Israel’s economy bursts with flavour
Israel is renowned for its technology. The Start-Up Nation’s fruitfulness in bio-tech, navigation, engineering, agriculture and other areas continues enriching the world. Not surprisingly, the hi-tech industry is the leading sector of Israel’s economy and is frequently associated with the country itself.
A traditional Israeli start-up would focus predominantly on innovation without venturing much into the areas associated with manufacturing, developing logistics, acquisitions of other enterprises etc. Nonetheless, they are the reason for hordes of global companies making their way to Israel and constantly on the look out to acquire Israeli start-up companies at various growth stages.
However, hi-tech is not the only area impacted by Israeli innovation and entrepreneurship. Earlier last month, the focus of global business news and analysts was directed to an industry which is considered a little less “exciting” for conventional investors at large, and specifically for those seeking to invest in Israel.
Frutarom, the Israeli flagship company operating in the low-tech business of food fragrance and flavour manufacturing, was purchased by International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF), the second largest producer in the world of its kind.
Frutarom is not a hi-tech start-up company with a small employee base and a unique technology potentially valued by international conglomerates at hundreds of millions of dollars. Rather, it’s a company with a history and its beginnings were far from lucrative hi-tech as we know it. Founded in 1933 in the Haifa bay area, it remained a relatively small operation until it appointed Ori Yehudai as its CEO. In many ways, his approach to business was like the one of a start-up founder. He took an enterprise with revenues of $80 million in the year 2000 and developed it into one of the industry leaders, with last year’s sales reaching $1.4 billion.
As any good Israeli entrepreneur, Yehudai identified an emerging market trend – an increasing preference for natural ingredients among global consumers. The CEO’s understanding of the technological advantage in this sector led to the company’s further investment in research and development. The fact that 15% of its workforce is focused on R&D shows that Frutarom is determined to continue innovating to keep ahead of its competitors. Last year’s purchase of the Israeli company that develops nutritional ingredients and medical foods using the latest technologies, has once again underscored Frutarom’s strategy in tapping into the health food trend. Currently, three quarters of Frutarom’s output falls into the natural food category.
Today, Frutarom is a large enterprise with 5,000 employees, 93 R&D labs, 74 production sites, 70,000 products, customers from over 150 countries and sales offices all over the world. It currently stands as the sixth largest company in its sector. Clearly, IFFs move to takeover this Israeli flagship firm is indicative of its intention not only to gain its cutting-edge technology, but to further consolidate its own leading position in the world.
Frutarom’s example is further evidence that highlights Israel’s capability to deliver both highly advanced technology and develop successful production companies that can compete on the global stage. Despite its humble beginnings, fierce competition and other challenges associated with the food the industry, the Israeli-based firm has demonstrated that it is possible to become a prominent player in sectors besides hi-tech. Frutarom’s success story serves as another proof of the Israeli genius for innovation and advancement.
Frutarom, The Marker, Calcalist, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wikipedia
This article originally appeared on Wise Money Israel, June 27, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Being passionate about both ministry and business, Stefan serves as the Executive Pastor at the vibrant Messianic-Israeli congregation Kerem-El in Haifa along with his wife Keren, an Israeli worship leader and songwriter. He serves as a Director at Wise Money Israel, the first Jewish believer-run Investment Portfolio Management firm in Israel working with individuals, ministries and organizations around the globe to invest in Israel.
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Dare to dance
Not all of us like to dance. Some people go through all of life without ever giving it a try. Some make a lifestyle of dance and others of us pine for a time where we used to dance as a way of life.
For me, I spent much of my life watching dance, teaching dance and dancing myself. It was when I was crippled by back pain that I started pulling back from the thing I so loved. Now if I see dances and dance movies that harken back to my previous life, I find it upsetting and saddening to think back to how my body used to feel and move.
Recently I was really challenged to think about King David and how he danced before the Lord. It must have been quite a show to cause the level of embarrassment that we read about, to his wife Michal. But why was David dancing so extravagantly? Was he putting on a show? Was he trying to get a rise out of the people? Was he trying to irritate his wife?! Or was he making a statement about the victory he’d just watched being won?
Clearly, David didn’t drop a groove and start spinning on his head in the streets of Jerusalem, although this is what you’ll find happening there today! He did something that was viewed to be undignified and shocked people because of how much he just did not care what the people thought. He danced with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14), and I think it would be fair to say that it was for an audience of One.
It isn’t recorded in scripture that David was a regular dancer, or had a profession as a dancer. Maybe he was a pioneer in the dance world, and was secretly busting a move or two to entertain King Saul! But we do know that his reaction to the ark of covenant *finally* being returned to its rightful place, was to burst forth with a dance that he could no longer contain.
When my holocaust surviving grandma passed away, I played the song ‘Heros’ by Amanda Cook at her funeral, because the following line spoke of what she had done in her life;
“You taught my feet to dance upon disappointment”
What does this mean to me as a retired, closet, wishful dancer?
We all have disappointments in our lives, things that have let us down, or ended up being a destructive force. For me, the bitter disappointment of my back pain represented so many things and directly affected my ability to literally dance. But these things can be symbolic of so many things in life. Disappointment in and of itself can be a debilitating thing that can dictate how we feel and easily master us without us noticing. It may not directly relate to our physical ability to dance, but it may represent a metaphorical (or literal) giving up of that joy that we see in David.
In Luke 10:19 we are told that we have been given authority to tread, or stand on the evil one. I love this picture of being able to crush the evil one in a release of creative movement that represents a complete abandonment to the One who brings us victory.
But David didn’t accidentally stumble into a dance move (although that would explain a lot!) His dancing wasn’t a mishap! It was intentional. He chose the level of energy and abandonment he put into his dance, and he chose to dance with all his might. He was intentionally choosing joy, and to press into that explosion of gratitude he felt. Years of disappointment and longing for the ark of the covenant to be returned, culminated in this beautiful expression of one man, before his God, without a care in the world.
When we are intentional about dancing on our disappointments, we risk causing those around us offence or disgust at how we haven’t held it together in the appropriate manner! But sometimes that enemy isn’t going to be crushed fully or die completely unless you dance before the Lord with ALL your might. You can’t tiptoe around the scorpion that is disappointment – you have to stamp and use your full body weight to land that victory on its head.
So dare to dance, dare to take back your joy and don’t be afraid of how it looks! Own it!
Simcha emigrated to Israel from the UK, with her husband and three children. Having studied theology and music and worship in London, and trained as a worship leader and song writer, she went on to teach music and be involved in worship teams in several congregations in the UK, and now in Israel as part of Sarah Liberman's team. Simcha is the author of the “Dare to Ask” project, comprising of the book 'Dare to Ask', and 3 CD's, Dreaming', 'Awakened' and 'Soar (To come) which each have a counterpart 30 day devotional study guide to accompany them. She is passionate about enabling people to engage with God in the way which they were made to, and is committed to multi sensory expressions. Simcha is also an artist, and paints her songs and messages to accompany the music and books. She is also the coordinator Ascend Carmel Programs.
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LISTEN: John 15: Jesus, friend of sinners
The gospel of John clearly demonstrates what friendship is all about, says Rev. David Pileggi. There is an invitation to come and investigate. The friendship that Jesus is offering us is modelled on his relationship with the Father. The basis of biblical friendship is the way the Father loves the Son. Jesus is found in the bosom of the Father. In order for there to be friendship there has to be relationship.
Readings: Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17
David Pileggi lives in Jerusalem with his wife Carol and their three adult children where he is the rector of Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. They have lived in Israel for 33 years where David has worked as a journalist/researcher and for 19 years was director of a study program dedicated to teaching Christians about the Jewish context of their faith. David has an M.A. from the Hebrew University in Jewish Studies and is a licensed tour guide.
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VIDEO: Living Stones Tour 2018 Jerusalem Promo
Dugit as an evangelistic outreach center located in the heart of Tel Aviv. The Hebrew word “Dugit” means little fishing boat, like the ones used by the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Functioning as a coffee shop and outreach center, Dugit provides a friendly environment where Israelis can hear about Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah and receive teaching. Periodically, Dugit hosts “Dugit Live”, an evening outreach in which believers can share their testimonies with unbelievers through live music and fellowship.
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The Gates of Hell
Yeshua told Simon Peter, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Assembly; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Mathew 16:18). Some English translations say, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is puzzling because gates are a defensive structure. Gates do not overcome anything; rather they are overcome or not overcome. And why would the Assembly of Messiah attempt to get through the gates of Hades at all?
“Hades” is a Greek term for a mythological underworld of the dead, but Jewish-Greek (like the Septuagint) used the word as a translation for the Hebrew term She’ol. If we think of Hades or Hell as the capital city of Satan’s kingdom of darkness wherein his demon’s live and torture the souls of the deceased, we have accidentally borrowed some imagery from Greek mythology. The Hebrew She’ol does not have Satanic connotations at all. Instead, the Bible uses She’ol as a term for the place of the dead, a synonym for the grave.
In a Jewish reading of Matthew 16:18, She’ol means nothing more than the grave, a poetic way of speaking of the confines of death. For example, consider Isaiah 38:10 where King Hezekiah begs God to spare his life as he laments, “In the middle of my life, am I to enter the gates of Sheol? Am I to be deprived of the rest of my years?”
In Isaiah 38, the term “gates of Sheol” appears as a metaphor for the passage between life and death. Therefore, when Yeshua says that those gates “will not overpower” his Assembly, we should understand the gates of Sheol more as prison gates which prevent the dead from crossing back over to life. The gates of Sheol keep those inside them dead, so to speak. Rabbi Yeshua says that those gates will not be able to withstand His assembly. His assembly will overcome the grave, break through the gates of death, and return to life. In other words, the Gates of Sheol will be broken by the resurrection of the dead when the Messiah summons His Assembly back from the grave.
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.