Israeli Athletes Win Olympic Medals in Rio

Yarden Gerbi won a bronze medal in the women's 63 kg category and Or Sasson also won a bronze medal in the 100 kg plus division in the Judo competition at this year's Olympic competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sasson likened his feelings after winning his medal to "an eruption of a volcano". "It happened at the right time," he told Israel's Channel 10. "I am excited, I feel that I made a childhood dream come true, thanks to the people who stood there at my side. I'm proud of our country, happy for the Nation of Israel. I want to dedicate this medal to the entire People of Israel who supported me, and sent messages of encouragement."  (Times of Israel/INN)

The celebration of these achievements were tempered by demonstrations of blatant Anti-Semitism. Sasson's medal came hours after an incident involving Egyptian athlete Islam el-Shahabi, who refused to shake his hand as is customary, after Sasson defeated him in a match. The crowd responded by booing the Egyptian. Hostility and taunting by Muslim nations, of the Israeli Olympic team has triggered a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee and alarm from the Anti-Defamation League.  The IOC also issued a reprimand to the head of the Lebanese Olympic delegation earlier after he blocked Israeli athletes from a bus that the teams were supposed to share to reach the opening ceremony. (INN)

Pray against the humiliation of Israel's winning athletes in the 2016 Olympic games. Pray also for the ongoing protection of tens of thousands of Jews and Israelis attending and participating in this year's Olympic games.

"Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings likeeagles. They shall not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isa 40:31)

Tisha B'Av - A Jewish Day of Mourning

Tisha B'Av is the Fast of the Ninth of Av (Jewish calendar) and begins at sundown, August 13th. It is a time for mourning, the saddest day in Jewish history, which primarily commemorates the destruction of the First (586 BC) and Second (70 CE) Temples in Jerusalem. It boggles the mind to think that both Temples were destroyed on the very same day of the Hebrew calendar.

In synagogues around the world and at the Western Wall which is Judaism's holiest site, religious Jews gather to mourn the destruction of the Temples and to read from the words of the Prophet Jeremiah and portions of the book of Lamentations. They do not read other parts of the Bible on this day because the other readings bring joy and this is to be a day of sadness.

Although this observance is primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, it is appropriate to consider on this day the many other tragedies of the Jewish people throughout the years on this date:

  • 132 CE, Romans crushed Bar Kokhba’s revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 100,000 Jews
  • 133 CE, following the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the Temple site and surrounding areas were plowed.
  • 1095, the First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II, killing 10,000 Jews in its first month and annihilating Jewish communities in France and the Rhineland
  • 1290 King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England
  • 1492 an edict of expulsion of the Jews in Spain was carried out
  • 1914 World War I broke out, setting the stage for the later devastation of WorldWar II and the Holocaust
  • 1942 on the eve of Tisha B’Av, a mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Hitler’s Treblinka death camp began
  • 1994, the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires killed 86 and wounded 300 others
  • 2005, more than 8,500 Jewish residents were expelled from Gaza as part of Israel’s ill-fated Disengagement Plan, a desperate bid for peace designed to further relations with Palestinian Arabs. This expulsion was a Land for Peace deal with the Palestinians that obviously did not bring about peace.

 “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Should Believers participate in this day of mourning? Why wouldn’t we? We may consider recognizing this date each year as it reminds us how much the Jewish people have suffered, especially those who followed leaders who led them astray. As fellow citizens in the commonwealth of Israel, we might respond to this day of grief by praying for the Jewish People.

Jesus gave us His example as He wept with compassion when He foresaw the destruction of the Holy Temple and the disaster that would come upon Israel (Matthew 23:37-38). The Jewish people long for and pray daily for the restoration of the Holy Temple. Plans and preparations are already being made in Jerusalem for the Third Temple.

God is seeking intercessors to stand in the gap for Israel. Will you pray for the Jews as they mourn the history they remember this day? Will you pray for Israel?

The USA and Israel Train Together to Fight the Islamic State

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) special forces units and their counterparts from the United States carried out joint training exercises in the Negev Desert recently as part of an effort to prepare both militaries in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) terror militia and similar groups.

The exercise was code-named “Noble Shirley” was revealed by Israel’s Channel 2 TV news. The training exercises included a wide range of scenarios from helicopter drops in hostile territory to above and below ground urban combat. They also prepared with medicine and evacuation techniques.

Watch the YouTube video below to learn about the IDF strategic plan to prepare for battle readiness.

 

"UNITE Tomorrowland" -- An Attempt to Make A Demonic Covenant with the Land of Israel Through their Youth

July 23rd is a Jewish fast observed yearly to commemorate among other disasters, the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. On this same date -- July 23rd -- an event is being held during this fast which has the potential to be another disastrous breaching of the (spiritual) walls of Jerusalem.

"Tomorrowland" is an electronic music festival that opens communication and covenant with major demonic principalities. The festival will be the largest “party in the world,” live from Belgium with simulcasts in 7 countries, including Israel with a call to UNITE. A stated goal of the event is to prepare the way for a supernatural leader of global peace. They will be seductively drawn in to make covenant with evil. Tens of thousands of Israel’s youth will attend at the Payis Jerusalem Arena from 7 PM – 4 AM.

Please pray that God protects the minds of the youth in Jerusalem. Pray that this generation in Israel will not be deceived into “marrying the Land to Baal”, but that they will receive and enact the revelation of Isaiah 62:4b,5a: “…to Him your Land will be married.  For as a young man marries a virgin, so Your sons will marry You.”

Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. Isaiah 49:24-25

Elie Wiesel Dies at Age 87, but His Voice Will Continue to be Heard

Although Elie Wiesel never lived in Israel, Israelis considered the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and writer as one of their own. He is considered the world’s “most famous” Holocaust survivor.

 

Elie didn’t just survive the ominous Holocaust, but he devoted the rest of his life to expose the deeds of the Holocaust so they would never be forgotten. Prime Minister Netanyahu says of Elie, “He gave powerful expression to our people to emerge from the darkest hour and shed a bright light on its future.”

 On Sunday, former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres praised Wiesel for “upholding the legacy of the Holocaust and delivering a message of peace and respect between people worldwide.”  

Through his lifetime contributions of research done on the Holocaust and captured in books and film, the voice of Elie Wiesel will continue to be heard forever.

Feast of Pentecost (in Hebrew "Shavuot") Begins Tonight

Tonight, June 11th,  is the first night of Shavuout, which in Greek means, “Pentecost,” also often referred to as the “Feast of Weeks.” On Shavuot, the Jewish people celebrate the events that took place on Mt. Sinai. In Exodus 19, when God descended on Mt. Sinai, thunder ripped throughout the sky, the ground shook, and a shofar blew a long blast. A dense cloud of smoke and fire surrounded the summit because the Lord descended on it. No one was to touch the mountain; not even animals. To disobey meant certain death. Moses spent 40 days up on the mountain, where he received God’s law. God’s promise to the Israelites was that from that day forward, if they were to fully obey the covenant, they would be a nation of priests.

The Israelites immediately disobeyed. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw them worshipping idols. Moses allowed the Levites to take up their swords and 3000 who did not follow the Lord were killed that day.

Approximately 1300 years later came the Day of Pentecost (the Greek word for Shavuot). The Disciples were observant Jews and came to Jerusalem, celebrating the anniversary of the covenant. Jews were required to come to the temple three times a year to celebrate and Shavuot was one of these occasions. From all over the world, they came to celebrate the anniversary of their covenant with God.

In Acts 2, we read that a violent wind came from heaven and filled whole house. As Tongues of fire came to rest on each them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages. Peter commissions the crowd in Acts 2:38-39: saying, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2: 38-39)

3,000 became believers that day. Ephesians 2 speaks to the Gentiles (anyone other than a Jew) and explains that Gentiles were “strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were cut off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one….”…”and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross….”

Leviticus 23:17 says “You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering….” The two loaves would be lifted high, one in each hand and waved as arms were crossed in the air. This wave offering of the two loaves is represented in Pentecost where the two groups….Jews and Gentiles were brought together!

The feasts and festivals of the Bible are filled with types and symbols that point to the Messiah. The connections between Shavuot and Pentecost are obvious and exciting. Here are some parallels.

Shavuot / Pentecost Parallels

Moses acted as an intercessor between God and His covenanted people. Jesus had already intervened on behalf of the world

At Mt. Sinai, the fire descended only on the summit of the mountain with Moses. Fire came to rest on each individually

God established His covenant with the Hebrew people. God’s covenant was made available to all who believed

The Holy Law was inscribed on stone by the finger of God. The Holy Spirit wrote the Law on their hearts

Mt. Sinai 3,000 were killed due to their disobedience. In Jerusalem 3000 were granted salvation in return for their faith

God declared the Israelites a nation of priests. Believers became priests to all the nations

This explains one covenant grafted into the first. We celebrate the common anniversary of our receiving God’s revelation at both at Mt. Sinai at Jerusalem.

Today, as believers, we celebrate on Shavuot the outpouring of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. According to tradition, dairy foods such as cheese, cheesecake and milk are eaten on Shavuot because Torah is compared to the sweetness of milk and honey. In Ecclesiastes, one line reads "Honey and milk are under your tongue." In some communities children are introduced to Torah study on Shavuot and are given honey cakes with passages from the Torah written on them.

Let us use this feast to make a public commitment, just as the people of Israel did, that "we will do and we will listen."

Chag Sameach

חג שבועות שמח 

Jerusalem Day

Tonight, Jews around the world gather together in spirit to celebrate Jerusalem Day (in Hebrew: Yom Yerushalayim).

Jewish people were forced to leave the land they loved in 70 AD and for over 2,000 years, they have prayed and longed to return to Jerusalem.  The Holy City had been divided between Israel and Jordan after Israel proclaimed its independence in 1948, and the Arab nations attacked Israel.

During the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan took control of the Old City of Jerusalem where the first and second Temples once stood. Forty-eight years ago, Israel reunified its most cherished city, Jerusalem. In the Six-Day War of 1967, 182 Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers sacrificed their lives in the bloody battle over that city. Jerusalem was, once again, under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in 2,000 years! They continue to protect and defend Jerusalem today. Please pray for the safety of all soldiers in Israel.

Jews around the world chant, "next year in Jerusalem."
 




 

Walk For Israel

Many supporters joined our "Walk For Israel" in celebration on Israel's Independence Day May 12th. As we walked past a Jewish synagogue, we caught the eye of one of their staff and were invited to meet the Rabbi. We had a great chat for over 30 minutes with him. They were very surprised and excited to see others in support of a mutual cause.

Walk For Israel - May 12th - Celebrating Israel's Independence Day!

Song For Israel will be sponsoring a WALK FOR ISRAEL on Thursday, May 12th, 2016 at Noon in Yorba Linda, celebrating Israel's Independence Day. If you are interested in walking in support of Israel, please contact us at info@songforisrael.org. It will be a light walk in Yorba Linda and for only 30 minutes. The purpose is to show support for Israel on their Independence Day. Some signs and Israeli flags will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own.  Meet in front of the Blue Agave Restaurant: 18601 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886. Optional -- you may join us for lunch at Blue Agave after the walk. Register below to let us know you are walking with us.

Enjoy the pictures below from the Walk For Israel 2015.

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Leo Scheuer...A Holocaust Survivor Story

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When I was in Germany, a friend and I went to the German Jewish museum and I took this picture and I copied the story: “Leo Scheuer worked as a doctor in eastern Poland, which the Soviet army occupied at the start of the war. German troops took control of the area in June 1941 and put the Jews living there in a ghetto. In the fall of 1942 orders were given to shoot all the ghetto residents, but Leo Scheuer managed to flee to the home of a former patient, who hid him in his yard. He survived in a hole in the ground for fifteen months before Soviet soldiers liberated the area and he could emerge from his self-confinement. These phylacteries were among the few objects that Leo Scheuer had with him in his hiding place. They are worn on the head and arm for morning prayers and recall the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.

In 1965 Leo Scheuer immigrated from the Soviet Union to the DGR. In 2002 he died in the Bush district of Berlin at the age of ninety-three.”

Auschwitz

Auschwitz, a new 15-minute documentary on the history of the Nazi death camp, was premiered January 27, 2015, in the presence of 300 Holocaust survivors in Auschwitz, marking 70 years for liberating theconcentration camp. The film was produced by Steven Spielberg and narrated by Meryl Streep. Please share so their memory will live on.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Taken at the Berlin Jewish Museum

Taken at the Berlin Jewish Museum

Today marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, which in Hebrew is called “Yom HaShoah” and is a solemn date when Israel remembers the 6,000,000 Jews killed in the Holocaust. This morning in Israel, every vehicle will stop and humans will stand at attention for two minutes while sirens sound, in remembrance.

 

Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Auschwitz was the biggest Nazi concentration camp in Europe during World War II.  More than 1,100,000 men, women, and children lost their lives here.  While multiple tracks led into these extermination camps, no one ever came out on them.

Six Million Jews (half of the world’s Jewish population at the time) perished under Hitler’s Final Solution.  

There are not many Holocaust survivors left today. Netty Nihom, from the Netherlands, will give an eyewitness account of the horrors of the Holocaust. She will share her story at Ben David Messianic Jewish Congregation this Saturday, May 7th, at 10:30 am. (651 W. Sunflower, Santa Ana, CA--3 blocks east of South Coast Plaza.) We are the last generation to honor the survivors and remember the victims. Following Netty's message, stay for a light lunch and then join us on a 30-35 minute walk near South Coast Plaza, participating in a Holocaust Walk of Remembrance.  

Holocaust Memorial Day - Yom HaShoah

Although much of today's world rejects the notion that the Holocaust even occurred, the evening of Wednesday, May 4th through Thursday, May 5th, is considered Holocaust Remembrance Day (in Hebrew--Yom HaShoah). It is a sad day as many still have memories of the evils done to family members and friends. Still others question how such evil could be allowed to occur in our world. but it did happen.

When I visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center I was given a little card with the name and picture of a little girl who lived during the Holocaust. Eva Been was a darling girl from The Netherlands. She came from a normal family where her father was a high school teacher in Northern Holland. The Jews of The Netherlands were well-integrated into the general population and they were active in all aspects of the country's social, cultural and economic life. 

Eva Beem (From the Archives of the Simon Wiesenthal Center)

Eva Beem (From the Archives of the Simon Wiesenthal Center)

Eva was eight years old when the Germans invaded her town and separated the Jews and forced them into restricted ghetto areas. Eva's parents decided they would go into hiding, hoping their children would be safer posing as non-Jews in a rural village. They found a Christian family willing to risk death to save them. Eva was given a new name and identity and attended school with others from the village.

The Nazis realized that many Jewish children had been sent into hiding and therefore intensified their search. Eleven-year old Eva and her brother Abraham were arrested and ultimately deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. Both were murdered upon their arrival.

Eva was one of 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Germans and their collaborators during the Holocaust.

Today, Israel and the Jewish people are still targets in the world with their neighbors in Iran chanting "Death to Israel" and "Drive them into the Sea." It is horrible to think such things still take place, but another Holocaust could happen. Satan would like nothing more than to defeat God's plan for Israel. Song For Israel exists to educate people about God's eternal plan for Israel from a biblical viewpoint. We stand with Israel. Will you?

Please consider making a donation to help further our ministry. Please click here.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is part of Passover -- It is actually concurrent with Passover. The seven days following Passover, the Jews ate only unleavened bread (no yeast) with their meals. Prior to Passover, they cleanse all yeast from their homes. In Scripture, leaven is a picture of sin. Removing all leaven from the home is a picture of cleansing one’s life of sin.

The celebration of Passover was to remind the Jewish people of the time when they had to leave in such a hurry that there was no time for their bread to rise; and a reminder of their deliverance from Egypt.

On the first and seventh day of the feast, the people were to hold a sacred assembly. They were reminded of the Exodus because it was the greatest demonstration of God’s deliverance in the Old Testament. God wanted His people to know and trust Him as the God who delivers. The focus is the same year after year.

God declared that eating the Passover meal with its special, unleavened bread was the sign of faith that indicated you were a true member of the covenant community of Israel. 

Prophetic Fulfillment -- Jesus knew no sin, nor was any deceit found in Him. He was unblemished and spotless. He was made sin for us that we could be made the righteousness of God in Him. Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). Unleavened bread, or matzah, has stripes. “

"By His stripes we are healed.” Matzah is also pierced. “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” Matzah is pure, without any leaven, as His body was without any sin. The custom during Passover is to bury (fold in a towel), hide, and then resurrect the second of the three pieces of matzah (matzot, plural), which is the middle piece, representing the Gospel (Afikomen). The Jewish people today act out Christ’s resurrection and don’t even know it!

The exodus of Israel in the Old Testament is an illustration of God’s salvation. The New Testament crucifixion was the ultimate exodus because it delivers not just from the bondage of a controlling Pharaoh, but from bondage to sin itself. It provides for eternal life, not just life in an earthly promised land.

Scripture References

Old Testament: Exodus 12:14-20; Leviticus 23:6-8; Deuteronomy 16:8

New Testament: 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 6:14-7:1; Philippians 1:21, 2:3-5, 3:8, 4:13

The Symbolism of the Passover Matzah Points to Messiah

Part of the Passover Seder includes the matzah, in which three pieces are wrapped together -- three pieces of matzah, each in a separate section, yet joined into one. The rabbis call these three “a unity.” Some consider it a unity of the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Others consider it representative of the trinity—The Father, Son and Holy Spirit—Three in one.

The matzah is unleavened. Throughout the Scripture, leaven is a symbol of fermentation and corruption and is a symbol of sin. For example, in Leviticus 2:11, we read: No grain offering, which you bring to the Lord, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven…as an offering by fire to the Lord.”  This offering was to be made without leaven as a symbol that it was holy before the Lord.

Exodus 13:6-7 tells us that only unleavened bread should be eaten at Passover. Since leaven is a symbol of sin, to begin the Passover season by eating only unleavened bread is symbolic of beginning a life free from sin. Jesus was our perfect example of this because he lived a sinless life.

When the Jewish people were leaving Egypt, God was about to give them His Torah which was to be their guide for holy living. It may be that this was to signify the start of their living lives separate from sin.

Paul wrote of this significance in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 6:6-8: Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast (Passover), not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

If we examine the matzah carefully, we see that not only is it unleavened, but it is pierced and striped. King David wrote prophetically of the Messiah in Psalm 22: For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

Zechariah also prophesied about what would be done to the Messiah when he wrote: And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. (Zech 12:10)

Isaiah wrote prophetically of the coming Suffering Servant of Israel, the One would be not only sinless, but “pierced” and “striped:” But He was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Jesus, the Messiah, was without sin, yet He was “striped” by way of the Roman whip, and “pierced” by nails through His hands and feet and by a spear in His side. It is not a coincidence that the central item of the Passover, the matzah, points to the One that Paul called “Messiah our Passover.” Each year, the matzah points to One who was sinless, striped and pierced, the same One whom John the Baptist called “the Lamb of God”, the One whose sacrifice would bring redemption from the penalty of sin. 

During the Passover meal, the Father in the family breaks the middle matzah in two, places the smaller piece on top of the matzah cloth and wraps the larger piece, which is called the “afikomen,” in the clean, white linen cloth which is next to the matzah cloth. The Hebrew word “afikomen” is most likely derived from the Greek word “epikomos” which means “after a banquet,” or “dessert.”

Then, the children leave the room and while they are gone, the leader “buries” (hides) the afikomen, this wrapped piece of matzah, somewhere in the room. Then the children return.  They are encouraged some time during the meal to earnestly search for the “buried treasure” of unleavened bread which is striped and pierced, wrapped in cloth, buried, earnestly sought, and when discovered, found to be of great value. This clearly parallels the events surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

There are many other components to the Passover Seder that point to Jesus Christ as Messiah. But just this one section with the afikomen clearly symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  

Jewish people around the world explain to their families every Passover about the afikomen and its symbolism. The entire Passover is pointing to Jesus Christ, who has already come as Messiah and fulfilled the symbolism. When we take communion, we read from 1 Corinthians 11:24: “And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat, this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.”

Passover is the reminder of a sinless sacrifice made on our behalf. When the afikomen is eaten at the conclusion of the meal, it is a reminder of the sacrificial lamb which was eaten. Consider the symbolism of the matzah: unleavened, striped, pierced, broken, wrapped in a white linen cloth, “buried,” diligently sought, and rewarded when found. Now, it is freely offered, but as with all free gifts, one must accept it, otherwise it cannot be enjoyed.



Israel and Petra Tour Registration Deadline Nearing

You've heard it said that going to Israeli changes you.  It's true!  No one can explain that better than one who has been. To walk where Jesus walked; to visit the cities mentioned in your Bible; to get baptized in the Jordan River; to stand on the Temple Mount...it's a trip like you've never experienced!

We are flying El Airlines this year (the best as far as I'm concerned!) and they require that we obtain trip payment in full by April 30th (extended). So, if you are thinking of going, please check out our itinerary and fill out the registration form. Click here for more information or email: info@songforisrael.org

Precious Passover

In the days when Egypt was the most powerful country of the known world, they took in many people from other lands because of famine throughout the Middle East. Egypt had plenty and shared with many. The Pharaohs changed, hearts changed, populations grew. In the case of the Jewish people, by 1400 BC, the Egyptians felt they had overstayed their welcome. Finding their growing population a threat, Egyptian leaders decided to make the Jewish people slaves. They became less than everyone else, doing the work that Egyptians wouldn’t do. As their times became more and more tragic and desperate, they cried out to God for relief and freedom. God heard their prayers and with 9 plagues He tried to convince the Pharoah of Egypt to release the Jewish population from slavery and give them freedom. But instead, Pharoahs’ heart was hardened against them. God brought to the Egyptians a most unthinkable 10th plague--Death to the firstborn of all households.

Passover is the celebration of the miracle God used to protect the Jewish families from this horrific firstborn judgment. He gave them advanced, specific instructions to follow, the day before He was to take the lives of the non-Jew. All families obeyed to the very detail, including that of painting their doorposts with the fresh blood of a perfect lamb. This Blood caused the Lord to pass over those homes and spare the lives of the children there. God had given them a way to obey and find mercy! His mercy is their salvation! Passover is a time to remember this God of Mercy and Grace.

For the Jewish people, Passover today, is much more than a family dinner, required food items, repeated prayers, or something they do to be different. It is all of those things, however, the heart behind the celebration is sincere and throughout generations the most blessed component of Passover is that of “remembering.” They remember that God delivered them from Egyptian slavery to freedom.

                                        Seder plate

                                        Seder plate

The Jewish people today celebrate 8 days of Passover beginning Friday, April 22nd with a Seder dinner. This dinner sets the tone for the entire week of activities. They focus on the importance of remembering, faith, and family. They remember what God has done for the Jewish nation, in the miracles performed in order to maintain their mere existence, and for Abraham’s seed and the promise God made through him. They remember how powerfully God has worked as their provider, protector and source of life. Their ability to do so enables them to see that their future is in God’s hands and has a good place them.

Pray for peace in Israel as Passover is celebrated all over the world by saying the words they say:

“NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!”