Jerusalem Arabs set ablaze a police station next to the Lions’ Gate in the capital’s Old City on Wednesday. Aryeh King, nationalist Jerusalem city councilman and member of the municipality’s Emergency and Security Committee, was present at the attack and managed to document it. According to King, police officers fled the scene.
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“Unfortunately the prime minister is instructing the authorities to avoid eastern Jerusalem, and these are the results,” charged King. “Last night the funeral of a terrorist was held there, they marched from the Mount of Olives towards the Lions’ Gate attacking everything in their path and didn’t let Jews pass,” reported King. He adds that once the group arrived at Lions’ Gate they burned the police station.
King, who lives in Maaleh Zeitim on the Mount of Olives, noted that the incident merely highlights an endemic failure of the capital’s security. “The security in eastern Jerusalem is abandoned, women don’t dare go to the mikveh (ritual bath) in Armon Hanatziv, in Park Hamesilah next to Beit Tzafafa people are robbed in broad daylight,” commented King. The Jerusalem councilman added that Arab residents “build wherever they want,” without enforcement of the building laws. source – PamelaGeller.com
Imagine that this week, Jews got angry and hundreds attacked Palestinian Arabs with rocks at the holiest Muslim site in the world. Imagine that this violence came after a handful of Muslims came to pray peacefully at the site and that even though hundreds of Jews attacked police officers, only seven were arrested.
Can anyone imagine the endless news stories and media reports that would emanate as a result? The New York Timeswould have three front-page stories; there would be countless United Nations and European Union condemnations, and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour would be on site. Media coverage would be nonstop.
In reality, Arabs attacked Jews repeatedly over the last few days at the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews, so it is barely a news story. Palestinian Arab violence against Jews is a regular occurrence, and as the media seemingly expects the Arabs to throw rocks, they don’t afford it much media coverage.
A few weeks ago, Stockwell Day, who served as Canada’s minister of public safety between 2006 and 2008, visited the area and was refused admittance by Muslims. On the Temple Mount, Jewish religious artifacts and symbols are not permitted and visitors report being strip-searched before being allowed admittance.
Imagine if, in the Vatican, people weren’t permitted to bring religious artifacts. World media would jump all over themselves to cover the story. But since it is Jews being attacked, the world’s media is silent.
The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site and the location of the two holy temples of Jerusalem, the latter of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. Despite the fact that this area is the holiest place on earth for the Jews, Jewish visitation is restricted.
Pretend there was an area in Washington, D.C., that had important political or religious significance to America. Could anyone envision a scenario where Americans were kept out and police officers were attacked regularly at the site?
Of course, if the Israeli police were to adopt the position of the American border patrol police that says they “consider rock-throwing to be deadly force which sometimes demands the same in response,” then the world headlines would criticize Israel for shooting at unarmed young protestors. Ignoring the fact that rocks kill people, the media would describe it as “tit for tat violence” if Israel responded. Talk about a no-win situation.
Israel, it seems, is simply always wrong and can do no right for the world’s media. This bias leads to Jews being killed and is simply despicable.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and respected public relations experts. Torossian is the founder, president and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the 25 largest independent American PR firms.
Our New Years resolutions or habits focus so often on what we do!
There is a cry in this world! “What can one person do?”
Thinking too little of yourself!
Being afraid to do what you know you need to do!
Not willing to pay the cost and make the commitment!
>> But the problem is not really what you do but what you are becoming!
This year I wan to challenge you on what you become!
It all begins by making a commitment to be the kind of person that God created you to be.
God did not waste His creative acts on you to just be a nothing!
You need to wake up to your potential!
You can make a difference!
God is expecting you to make a difference!
The difference begins with you!
We forget that the wrong kind of impact is being made by a person!
So the right kind of impact can be made also by a person!
Become a person who will make a difference this year!
The way that God intended and created you to be!
Let us learn from Nehemiah!
He is a man who was not heard of before this time even though he had been in the same empire with Daniel, Haggai, Esther. They had been at different time periods before. He is a contemporary with Ezra and Malachi, but it is not till Nehemiah is older in his life that he awakens to God’s purposes for him. He woke up one day and decided to make a difference.
11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. NIV
Nehemiah made a new commitment to be a different person than he had ever been before!
He was just the king’s cupbearer!
I. A person of spiritual perception
Nehemiah was a Jew living in Persia as a servant of Artaxerxes the king of Persia.
He was a descendant of the Israelites who had been carried into captivity by the Babylonians, who were then conquered by Medo-Persia.
Nehemiah had no personal history in Israel, but his heart was there because that was where’s God’s people and God’s heart were.
So when he heard that Jerusalem was “in great trouble and in disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and the gates have been burned with fire” he was crushed (1:3)
He was crushed for the sake of his people but he was also crushed for the sake of God.
He knew that the conditions were a reproach to the name of God!
Nehemiah could have begun to push a political solution.
Get in the right office!
Get the right laws passed!
Get the right programs in place!
But the very first thing that he did was to begin with fasting and prayer!
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. NIV
Just in time for Christmas, the world was treated this week to the latest offense from the “Palestinians” with the declaration by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that Jesus was a “Palestinian.” Abbas’ offensive Christmas greeting called Jesus “a Palestinian messenger who would become a guiding light for millions around the world,” and suggested Israel was to blame for the exodus of Christians from the Holy Land.
With a reference to Luke 23:34, Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman noted, “He should have read the gospel before uttering such offensive nonsense, but we will forgive him because he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” adding that Abbas’ remarks are an “outrageous rewriting of Christian history.”
I’m no theologian and, as an Orthodox Jew, certainly no expert in Christianity or the gospel. However, I know a dangerous and offensive ambush on both Judaism and Christianity when I see it, and when those called “Palestinians” today erase and rewrite whole sections of Scripture that are the foundation of Judaism and Christianity, it must be called for what it is: a dangerous lie that is a hybrid between Palestinian nationalism and the ultimate Islamic replacement theology.
There are many, many examples of this, but one of the best is when “Palestinians” say (often) that there was never a temple on the Temple Mount, the focal point of biblical Jerusalem whose central architectural landmark was destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed again in the year 70 and replaced by two mosques hundreds of years later, as if to spread the dominance of Islam over Jerusalem as an Islamic city, which is never even mentioned in the Quran. Of course, any Jew or Christian knows that the Temple was a reality, and the denial of its very existence also denies those of us who share so much in common—literally, the foundation of our respective faiths.
This is one egregious example, but one doesn’t have to look to hard to find plenty more, the same way one doesn’t have to dig too deep in Jerusalem to find archeological remains, evidence of the reality we know from the Bible.
Of course, denying the underpinnings of Judaism and Christianity are no problem in “Palestinian” society, but stating the inconvenient truth that Islam is the main threat to both, particularly to Christians living among Muslims and the primary cause for the Christian exodus, would be a PC no-no. For instance, Abbas also mentioned Palestinians “trapped under siege” in Gaza, “who are prevented from worshipping in Bethlehem,” conveniently overlooking that it’s his good friends from Hamas who control Gaza and who make life for Christians there a living hell. The same is true among Christians in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iran, and the list goes on.
Why do I care? Why write this? It’s simple. Israel is the birthplace of both Judaism and Christianity. Jews and Christians have a common bond that’s based biblically and has never been more important. True, thousands of years of history from Jesus’ time until the last century have displayed a less enlightened, less kind and certainly not a gentle approach by what’s loosely referred to as “the church” to Jewish neighbors and Judaism as a whole.
But the awakening in the last century of Christians who understand the biblical injunction to bless Israel and who know that Israel’s rebirth is fulfillment of prophesy, period, needs to be met with open arms by Jews and reciprocated. So when a Palestinian leader refers to Jesus as a Palestinian, it’s an affront to the foundation of Christianity, making one want to imagine Jesus dying not on a Roman cross but with a suicide belt packed with explosives at a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem café, and must be challenged at every turn.
Why refer to “Palestinians” in quotes? The name Palestine in modern use initiated with the League of Nations and the British. Native residents of what’s Israel today were referred to as “Palestinian,” but the term was used by the British to refer to Jews. My father, for instance, born in Haifa, was a “Palestinian.” Only decades after Israeli independence when Jews (and what’s grown into about 1.5 million Arabs) became Israeli, did the term Palestinian morph to refer to Arabs.
There is ample historical documentation to prove that while there were indigenous Arabs in Israel as well, Arab migration to Israel exploded as the land flourished with Jews returning from exile and corresponding economic opportunities, drawing many whose origins are still unmistakable by their names as being from Egypt or Syria and that are still evident today. But while Jews returned en mass, fulfilling prophesy, there was always an unbreakable and majority of Jews in the land.
So while there is legitimate evidence to show that many of today’s “Palestinians” are, in fact, not indigenous to Israel and that “Palestinian” nationalism was born more as a way to delegitimize and destroy Israel, I, for one, understand that there is a reality on the ground that must be dealt with today, and I am all for coexistence and peace, if the latter is even possible.
However, by claiming Jesus was a “Palestinian,” since everyone knows he was a Jew, what they have done is debunked the myth of a “Palestinian” people as the term is abused today. The latest “Palestinian” lie underscores the reality that if Jesus were a “Palestinian,” it is the indigenous Jews who have the rightful claim to Israel, going back to those lived in here in Jesus’ time, with its center in Jerusalem established by the Jewish King David 3,000 years ago, in the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob long before that, and documented in the Bible.
But those who read and understand Scripture—and don’t try to erase and rewrite it—knew that already.
Jonathan Feldsteinis the director of Heart to Heart, a unique virtual blood donation program to bless Israel and save lives in Israel. Born and educated in the U.S., Feldstein emigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He writes a column for Charisma’s Standing With Israel. You can contact Jonathan firstname.lastname@example.org.
Israel has been finding itself the focus of increasing boycotts recently, in what is reminiscent of the days before World War II and its anti-Semitic characteristics. But we cannot say the nations ganging up on us evoke associations of the Holocaust or we will find ourselves facing the banal accusation of “cheapening the Holocaust.”
Those who would accuse us of doing so cynically say we are using our historic catastrophe to justify the wrongdoings we perpetrate against the Palestinians.
Winter is a good time to read some of Nathan Alterman’s poems. Just like in his poem about the little boy named Abram, news of the 70 nations armed with the hatchets of financial sanctions is multiplying. It seems that ever since Abram left his home in the old country, the nations have been restless, eager to bring him back there, to the house of death, so they may kill him in his sleep, just as they killed his family.
This burning hatred is not solely the nature of nations and individuals such as the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton. It is also second nature to prominent individuals, such as Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, best known for “The Wall.”
Waters is unfazed by the horrors of the world: Millions of Syrian refugees are fleeing President Bashar Assad’s forces; thousands of people are butchered in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen; and millions of Africans die a myriad of strange deaths and drown by the dozens en route to Europe’s shores, while others are shot to death as they infiltrate the borders of social welfare states. But Waters is obsessed with only one thing—the Israel-Jewish “apartheid.”
It seems that Waters and his ilk are driven by a secret desire to see the Jews placed within the confinements of “The Wall”—but not the imaginary one that sprang to the feverish mind of a band whose psychological disorders were the soundtrack of our youth, but the one of the ghetto. This humanitarian used the image of a black pig with a red Star of David painted on it as part of his 2013 summer tour of Europe.
Waters and his ilk are unwilling to hear how the security fence saves Israeli lives from Palestinian terror, which is why it is imperative that Israel retain control of the Jordan Valley.
Those who hate us refuse to understand that Israel is the best possible example of a people united, regardless of the color of their skin, and that nothing can be further from us than apartheid.
For many, like this despicable man, the Palestinians and their claims are the hatchet with which they can realize their burning hatred for the Jews. None of them can be accused of loving the Palestinians, of course—they just hate us more.
The 70 nations refuse, for some reason, to accept that the refugees’ elders have died, and since one cannot inherit being a refugee, their children reside in Arab countries that deliberately deny them citizenship. Both these Arab nations and the international bodies care little for ending the conflict and much for perpetuating the current situation, as they would rather use the aid money given to them for their own benefit while ignoring the plight of true refugees.
The 70 nations ignore, for some reason, the fact that the Palestinians do not strive to end the conflict but to end the state of Israel. They ignore the uselessness of reaching a peace agreement with an illegitimate Palestinian leadership, heading a divided and terrorist people that claim land that is not theirs. They rally to the Palestinians’ side unilaterally, and their officials compare Israel to racist South Africa and describe its actions as crimes against humanity. These are pots calling the kettles black in an attempt to purge themselves and their parents of the crimes of the Holocaust.
The 70 nations ignore, for some reason, the fact that the land of Israel was our home at a time when most of them—the Palestinians included—lived in tents and caves. They seek to use the crime of sanctions, the new face of anti-Semitism, as their weapon of destruction. Just like in Alterman’s poem, “We are upon you with 70 decrees and 70 hatchets.” This is a belligerent attempt to force us back to that death house.
In our world, power is the only thing of significance. When the nations, including Iran, come to realize just “how great the strength of Avraham is,” they will relent, and that is word enough to the wise.
(This piece was written in 2009 when late Umar Yar’adua was President. The issues discussed are as relevant now as they then were.)
A building is as strong as its foundation; and you don’t have to be a practitioner in the industry to know that. Some years back, a friend sought my professional counsel concerning a problem-ridden family house in Otukpo, Benue State. On a day appointed, we went to the house so I could do an on-the-site assessment as we architects are wont to do when confronted with such situations. What I found was a series of deep and threatening cracks running most of the height of the walls. It had become a yearly ritual to plaster and paint over those cracks but they had always reappeared. There was no doubt about the source of this menace: a faulty foundation.
I can recall making two propositions: it was either a slow but costly process of re-establishing the foundation or outright abandonment in view of the perpetual possibility of collapse. Either way, the solution was going to be costly. I never did get to know which option was implemented. I neither owned nor lived in the house so it was convenient not to care. The house I presently live in is under even more serious threat and I have neither the intention nor the means to relocate. Yes you guessed right. The house is Nigeria; alias good people, great nation!
Since the onset of the current rebranding campaign but especially the recent celebration of ten years of uninterrupted democratic rule, I have been ruminating over this house called Nigeria. I do so against the backdrop of the government’s so-called 7-point agenda and the laudable though whimsical ambition of catapulting Nigeria to the league of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020.
Having lived all my life in this country, and having sojourned in every part of this expansive enclave, and knowing how things are still being presently run, these goals will not be attained. This opinion is anchored on the precarious assumption that this contraption has not given way by 2020! Except we choose to delude ourselves, this house has been full of gaping, blood-chilling cracks for a better part of our nearly five decades of pretending to be a nation. Over the years, we have resorted to a legion of measures to remedy the situation.
At best, these efforts have proved to be merely palliative. We have juggled with the structure of the so-called federation to little avail. From a three region structure, we went to four. When one pivotal region threatened to secede, we hurriedly created twelve states thus jettisoning the regional arrangement. Twelve soon became nineteen and nineteen, twenty-one. Still responding to those fundamental and foundational issues that refuse to go away, we made it to thirty. Still not done, we are now thirty-six with as many demands. And we are none the better.
President Yar’adua may be slow but one thing most people are agreed on is that he is sincere. But it will take much more than sincerity and a 7-point agenda to take Nigeria to that place of glory. Whether by design or default, our founding fathers bequeathed us a house with a dubious foundation. This action I can neither condemn nor commend. Knowing the deviousness of the British, they may have been left with little choice. Nobody blames a man if he moves into a house in dire need of restructuring and maintenance. It may be all he can afford.
But he will most certainly come under harsh criticism if he does nothing afterwards. This generation must accept the blame for allowing the precarious state of our commonwealth to persist. Our leaders sometimes say we have no other country but this one. That may be true for most of ‘us’ but certainly not for ‘them.’ Their treasures and loot are safely stashed offshore and at the slightest hint of trouble, they’ll zap before you can even spell OTA. We are the ones who will be left in the lurch.
Will this house survive, or more appropriately, can this house survive? It most certainly can; if we are prepared to take a critical and studied look at the foundation and muster the requisite will and courage to take remedial action. That will and courage is the stuff of a fierce brand of patriotism that we must imbibe if we hope to save the situation. It was what drove an upper class Hungarian named Theodor Herzl to work out an enduring solution to the Jewish question. In 1897, in Basle Switzerland, he superintended the birthing of Zionism with its sole aim of creating a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
Herzl died of a heart attack in 1904 at the mere age of forty four but Zionism thrived in the hearts and hands of men like Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion to witness the inauguration of the independent Jewish state of Israel on May 14, 1948. And who could forget the heroics of amazons like the irrepressible Golda Meier who fought alongside the men to realize one of the greatest miracles of the 20th century.
Sadly, this shade of patriotism and this quality of leadership is rare in these parts. And this is in addition to our tottering foundation. If a new crop of leadership can emerge, who, fired by genuine patriotic zeal, will undertake the costly process of restructuring the polity thereby unleashing the latent potentials in all of Nigeria’s constituent parts, then even a place in the first 20 will merely be our starting point. Without sounding patronizing, I know we have all it takes to pull it off. But if we persist in denial and vacillating as we have done so far, we might just prove some Americans right in the matter of 2015. Apologies to Gen Gowon, but it will be ‘no victor, all vanquished.’ God help us!
Olugu Olugu Orji mnia
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters
With the Christmas season ahead, plastic statues of the man they call Santa Claus will adorn front lawns all over the world. Grown men will dress up like him, and children will sit on his lap, sharing their Christmas wishes.
That Saint Nick is a fairy tale. He doesn’t come down chimneys, and word has it he’s probably diabetic and lactose-intolerant—so don’t leave him milk and cookies.
However, there is genuine, living Saint Nick who is a hero among men. He is a 104-year-old Englishman, where he is known as the British Schindler. Born Jewish and later converting to Christianity along with his family (today we would call them Messianic Jews, not converts), Sir Nicholas Winton lived all over Europe working in the banking industry.
To Serve or to Ski?
In 1938, at the invitation of a friend from the British Embassy in Prague, he passed up a skiing trip to Switzerland to work in a refugee camp in Czechoslovakia for Jews who had fled Nazi Germany. This was just before Christmas, only a few weeks after the infamous Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass—state-sponsored terrorism against the Jews of Germany), a night many consider the beginning of the Holocaust.
He knew it was only a matter of time before Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, and he was deeply concerned for the welfare of these Jewish children. He started an organization whose goal was to get the children to Great Britain before Hitler invaded—and not just the German refugees, but Jewish Czech children as well. Great Britain had just passed a law that would allow Jewish minors entrance, provided they had a family to live with and 50 pounds as a deposit for their eventual return to Europe.
Would You Take in a Jewish Refugee?
Winton found families for 669 children and oversaw a massive exodus from Czechoslovakia through Holland to Great Britain. Holland had just closed its borders to Jewish refugees, fearing a massive influx now that Hitler was clearly targeting them in Germany. Despite the coming humanitarian disaster, the Netherlands closed its doors to its doomed Jewish German neighbors. This presented a problem for St. Nick, but with the guarantees from Britain, the Dutch government conceded and allowed him to take the kids to the ferry at the Hook of Holland, where they sailed for England.
Winton continued, with the help of his mother, to look for homes for the other Jewish children. Sadly, the last group scheduled to be evacuated, 250 Jewish children, were not so fortunate as the earlier arrivals. Hitler invaded Poland on the very day they were scheduled to leave, starting World War II. The children never made it out, and most perished in the Holocaust. In addition, a good many of the parents of the rescued children died in Auschwitz. One survivor said the children became each other’s family, as none of them ever saw their parents again.
Honored After 50 Years
Winton never made his heroics public and was never formally recognized for his actions until he was nearly 80. For nearly 50 years, no one remembered this champion until his wife, in 1988, found a scrapbook listing the names of all the children he saved. Not even the children he rescued knew it was Nicholas Winton who arranged their salvation.
Later in 1988, Winton appeared on the BBC’s That’s Life, having no idea what was about to happen. The host surprised Winton when she spoke of a woman he saved, Vera Gessing—who was sitting next to him. He was moved to tears. Later, the host asked, “Is there anyone in our audience tonight who owes their life to Nicholas Winton? If so, would you stand up please?” About 20 people stood, all of whom had been sitting close to him the entire show. This was the first time that he came in contact with any of his “children.”
“If it hadn’t been for Nicholas Winton, I would have perished with [my parents],” said Joe Schlesinger, a veteran reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Company and one of “Nicky’s Children,” as they call themselves. Schlesinger went on to tell how Winton compiled lists of children, raised funds and battled bureaucracies to save the youngsters—all by himself. But the most difficult part was finding willing British families to take the refugee children in.
Much like World Vision or Compassion International, Winton understood that a picture is worth a thousand words. He made fliers, attached pictures of the precious children and distributed them in England.
“The number of children I could help depended entirely on the number of guarantors [families] I could get,” Winton said during a CNN interview on his 104th birthday.
Reminiscent of Oscar Schindler’s words at the end of Schindler’s List, when he breaks down weeping because there were more he could have saved, Nicholas Winton shared, “It is very gratifying to know that what I did was successful, but if other countries had participated, we could have saved many more.”
So this Christmas, instead of telling your children about a fictitious man who makes lists of who’s naughty or nice, tell them the true story about a selfless man whose wife found a list of 669 children’s names 49 years after he saved them.
Ron Cantoris the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book, Identity Theft, was released April 16. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.
The student-run Harvard Ichthus Christian blog website apologized for an anonymous post saying that Jews deserve to be persecuted for killing Jesus.
The apology was issued on Friday. The post, which has been removed from the site, was published on Nov. 20.
“We sincerely apologize for breaching the confidence of civil dialogue,” editor-in-chief Aaron Gyde wrote in his apology. “This has been a growing experience for all involved here at the Ichthus, and, as students, we sincerely appreciate the patience and grace you have demonstrated towards us.”
“We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2,000 years,” the post said, according to theGlobe.
In the apology, the Ichthus wrote that its blogs are “intended to be areas of thoughtful dialogue.”
“This particular piece has led to increasing misunderstanding and disinformation about the author’s views, the Ichthus and Christianity,” it said. “We do acknowledge that many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that we apologize.”
After tonight’s message, if this recording gets out of this room and someone hears it in your country, I will be declared a heretic. I may even be in danger of my life.
Further, after tonight’s message, some of the men in this room may not want me to come back. Thewomen, however, will want me to move here!
Note the following passages:
“And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the tomb, and how His body was laid” (Luke 23:55, KJV, emphasis added).
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren” (Acts 1:14, emphasis added).
Let’s take a trip back to ancient Israel and look at how women were viewed before Jesus came. Generally speaking, the Jews had a dim view of women. Jewish women were not allowed to receive an education. Hence, they were largely uneducated. Their only training was in how to raise children and keep house.
Women were also largely excluded from worshipping God. In Herod’s temple, there was a special court that stood on the very outside. It was called the Court of the Gentiles. The Gentiles could go into that court, but they were limited to that area alone.
Five steps above the Gentiles court was the women’s court. The women were limited to that one area. Fifteen steps above that was the Jewish men’s court. Thus men were given far more privileges to worship God than were women.
A woman had no voice in her marriage. Her father decided whom she would marry, when she would marry and why she would marry. A woman couldn’t divorce her husband under any condition. Only a man could initiate a divorce.
Jewish women were to be seen as little as possible in public. In fact, young men were warned about talking to women in public—so much so that it was a shame in ancient Israel for a man to talk to a woman in public. Consequently, most women stayed out of the streets.
Women were regarded as inferior to men. They were regarded as property, just like cattle and slaves. Jewish males prayed a daily prayer of thanksgiving. This prayer shows how poorly the Jews looked upon women. It goes like this:
Praise be to God. He has not created me a Gentile.
Praise be to God. He has not created me a woman.
Praise be to God. He has not created me an ignorant man.
This was man’s view of a woman in first-century Israel. It was not much better in other cultures. In fact, ever since the Fall of humanity, women have been regarded as second-class citizens—inferior to men. But something happened that changed all that.
In Jesus Christ we find God’s view of a woman. Not man’s view. Not the American view. Not the European view. Not the Asian view. Not the African view. Not the South American view. Not even the Chilean view. But God’s view.
Jesus Christ is God made flesh. As such, He embodies all of God’s opinions. In His earthly life, Jesus was the visible expression of God Himself. By His actions and His words, we discover God’s view of a woman. And that view was utterly contrary to the prevailing view of His day.
Consider this. When God decided to make His entrance upon this planet, He visited a woman. He chose a woman to bring forth the eternal Son, the Messiah—the Anointed One for whom Israel had waited thousands of years.
The life of God was first placed in the womb of a woman before it got to you and to me. And God was not ashamed.
Sisters in Christ, this is your Lord’s view of a woman. Take your high place.
But that’s not all. As Jesus ministered, He ripped down all social conventions that were pitted against women. On one occasion, He rose to the defense of a woman caught in adultery. He became her attorney and saved her life. And God was not ashamed.
Jesus was noted for palling around with sinners. He supped with prostitutes and tax collectors. We are told in John 4 that He met a woman, and He did something that shocked the disciples: He talked to her in public. And He was not ashamed.
Not only was she a woman, but she was a divorcee. But not only was she a divorcee, she was actively living in immorality. Yet not only was she a woman, a divorcee, an adulteress living in sin, she was worse than a Gentile. She was a Samaritan—a half-breed. (A Samaritan was a person with whom Jews were never to talk.)
Your Lord talked to this divorced, adulterous, Samaritan woman in public, and He forgave her of her sins. And He was not ashamed.
Sisters, take your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.
But that’s not all. Jesus Christ had a custom of using women in His parables and making them heroes. He talked about the woman who searched and found her lost coin.
He spoke of the woman who was unrelenting in the presence of the unjust judge who honored her for her persistence. He spoke of the widow who dropped all the money she had into the temple treasury and praised her for doing so. And He was not ashamed.
JERUSALEM, Israel—My sixth trip to Israel makes me realize more than ever the importance of Bible-believing Christians standing with Israel.
Nearly all my adult life, I’ve supported Israel by raising money to help the Jewish people, sponsoring events that foster support for Israel with other leaders such as John Hagee or encouraging people to travel to Israel, as my wife and I are doing this week with our friend and author Perry Stone.
I flew to Israel early, before the tour, to network with key leaders in a whirlwind couple of days of nonstop meetings that will provide story ideas for our print magazines or online. As soon as I have time to digest all I saw and learned, I will write articles about the interesting people I met.
But now I want to give an overview of who I met and what I learned, much of which is important not only for me but for each of us.
1. We must stand with other Christian believers in the land.
I met with Dan Juster, one of the apostolic leaders that is also one of the deepest thinkers in the modern Messianic movement. He helped me understand spiritually what’s going on in the land and how believers need prayer and support.
I then attended the exciting King of Kings congregation in downtown Jerusalem, pastored by my friend Wayne Hilsden. I had time to only attend one service while in Israel. While I would have enjoyed being at a service in Hebrew, I was more comfortable in Wayne’s English service that had the same spirit and style I’m used to in my own church. You can see their worship here.
I also learned firsthand of the opposition and persecution some believers face in Israel. Wayne pointed out an “anti-missionary” standing outside the service to urge young Jewish believers in Yeshua to turn away.
2. We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for a spiritual awakening in the land.
King of Kings has prayer 16 hours a day atop a 17-story building. The view over the city was magnificent. What a strategic location! The next day, I visited another 24/7 prayer ministry in a mixed Jewish and Arab area south of the Old City. To avoid attention, this group posts only small signs that say “24/7,” which the initiated know means intercessory prayer is offered there around the clock.
The prayer room is located in the TBN building and has a view of the Dome of the Rock. I didn’t interview anyone there. Instead, I joined the prayers for the peace of Jerusalem for strengthening believers, for nations standing with Israel and for ways to reach the Arab community with the gospel.
It is well known that at one time, the majority of the population in Bethlehem was Christian. According to a 2012 article in Israel Hayom, the municipality says that 40 percent of the 32,000 residents of Bethlehem are Christian. But, unofficial data suggests the percentage is actually lower. While many Arab Christians are nominal Christians whose families have been Christians for generations, there is a small and struggling evangelical Christian Arab community there.
One of the most impressive meetings I had was with a young Arab pastor named Steven Khoury, whose Calvary Church reaches about 400 people a week in the part of Jerusalem around the Mount of Olives. It is the only evangelical church in that area. They have a hard time even finding a place to meet. Members of his church have been killed by radicals, and he has had trouble raising the funds he needs to operate and buy property. I was impressed by this passionate young man, and I plan to write more about his church later.
4. There is a new era of understanding between evangelicals and some Orthodox Jews.
Steven Khoury is a good friend to a young Orthodox rabbi named David Nekrutman, the executive director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation. In the biblical town of Efrat, it is the first example I’ve seen of the Orthodox community reaching out to evangelicals. That impressed me as well, and I will also write about it later.
My personal experience with the Orthodox has been no cooperation and often hostility. So I’m encouraged to hear about the breakthroughs between the two groups and to hear that at least at this center, the Orthodox seem to value the support that Christian Zionists give Israel.
5. It’s good to know a networker in a foreign land.
The friend who set up most of my appointments is Anne Ayalon, the wife of Danny Ayalon, who has served as an Israeli ambassador to the United States, in the Knesset and in many other important posts. Anne is a humble woman who has done as much as anyone I know to bridge the evangelical Christian and Jewish communities. Born an American, she converted to Judaism when she got married but describes herself only as a “woman of faith.” She declined to be interviewed because she prefers to be behind the scenes, where she is a connector and influencer.
I had many other wonderful meetings, including one with Chris Mitchell, bureau chief of the CBN Jerusalem bureau, who recently wrote an important new book called Dateline Jerusalem, which he calls an “eyewitness account of prophecies unfolding in the Middle East.” I also met some Israeli intellectuals who teach leadership principles from Bible characters to officers in the Israeli Defense Forces. And I got a very quick tour of the Bible Lands Museum by its director and saw the “Book of Books” display. I plan to go back to spend hours learning more about this wonderful land that gave us the Bible, which is God’s revelation to man.
My meetings have not ended. Later, I’m meeting with leaders of Magen David Adom—the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross which is the first responder in disasters—and with leaders of Operation Lifeshield. Both are charities for which we’ve raised money in the past. I also am meeting the head of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and a local publisher.
As I process what I’ve learned and do more research, I’ll write more. And I’ll tell you about this amazing tour with Perry Stone. My head is spinning after the first day of visiting the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of the Ascension, the Hill of Ill Counsel, the recently discovered Pool of Siloam, a kibbutz where a pivotal battle was won in the war of 1948, and some archeological digs south of the Temple Mount with actual pavement where Jesus would have walked. I can’t wait until tomorrow. I have six more days before the trip ends!
If you stand with Israel, if you’ve had a life-changing trip to Israel or if you learned anything from this column, leave your comments below.
Source: STANDING WITH ISRAEL.
Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).