tova—A Good Sweet Year to You!
We don’t normally think of the Scots in terms of those who rescued Jewish people from the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. We’re more familiar with Corrie Ten Boom born in the Netherlands and the German Lutheran pastor, Dietrich Bonheoffer. But, when the name, Jane Haining, from Dunscore, Dumfriesshire in Scotland recently came to my attention, I determined to know more about her courageous selfless life.
The Balfour Declaration’s bold expression of support for a Jewish homeland issued in 1917 by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour on behalf of King George V and the government of Great Britain did not go unchallenged. The Mandate to establish a Jewish national home was virtually derailed by government officials motivated by misguided expediency rather than moral clarity.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’” Lamentations 3:21-24
What does my Scottish-Irish-Norwegian background bring to the discussion about Israel, you ask?
Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”
O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? MICAH 6:8
Denouncing evil is not about bitterness, vengeance or bigotry. The prophet Amos admonishes, “hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate.”
Even before the Mandate of Palestine was granted to the British government by the League of Nations in 1920 and confirmed in 1922, it became evident that implementation of the declaration would not be as straightforward as many hoped.
The Balfour Declaration accelerated movement toward a homeland for the Jewish people and was the first recognition of Zionist aspirations by a world power.
The Zionist longing at the turn of the 20th century was more than a transient dream.
In the mid-1800s, a dream began to coalesce that changed the course of history. It emerged in Russia and spread to Eastern Europe where the most beleaguered Jewish populations of the world lived.
The rebirth of the nation in 1948 happened so abruptly, the world almost seems to have been caught by surprise. Most watching the situation unfolding in 1948 didn’t think Israel could survive the birthing process.
Over the past 100 years, more that 240 million trees have been planted in Israel. Israel is the only country in the world to have entered the 21st century with a net gain of trees. History, however, documents that not all have demonstrated love and concern for the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.