Jerusalem of Gold

The name of this beautiful song is "Jerusalem of Gold." English lyrics are below. Click here for information about our next tour to Israel.

JERUSALEMOF
GOLD

by Naomi Shemer

This version appears, inter alia, in Landmarks:  Resource material, poetry, songs, games and activities, edited by Avi Tsur,
and published by the Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, in 1998 in Jerusalem:  103.

But when I come to count your praises
And sing Hallel to you
With pretty rhymes I dare not crown you
As other poets do,
Upon my lips is always burning
Your name, so dear, so old:
If I forget Yerushalaim
Of bronze and light and gold ...

Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.

Back to the wells and to the fountains
Within the ancient walls
The sound of horn from Temple's mountain
Again so loudly calls,
From rocky caves, this very morning
A thousand suns will glow
And we shall go down to the Jordan
By way of Jericho.

Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.

Jerusalem Day

On May 24th, 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. Fifty 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."
 




 

Major Problems With the Statement of Palestinian President Abbas

President Donald Trump last week met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. What Abbas said reveals just how deep the gulf remains between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Immediately after his opening greetings, Abbas had this to say: "Mr. President, our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two states - a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967." Talk about a slap in the face. First, Israel's 1967 borders are indefensible, as was reiterated in 2011 after President Obama seemed to advocate a return to those borders. To give one example of indefensible borders, the Netanya area of Israel would be less than 10 miles wide. Second, dividing Jerusalem will not lead to lasting peace, and it is only the Jewish people, not the Palestinians, who have a true historic claim to the city as their capital. As PM Netanyahu has said, "The idea of a divided, split, wounded city is one we will never return to."

President Abbas then emphasized the desire of his people to have a two-state solution, expressing real hope that President Trump would help broker a lasting peace agreement. "Mr. President, it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land after 50 years. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom and our right to self-determination. And we also want for Israel to recognize the Palestinian state just as the Palestinian people recognize the state of Israel." This paragraph is also fraught with problems: First, the reason for the so-called occupation is: 1. the refusal of Arab leadership to agree to previous two-state offers, first in 1937 and then in 1947; 2. the attempted Arab destruction of Israel in 1967, which Israel preempted with the Six Day War, expanding its borders in the process and 3. ongoing Arab and Palestinian attacks on the Jewish people, because of which Israel has maintained control in Judea and Samaria. To lay the blame on Israel is to have the situation backward. Second, it is misleading to speak of Palestinian recognition of Israel. Has President Abbas, in Arabic, recognized Israel as a Jewish state? And if not, what does this imply? And what about a report from early this year stating that PA textbooks "ignore the existence of Israel"?

But the worst of President Abbas' remarks was still to come. He said, "Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace." A culture of peace? By naming schools after Palestinian terrorists? By celebrating them as martyrs and making them heroes for the children to emulate? By spreading false information about Israel and the Temple Mount that so provoked Palestinian young people that teens as young as 13 engaged in acts of terror? (Charisma) “Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies,” Ps. 5:30 (J. Post)

This article is copied from JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel and published with permission.

Song For Israel Celebrates Six Years!

Today SFI celebrates her sixth anniversary. As we continue to proclaim God's eternal plan for Israel, today we pause to thank God for His blessings to us! Celebrate with us by reviewing some of our accomplishments through our photographs below. If you have participated in our ministry, please comment below. It will be such an encouragement to our team!

If you were not in one of these pictures, it's time for you to get involved! 

WALK FOR ISRAEL - MAY 1, 5:30 pm

Song For Israel will be sponsoring a WALK FOR ISRAEL on Monday, May 1, 2017, beginning at 5:30 pm, meeting in the Blue Agave Restaurant parking lot. We will be carrying flags and signs celebrating Israel's Independence Day. It will be a light walk in Yorba Linda and for only 30-40 minutes (walking very slowly). The purpose is to show support for Israel on their Independence Day. Some signs and Israeli flags will be provided, but we encourage you to bring your own. Please wear blue and white. KIDS ARE WELCOME!

Meet in front of the Blue Agave Restaurant at 18601 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, California 92886. Optional -- you may join us for dinner at Blue Agave after the walk. If you would like to join us for dinner after the walk at the Blue Agave Restaurant, please click here to register.

Enjoy the pictures below from the Walk For Israel 2015 and 2016.

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.”

Holocaust Memorial Day - Remembering Eva Been

Although much of today's world rejects the notion that the Holocaust even occurred, the evening of Sunday, April 23rd through Monday, April 24th,, is considered to be 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.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Photo Taken at the Berlin Jewish Museum

Photo Taken at the Berlin Jewish Museum

Tonight 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.  

Check back tomorrow for more Holocaust articles. 

Counting the Omer to the Day of Pentecost

During the Feast of First Fruits, God told Moses to speak to the children of Israel and have them bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of their harvest to the priest, according to Leviticus 23:9-17; 21. The priest would then wave the sheaf before the Lord on the day after the Passover Sabbath. From this date, they were to count the days for seven Sabbaths. On the fiftieth day, they would celebrate the day of Pentecost - also known as Shavuot or Feast of Weeks.

           An "omer" -- a sheaf of wheat

           An "omer" -- a sheaf of wheat

The time counted between Passover and Pentecost was called “counting the omer.” An “Omer” is a sheaf of barley and wheat – the first of the harvest - and it was waved before the Lord. Pentecost does not have a fixed calendar date in the Bible but is observed after completing the counting of the omer.

Just as the firstfruits contains a promise of not only looking forward to the early harvest but also to the day of redemption -The number “50” symbolizes freedom and redemption.

We see in the New Testament that Christ is both Lord of the harvest and of firstfruit. The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ as the Firstborn from the dead. Passover was fulfilled as Christ is seen as the Passover Lamb (a sign of His death). But at the Feast of Firstfruits, He is seen as the risen Savior. After counting the omer, we will celebrate the Day of Pentecost as it was fulfilled in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) was given to all who believe.

 

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 sometime 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, with a reward going to the discoverer. Now, it is freely offered, but as with all free gifts, one must accept it - otherwise it cannot be enjoyed.

 

 

Passover - The First of God's Appointed Feasts of the Season

The eight-day festival of Passover began last night. The Passover Seder was celebrated, which is a 15-part feast where the story of the Exodus from Egypt is retold. Families will read Psalms, sing songs and there will be Hebrew blessings recited.

The observances of the Passover Seder include a number of symbolic foods and rituals commemorating both the slavery in Egypt and liberation of the Hebrews.

They include the following:
•    Matzah (unleavened bread);
•    Bitter herbs - usually horseradish,                              representing  the bitterness of slavery;
•    Charoset -an apple, nut, and spice                            mixture representing the mortar the Israelites        used in building Egyptian structures;
•    Salt water - representing the tears the                      Israelites shed due to enslavement;
•    Shank bone of a lamb - representing both the          first Passover lamb and the sacrificial lamb           during the time of the Temple in Jerusalem;
•    The afikoman - an additional portion of                 matzah eaten to commemorate the Passover offering; and
•    Four glasses of wine - which symbolize God’s fourfold promise of deliverance from Egypt (Exodus         6:6-8)

After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, God saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed God’s command. God then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.

God visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, God spared the Children of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday, Passover. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry that the bread they baked as provision for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day, and began the trek to Mount Sinai.

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 bondage of a controlling Pharoah, but from bondage to sin itself. It provides for eternal life - not just life in an earthly promised land.

Just as the blood of the lamb on the doorposts saved the firstborn, it is Jesus’ blood, the blood of the Lamb of God, which saves people today. He made atonement for our sins.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”  (Ephesians 2:8).

When we put our faith in Him, we symbolically apply the blood of the Passover Lamb by faith.  Jesus gave us the assurance that the Lord will pass over us when He judges the world if we put our faith in Him and His atoning blood.
 
“I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26a).

Check back tomorrow for more articles on Passover, including Passover recipes.

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, Pharoah's 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-Jewish firstborns. 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 with 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 tonight, April 10, 2017, 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, the miracles performed in order to maintain their mere existence, 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 He has a good place for them.

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

“NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!”