Israel Remembers 23,646 fallen soldiers
Today, April 17, 2018, is Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) in Israel, and the nation remembers the 23,646 soldiers who have been killed in battle and 3,134 victims of terrorist attacks. Since last year, 71 soldiers and 12 terror victims have been added.
We remember and pray.
Special Yizkor Prayer Memorializing Israel’s Fallen Heroes
May God remember the souls of His heroic children: The fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who fell in the wars of Israel, in defensive, retaliative, and security actions and during the fulfillment of their duty, including the souls of the underground fighters and brigades who fought in the national struggle – all those who sacrificed their lives for the sanctification of God’s Name.
And with the help of God, the Lord of Israel’s campaigns, they brought about the revival of the nation and the state and the redemption of the land and the city of God. They were quicker than eagles and stronger than lions as they volunteered to assist the nation, and they saturated our holy land with their pure blood.
The memory of their self-sacrifice and heroic deeds will never disappear from us. May their souls be bound in the Bond of Life with the souls of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and with the souls of the other heroes and martyrs of Israel who are in the Garden of Eden. Amen.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
Whose right of determination?
Israel remembers tonight all her sons and daughters who have died in the numerous wars and terror attacks since her birth as a nation 70 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar. (The Western calendar Independence date is May 14/15.) Every war and attack against Israel is an existential threat to her existence. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Through many tribulations we enter the Kingdom of God!” (Acts 14:22) There is much suffering, even death, before entering into glory.
YHVH God of Israel called and destined His people to be separate from the Gentile nations, a holy people to Himself, and a priestly nation to the nations. But in the days of Samuel the prophet, the Children of Israel asked for a king like the Gentiles have, to judge them and lead them in war. God gave them what they asked for: He gave them Saul to be their king. (Shaul in Hebrew, which means, “asked for”.)
The LORD through the Prophet Ezekiel (20:32) asserts His claim upon the determination of His people’s identity and character: “What you have in mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’”
It is often said by even Israeli government ministers that we, the Jewish people, have the right of “self-determination” to be a Jewish nation-state. This can never be a justification by Jewish people for having our own sovereign country. The Palestinians could — and do — make the same claim for themselves. Our only basis for being here is YHVH’s covenant promise and oath, and the faithfulness of God to bring us back here — for His holy name’s sake. We are not like the other peoples to God in this respect: only Israel has He known (Amos 3:1-2), and He has given us a calling and destiny of who He has determined we are to be. This is true also of the Body of Christ/Messiah: our identity and destiny are determined by Him before the world began. (Eph. 1:3-6)
Megillat HaAtzmaut, by the Maccabeats, with this line concerning the Jewish State of Israel: “this right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all the other nations”.
But, as the Lord has said: this is not so, and will not be!
“As I live,” says the Lord YHVH, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you! I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the desert land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord GOD. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Yehovah!” (Ezek. 20: 33-38)
The national anthem of Israel is called HaTikvah, The Hope. God has built into His people the hope of a better world. The hope put before them is predicated upon repentance and faith in YHVH’s Anointed One — Yeshua/Jesus. May we see this hope fulfilled in our generation — for Israel, for the nations, for the Body of Christ.
At the end of the day, all who are the Lord’s will know this to be true: we will have struggled with God and with man, and prevailed! Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Gen. 32:24-30 ; Rom. 11:33)
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, April 17, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
70 great things about Israel
Jezreel Valley, northern Israel (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
In honour of Israel’s 70th birthday, here are 70 reasons to love Israel!
From technological breakthroughs to ancient wonders, natural beauty and social achievements, there are so many things to thank God for here in Israel.
- It really is a land of milk and honey! Israeli cows are the most productive in the world. An average Israeli cow produces about 25,500 pounds of milk each year, and Israel has been sharing its know-how with other countries like Vietnam to boost milk-production.
- Israelis have literally made the desert bloom, producing vast amounts of fruit, vegetables and flowers in the Negev and the Arava desert areas. Israel exports more than $1.3 billion worth of agricultural products every year, and a record-breaking pepper was grown in the Arava desert!
- Hebrew, one of the two official languages in Israel (the other being Arabic) is the only language in the world that was “dead” but has been brought back to life.
- Every week, the country slows right down for Shabbat, the national day of rest. Transport stops, shops are closed, and families gather for the traditional Shabbat meal.
- Israel has one of the highest standards of living, in terms of education, life expectancy (highest in the world – 82), safety for minorities, and economic prosperity, in the Middle East.
- Israel is home not only to Jewish people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds, but also to Arab Muslims, Christians, Armenians, Druze, Bedouins, refugees from Sudan and other African countries, people of the Bahai faith, and others.
- In times of international crisis and disaster, Israel’s emergency teams are usually among the first there on site to help.
- Albert Einstein was asked to be Israel’s first president! He declined.
- Christians can worship Jesus in safety in Israel – a liberty not available to many in the Middle East.
- Unlike leaders of other nations in the Middle East, Israeli leaders are subject to the rule of law and are even sent to jail when convicted of criminal offences, as ex-President, Moshe Katsav, found out.
- Israel is one of only 2 countries that entered the new century with a net gain of trees.
- Israel has the only theater company in the world that is comprised entirely of deaf and blind actors, and our banknotes have Braille on them for the blind.
- You can see the original wall from the time of Nehemiah in Jerusalem and walk through the water tunnels he constructed in the City of David.
- You can see the remains of the very second temple that Yeshua walked in.
- You can ride a boat on the sea of Galilee, and see ancient boats that are thousands of years old.
- You can swim with dolphins in Eilat, and ski on the top of snowy Mount Hermon.
- The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Dead Sea mud has minerals that nourish the skin and people flock from all around to try out their healing and health benefits.
- Israel produces the most scientific papers per capita per year in the world.
- There are many problems in Israel, but the population is free to discuss them and protest publicly, and the Israeli press do not hold back at all in their criticism either! This is a fruit of a free and democratic country.
- Thousands of Syrians (technically “enemies” of Israel) have been treated in Israeli hospitals in the last couple of years.
- In fact children from many neighbouring countries – Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Kurdistan, and other places – have received life-saving medical care in Israel.
- The revolutionary “drip irrigation” method invented in Israel has shown the way for many water-deprived nations to improve desperate situations.
- Israel was the first country to ban size 0 models.
- Israeli women have equal rights, and some of the best educational opportunities in the Middle East.
- Golda Meir was the third female prime minister in the world, and 44% of Israel’s registered lawyers are women.
- Israel was legally established four times over: The San Remo Article 22 of 1920 ratified the Balfour Declaration as internationally binding law, the League of Nations 1922 “Mandate for Palestine” was unanimously approved by all 51 states of the League, UN Resolution 181 to partition Palestine was passed in 1947, and the Declaration of Independence in 1948.
- There are 137 official beaches, and the Red Sea has beautiful coral reefs full of exotic fish for fun snorkelling and diving experiences.
- In order to protect its citizens from attack, Israel developed the revolutionary “Iron Dome” defense system, which accurately shoots down missiles fired at Israel – while they are still in the air!
- Studies show that Israel is one of the best places to raise children, and that it is one of the happiest countries in the world.
- For the population size, Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees.
- The Technion University in Haifa was #78 in the best universities in the world, and among the top 25 engineering schools, according to Business Insider magazine 2012.
- Israeli beauty, Linor Abargil, won the title of Miss world in 1988 after having just survived a rape attack abroad. She went on to become a campaigner against sexual violence.
- Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, an Israeli Arab microbiologist from Baqa al-Gharbiyye is Israel’s new “Masterchef” and dreams of opening a Jewish-Arab cooking school.
- Israel ranks 19th among 187 nations on the UN’s Human Development Index, which places it in the category of “Very Highly Developed”.
- The cell phone was developed in Israel.
- Anti-virus software was also developed in Israel.
- Many medical breakthroughs were successfully pioneered and developed in Israel, including treatments that battle HIV and cancer, and help for those with epilepsy, autism and dyslexia, to name a few.
- Israel is ranked first place in the world in the survival of cancer patients.
- Flowers are exported from Israel in vast numbers, and we have become a major player in the global floral industry.
- The percentage of Israelis engaged in scientific and technological inquiry, and the amount spent on research and development in relation to gross domestic product is amongst the highest in the world.
- Israel produces 95% of its own food requirements.
- A company called Biobee breeds and sells insects as a form of pest control, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. Their “good bugs” keep other bugs from harming the crops. They also breed bumble bees to naturally pollinate in the greenhouses and fields.
- The cherry tomato was genetically developed in Israel, and is grown in the desert for a sweeter taste!
- Israeli researchers have successfully cultivated a plant from 2,000 year old seeds from a date palm.
- Israel is on the cutting edge of solar power technology, and 90% of Israeli homes have water heated by solar energy.
- The city of Haifa has the second shortest underground funicular system in the world, going up and down Mount Carmel in just 6 stops!
- The public transportation system is cheap, efficient, and has free wifi.
- A group of Israeli artists started “bus stop libraries”, providing free books at bus stops for people to read and exchange.
- You can read the verse from Leviticus on some buses and stations: “You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old”.
- Many of the streets are named after Biblical heroes like King David, Solomon, Samson.
- There is a national Bible quiz, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s son won it one year.
- The Prime Minister goes to a regular Bible study and it is not uncommon from him to quote the Bible in speeches.
- Israel is a country that loves to read – it publishes more books translated from other languages in the world.
- Israel has won a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes for its size and small population, and has won more than all the other Middle Eastern countries combined.
- Many smartphone apps like Whatsapp, Viber and Waze were invented in Israel.
- Israeli company EWA developed the technology to produce drinking water out of thin air. A condenser absorbs the air’s humidity, holds it in silica based gel granules, then condenses it into water. Better still, 85% of energy used is pumped back into the system.
- Israel has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the world, giving it the nickname, “Start-up nation”. It has the highest rate of entrepreneurship among women and people over 55 in the world.
- The city of Beersheba has the highest number of chess grandmasters per capita in the world.
- Eilat and the south of the country are a bird-watchers’ paradise – Israel has one of the highest levels of bird traffic in the world per square kilometer, with more than 500 million migrating birds cross its airspace.
- Stargazing from the Israeli desert is a sight to behold.
- Israel produces many award winning wines.
- Israeli children are 10 times less likely to suffer from peanut allergies due to early introduction to the nationally beloved peanut-puff snacks “Bamba”.
- There are 273 kibbutzim in Israel – where everyone works together, lives communally and shares the benefit of their collective labour. These kibbutzim were particularly important in helping the country get established in the early days of its development.
- Israel has the largest number of museums per capita than anywhere else in the world.
- Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
- Voice mail, instant messaging and USB flash drives all began in Israel.
- Israel was the first country to sign up to the Kimberly process, the international standard that certifies diamonds as being “conflict free”.
- Alexander the Great is said to have entered Israel in 333 BCE via the caves at Rosh Hanikra, and Napoleon and King Richard the Lionheart (the king that was absent in the time of Robin Hood) have also paid visits to the country with hopes of conquest.
- Israel has miraculously won every battle pitched against it, with hostile nations seeking to destroy it since its inception. Although the Israel’s defence forces are strong, many supernatural miracles have helped Israel to avoid annihilation.
- The number of Messianic believers who know Yeshua as their Messiah has trebled every decade since 1948, and is now over 30,000.
This article originally appeared on One for Israel and is reposted with permission.
ONE FOR ISRAEL strives to be the leading organization in sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah with Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Hebrew language. Our staff is comprised of both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with the shared belief that true peace in the Middle East can only come into existence under Yeshua.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
The drums of war are getting louder – Time to raise the level of prayer
Illustrative image - Members of the Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas ride in the back of a pickup truck as they patrol an area along the border with Egypt near the southern Gaza strip town of Rafah on August 23, 2017. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
I have place watchmen on your walls Jerusalem – they shall not be silent. You who mention My name, give Me no rest until I make Jerusalem a praise in all the Earth. – Isaiah 62:6 – 7
The comment I wrote on February 16 this year was titled “The Drums of War are Beating Again.” International events of the last 10 days have inspired me to use the same theme for this week’s comment, as the drums of war are indeed getting louder, almost by the day. The poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK 3 weeks ago, and the widely accepted accusation that Russia is responsible, has led to a major deterioration in diplomatic relations between Russia and the Western nations who are holding President Putin responsible. Some political commentators are even calling it a “new Cold War.” Even though President Trump is doing his best to preserve good relations with President Putin, the US relationship with Russia has been extremely strained by the Russian attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 US elections.
The USA and Iranian leaders continue to trade accusations, insults and threats over the controversial Iranian Nuclear Program deal that Barack Obama brokered and signed. Added to that Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu continues to claim that the US agreement with Iran has the potential to be disasterous for Israel and other nations in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab states are in agreement with PM Netanyahu and President Trump in regards to Iran not being allowed to have nuclear weapons. PM Netanyahu also openly accuses Iran of financially backing and supplying arms and training personnel to Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, as they do their best to destroy Israel. Iran and Israel also continue to trade accusations, insults and threats of military action against each other.
The 7 year-old civil war in Syria continues to threaten stability in the entire region. The US and Israel accuse Russia and Iran of backing the ruling regime of President Assad, who is once again being accused of once again using chemical weapons against his own people, killing more than 200. As always Assad is denying the accusation, and Russia is saying that there is no evidence of chemicals being used, but the USA and most other Western leaders are saying that this is the last straw for the Syrian leader.
A day after news broke about the chemical attack, Israeli Air Force jets fired 8 missiles at (an Iranian) base in Syria, causing significant damage and killed a number of Iranian technicians. Israel has taken similar action against Iranian backed military sites in Syrian on several previous occasions. President Putin is reported to be very angry with Israel for taking this action without informing the Russians. As I write this comment President Trump advised the Russians that the US will be firing missiles at targets in Syria and the Russians responded saying that they will shoot down all missiles fired at Syria. That could lead to a war between the USA & Russia which could well lead to World War 3.
The only bright light on the international horizon is the upcoming meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May. If the 2 leaders succeed in coming to some sort of agreement concerning Nth Korea’s nuclear disarmament, then at least the threat of war, even a limited nuclear conflict, will be significantly reduced, which of course is good news for the whole world. That leaves the insane situation in the Middle East as the biggest threat to world peace at this time.
That brings us back to Israel and the urgent need for increased prayer and intercession. As the celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday gets closer – April 19th according to the Hebrew calendar and May 14th on the Gregorian calendar, I am sure the activity in the spiritual realm is becoming more intense. The Kingdom of YHVH is growing in excitement of the celebrations, but the Kingdom of darkness must surely becoming more agitated and frantic to stop it and bring about Israel’s destruction. The planned opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th can only increase the activity and intensity in both kingdoms.
The violent Hamas backed demonstrations that have been taking place in Gaza over the last 2 weeks and are planned to continue at least until May 14th. As the Israeli army and Air Force does its very best to protect Israel’s borders from infiltration by terrorists intent on killing innocent Israeli citizens, while at the same time doing it best not to harm people in Gaza who are not a threat to Israel, world opinion continues to turn against Israel and favor the enemy of the Kingdom of YHVH.
If you are seeing the prophetic significance of what I have written above, there are several responses that should be automatic in your life:
1. An increase in your love for, and solidarity with Israel.
2. Increased boldness to speak up to defend Israel to family, friends, people at work, and people in your church, even the leaders if necessary.
3. Most importantly a significant increase in your prayer and intercession for Israel and the Jewish people – here are some prayer point to assist you:
Pray for Divine and angelic protection over all of Israel’s military pesonnel, over all Israel’s territory and borders, and that any missiles fired at Israel will fall back on
whoever fired them.
Pray for special protection over the Israel/Gaza border this weekend and every weekend until the violent demonstrations stop.
Pray for wisdom and strength for PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet and top military leaders as they endeavour to maintain security and safety.
Pray for a major increase in Aliyah (Jews returning to Israel) from every country.
Pray for a major increase in the number of Jewish people in and in the nations to come to faith in Yeshua as Messiah and Lord.
Pray for increased anointing on all Messianic Jews in Israel to more impactive and more effective as we speak to people here in Israel and in the nations.
Please pray for more and wider doors to open for Out of Zion Ministries to share the truth about Israel to the Body of Messiah in the nations.
This article originally appeared on Out of Zion Ministries, April 13, 2018, and reposted with permission.
David together with his wife, Josie, founded Out of Zion Ministries, whose mission is to fulfill God’s call on Israel as His ‘Chosen Nation’ to be a light to the Nations as well as to encourage the Church to fulfill God’s call to the Gentiles to assist in the spiritual ingathering of the Jewish people.
Sign up for KNI weekly updates
Yeshua and the ten lepers
Painting by James Tissot - The Healing of Ten Lepers (Guérison de dix lépreux) - Brooklyn Museum. (Wikimedia Commons)
Outside a certain village on the Galilee-Samaria border, an encampment of lepers had stationed themselves a short distance from the road so that they could solicit charity without defiling anyone according to Levitical law. Word of the Master’s approach had preceded Him, and the lepers waited for Him expectantly. Like everyone else in the Galilee, the ten lepers had heard about Yeshua. They knew about how he had healed other lepers. They considered Him their only hope of healing and cleansing.
As He went to enter the village, the ten lepers “stood at a distance” and called out to Him, “Yeshua, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13). Wrapped in tatters and bandages, the lepers looked like dancing dead men as they shouted and waved to get the Master’s attention. The Torah banned lepers from entering villages and population centers. The lepers formed small colonies outside of the towns and cities. They lived in lonely places, begging for food, and waiting to die. They only found companionship in the company of other lepers.
The Master looked upon them with compassion, but He did not approach them. Instead, He called back to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14), meaning that He had already healed them. The Torah required the priesthood to visually inspect a leper’s flesh to ensure that the leprosy was gone before putting the leper through the purification rituals necessary to remove his ritual defilement. Yeshua told the lepers to go to the priests so that they could confirm the healing and take the lepers through the sacrificial and ritual procedures necessary. This demonstrates that Yeshua did not counsel against observing the Torah. Instead, the authority of the Torah is fully recognized in the New Testament.
Why did Yeshua remain at a distance when on other occasions He did not hesitate to contract the leper’s ritual defilement? He was “on the way to Jerusalem,” and wanted to maintain a state of ritual purity for the pilgrimage.
Yeshua’s instructions probably surprised and disappointed the ten lepers. The problem was that the lepers had not yet been healed. A glance at their own flesh confirmed that the leprosy still clung to them. Showing themselves to the priests while their bodies still bore the affliction could serve no purpose. In previous healing encounters, the Master had touched the leper, heedless of the ritual contamination He incurred as a result. This time, like Elisha in the story of Naaman, He instructed them to act on faith and go their way:
Behold, I thought, “He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.” (2 Kings 5:11)
Despite their disappointment, the lepers took Him at His word and did as he said. As they traveled to find a priest, the leprosy miraculously receded from their bodies.
This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion and is reposted with permission.
First Fruits of Zion specializes in the study and teaching of Scripture from its historical, linguistic, and cultural context. Using the latest scholarship, ancient Jewish sources, and extra-biblical literature, we present a Messianic Jewish reading of the Bible and early Jewish-Christianity. We do this by publishing books, ebooks, magazines, journals, study programs, audio and audio-visual resources, and presenting new material through seminars, conferences, and guided Israel tours.