Immigration to Israel Rises 21% This Year!

Israel’s population is also being boosted by a decrease in emigration, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

By United With Israel Staff 

During the first seven months of 2019, 20,506 new immigrants arrived in Israel, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, reports the Globes business news outlet.

The figure marks a 21% increase over the 15,965 immigrants who came to Israel during the same period of time in 2018, says the report.

The newcomers are said to include the returning children of Israeli citizens living abroad and who already have Israeli citizenship.

Israel’s population is also being boosted by a decrease in emigration, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The annual emigration rate in 2017, the number of Israelis not returning from abroad for more than a year, fell to 14,300, the smallest number since 2010, says the Globes report.

“The increased level of immigration is due largely to a surge in the number of immigrants from Russia, a trend which began in 2018,” writes Arutz 7.

According to the Jewish Agency, there was a 45% increase in immigration from Russia in 2018, even as immigration from other Eastern European countries like Ukraine declined in 2018, said the news website.

“More than 10,500 immigrants from Russia moved to Israel in 2018,” it noted, adding that “immigration from Eastern Europe continued to increase in 2019, and by mid-year, it accounted for 74% of all immigration to Israel.”

Last month, says Arutz 7, Nefesh B’Nefesh, an NGO working to facilitate immigration from North America to Israel, brought its 60,000th immigrant to Israel.

https://unitedwithisrael.org/immigration-to-israel-rises-21-percent-so-far-this-year/

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Israel får sit største solenergiprojekt i Negev ørkenen

Israels største solenergianlæg i Ashalim strækker sig over næsten 1.000 hektar. Energiminister Yuval Steinitz: Israel er på vej til at nå sit mål om 10% vedvarende energi i 2020.

Af  Linda Berkowitz

september 11, 2019 kl. 9.25

Solfangere i ørkenen. (Foto: Mike Baird, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/)

Negev ørkenen kommer til at huse Israels største solenergiprojekt til dato, skriver Israel Hayom.

Solenergianlægget i Ashalim strækker sig over næsten 4 km2, hvilket gør det til den største af sin art i Israel. Energiminister Yuval Steinitz siger, at Israel er på vej mod at opfylde sit 2020-mål på 10% vedvarende energi. 

Israels finansavis, Globes, rapporterede, at et privat israelsk firma har indviet det største solenergiprojekt i landet. Ifølge avisen er Ashalims solenergiprojekt i Negev ørkenen på størrelse med en lille by og er lige nu i stand til at producere nok energi til at forsyne ca. 70.000 husstande. 

Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd største aktieejer, Naty Saidoff, annoncerede opstarten af Ashalims kommercielle foretagende ved en ceremoni, hvor Israels energiminister, Yuval Steinitz også var tilstede. “Siden jeg tiltrådte som minister, har jeg benyttet alle de midler, der stod til min rådighed, for at øge produktionen af vedvarende energi og dermed nå regeringens 2020 mål på 10%,” sagde Steinitz. “Gennembruddet på dette felt bidrager væsentligt til – foruden at nedbringe brugen af kul – at arbejde for 2030 målet for vedvarende energi,” tilføjede han. 

Saidoff sagde: “Jeg er stolt af at få muligheden for at bygge meningsfulde mega-projekter både i Israel og i udlandet. Jeg planlægger at fremme lignende projekter i fremtiden.”

Det næsten fire kvadratkilometer store anlæg huser ca. 16.000 parabol kar og ca. en halv million konkave spejle, som omdanner solenergi til damp, som sidenhen bruges til at producere elektricitet. Negev Energy Power Station har et helt unikt system, der bruges til at lagre energi fra varme. Systemet bygger på smeltet salt, der gør det muligt for anlægget at være i gang i 4,5 time ekstra om dagen for fuld kraft efter solnedgang. 

Negev Energy er et fælles foretagende med Shikun & Binui Energy (50%), Noy Infrastructure Fund (40%) og det spanske firma TSK (10%). Foretagendet vandt et regeringsudbud i 2013 til at planlægge, designe, finansiere, bygge, drive og vedligeholde et 121 MW varme-solar anlæg i en periode på 25 år. 

https://miff.dk/forskning-og-innovation/2019/09/11israel-faar-sit-stoerste-solenergiprojekt-i-negev-oerkenen.htm

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

– Jøder i Hebron er ikke en hindring for fred, men en prøve i sameksistens

Den israelske præsident Reuven Rivlin mener, at flere jøder skal bosætte sig i Hebron.

Af  Bjarte Bjellås

september 6, 2019 kl. 13.46

Den israelske præsident Reuven Rivlin ved Patriarkernes grotte i Hebron d. 4 september 2019. (Foto: Amos Ben Gershom)

Det jødiske samfund i Hebron er ikke “en hindring for fred”, men en prøve i jødernes og arabernes evne til at leve sammen. Det sagde den israelske præsident Reuven Rivlin i en tale i Kiryat Arba-bosættelsen nær Hebron. udtalelsen kom på markeringen af ​​90-årsdagen for Hebron-massakren.

”Det ville være en stor fejltagelse, hvis vi ikke bosatte os i Hebron, en by, der ligger tæt på Jerusalem og er dens historiske forgænger,” sagde Rivlin.
Den israelske præsident mener, at det jødiske samfund i Hebron skal vokse så hurtigt som muligt. Han opfordrede premierminister Benjamin Netanyahu til at tillade et nyt jødisk kvarter i byen. Rivlin ved, at Netanyahu er under pres fra højresiden om tilladelse af byggeri i kvarteret Avraham Avinu.

-Hebron er ikke en hindring for fred. Det er en test af vores evne til at leve sammen, jøder og arabere, til at leve anstændige liv side om side, sagde Rivlin.

Præsidenten og hans egen familie har en tæt forbindelse til Hebron, som er jødenes anden helligste by. Hans bedstefar Eliyahu Yosef Rivlin betragtes som en af ​​grundlæggerne af Chabadbevægelsen i byen. Præsidenten var selv en af ​​soldaterne, der befriede byen fra Jordanierne under Seksdagskrigen.

Du kan læse denne artikel på dansk, fordi der er Israel-venner, der støtter MIFFs arbejde med kontingenter og gaver. Klik her for at blive medlem af MIFF!

“Her i Hebron, i patriarkernes by, i en hule, der blev købt til fuld pris, blev vores ret til dette land etableret som fair og moralsk, en ret til det land, der er og altid vil være ubestrideligt,” sagde præsidenten under sin tale.

Historien, han henviste til, findes i 1. Mosebog i Det Gamle Testamente om, at Abraham køber en grav i Hebron. Stedet er kendt som Patriarkernes grav eller Makpela-hulen og er i dag et hellig sted for både jøder og muslimer.

Siden den tid, indtil den brutale massakre i 1929, var byen en af ​​fire hellige byer med en kontinuerlig jødisk bosættelse, som blev fornyet igen efter sejren under Seksdagskrigen, fortalte Rivlin om jødernes historie i byen.

Læs mere om Hebron-massakren her:

https://miff.dk/bosaettelser/2019/09/06joeder-i-hebron-er-ikke-en-hindring-for-fred-men-en-proeve-i-sameksistens.htm

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LIBANON TONE DOWN

Weekly Roundup from Amier

Just two days before the arrival of our September Bible Experience Israel Tour, we are back to normal with quiet borders and defeated enemies. The attempt of Hezbollah to avenge their humiliation from last week resulted with an even greater one. Sunday afternoon, a few Russian anti-tank Kornet rockets were fired by their terrorists at an Israeli armored vehicle along the border. All missiles missed their targets. Israel deceived Hezbollah by pretending that we had casualties. The Iranian proxy quickly announced that it is no longer interested in any escalation. Believing that Israel was hurt badly, Hezbollah started celebrating in the streets of Beirut and southern Lebanon. Little did they know that the alleged Israeli casualties were nothing but healthy soldiers who returned back to their units that same night. 

Iran is defeated and so is Turkey. From the promise of the Sunni world and the rescuers of the trapped rebels in northern Syria, Turkey has turned into a passive bystander watching a literal genocide of nearly 3 million Sunni Muslims being butchered from the air by Putin and on the ground by Bashar Al-Assad.  Russia is trying to help Iran bypass the oil sales embargo and recently started collaborating with Sudan.  We are not only watching Israel bloom, but we are witnessing the entire Ezekiel coalition form before our very eyes. 

This week I’ll start working on my challenging message for the Understanding the Times 2019 conference later this month. I’m excited to have my new message, Why Should Christians Support Israel?, available on DVD via our online resource store. This message, like all others, will be uploaded on our YouTube channel very soon. 

Our social media growth is amazing, and we are receiving many online messages from people that are interested in knowing more about Jesus and/or about Israel and its significance in relation to God’s word.  I receive messages from Israelis, as well as people from Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and even Iran. 

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. In the midst of this dark world, we want to make a difference and share the hope of our salvation and His soon return. 

In many messages given by prominent pastors worldwide, I noticed that they speak of the second coming of Christ as if it’s the event the believers should hope and pray for. That prompted me to put together a new message, “The Second Coming of Jesus – For Us or With Us?”. Just as the Jews confused the first with the second coming, Christians confuse the rapture with the second coming. 

John 14:1-4 

1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

 

Awaiting His Return,

Middle East Update, September 1, 2019

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

OM AVTALEN MED HIZBOLLAH

ISRAELS STATSMINISTER OM AVTALEN MED HIZBOLLAH

AF ARVE 29. AUGUST 2019

Rapport forteller at Israel og Hizbollah er enige om våpenhvile i Libanon. 31.8.19

 Israels statsminister Benjamin Netanyahu redegjør i israelsk fjernsyn om avtalen med Hizbollah.

Arutz Sheva/ Israel – Ole Bernhard Sørbøe

Israelsk artilleri reagerte kraftig på Hizbollahs angrep på en IDF-konvoi i januar 2015 fortelleren en israelsk talsperson. Siden har det ikke vært noen konfrontasjoner mellom Israel og Hizbollah. 


Israel og Hizbollah har en uskreven avtale der begge vil unngå å angripe libanesisk og israelsk territorium på grunn av krigsfare, rapporterte den London-baserte avisen Asharq Al-Awsat.
Imidlertid kan det ifølge rapporten fortsatt skje “brannveksling” på syrisk territorium. Tirsdag stengte Israel veier på sin nordlige grense for militære kjøretøyer, i frykt for et angrep fra Hizbollah.
Søndag fordømte sjefen for den Libanon-baserte Hizbollah-terrororganisasjonen et påstått “droneangrep” rettet mot den libanesiske sjiamuslimske bevegelsens høyborg, og lovte å “gjøre alt” for å motvirke flere  angrep.

http://www.ordetogisrael.no/aktuelt-2-2-2/israels-statsminister-benjamin-netanyahu-om-avtalen-med-hizbollah

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ISRAEL UTVIKLER SYSTEMER MOT FIENDTLIGE DRONER

AF ARVE 29. AUGUST 2019

Israelsk firma utvikler systemer som er i stand til å kontrollere fiendtlige droner. 28.8.19

 Fiendtlig drone

Haaretz / Ole Bernhard Sørbøe

Times of Israel forteller at nevnte systemer gir operatørene full kontroll over dronene, slik at de kan lande dem trygt for analyse.
 
“Systemet er utviklet for å  oppdage fiendtlige droner i en rekkevidde på opptil 3,5 kilometer og ta kontroll over omtrent 200 droner samtidig,” sa Asaf Lebovitz, produktsjef i Skylock, et av selskapene, til Haaretz daglig.
 
Rapporten kom noen dager etter en serie med dronerelaterte angrep mot et arabisk naboland, trolig fra Iran.

http://www.ordetogisrael.no/aktuelt-2-2-2/israelsk-firma-utvikler-systemer-mot-fiendtlige-droner

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST

What is it like to live in Israel with all the violence?

Ishai Royel | Aug 22, 2019 |

 

On Thursday, August 8, the body of 19 year old Dvir Sorekwas discovered near Migdal Oz, a settlement of Judea and Samaria in Israel. Unfortunately, news of this kind reaches us far to often in Israel. Indeed, sometimes it can feel that the only constant in this country is war and terrorism. But only sometimes. Usually – it feels as safe as any city in the US, if not safer.

Day to day, it is very easy not to notice the violence – even when a terrorist attack happens nearby. The first time I ever heard of a stabbing taking place near to where I lived (in Jerusalem at the time), I immediately learned how easy it is to ignore. I was at work. I looked around to get clues as to how to act natural in a situation like this. It was strange to me at the time that people barely seemed to notice. Instead, we went about our work as if nothing had happened. It was chilling and eerie.

Years later, I understand. Terrorism is greatly a part of our lives, and there is nothing we can do about it. To care too much would be to lose focus on what we can control; focusing on our families, our jobs, and all of those other day to day parts of life.

Plus, when you compare Israel to other countries or cities in terms of violence statistics, it does not stand out as incredibly dangerous. Individual Israelis are each unlikely to be directly impacted by terrorism unless they live in the areas right next to the Gaza strip. Statistically, more people are murdered in New York City each year than are killed by terrorism in Israel. Of course, terrorism is more complex and there are many aspects of it besides the final numbers of fatalities. But the point is this: It usually doesn’t feel dangerous – and the statistics can help explain why. 

Despite the lack of day to day danger, it is disconcerting to live with terrorism happening so regularly. The end result is we live in a daily dichotomy of fear and peace. Our lives feel safe almost every single day, and at the same time we know that there are people living close to us who want to attack and harm us and our families. They make no distinction between military and civilian, and even prefer to strike civilians in order to provoke fear. The best way to understand what it’s like to live here, in terms of the violence and terror, is to understand this daily contradiction. It is calm and peaceful most of the time, sporadically terrifying, unstable when you think of the big picture, and generally our daily concerns are the same as anywhere else – family, work, and the other mundane parts of life.

https://kehilanews.allisrael.com/what-is-it-like-to-live-in-israel-with-all-the-violence/

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Messianic Jewish identity

Messianic Jewish identity – Do we lose our Jewish identity when we believe in Jesus?

Eitan Bar | Aug 1, 2019|

Benjamin Disraeli. One of the most famous Jews in history who served as Britain’s Prime Minister and was the most eminent Jewish politician in the British Empire. The Queen even made him an earl. Disraeli openly identified himself as a Jew who fought against anti-Semitism He didn’t hide his faith and his love for Jesus. As a Christian, the Queen didn’t understand why he, as a Jew believed in Jesus. He explained to her that as a Jew, he was in the middle between Judaism and Christianity.

He said: “I am the blank page between the Old and the New Testament.”

It’s not always easy explaining to those that do not understand or perhaps do not want to that there is nothing more Jewish than believing in Jesus the Jewish Messiah.

For 2000 years we’ve been a bit of an oddity. 

On the one hand, Jewish law has rejected and excluded Jews who believe in Jesus. On the other hand, Christians also misunderstand us and our struggle with our Jewish identity. Before we deal with what it means to be a believer and in particular a Jewish believer we must first answer the question:

What does it mean to be Jewish?

Truth is, it depends who you ask. The people of Israel are one big mix: Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, atheists and ultra-Orthodox… Everyone has a different answer to the question who is a Jew, and what that means. If you’re looking for a definition that everyone agrees on you’ll never find it. For some, being Jewish is a matter of biological ancestry. For others it’s an ethnicity or nationality. And for some it’s about customs and keeping traditions.

But in the time of the Bible, it was the call of God that gave Israel their identity.

“Now the Lord said to Abram,” “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

So one aspect of being Jewish is to do with the land promised to our forefathers. The land of Israel plays an integral part in God’s plan from the time of Abraham. We see this in the Exodus story, the temple in Jerusalem, and the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. And today, prophecies about the land are being fulfilled before our eyes. The establishment of the State of Israel and against all odds, shows that God is faithful to His promises.

If you are descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob you are part of a people that God chose to set apart. He separated Israel from the others to be his representative so that other nations could hear about Him. Israel was to called to be a a light to the nations, to teach the nations about God and His ways. But in practice, Judaism today rejects the ways of God and His Messiah, and ends up being the opposite of God’s ambassador and a light to the nations by looking down upon other nations and distancing itself from them, not wanting any connection with them.

But where we have failed as a people, the Messiah succeeded. Jesus, as the Jewish Messiah and the ultimate representative of the people of Israel succeeded in bringing the God of Israel to all the nations of the world. Today more than 2 billion Gentiles all over the world have accepted the salvation of the God of Israel, just as Isaiah prophesied:

“I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6 

History show us that just like Disraeli, there have always been Jews who believed in Jesus. In fact, right at the beginning there were no Gentiles, only Jews! All the disciples were Jewish, and almost all first believers were too. Back then, the big question was whether Gentiles needed to believe in the Jewish Messiah as well.

It wasn’t easy for the Jewish disciples to grasp that God created and loves all of humanity, and that the Messiah came to give His life and to be an example to all mankind Jews and Gentiles alike. Looking at God’s promise to Abraham we see that from his seed, blessing would come to all nations, and not just to Jewish people.

“And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

Jesus is the Jewish Messiah who came from the people of Israel, but He didn’t just come for Israel. Belief in a messiah who prefers one people over all the rest is a belief in a racist god.

The development of Rabbinic Judaism

Historians and theologians will all tell you that the New Testament is a Jewish book. But Judaism back then like the Judaism of the Old Testament is not at all the Judaism of today. They are both called “Judaism”, but there’s not much left in common.

World expert on Rabbinic Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem Professor Avigdor Shinan said:

“Our theology isn’t that of the Bible. The traditions we follow today are not from Old Testament Law but they are traditions of the Rabbis. Shabbat laws, keeping kosher and so on it’s not in the Scriptures. Not in the Bible. There are no synagogues, no ritual blessings or specific prayers bar mitzvahs or prayer shawls. Anything you think is Jewish, if you check its source, it’s not the Bible. It’s from Rabbinic literature. That’s where it all starts. Where is Judaism in the Bible? Moses never said he was Jewish. Abraham was never called a Jew. Nor David. Only ‘Mordechai the Jew’, and was at the end of the OT, during the exile in the Persian era.”

So how Judaism end up so far from its biblical origins on one hand, and rejecting Messianic Jews on the other? In 132 AD, Simon bar Kochba led a Jewish revolt against the Romans but during the revolt a religious leader, Rabbi Akiva, declared that bar Kochba was the messiah, even though he was a man of war, known for his barbaric cruelty. Initially, Jewish believers in Jesus had supported the uprising against Rome, and wanted to help fight for and protect Israel. But when Rabbi Akiva declared bar Kochba to be the messiah the Messianic Jews had to withdraw their support. So, Rabbi Akiva and the Sanhedrin made a long list of laws to exclude Messianic Jews from Judaism according to the Rabbis. These laws prohibited any contact with Jewish followers of Jesus.

The biggest blow came when the Sanhedrin decided to expel Messianic Jews from the synagogues by adding a prayer cursing believers to the 18 blessings that are said three times a day in the synagogues.

“The blessing, which in reality is a curse, is aimed against all Christians and some believe that it is aimed against Messianic Jews, who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but continued to pray with the Jews in the synagogues. According to this view, the prayer was designed to remove and prevent them from influencing the Jewish community.”

And so, for the past 1900 years Rabbinic Judaism has pushed Messianic Jews out. But try as they might, we’re here to stay.

The Jewishness of Jesus

Not only is Rabbinic Judaism not the true Judaism of the Bible, but they’ve tried to get rid of it, and now there’s hardly any trace left. For 2000 years, they’ve tried to brainwash the Jewish people against us.

Rabbi Aaron Moss says: “Of course a Jew can believe in Jesus. Just like a vegetarian can enjoy steak.”

But Rabbi Moss’s words are just cheap propaganda and manipulation. Just think about it. Jesus was Jewish. He taught the Jewish Scriptures. His followers were all Jewish. Which holidays they celebrate? The Jewish feasts! And where did they live? Babylon? No, in Israel! The New Testament is a Jewish book that was written by Jews, describing the lives of Jewish people here in the land of Israel. Do you see the irony? The hero of the New Testament, Jesus is a Jew who lived in Israel but the hero of the Talmud, which was largely written in Babylon was Rabbi Akiva – a Gentile convert a descendant of Sisera. 

The Jewish feasts also point to Jesus and His identity as the Messiah. Looking at the feasts, it’s clear. The Last Supper for instance, wasn’t an event at the Vatican. It was a Jewish Passover meal celebrated by Jesus and His disciples. In Jerusalem. Every element in the Last Supper had rich significance for the disciples reminding them of the great salvation from Egypt. Jesus used these elements to show His disciples that just as the blood of the Passover lamb made the angel of death pass over the Israelites, so the blood of Messiah protects, atones and saves. Also, the Day of Atonement sacrifice, which atoned for the sins of Israel, pointed to a greater salvation: the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah. Every single one of the biblical feasts symbolizes the Messiah and His rule.

What does our Jewishness mean?

So taking all this into account you can see how complicated and challenging the situation is today, In our opinion, a key to all this is understanding that our Jewishness as Messianic Jewish believers is not just a biological issue, but is ultimately a matter of culture.

The reason we spin dreidels at Hannukah, eat matzah balls at Passover and hunt for the Afikomen, or light candles on the Sabbath isn’t because we believe that God commanded us to by any Rabbinic Oral Law “given” on Mount Sinai. We do all this for the same reason that we plant trees for Tu Bishvat eat apples and honey at Jewish New Year or barbecue on Independence Day.

These things are part of our Jewish-Israeli culture, like seasoning to spice up our meals. So if Jewish culture is like seasoning every person must decide for himself how much seasoning he wants to add.

Some like a lot, others a very little. Some don’t like to add seasoning at all. The trick is to remember that even if you like a lot of seasoning don’t try and force others to add the same amount to their meal, or they might not want to eat it. We mustn’t let the “seasoning” distance us from other believers who are not necessarily Jewish. If the Messiah came to destroy the “dividing wall of hostility”, who are we to rebuild those cultural barriers and separate ourselves from others.

Messianic Jews and the Church

But a legitimate question remains: How did faith in Jesus change from being a Jewish movement to becoming the religion of Christianity, so cut off from its Jewish roots? Early on, some believers, especially those that lived in Rome, were influenced by Greek and Roman culture, philosophy and politics. False teachers arose and distorted Scripture for their own political means. Even in Paul’s epistles, we see him repeatedly warning churches about this. It was around the 4th century that Christianity arose as an official religion and for most of history it was under the Catholic Church, which was quite anti-Semitic for a long time.

But there were always streams within Christianity that remained loyal to God in spirit and in truth.

Do you remember God’s reply to Elijah when he felt he was alone in his faith? God assured him and told him there were still 7000 in Israel who had not compromised their faith. Similarly, in the Dark Ages of Christianity some stood against the tide of culture and stayed true to Jesus. But the truth is, many “Christians” didn’t really know Jesus at all or understand His teachings. They blindly followed corrupt religious leaders they brought the name of God and Christianity into disrepute. Change came after the Middle Ages thanks to the Reformation, which challenged the authority of Catholicism, and the invention of the printing press which made the Bible widely accessible. As in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, a spiritual revival began, and many Christians began to return to the biblical origins of their faith.

Today, there are hundreds of millions of true Christians all over the world known by different names, many who love Israel and the Jewish people, Protestants, Evangelicals, and so on. Today we are seeing believers from many denominations around the world returning to the Jewish roots of their faith.

We also witnessed how Israel was reestablished thanks to the activity and generous support of Christians who helped us establish our country and continue in their support to this day. In fact, Messianic Jews, together with the generous aid of Christians founded the first hospital in Israel, the first radio station in Israel, the first school for girls, and much more. Jewish and Gentile believers alike, have the privilege to follow Jesus and do what the people of Israel were always called to do: to be a kingdom of priests and bring the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to all the other nations of the world. No other spiritual leader in history has brought so many Gentiles to the God of Israel as Jesus has.

Our identity today as Jewish believers in Jesus

As Messianic Jews, our identity is divided in two. On one hand, we’e still part of our people. We’re the remnant that Paul wrote about.

“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he complains to God about Israel: ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.’ But what is God’s reply to him? ‘I have kept for myself 7000 men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:1-6

And on the other hand, we are brothers and sisters with all Gentile believers in Messiah. They are the ones who decided to join the true Jewish faith of the Bible, not the other way around – we didn’t “join” Christianity!

We don’t have to agree with the rabbis in order to be Jewish, just as a secular Jew doesn’t have to go to synagogue to remain Jewish. Similarly, we don’t have to agree with everything in our country in order to remain loving and faithful citizens. Every person wants to feel loved, accepted, regarded, and valued by the society in which they live. But as Messianic Jews, our worth isn’t based on what others think of us but on what God thinks of us.

We cannot let our true identity be based on our ethnicity our culture, or our political views. Our identity is spiritual and is found in the Messiah, in heaven.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

One of our callings as believers in Israel is to be a light to our people and to “stand in the gap” on their behalf.

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1

So, while we may be Jewish biologically, spiritually, our Jewishness is manifested in our faith in Jesus the Jewish Messiah. However, our spiritual family includes all the believers in Jesus the Messiah and it really doesn’t matter what their ethnic or genetic background is. Spiritually, when it comes to a believer’s standing before God, it really doesn’t matter if they’re Jewish or not. Culturally, it’s a matter of personal choice.

I know that it’s not easy. Being a Messianic Jews means that you’re a minority in a minority and sometimes you’re regarded as an enemy by the people you love. It’s an identity that brings persecution from outside as well from home, and you often have to pay a heavy price. But all this grows dims in the light of the privilege we have to represent the Messiah to the people He deeply loves.

I’m Eitan, and I’m a Messianic Jew!

This article originally appeared on One For Israel and is reposted with permission.

https://kehilanews.allisrael.com/messianic-jewish-identity-do-we-lose-our-jewish-identity-when-we-believe-in-jesus/

 

 

Eitan er ONE FOR ISRAELs Media & Evangelism Director.

https://kehilanews.allisrael.com/person/eitanbar/

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Israel and homosexuality

ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST

Israel and homosexuality

One For Israel Staff | Aug 20, 2019 |

 

Gay pride marches have become a standard feature of many Western, liberal countries. Not so much in the Middle East, of course… but there is one notable exception: Israel.

However, unlike most Western countries, you will not find a single Messianic congregation that supports gay marriage in the whole of Israel.

Why is that?

It should be said first and foremost that we love our gay friends! And we don’t want them to miss out on all that God has for them. However, due to the particular challenges faced by Messianic Jews, good understanding has developed about three key, Biblical issues that just happen to be very pertinent to this debate. They directly address the following common objections:

  1. You still think we have to follow Leviticus 18?? Do you eat shellfish? That’s also an abomination! Those laws don’t apply anymore.
  2. Jesus never mentioned homosexuality! Why do you make it a big deal when he doesn’t? 
  3. So long as you love your partner and are faithful, it doesn’t matter what gender they are.

And here are three responses to these objections:

1. Messianic Jews and the Torah

Here in Israel, it is critical that Jewish believers in Yeshua understand how to interpret the Torah and apply it to our lives today. What aspects of the Sinai covenant are for today and what has been replaced by the New Covenant in the Messiah’s blood? We have written a book about it, called “Reading Moses, Seeing Jesus”, which is well worth a read if you find the law hard to understand. Many Christians do not know why we keep the Ten Commandments but don’t freak out too much about mixed fibers.

As it happens, I hate shellfish and I would argue that it is indeed an abomination! However, I don’t think eating shrimp is offensive to God now that we’re under the New Covenant. Why? Why the picking and choosing?

We would have a very hard time implementing the whole law today, even if we wanted to. We have no temple for a start. Sacrificing all those animals is not a realistic possibility any longer, and the New Testament explains clearly how it all pointed to Yeshua and his sacrifice for us. Issues of bodily fluids, for another example, are related to the matter of potential life and death, God’s passion for life and grief about death. These laws have been fulfilled in the Messiah’s life, death, and resurrection. A vision given to Peter at Jaffa spelled it out – shrimp is back on the menu.

But the morality of the law still applies. Laws such as caring for the widow and the orphan, championing the cause of the needy and oppressed, not tripping up blind people or sleeping with family members are as relevant today as they ever were.

How about the prohibition on homosexuality?

1 Timothy 1:8-11 says that the law is good when used properly.

Paul then effectively lists the Ten Commandments, in order, and includes homosexuality along with sexual immorality.

“But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

These laws will always apply because they are not symbolic, educational, or temporary, but because they delineate what is right and wrong. Paul understands that the sins of profanity, murder, sexual immorality, sodomy, stealing, lying and insubordination are contrary to sound doctrine.

The Ten Commandments also express heterosexual expectation (“Honor your father and mother” Exodus 20:12) and nowhere in Scripture do we see God changing his expectation on this matter. 

2. Messianic Jews and the divinity of Yeshua

Another area that Messianic Jews have spent a considerable amount of time investigating is the identity of Yeshua. It’s an issue we have to defend regularly, and we have become very familiar with passages of the Tenach that show Yeshua and the Father are one.

When people say that Jesus doesn’t talk about homosexuality, they are suggesting that Jesus not God.

They forget that Yeshua IS the Word, that he IS God, and was with God from the beginning. They do not realize that it was Yeshua, the LORD in flesh, who came to visit Abraham on his way to Sodom in Genesis 18. They are fudging their facts when they do not accept that the Holy Spirit who inspired Paul is the very Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:9, Philippians 1:19).

Jesus has a lot to say on the matter.

But even if you only take his words recorded in the gospel accounts, you still have some issues to deal with. Issues that are particularly close, yet again, to the hearts of Messianic Jews.

3. Jewish appreciation of the “Bridal Paradigm”

God speaks about his relationship with people in terms of bride and bridegroom, husband and wife, passionate love and illicit sex throughout the whole Bible (see Hosea, Song of Songs, Jeremiah 2-3, Isaiah 51 and many more). This is a pattern that we are supposed to learn from. 

God could have designed human beings and our reproductive systems any way he wanted to, but he created male and female. He speaks to us through his created design very deep and profound truths about us and our relationship with him, but Satan is working hard to destroy the metaphor so that the meaning is lost. As Voddie Buchanan says, the portrayal of homosexuality as God’s design is a “blasphemy of the illustration”.

This issue cuts to the very core of God’s heart and plan for humanity. He created us to love and for love – the Bible starts with a wedding and ends with a wedding, and has a wedding in the middle (Song of Songs) because this is the picture that God gives us about the whole meaning of our existence. Yeshua as the bridegroom and his people as his bride. As Paul writes, marriage is a mystery that speaks of this love and looks forward to our complete union with him in eternity. Earthly marriage between the masculine and feminine is a huge signpost to this eternal and earth-shattering truth. 

This God-established understanding of Genesis as our pattern for marriage IS something that Yeshua upheld in Matthew 19. He also affirmed the Jewish Scriptures as God’s eternal word.

What does this mean for same-sex attracted people?

If this is all true, it is devastating news for people who believe in Jesus but are attracted to their own gender. Whatever caused the situation (and this subject is complex), it leaves gay people with a very difficult choice. It may mean lifelong celibacy.

The majority of gay people may not have chosen the attractions that they feel, and may not even want them, but we can all choose how we act on our attractions. Whether single, married, or gay, we all have to resist temptations in our mind and actions.

We still have choices, even if those choices are harder to make. But there is hope. Note what Paul says in 1 Corinthians:

“Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you were—but you were washed, you were made holy, you were set right in the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Some of the Corinthian believers had evidently been practicing homosexuality, but Paul talks about this in the past tense. In the Messiah, they have been washed and made holy, set right in the name of Jesus. There is hope in his name for a brand new start and a brand new life.

Our heart for gay people in Israel

Tel Aviv in Israel is the gay capital of the Middle East. The fact that people from neighboring countries can come to find safety and freedom to practice their lifestyle is preferable by far to the violence and murder that they may experience elsewhere. But still, more than worldly “freedom” in this life, we long for them – and everyone – to have true freedom in the life to come. Far from rejecting anyone, we want to invite everyone, without exception, to come and know new life in the Messiah.

We will not capitulate to the spirit of the age and say that homosexuality is not a problem to God. That is a lie of Satan, and we do not want anyone to be deceived. Failure to turn away from our sin will cost us dearly, and that is the last thing we want. We refuse to lie by selling a false gospel that will not save, because ultimately, that is not love. But here is true love: Jesus loves us so much that he died for our sin – all of it – so we can be together with him. This is our heart’s plea: Come to the Father! Receive God’s forgiveness and take up your cross to follow Jesus, as we have done. God loves you, Jesus died for you, and we want to enjoy eternity together with you!

The cost for gay people to follow Jesus is high, there’s no denying it. But he is worth giving up everything we have. 

“He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot.

This article originally appeared on One For Israel and is reposted with permission.

https://kehilanews.allisrael.com/israel-and-homosexuality/

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ISRAEL & THE MIDDLE EAST

Why more embassies are not moving to Jerusalem

ICEJ Staff | Aug 11, 2019 |

  •  
  •  

 

US Embassy street sign, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff

By:  David Parsons, ICEJ Vice President & Senior Spokesman

In mid-May, we reached the one-year anniversary of the United States opening its embassy in Jerusalem. Many Israelis and their friends worldwide found the occasion worth celebrating. US President Donald Trump certainly made an historic and courageous decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the American Embassy there last May 14, 2018. Indeed, Trump has pointed to the Embassy move as perhaps the biggest and proudest accomplishment of his first two years in office.


Yet the passing of this moment also raised questions as to why more embassies have not been relocated to the Israeli capital since then. What is holding back other national leaders who are friendly to the United States and Israel and who have repeatedly promised to do right by Jerusalem? 

Certainly, there was early momentum created by the US Embassy opening. Yet so far, only Guatemala has fully followed the United States’ lead by officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving their embassy there. The out-going president of Paraguay also quickly made the move, but his successor just as promptly returned their embassy to Tel Aviv.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia each opened an office for cultural affairs in Jerusalem but did not give these offices diplomatic status. In contrast, Hungary has opened a trade office in Jerusalem and declared it to have diplomatic standing. Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Romania’s top leaders have made contradictory statements on moving their embassy to Jerusalem.

After promising so much more, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recognized only west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and so far has merely announced plans to open a trade office there. But he just won reelection by a surprisingly solid margin and may now be ready to do more.

Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly promised to move his nation’s embassy to Jerusalem, but to date has only officially announced plans to open a trade office in the Israeli capital. Honduras also has announced plans to open a trade office there. Lastly, the leaders of Georgia and the Philippines have both suggested they may move their national embassies to Jerusalem, but nothing official has happened yet.

So why have we not seen a larger parade of nations making their way up to the eternal city of Jerusalem?

Logistical Obstacles

First, there are a lot of expenses and logistical considerations in making such a move. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are only an hour apart (in good traffic). But moving an embassy involves more than finding a new office building; it means moving diplomats as well, and they require new homes and new schools for their families. Jerusalem is only now beginning to prepare for such an influx of diplomatic personnel.

Economic Concerns

Many nations expected concrete incentives and rewards for moving their embassies, in the form of increased American foreign aid and investment, or perhaps US assistance for acquiring Israeli technologies. The Trump administration even suggested as much. Recall that UN ambassador Nikki Haley said the Trump White House would be “taking names” on this issue and hinted that there would be both punishments and payouts based on how nations decided to react to the US president’s lead on Jerusalem. However, there is little to report yet in terms of real benefits flowing to the countries that have taken steps to recognize Jerusalem.

International Pressure

Meantime, those opposed to Trump’s push for wider recognition of Jerusalem have been working hard to undermine his efforts and punish those who seek to follow suit. Sometimes it has been through overt economic threats, which go well beyond the familiar use of Arab oil as a political weapon. For instance, Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Malaysia have threatened to end all beef purchases from Australia and Brazil if they move their embassies, which would cost these nations billions of US dollars in annual trade revenues. Other times, it has been by covert political pressure, such as the reports out of capitals in Eastern Europe that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has personally warned them against recognizing Jerusalem.

Waiting on US Elections

Finally, the biggest reason many nations are holding back on moving their embassies to Jerusalem may be that they are waiting to see if Trump will win a second term as president. At this point, the American presidential elections are already starting to heat up, and numerous democratic contenders are taking a much tougher stance on Israel than Trump. So why would a nation move to Jerusalem when the next American president might abandon the city, leaving them high-and-dry?

I anticipate Trump’s friendly policies towards Israel, and especially his stand on Jerusalem, will become a prominent issue in the upcoming American presidential elections. Israel’s evangelical Christian friends will be pressed to keep him in office. If they manage to do so, the momentum will return once more for the nations to ascend to Jerusalem.  

This article originally appeared on ICEJ, July 31, 2019, and reposted with permission.

https://kehilanews.allisrael.com/why-more-embassies-are-not-moving-to-jerusalem/

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email