Israeli security officials announced Wednesday that they have arrested several Arab citizens from a village in the Galilee suspected of preparing to join the Islamic State (IS) terror militia in Syria. The announcement came just as reports came in from Paris the police had raided an apartment where it was believed that the mastermind of the Paris massacre had been hiding. During the raid, there was a shootout and an explosion of a female suspect who detonated a suicide vest and killed herself. One other suspect died on the scene and five others were taken into custody.
Kristallnacht (German pronunciation), also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom (a series of coordinated attacks) against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria on November 9-10, 1938. German authorities looked on without intervening. The name Kristallnacht comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues had their windows smashed.
At least 2,500+ Jews were killed in the attacks, and 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Over 1,500 synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone) and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Jewish cemetaries were vandalized and countless Jewish homes were destroyed. To make matters worse, Germans charged Jewish people for "damages."
The attacks were prompted as a result of the assassination of a German diplomat by a German-born Polish Jew. Kristallnacht was followed by additional economic and political persecution of Jews, and is viewed as the beginning of the Holocaust.
History seems to be following the same path today that led up to the Holocaust. Just within the last few years, we saw these anti-semitic issues arise:
- Presbyterian Church USA considered banning the word "Israel" from prayers (June 14-21, 2014)
- Shoppers use App to Boycott israel in grocery store aisles (April, 2014)
- National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA), announced an academic boycott of Israel (December 4, 2013)
- More than 650 anthropologists signed a petition which calls for a boycott of all events, conferences, journals and projects with Israeli academic institutions (October, 2014)
- Unit Arab Emirates, a partner of American Airlines, has removed Israel from its flight map and refuses to transport Israelis (March 2014)
- In January 2015, two large swastikas were spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house at the University of California, Davis.
- In February 2015, three swastikas were drawn inside a George Washington University residence hall.
- At the University of California, Berkeley, the phrase “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found in a campus restroom in March and a swastika was found on a university owned building in February.
- On February 22, University of Chicago students and staff reported anti-Semitic posts on a Facebook page called UChicago Secrets, such as “People are hypocrites. This is a fact. One example? The Jews at UChicago…” and “As a Person of Palestinian descent, I don’t think it is unreasonable or horrific for me to hate Jews…”
- Swastikas were spray-painted inside the house of a Jewish fraternity (Alpha Epsilon Pi) at Vanderbilt University on March 15.
- In March at UCLA, a student was asked, "Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?" during the Student Council's confirmation of the nomination of the student to the council's Judicial Board.
- Several swastikas, along with personal slurs and epithets, were spray-painted on Stanford University's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in April 2015
- In April, 2015, vandalism of a residence hall at the University of Missouri included a swastika, the Illuminati symbol, and the word “heil.” Later, another swastika and the words, “You’ve been warned,” were discovered in the same area.
- In May at Drexel, a student came back to his residence hall to find a swastika and the word “JEW” taped next to his Israeli flag.
- October 2015, UNESCO takes a stand and declares the Cave of the Patriarchs a Muslim site only (In Hebron, Israel...this is where the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and more were buried).
Watch the video and look for similarities in what is going on around the world today that very well could be leading up to another Kristallnacht and launch another Holocaust.
On Wednesday, October 20, 2015, UNESCO condemned Israel for continuing with archeological excavations near the Temple Mount and in other locations in Jerusalem’s Old City. Although they did not include a clause declaring the Western Wall to be exclusively a Muslim religious site, they did pass a resolution listing the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron (which Muslims refer to as the “Sanctuary of Abraham”) and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem as strictly Muslim sites. The United States and the UNESCO General Director applied intense pressure to sway the vote for the Western Wall to remain a holy site for Jews.
Song For Israel was shocked to learn that today, October 20, 2015, UNESCO is scheduled to vote on a Palestinian draft resolution, declaring that the Western Wall is a Muslim site. The Western Wall is a holy site to the Jewish people as well as Christians. It is an absurd concept that the Western Wall (Kotel in Hebrew) would be considered Muslim and if passed, there will be more bloodshed over this. UNESCO is an abbreviation for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They have a reputation for passing anti-Israel resolutions. The resolution was submitted by Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. It is described as a “total Islamization” of the holy site.
The Temple Mount issue has already sparked Palestinian violence against Jewish citizens of Israel. The timing of this resolution could not be worse. Palestinian terrorists are in the middle of a terror campaign, stabbing innocent civilians in Israel. Now they want to control the world’s holiest site to the Jewish people. Just days ago, Palestinians set ablaze another holy Jewish site – Joseph’s Tomb. This ruling on the Temple Mount could escalate matters in Israel.
Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen stated regarding the resolution: “It gives a stamp of authenticity to Palestinian violence against Israel…it only adds more fuel to the fire (and) both sides will pay in blood for that decision.”
Please pray for peace in Israel and that the Palestinians would gain no further foothold.
There have been many recent terror attacks on both soldiers and civilians in Israel. Innocent victims – babies, mothers and fathers, policemen—have been viciously stabbed and many have died. It is our hope and prayer this does not turn into a full-blown war. They need our prayers for safety and protection. (Please view the You Tube below).
Here are some suggestions for prayer:
· Many have had friends or family who have died by stabbings. Please pray that God would comfort them.
· Many have been traumatized because they have witnessed random stabbings. Pray for comfort and healing.
· Pray for those who were attacked and survived as their wounds heal.
· Pray against the spirit of fear that grips the nation of Israel due to these terrorist attacks.
· Pray for safety and protection for soldiers and police.
· Pray for wisdom for all Israeli residents that the Holy Spirit will warn them and they will hear His voice guiding them to safety.
· Pray for the Arab youth who are carrying out these demonic attacks that they would be free from the deception from their leaders who are inciting them.
“Knife attacks on Jews in Jerusalem and elsewhere are not based on Palestinian frustration over settlements, but on something deeper.” International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
· Pray for safety and protection for the believers and their congregations and boldness to witness during this time of fear.
· Pray that politicians see the root of these terror attacks as a religious issue and not political one.
· Pray for the enemies of Israel – 1. That their attacks would be miraculously thwarted and 2. For their salvation.
· Pray for wisdom for the Israeli government to turn to the God of Israel in the middle of this storm.
"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
Israel & Petra Study Tour
May 25 - June 5, 2016
ISRAEL & PETRA, JORDAN
(12-day study tour)
We invite you to share the experience of a lifetime—a trip to the land of the Bible—where the Patriarchs of our faith walked. On this 12-day journey, visit Jerusalem with its garden tomb, Mt. of Olives and Garden of Gethsemene, Caesarea by the Sea, visit Megiddo where the Battle of Armegeddon will take place, float in the Dead Sea, view the Mt. of Beatitudes, stand on Mt. Nebo where Moses overlooked the Promised Land, get baptized in the Jordan River, take a Cable Car up to Masada, witness Ein Gedi where David fled from Saul, see the Qumran Caves, kayak in the Sea of Galilee, visit the village of Nazareth where Jesus lived, and tour Petra (Jordan) where many assume the Jews will flee in the future, and so much more!
For those interested in more information and who live in the southern California area, we will be having several Information Receptions. Our next Reception will be Saturday, October 24th at 2:00 pm located at Sound Chapel, 651 S. Sunflower Avenue, Santa Ana 92707 (three blocks east of South Coast Plaza). Please email info@songforIsrael.org for more information.
Click here for more information, registration form, itinerary and printable forms.
Song For Israel partners with Operation Lifeshield in Israel with our Bomb Shelter project. Operation Lifeshield is an emergency campaign to save innocent lives by providing Israel's threatened communities with the protected air raid shelters they so desperately need.
Every donation of any amount goes to placing strong, steel-reinforced, pre-cast concrete fortified shelters in public areas, such as schools, kindergartens, parks and senior citizen centers. The shelters are above-ground, fully-accessible structures, and meet the strictest standards of the IDF Home Front Command. Lifeshield shelters are transported by truck, and can be re-located to meet changing security needs.
To make a donation to help save lives, please click here. Please share this post with your friends.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement at a press conference this evening with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Israel Police Acting Commissioner Bentzi Sau:
"This has been another difficult day for all of us, citizens of Israel. We are in the midst of a wave of terrorism. Terrorists that have been incited and who are riven with hate are trying to attack our people – babies, children, men and women, civilians and soldiers. Our hearts – the hearts of the entire nation – are with the families of the victims whose lives were cut short by reprehensible murderers. In recent days and hours I have seen displays of heroism by soldiers, police and – no less – by civilians. I see this in Jerusalem, Kiryat Gat, Hebron, Petah Tikva, Tel Aviv and now in Afula. Israelis are acting with bravery, composure and determination to neutralize and eliminate the terrorists. This requires extraordinary courage and resourcefulness and we are proud to be part of a country that has such citizens.
This vicious terrorism did not start today. It has accompanied the Zionist enterprise since its beginning. We have always known how to defeat the rioters and build up our country and so it will be now. The terrorists and the extremists behind them will achieve nothing. We will rebuff them and we will defeat them.
We are in the midst of a wave of terrorism with knives, firebombs, rocks and even live fire. While these acts are mostly unorganized, they are all the result of wild and mendacious incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, several countries in the region and – no less and frequently much more – the Islamic Movement in Israel, which is igniting the ground with lies regarding our policy on the Temple Mount and the purported changes that we want to make to the status quo. This is an absolute lie. We are also taking action against the inciters and the attackers.
The IDF, Israel Police and the ISA are working on all fronts – stakeouts, undercover, arrests, presence on the roads, guarding communities, operational entries into Palestinian towns, in-depth entries into neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem and the demolition of terrorists' homes.
We have also sharpened open-fire against those who throw rocks and firebombs and we will impose minimum sentences on them and fines against minors. We have detained for investigation those who cooperated with the murderers in the Old City of Jerusalem. I demanded that the legal establishment close the shops of the merchants who either took part in this heinous act or stood aside.
Yesterday, I ordered that politicians – Jewish and Arab alike – be prevented from going up to the Temple Mount at this time. We do not need more matches to set the ground afire. We will take aggressive measures against the Islamic Movement in Israel and against other inciters. Nobody will be immune.
I would like to tell you, citizens of Israel, that we live in the Middle East and that the flames of radical Islam, which are burning the entire region, are also reaching us. But Israel is a very strong country and Israelis are a strong people. The measures that I have detailed, as well as others which I will not detail, are not an immediate, magical solution. But with persistence, thoroughness and determination, we will prove that terrorism does not pay – and we will defeat it.
I was asked today what I would say to a mother who fears to send her children outside. I would like to tell her – I would like to tell you, mother – your concerns are natural. They need not be overlooked nor should they be swept under the rug. We have a difficult situation now and we must show maximum alertness. Of course, we must also listen to instructions from the security forces and the authorities. But I would like to tell you something else: The security team that is sitting here – Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Public Security Minister, IDF Chief-of-Staff and the Israel Police Commissioner, and all other security elements – are doing our utmost to restore your security and that of your children, to all Israel."
Taken from the "Prime Minister of Israel" Facebook page
Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO
We rejoice with Israel and the Jewish people as Monday evening (October 5th) we celebrate the Word of God (the Law of Moses) and their Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah. At 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, the synagogues around the world will be packed as the last pages of Deuteronomy 34 are read. The first five books of the Bible (often referred to as the Books of Moses) are called the Torah. The services continue once the scroll has been rolled back with the reading at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. Several people take turns reading Genesis 1:1 - 2:3. This represents the reading of the yearly Torah cycle. Most services last around three hours as men and women rejoice over the Book given to Israel by God through Moses.
The Torah scrolls are taken out of the Ark (an ornamental closet which contains the scrolls) and is carried around a platform. The scroll is carried in a procession while congregants are singing and dancing. Jewish people around the world will parade their precious Torah scrolls around their synagogues in circles call hakafot.
The Jewish People have diligently preserved the Word of God for more than 3,000 years, and Simchat Torah gives joyful expression to the Jewish People’s love of the Torah. Will you join them in your heart, praising God for preserving His Word for us?
If you are looking for a Simchat Torah service in Orange County, consider visiting Saturday, October 10th at 10:30 a.m. at Ben David Messianic Jewish Congregation, 651 W. Sunflower Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92707 (three blocks east of South Coast Plaza).
We humble ourselves before You, The Holy One of Israel. As we remember this Sukkot week, we worship and praise your Holy Name. We take special care to rest and reflect during this time of celebration and we recall how well you took care of your people in the wilderness. That reminds us that YOU are always providing for us and we are grateful that you love us and take care of us. We look forward to celebrating this feast with you in heaven every single year in our future. How we long to be with you.
We pray for those celebrating Sukkot this week in Israel in their sukkahs, and ask that You would cause them to seek Your face and that Your people would recognize that YOU are the One Who is protecting them and that YOU, Yeshua, are the only true refuge they can run to.
Bless and give wisdom to Prime Minister Netanyahu as he makes decisions to protect Israel’s people and borders. We pray for the Jewish people and the Christians throughout the world who are being persecuted—that they would not lose hope—that You would protect their minds and provide a way of escape.
Lord, please forgive our nation, as we have turned away from You. Would You purge the wickedness that festers from the United States and restore us to a right relationship with You? Would You provide us with Godly leaders who will strive to please You? Would you provide a righteous man for the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Fill us with Your love and Your power, that we might be effective witnesses of Yeshua in our communities. We ask that you strengthen us and that you would provide all that we need to serve you.
Now, Adoni, we ask that our lives be pleasing to You and that You would focus our minds on You and Your precious Word. We ask that your Holy Spirit would guide us into all truths as we read and study Your Word and we would grow in the grace and knowledge of Messiah.
We pray these things in the name of Yeshua! Amen
Leave a comment if you attended this Feast!
The details about this Feast are found in Leviticus 23:33-44. The Hebrew name for the Feast of Tabernacles is "Sukkot," and it began last night, September 27th. During this seven-day celebration, no work was to be done on the first or the last day. In between these days of complete rest, offerings were to be presented to the Lord on each day of the seven-day period. The first day was a holy day and the rest of the days were feast days!
For one week, the people of Israel lived in makeshift Booths called SUKKAHs, of leafy branches, symbolizing their journey through the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Feast of Tabernacles celebrates God’s protection and provision in the Wilderness.
The Feast occurs after Israel’s Fall harvest. Also called The Feast of Ingathering, it was the major annual harvest of the year. The spring harvest was very small in comparison to the fall harvest.
All over Israel you will see sukkahs! They build them in their backyards, on their apartment porches, in the back of a truck! Then they invite friends to feast with them in celebration! A sukkah is supposed to be a makeshift structure that is easily moved. Fruit is hung as a reminder that God provides all that we need. Children make chains out of colorful paper. The sukkah provides shade and as instructed, we leave openings between leafy branches on top, so that we can see His glory in the stars at night. God wants to be our shelter and our shade.
Leviticus 23:40 says “You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.“You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations and you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
What fun to be told to rest before and after the 7-day feast and to rejoice and have joy! And to eat, eat, eat!
Deut. 16:13-16 Says “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven
In John 7, we see Jesus coming up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles! 1 Corinthians 5:8. Paul encouraged those in Corinth (mostly NOT Jewish) to celebrate the feasts!
God wanted His people to celebrate the fact that He provided shelter for them in the wilderness. Shelters or booths were to be built in which the people
God has always desired to dwell with us. God wants to be with you. He desires to dwell with His people. He always has and always will.
There is Prophetic Fulfillment in EACH APPOINTED DAY
This feast reminded Israel of God’s blessings in the past. He had led them out of Egyptian bondage, cared for them in the wilderness, and brought them into their promised inheritance. Once they had lived in booths and tents, but in the Promised Land, they would live in houses! Tabernacles represent the Lord’s shelter in the future. The Lord will establish his Tabernacle in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:26) and the world will come every year to appear before the King & worship Him. A final ingathering will take place.
In the future, families of the earth (the believers) will come to Jerusalem to annually celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19). God is setting up His kingdom and he is going to restore it. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:3 says “..behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself with be with them and be their God!” God will tabernacle with men! Can you imagine this!?! We will celebrate a spiritual harvest…the Ingathering in that day. The Future Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated on the new earth, with God Himself, will be the most joyous occasion of all time! We can look forward to it!
We can celebrate the Feast of
“The LORD said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. Do not work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:26-28 NIV.
Yom Kippur falls on the 10th of Tishrei, this year on September 14th.
During the Temple times, a week before Yom Kippur, the Cohen ha Gadol (High Priest) went to live in his chamber in the Temple in spiritual and physical preparation of this holy day. On Yom Kippur he was to make atonement for all Jews in the world. This was the only time of the year he entered the Holy of Holies. During the “Avodah” – Temple service, the high Priest changed into five different sets of garments, immersed himself in the mikveh five times, washed his hands and feet ten times, sacrificed two lambs, one bull, two goats, and two rams. He offered meal and wine libations, and made three incense offerings. On this day, he had to work harder than all the priests and Levites present.
Today, Orthodox men immerse themselves in the Mikveh (ritual bath) on the day before Yom Kippur.
Early in the afternoon, all Jewish businesses and shops are closed, and traffic virtually comes to a stand still. Traffic lights stop working and there is no national radio or television. Even Ben Gurion International Airport closes its air space to all air traffic in the early afternoon. About four hours after the end of the holiday the airport reopens for international arrivals. Departures commence an hour later. Likewise, all harbours and border crossings in and out of the country close for the holiday. As a security measure, the crossings into Gaza, Judea and Samaria are also closed until the end of this holiest day of the year.
Just before sunset, the streets fill with people walking to nearby synagogues. On the evening of Yom Kippur, in synagogues around the world the cantor chants the “Kol Nidrei” – all vows, in Aramaic, dating from post-Talmudic times. The music was composed mid 15-16th century in south Germany. During this holiest day of the Jewish Year, synagogue attendance usually triples.
“May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault…”
Through the “Kol Nidrei” people ask God forgiveness for vows they made to God and people, but could not carry out.
During the Middle Ages, German Jews replaced the Kol Nidrei with recitations of Psalms. Anti-Semites accused the Jews of being not trustworthy and their oaths worthless, spurring many pogroms.
During the Spanish Inquisition, when many Jews were forced to become Christians, this stirring and haunting melody became even more relevant.
As a symbol of purity many Jews wear white clothing and either walk on plastic shoes or house slippers, as long as they are not from leather. They spend most of Yom Kippur in synagogue, where prayer services are followed by litanies and petitions of forgiveness.
Even non-religious Jews try to keep the 25 hour fast.
When the sun is setting, many flock to the synagogue for the Ne’ilah prayer, after which the “Shma Israel” is recited and the Shofar blown. This symbolizes the closure of God’s books, in which the names are written for those who shall live or die the next year.
When Yom Kippur ends, directly after a festive meal, many religious Jews begin to build their Sukkah (booth for the Feast of Tabernacles). Hammers can be heard all over the city.
In ancient times it was customary to herald the end of Yom Kippur by blowing the Shofar at the Western Wall. This custom was re-installed when in 1967 Jerusalem was re-unified.
Copied with permission from Petra van der Zande from her book entitled Remember, Observe, Rejoice which can be purchased by clicking here on this link.
The Temple Mount is considered a holy site to three religions – to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Jews and Christians recognize it as the site of the two previous biblical temples and it is considered the holiest site in the Jewish religion. To the Muslim the site is considered Islam’s third holiest spot as they believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended on a visit to heaven from this point. The Al-Aqsa Mosque stands there today.
During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Jewish people have been allowed to visit their holy site with one exception—they are NOT allowed to pray there. Under an agreement, the Muslim authorities manage the site’s religious and civilian affairs under Jordanian supervision. However, Israeli police oversee security.
When I visited the Temple Mount in July, our tour group sat on the steps at the top of the Mount near the mosque. We faced one of the entrances to the platform and witnessed a Jewish man coming up the steps. As soon as he approached the mount, approximately twenty female Muslims surrounded him, heckling him the entire time he was there, which was about 20 minutes. They were loud and obnoxious. This is a normal occurrence. Recently there have been bursts of unrest at the Temple Mount - Palestinian demonstrations with bombs and tear gas.
Because of the unrest, Israeli police have enlisted several hundred border patrol police reservists to patrol the Mount. Palestinians say that in the past two months there has been a new development where Israel has occasionally restricted some Muslims from the compound when Jewish people are visiting. Israel explained that this is to reduce friction. However, the Palestinians claim that Israel has an agenda to set Muslim-free Jewish visiting hours. It’s not a bad idea. During Ramadan, there were times when the Jews were not allowed to come to the compound. It seems only fair that Jewish people would be allowed to visit their most holy site without heckling and fear of attack. Israel, however, stated that they have no plans to change the rules. But even rumors are enough to spark controversy, reaction, and violence.
In other areas of Israel, rockets have been fired from Gaza, exploding in the border town of Sderot this past Friday. Sderot has been hit hard by rockets from their Gaza neighbors, which is ruled by the terrorist group, Hamas. I visited The Eden Center, School for Girls, in July to see where our new bomb shelter would be placed. Gaza is only 2 miles from the school and, therefore, when sirens are heard, the girls have only seven seconds to run for shelter. Their new dorm will be completed soon with many new girls entering the facility for abused young women.
We continue raising money to put more bomb shelters in Israel near the Gaza border. To make a donation to our Bomb Shelter Campaign and help save lives in Israel, please click here.
The period between Rosh haShana (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is also called “the ten days of awe”, because of the need for introspection and repentance. This yearRosh haShana begins Sunday evening, September 13th.
Rosh HaShana (literally meaning, head of the year) heralds the Hebrew month of Tishrei (September/October). Tishrei is Aramaic for “to begin”. It is celebrated for two days and is seen as a Day of Judgment. On the first day, the tashlich* (“you will cast”) ritual takes place in which “sins” are symbolically cast into open water. People also throw bread and pebbles.
Rosh haShana is a day of rest, like the Shabbat. The sound of the shofar* (ram’s horn) is intended to awakenpeople from their “slumber” and alert them to the coming judgment. The days of repentance begin with Rosh haShana and climax at Yom Kippur. Religious Jews believe that even though judgment is pronounced on Rosh haShana, during the following ten days they can mend their ways and alter judgment in their favour. (That is why people are extra nice to each other.)
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, people greet each other with “Shana Tova” (A good year) or “Shana Tova uMetuka” (A good and sweet New Year). Often they add “Gmar Chatima Tova” (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life), referring to the coming Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.
Apple and honey, symbolizing the sweet New Year is always part of the holiday cuisine. Other symbolic food is a fish head (“head” of the new year) and a round challah, to symbolize the year cycle).
In ancient times, Rosh haShana was the beginning of the economic year. The emphasis was on the agricultural seasons and the pilgrim’s festivals (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot). It those days it was only celebrated for one day, instead of the modern two-day holiday.
Rosh haShana is seen as the anniversary of God’s Creation. On this day, mankind passes before the Creator, like sheep before the shepherd. Three books are opened – the Book of Life, which seals the righteous, who will live; The wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living” (See Psalm 69:29), while those “in between” have until Yom Kippur to repent and become righteous.
By Petra van der Zande Excerpt from the book: Remember, Observe, Rejoice. Used with permission.
To visit a Christian version of these Jewish holidays, check out your local Messianic Jewish Congregation. If you live in Orange County, visit Ben David Messianic Jewish Congregation, 651 W. Sunflower Avenue, Santa Ana 92707 (three blocks east of South Coast Plaza). Visit on the following holidays:
- September 12 - Rosh HaShana Service 10:30 AM
- September 19 - Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Preparation Service 10:30 AM
- October 3 - Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) service (10:30 AM) and potluck afterwards
- October 10 - Simchat Torah service 10:30 AM
Jerusalem is near and dear to the heart of God and those who love God. Scriptures teaches us to pray for Jerusalem. How should we pray? The Scripture does not spell it out, but the Holy Spirit will guide our prayers and show us how to pray.
Some suggestions would be to pray for:
- The people--for their safety in an area of constant unrest
- Israel's leadership -- that they seek God's face for decisions
- The land -- this is the land God covenanted to Israel, so we know it is important to God. Therefore, pray for fertile soil, protected borders, prosperity
- Salvation -- Pray for salvation of not only the Jewish people, but the Gentile people living there
- The Churches/Congregations -- that they teach the pure Word of God; are able to care for their members; that they are effective lights to those who do not know Jesus/Yeshua
- Their enemies -- that they might see God in the nation of Israel and fear Him and come to know Him as their own Savior
- Protection of Israel's inhabitants -- protection from rocket fire; protection from attacks from enemies hiding in tunnels; protection from suicide bombers, etc.
Anne Graham Lotz has prepared a beautiful prayer on her website: AnneGrahamLotz.org. We have inserted a few paragraphs of her prayer below.
Why not take a few moments right now to PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM.
We pray with compulsion for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the whole House ofIsrael. Your people and the city that bear Your name are surrounded by a vast multitude of hostile, evil men seeking to kill and destroy. Men who behead those who refuse to embrace their evil dogma, who bury alive those who refuse to submit to their will, who crucify those who are identified with Your Son. And now these demonic forces are on the verge of being equipped with nuclear weapons and with WMD’s, such as mustard and sarin gas. Your people are subjected to the continuing barrage of enemy missiles and mortars that are destroying farms and families, communities and children. While one ceasefire after another promises peace, when Israel’s land is divided and surrendered for peace, when people cry out for peace, peace, there is no peace. Are You not the God who rules over all the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.
We are compelled to pray for Your people because they are facing their enemies without the strength, wisdom, peace, comfort, security and hope that You reserve for those who are indwelt by Your Spirit through faith in Your Son, Jesus. They have no deep, blessed assurance that their sins are forgiven, that eternal life is theirs, and that a heavenly Home is waiting to welcome them.
We are compelled to pray because…
- You have promised that You will give Your people a new heart and put a new spirit within them; that You will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.4
- You have promised that in the very last days, You will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.5
- You have promised that You will open the eyes of the spiritually blind, and they would look on You, the One they have pierced.6
- You have promised that all of Israel, tribe by tribe, clan by clan, family by family, will mourn for their sin of rebellion and rejection of their Messiah.
- You have promised that on that day of national mourning and repentance, all of Israel will be saved. That the deliverer will come from Zion; that You will turn godlessness away from Jacob.7
- You have promised that You will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and You will cleanse them.8
- You have promised that they will be Your people, and You will be their God.9
- You have promised that You will make an everlasting covenant of peace with them.10
- You have promised that one day, and we believe soon, You will set aside 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel who have been redeemed and on whose foreheads You write Your name, to be proclaimers of the Gospel to the whole world.11
- You have promised that You will go out and fight against the nations that come against Your people; that You will set Your feet on the Mount of Olives once again; that you will be king over the whole earth.12
O Abba Father! We do not ask for what we want or what we hope. We are asking You to do whatYou have said! You are a great covenant-keeping God. You do not mock Your children. You keep Your word. We are therefore compelled at this moment when faced with problems that have no human solution to pray and hold You to Your promises.
We pray with clarity. We ask, great Creator God, that You give sight to those born spiritually blind. Open the eyes of Your people to see You for who You truly are. Don’t let their sight be dimmed or distorted by centuries of religiosity and rejection of the Truth. Open their eyes to Jesus as their Messiah. Then show up in great power, giving Your people supernatural strength to withhold vengeance, to execute justice, to remember mercy, to walk humbly as they acknowledge that victory will be won not by their might nor by their own power, but by Your Spirit.16 Yet we do ask You for victory over the enemy…
We pray for the enemies who are coming against Jerusalem to be convicted of their sin, for them to repent and turn from it and ask You for forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ. But if they do not, we ask that this day, You defeat and destroy them.
We ask that You strip Jerusalem’s enemies of peace and cooperation among themselves, so that they are divided and turn on each other.
We ask that their evil plans would be exposed or fall back on the enemy’s own head.
We ask that the face of every man, woman or child that they have slaughtered, beheaded, buried, or crucified be indelibly imprinted on their mind’s eye, filling them with turmoil and robbing them of clear thinking.17
We ask that for every man, woman or child who is martyred for their faith in You, ten others would rise up to take their place, so that the persecution would fan revival fires throughout the Middle East. Please, dear Jesus, keep showing up in dreams and visions and in any form You choose in order to change hearts and minds, melting generations of prejudice and hatred with Your love and peace.
We ask that the fear of the One, True, Living God would fall on Israel’s neighbors…and on Israel.18
We ask that the ancient prince of the Persian kingdom and every other demonic force coming against Your City be bound and rendered powerless in the face of the hosts of Heaven.19
We ask that the Iron Dome would be 100% effective in the north as well as in the south, and that You would continue to anoint Israel’s engineers and physicists with ability to design systems that would provide a protective shield for The Beautiful Land.
We ask for supernatural wisdom for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Cabinet, his counselors, and all government officials, so that they make decisions in line with Your perfect will. Draw the Prime Minister into Your Word. And then, when he opens and reads it, speak to him through it.
We ask that You intervene to give President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu a shared vision and agreed-upon steps to accomplish it so that Israel has clear, unified leadership during these dangerous days.
We ask that You turn the heart of The Honorable Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, toward You; that he would acknowledge his need of You and re-issue a city-wide call to prayer.
We ask that You comfort the mothers, fathers, and children living in the farming communities near the Gaza border. Give them an overwhelming sense of Your presence and love for each of them. As they turn to You, give them peace…and a good night’s sleep.
We ask that You bless The Beautiful Land and all those who live there, both Jews and Arabs, with Your peace.
We ask especially that You woo Your people to Yourself. Draw them to put their trust in You, so that You are their refuge and their fortress. Save them. Cover them. Be with them in trouble. Command Your angels to guard them and keep them in all their ways.20
You are a great prayer-hearing, prayer-answering, covenant-keeping, miracle-working God. Hear our prayer! Listen to Your children as we pray for the peace of the city on which You have placed Your name. Rise up, great Lion of Judah, and defend Your people. Deliver Jerusalem from her enemies so that all the nations of the earth may know that You alone are God. Answer us! For the glory of Your great name!
We will pray until our prayers are confirmed, because we believe in You. We believe that Jerusalem’s God is God. We believe You are as strong today on her behalf as You were in the beginning, and always have been, and always will be. We believe that since the first day we set our minds to gain understanding and to humble ourselves before our God, our words have been heard.21 Because our words are based on Your words. We believe that we have asked according to Your will, in the name of Your dear Son, and for His glory alone. Therefore we expect to receive answers.22
Now we await Your confirmation. We have prayed for the peace of Jerusalem. We don’t know what else to do. But our eyes are fixed expectantly on You.23
For the Glory of Yeshua
Join us for an afternoon and evening filled with keynote speakers addressing the most pressing issues for Israel and our relationship to her. Optional dinner is a catered Mediterranean meal (choice of chicken or beef). To register for the conference, click here.