Weekly Update: Fighting for freedom

editor - 4 May 2022

Today is Yom Hazikaron, Remembrance Day, in Israel. The nation honors its fallen, before transitioning from mourning to joy as nightfall ushers in the country’s 74th Independence Day.

A siren sounded at 11 a.m., bringing the country to a standstill for two minutes of silence in memory of the over 24,000 service members and 4,000 terror victims killed over the last century and a half. At cemeteries across the country, bereaved families, friends and others gathered to remember those lost with speeches, poems, candles, wreaths and tears.

President Isaac Herzog stressed the unity of the people of Israel – Jewish and non-Jewish: “Our sons and daughters, who fell in defense of our state, fought together and fell together. They did not ask, nor did anyone ask them, who was right-wing and who was left-wing. Who was religious. Who was secular. Who was Jewish and who was not Jewish,” he said. “They fell as Israelis, defending Israel. In cemeteries, arguments fall silent. Between the headstones, not a sound. A silence that demands that we fulfill, together, their single dying wish: the resurrection of Israel. The building of Israel. United, consolidated, responsible for each other. For we are all sisters and brothers.”

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi emphasized that Israel is still fighting for its freedom. He said the Israel Defense Forces were currently dealing with threats on several fronts and hailed the generations of soldiers who have served in the military.

“The thwarting of terror continues every day, from north to south, and IDF units defend the citizens of the country on the roads and intersections of Judea and Samaria and along the borders,” he said, using the biblical name for the West Bank. He added that the IDF “goes beyond the country’s borders to strike in the air, at sea and on land, throughout the Middle East” in the cause of defending Israel.

Few people outside Israel realise how much the Jewish people have sacrificed for their right to live as a nation; but also how vulnerable Israel is, that the country is under constant threat, and is every day fighting for its life.

It is also often overlooked that Israel is a State for both Jews and non-Jews. It is a safe haven for the Jewish people. But it is also the only democracy in the Middle East where Jews, Christians, Muslims and others can co-exist with guaranteed freedoms of religion and worship. This is what makes Israel so unique – and so important.

As Israel mourns its lost sons and daughters, and celebrates its freedom, let us pray today and tomorrow for all the people of Israel. Above all, we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Prince of Peace who will bring true shalom for the people of Israel and all people.


The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Arguments fall silent in cemeteries’: Herzog calls for unity in Memorial Day speech

Times of Israel reports: “Siren sounds nationwide to begin day of mourning for country’s 28,284 fallen soldiers and terror victims, including 177 from past year; IDF chief: ‘We defend the right to life’.”
> Read more..

Bennett: We will strike not only terrorists but those who send them

JNS reports: “In a thinly-veiled Memorial Day message to Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vows that Israel will reach even those ‘1,000 kilometers to the east.’”
> Read more..

Hamas threatens war if Temple Mount opened to Jews on Independence Day

JNS reports: The terror organization also said Israel “bears responsibility” for disconnecting Al Aqsa’s Mosque loudspeakers on the eve of Memorial Day.
>

The Story of Lyuba Yolkina from Odessa – First Home Update

Kay Wilson writes: “Back in the 19th century when Jewish people in the Tzarist Russian Empire could not live outside the Pale of Settlement, Avraham Isaac Kook was born. His family were learned people and Orthodox Jews. Little Avraham was soon seen as an academic prodigy. Following in his father’s footsteps, when he was 18 Avraham started his studies at the Volozhin Yeshiva, (in today’s Belarus), which was at the time considered to be the greatest Jewish yeshiva in the world.”
> Read more..


God Acts | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #43

Before we look at Paul’s argument itself, we remind ourselves: It is the one, true, living God who is at work here. Everything depends on His action – not on the behavior of human beings. This is a crucial fact that is often overlooked in this context.

God chose Israel

Edward Mwesigwa from Christians for Israel Uganda shares why it is necessary for the Church and the nations to understand the importance of Israel. He explains how visiting Jerusalem has been such an encouragement for his personal faith. One of the places Edward talks about is the empty tomb. Being there made a deep impression on him. The grave is empty! He has risen!



Psalm 80

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim shine forth

before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might, come and save us.

Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

How long, Lord God Almighty, will your anger smolderagainst the prayers of your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,and our enemies mock us.

Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

You transplanted a vine from Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it,
and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,
its shoots as far as the River.

12 Why have you broken down its walls
so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it,
and insects from the fields feed on it.
14 Return to us, God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
15     the root your right hand has planted,
the son you have raised up for yourself.

16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.