AN IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE WAR IN ISRAEL...

Those who subscribe to our newsletter received this important update a few days ago. To receive our newsletter, please click here.

As I write this, a report came in from USA Today reporting that "Israeli troops entered northern Gaza to raid a facility from which rockets were believed to have been fired into Israel...There was an exchange of gunfire during the operation and four Israeli soldiers sustained injuries." Today I also received notifications that "Rocket sirens sounded from southern Israel to Ben Gurion International Airport" and "Sirens Sound Over Jerusalem." Reports like this are coming in on an hourly basis.

Many are asking "what triggered this war? Will the United States get involved in their support for Israel? Does the United States aid the terrorists who are attacking Israel? Is there any Biblical prophecy that can explain what is going on?"

Please read this long newsletter as all of these questions will be answered and you need to be informed about what is going on in Israel--it affects our world--it affects you!

The current war is a continuation of hatred against the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Palestinians and Arabs claim they will NEVER recognize Israel as a Jewish nation. They have convinced their people, with distorted information, that the land is Arab land. If you study the history of Israel, you will know that the land rightfully belongs to Israel! 

Peace negotiations have been going on since Israel was reborn in 1948, with the most current failed negotiations ending this past April 1st. On April 23rd, Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party and Palestinian Hamas announced their intention to form a unity government, which further exasberated the breakdown. The Fatah Unity government was assembled on June 1st with occasional rockets fired into Israel. June 12th, three Jewish teenagers from a settlement in Israel were kidnapped and murdered. Israeli officials suspect two Hamas members were responsible. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised those responsible would experience consequences.

Further aggravating tensions, on July 2nd, a group of Israelis kidnapped and killed a Palestinian teenager. Netanyahu condemned the action. This prompted demonstrations among Palestinians in Israel and East Jerusalem. On July 6th, the Israeli air force bombed a tunnel in Gaza, killing six Hamas men. 

Up until this time, rockets attacking Israel had been sporadic, but by July 6th, Israel began  experiencing intense attacks, most of which have been intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome (anti-missile system)." The Israeli government launched "Operation Protective Edge" against Hamas in Gaza.  

Today, one can find news of attacks on Israel and Gaza on an hourly basis. Tensions in the Middle East are always high and one action always triggers a response. Israel must live with these tensions in order to survive as a nation. Will tensions ever end? What does the Bible say about these tensions?

The Bible tells us that there is no hope for peace in Israel without Christ -- until Messiah comes. Until that day, God will complete all the prophecies mentioned in the Bible to prepare for His return. One of the prophecies says that in that day, every nation will stand against Israel. (Zechariah 14). How close are we? The United States of America has always taken a stand with Israel. However, with the current administration, our stand has become weaker and weaker. Often times we hear the promise that we stand with Israel, but frequently our actions don't back up support for Israel (see below).    

The Bible is clear very early on, in Genesis 12:3, that God will bless those who bless Israel and He will curse those who curse Israel. There really is no in between. I believe God made sure this was stated early in Scripture so that we realize this is His standard. That message is for us today. What will you do?  While Israel is at war with her neighbors, how can you bless them?

Meanwhile, what can YOU do to support Israel?

1. Forward this email to your friends and relatives

2. Pray for Israel -- see below
3. Attend our Summer Bible Study on Israel -- see below
4. Send a donation to our Bomb Shelter Campaign  -- see below  
5. Take political action against Fatah/Hamas terrorists -- see below  
6. Make a donation to Song For Israel -- click here

Pray for Israel

Below is a report and Prayer Points that we have received from Sally Shiff, representing our partner congregation in Israel called: Kehilat Hamaayan (The Congregation of "The Wellspring.")

"Current Situation:

While, at this writing, the IDF has not engaged in ground troop fighting, it is not off the table.  The government is not afraid to go all the way, for the safety of the nation, yet, desires that if the rockets cease, so will the incursion into Gaza.  (There have already been four more red alerts since I started writing this an hour ago.)

Bibi Netanyahu once said, "If they lay down their arms, there will be peace, if we lay it down, we would cease to exist." This unfortunately proves to be true.  And we are humbled at the protection of God.  With all the rockets flying over us, although there has been injuries and property damage, there (as of right now) has been no deaths.

Israel tries very hard to warn the residents of Israel to be safe, as well as the residents of Gaza.

Prayer Points

We believe that our very lives are in the palms of His Hands, and our Lord Yeshua does not slumber or sleep in watching out for our protection.

 Our intercessors and Kehila are praying here for the safety of our people and invite you to join us.

  • The salvation of all of our citizens of Israel (From every culture, we see no distinction between those in Judea or Samaria and Gaza from the Arab descent, they are still Israeli citizens)
  • Protection of the civilians impacted from this current situation.
  • Wisdom for our government as well as the government from the PA.  As well as other countries. We need God to prevail and for His plan to take place.
  • The leaders of the Messianic community to direct their members to answer the call on their lives.
  • For God to exchange the spirit of fear for faith that He is in control.
  • Us to pray His heart rather than what we hear on the news.
  • Safety for the military forces. (they are usually 18-22 years of age)

We thank you for all your prayers and strongly encourage you to continue. Feel free to call us or email us with further questions."

Sally Shiff

Liaison for Hamaayan

http://www.kehilat-hamaayan.org.il/

Sally will be visiting us this coming December...watch for information about that upcoming event in our Song For Israel newsletter.

Song For Israel Offers Summer Bible Studies on Israel 

With war breaking out in the Middle East and anti-Semitism rising once again in Europe and also the US, it is important to understand why. With about 50% of Evangelical churches teaching that the promises God made with Israel have been transferred to the church, we encourage you to KNOW the truth! 

 Most Christians do not know if they should support Israel or bless the Jewish people. Join us and acquire a deeper and more balanced understanding of Christian support for Israel. There are four basic covenants God made with man in the Bible that are interwoven that will be discussed in this class. We will gain an understanding of God's plan for world redemption, using Israel as a vehicle to bring this about.

 We offer a summer class called "Understanding God's Eternal Plan for Israel" beginning Thursday, July 17th, 7 pm in Orange. Cost $15, includes workbook. For more information or to register, click here.

If you are interested in our Monday group which began last week, please email: info@SongForIsrael.org/

Send a Donation to our Bomb Shelter Campaign

One of our partners is "Operation Lifeshield," which "is an emergency campaign to save innocent lives by providing Israel's threatened communities with the protected air raid shelters they so desperately need." In 2013, Song For Israel collected donations and presented over $2,000 to Operation Lifeshield to provide shelter for those in need. Once a siren is heard, Israelis have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. Many families cannot afford one and can't make it to a public shelter in time. Click here to make a donation toward a bomb shelter and save lives in Israel.

Take Political Action against Fatah/Hamas Terrorists  

To take political action, you need to know some history that may shock you! Did you know that:

 1. "During the Palestinian terror war that followed Arafat's rejection of statehood and peace with Israel at Camp David, many of the more devastating Palestinian terror attacks were carried out by Palestinian security forces trained by the CIA." (Quote fromThe Israeli Solution by Caroline Glick.)

 2. Annually Americans pay taxes to help fund the Palestinian Hamas terrorist group. Read the statement below, composed by "Liberty Action" and click here to sign their petition to defund the Palestinians:

"Liberty Counsel's petition is calling for the Obama administration and the United States Congress to reject the new Palestinian Authority government and adhere to the stipulations for funding by ceasing payment of all federal monies to the P.A. We are encouraging Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) and other congressional leaders to also follow through on their threats to defund the Palestinian Authority until their union with Hamas, a blatantly anti-Israel, organization, is dissolved.

By taking this stand, you'll also be proclaiming God's faithful covenant to defend Israel and the Holy city of Jerusalem... and with people like you that stand with Israel against her enemies!" Click here to sign that petition.

3. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we are limited to how much we can speak out politically. We encourage you to educate yourself about efforts of the United States which undermine Israel and support her enemies.

Please check our website regularly as we bring news updates from Israel to you!

God bless you as you bless Israel,

Deby Brown

Director

Song For Israel 



Israel Under Attack

Our partner, Operation Lifeshield, in Israel is giving us an opportunity to have live news coverage by clicking into their site (see below). Much is happening in Israel right now! Ultimately I believe Israel is being attacked because of the peace negotiation breakdown. As a result, Hamas/Fatah kidnapped and murdered three teenage boys and now are attacking Israel with rockets.

In the video below, you can watch as Israelis in Ashdod are in a boat, watching rockets just overhead, as the Iron Dome successfully knocks them out! 

Here is an excerpt from Operation Lifeshield:

Chances are, the main news you are reading or watching is not covering the moment-by-moment stuff happening here in Israel. So, here is a your very own access to updates-- updated every 10 minutes. Click here.  Okay, now share it with everyone!

Some of the news that does not make headlines, but is rather important:

1) Summer camps in Southern Israel (within a 25 mile radius of Gaza) have been closed. That means the kids are at home and that can be a problem (no shelters).

2) 40,000 IDF Reservists are now being called-up and heading to Southern Israel.

3) While Israelis are running to shelters, Hamas is forcing civilians in Gaza to serve as human shields - thus resulting in causalities at terrorist bases in Khan Younis.

Israel Defense Force Tanks on the Gaza border

Israel Defense Force Tanks on the Gaza border

Shmuel Bowman, Executive Director, Operation Lifeshield will be traveling to Netivot today to help deliver two Lifeshield Bell shelters. Another two shelters were delivered yesterday for Kibbutz Kfar Aza, located about 1 miles from the Gaza border.

Please help save lives by donating to our Song For Israel Bomb Shelter project in cooperation with Operation Lifeshield. To make a donation, please click here.

 

Check out AmazonSmile

Song For Israel has just been added to the AmazonSmile nonprofit list! When you order through AmazonSmile (part of Amazon), just list Song For Israel, Yorba Linda, as the nonprofit of your choice!  Check out the details:

  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Song For Israel whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support SongForIsrael by starting your shopping atsmile.amazon.com.


Song For Israel

Thank you for supporting Song For Israel!

Summer Bible Study - God's Plan for Israel

"Understanding God's Eternal Plan for Israel"

Co-Ed Evening group begins Monday, July 14, 2014 in Anaheim Hills. Meets 7 - 9 PM

Cost: $15 per person. Returning students - FREE!

No Homework!!!

With anti-semitism rising once again in Europe and subtly sneaking its way into the US, it is important to understand why. With about 50% of Evangelical churches teaching that the promises God made with Israel have been transferred to the church, we encourage you to KNOW the truth! 

Most Christians do not know if they should support Israel or bless the Jewish people. Join us and acquire a deeper and more balanced understanding of Christian support for Israel. There are four basic covenants God made with man in the Bible that are interwoven that will be discussed in this class. We will gain an understanding of God's plan for world redemption, using Israel as a vehicle to bring this about.

To register, fill in form below. 

To register, fill in form below. 

Name *
Name

Song For Israel is here to help. Just us today or contact us about bringing this study to your group. info@SongForIsrael.org

Anti-Semitism in Southern California

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is becoming widespread in Southern California. Just this month, one of America's most prominent campuses has become a cesspool of anti-Israel hate, intimidation, and cyberbulling--that campus being UCLA.

A UCLA student writes, "...during the past year at the University of California, Los Angeles, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian tensions have reached a climax--partly because there are no longer just two voices fighting against each other, but multiple voices fighting against one. UCLA has seen the mobilization of self-identified minority communities banding together in order to combat the terrors they believe Israel inflicts on the world, and a concerted effort by pro-Palestinian organizations to exploit this to their advantage and silence pro-Israel voices on campus" (Tower Magazine).

The article continues with the student claiming, "I have felt ashamed to call myself a Bruin. As a result of divestment, not only my mental stability but also my academics have suffered...It is ridiculous to me that at such a world-renowned university, our education is being put on hold because my identity is being put on trial."

UCLA is only one of many universities where anti-Semitism is on the uprise. The only way to combat anti-Semitism is through truthful education. This is where YOU and I come in! We need to know the truth about what is going on in Israel, what the Bible says about Israel and speak out against anti-Semitism. 

Song For Israel offers you a 7-week class this summer to equip you with answers! There is no homework, but I guarantee your life will be changed! Join us Monday nights, beginning July 14th, 7 pm, in Anaheim Hills. Cost is $15 with workbook included. To secure your spot, please email info@SongForIsrael.org.

Doing nothing about anti-Semitism is furthering its cause. Please support Israel and the Jewish people.

Israeli Teens Found Murdered

Across Israel, people gather in public places to share national grief after hearing of the discovery of the bodies of three kidnapped teens. Israeli security forces located the bodies of Naftali Frenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach on Monday. The boys had been missing since June 12th. They were on their way home from yeshiva (a Jewish institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud).

Teens gather in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mourn the loss of their teenage friends.

Teens gather in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mourn the loss of their teenage friends.

Their bodies were found in a shallow grave dug by their abductors in the wadi (valley or dry riverbed) in the West Bank. Initial reports indicate that the boys were shot shortly after their kidnapping.

Please pray for the families who lost their sons in this terrorist crime.

The Names of the Victims

Caroline Glick is one of my favorite writers. She is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.  The following article was originally published by the Jerusalem Post.

Three families in Israel are in agony. On June 12, when their sons Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer were kidnapped by Islamic savages, the Fraenkels, Yifrahs and Shaers entered a new world where every breath they take is filled with devastating guilt – that they breathe free while their sons suffer unknown miseries.

Every moment that passes is filled with crushed hope that they will get word that their sons are free, and then the word doesn’t come. And it doesn’t come the next moment, or the next.

And so they will live, in agony, until this ordeal has ended.

Our hearts go out to these families. Our prayers are continuously directed towards them. And in a profound sense that is uniquely Israeli, the people of Israel share their pain. And with this pain comes a sincere and overpowering desire to do something to bring the captive teenagers home.

What can be done? There are only two ways for Israel to free hostages.

The government can devote all necessary resources to gathering actionable intelligence that will lead IDF troops to the boys.

Or the government can surrender to the terrorists by freeing thousands of Palestinian terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons.

So far, the government is concentrating on Option 1.

But Option 2 is lurking around the corner. And we need to confront it now – head on – before it takes center stage.

Over the past 30 years, Israel has released thousands of terrorists from its prisons in exchange for hostages. Thousands more have been freed as so-called “confidence building measures,” to appease our supposedly moderate Palestinian negotiating partners into sharing a table with their Israeli counterparts.

In every instance, these terrorist releases have led to the murder and abduction of other Israelis.

The clock started ticking down to Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal’s abduction on October 19, 2011 when Israel released 1,027 Palestinian terrorists in exchange for IDF Sgt. Gilad Schalit who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than five years.

The countdown also began that day for the murder of Baruch Mizrahi, the police officer who was killed in a roadside shooting in April as he drove to a Passover Seder with his wife and children. Mizrahi’s killer was one of the terrorists released for Schalit.

Some politicians are trying to take steps to prevent these swaps in the future. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told the media he will prohibit all members of his Yisrael Beytenu party from voting in favor of a hostages-for-terrorists swap if one is on offer in the future.

The day before Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah were kidnapped, the Knesset passed a preliminary reading of a bill sponsored by MK Ayelet Shaked from Bayit Yehudi to constrain the president’s power to commute the sentences of some convicted murderers. The idea is that by passing the law, the Knesset will make it impossible for the government to agree to swap murderers for hostages. But then, to avoid the law, all governments will have to do is release prisoners who weren’t sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

The problem with statements like Liberman’s and bills like Shaked’s is that they miss the point. The problem isn’t the law. The problem isn’t that in past swaps MKs were given the freedom to vote as they pleased.

The problem is our media-compliant leadership refuses to act responsibly.

The only way to prevent more Israelis from being abducted in the future is to deter the Palestinians from abducting them.

Deterrence cannot be achieved by cheap political pronouncements or insufficient legislation.

Deterrence can only be built up over time, by behaving consistently in a manner that convinces the other side that it is not in its interest to do something that you don’t want it to do.

Since May 1985, when then-prime minister Yitzhak Shamir freed 1,150 terrorists for three IDF soldiers held hostage by Palestinian terror master Ahmed Jibril, Israel’s behavior has consistently encouraged our enemies to take hostages.

Through their willingness to release murderers for hostages – and even for hostage bodies – our leaders have told our enemies that they should feel free to steal our children. Their payoff is guaranteed.

Through their willingness to free murderers, our leaders have shown our enemies that they should feel free to murder as many Israelis as they can. They know that once their comrades take another Israeli hostage, (or three), they will go free.

And of course, our politicians are not the only ones at fault. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his colleagues and predecessors swim in an acrid stream, where this sort of behavior is required.

To their disgrace, our media consistently behave as advocates and lobbyists for hostage-takers and imprisoned murderers against Israeli society.

For instance, in the case of Schalit, the media worked hand-in-glove with the Schalit family and its public relations firm to convince the public that we should think of a soldier as a child, and not as any child, but as our child.

In more than a thousand media reports, profiles, tear-jerker interviews with Schalit’s kindergarten teachers and siblings, we were told that if we are good and moral people, we must prefer Schalit’s freedom to the continued imprisonment of terrorists who constitute a mortal threat to every other child – and parent – in the country.

Public relations agent Tami Shenkman led the campaign for the terrorists’ release. She was the one who put together the sales strategy for convincing us that capitulating to Palestinian extortion is an act of moral courage.

For her efforts the media lavished her with fawning, heroic profiles.

And for the media’s efforts, three teenagers are now hostages.

True, while our cowardly, irresponsible leaders and demented media encouraged the Palestinians to abduct the three youths, it was the Palestinians that did it.

And this also ought to teach us a thing or two about deterrence.

Our media and our politicians have effusively praised Palestinian Authority President and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas for saying a few lines in favor of releasing Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali. But with all due respect, Abbas is responsible for their abduction.

Abbas’s statement calling for the boys to be released was the rhetorical equivalent of trying to put an already exploded bomb back in its shell. Indeed, it is even worse than that. It was Abbas pretending to put a detonated bomb back in its casing after Abbas built the bomb, prepared the fuse and gave the bombers a matchbook.

For 20 years, Abbas and his colleagues in the PA have indoctrinated the Palestinians to view Jews as human scum and seek our annihilation. This message is communicated in all venues. From nursery through the universities, in the mosques, in summer camps, on television, radio and the Internet, Palestinians of all ages are taught that Jews have no right to live. They are encouraged to murder us and view contributing to our destruction as their highest goal in life.

Hostage taking – a war crime – is presented as one of the highest achievements possible. This is why the overwhelming majority of Palestinians applauds and celebrates the kidnap of the three teens.

For 20 years, the PA has indoctrinated its society in a culture of hatred and violence against Israel and the Jewish People. And the results were as predictable as the tides. Nearly 2,000 Israelis have been murdered in Palestinian terror attacks since the PA was established.

Israel can take action to punish the Palestinians for their unlawful behavior. We can arrest their imams for soliciting murder. We can close their schools and shutter their television stations for the same reason.

But we have done none of these things.

All Israel has done in the face of this poison is complain to the Americans.

Even worse than doing nothing, we actively facilitate the PA’s wholesale indoctrination of the Palestinians in genocidal Jew hatred.

Israel funds the PA.

We support the US policy of training and organizing a Palestinian army manned by people who have been subjected to this indoctrination for two decades.

Our leaders proclaim Abbas is a moderate. And still today we say he’s a good guy. The problem, Netanyahu says, is Abbas has formed a unity government with Hamas. But if he quits that, then we will have no beef with him.

The people of Israel want the families’ agony to end.

We want the boys’ terror to end. But the only body that can responsibly accomplish that mission is the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). We cannot find them ourselves.

What we can and must do, however, is protect society as a whole from the next kidnapping. To this end, we need to shame – name by name – the media personalities from Avi Tzvi, the CEO of Reshet, Israel’s largest television franchise, to radio hosts and pop stars like Keren Neubach and Aviv Gefen who demanded the government free 1,027 terrorists from prison.

As for our government ministers, and our prime minister, you need to fix the damage you caused.

You knew when you signed the Schalit deal that the ink was the blood of the victims to come. We didn’t know their identities then. But now we do: Baruch Mizrahi, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaer.

It’s time you understand that after what you did, the only way to change the enemies’ cost-benefit analysis of abductions and other atrocities is for you to change your way of doing business.

This means you have to stop appeasing terrorists and start punishing them. And the punishment needs to be consistent, and painful. Among other things, this means no more money, no more guns and no more legitimacy, not only to Hamas, but to the PA. If you want to do it gradually, you can do it gradually.

It means that every time the Palestinian media broadcasts anti-Jewish bile, they lose something of value.

True, taking such action will likely make it more difficult for elected leaders and military commanders to vacation in Europe. But no one forced you to take your jobs. You asked for the responsibility of providing for the collective defense. And you can’t fulfill your duty by being nice to terrorists or to outsiders who side with them.

Schalit’s media flacks were right. He is a son of all of Israel.

And so are Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal who are now captive because of the deal we signed for Gilad.

As we pray for their speedy and safe return home, we must take action to remove the targets from the backs of every citizen of Israel. Those targets were placed there by our treacherous media, and by successive governments who preferred the cheap perfume scent of appeasement over the blood, sweat and tears required to secure our freedom and security.

New Class Forming - Understanding God's Eternal Plan

Join us for seven weeks that will change your life! Learn about God's eternal plan for Israel--that no man can thwart! Recognize that 50% of Evangelical churches are not in support of Israel and where the Bible teaches we must! Hear how the major covenants of God's Word are interwoven and are essential to know!

Our co-ed summer class will be on Monday nights, beginning July 14 and ending August 25th, and will be held in Anaheim Hills. Class is very limited in size, so register today to secure your spot. Cost is $15 and includes workbook. Payment can be made at first class. Returning students are free! NO HOMEWORK!!!

With anti-semitism rising once again in Europe and subtly sneaking its way into the US, it is important to understand why. With so many Evangelical churches teaching that the promises God made with Israel have been transferred to the church, we encourage you to KNOW the truth! 

Most Christians do not know if they should support Israel or bless the Jewish people. Join us and acquire a deeper and more balanced understanding of the position God expects of us as we consider The Children of Israel--the Jewish People and the Land of Promise.  There are four basic covenants God made with man in the Bible that are interwoven that will be discussed in this class. We will gain an understanding of God's plan for world redemption, using Israel as a vehicle to bring this about.

Song For Israel is here to help. Just us today or contact us about bringing this study to your group. info@SongForIsrael.org

Name *
Name


What Israel is Doing To Locate Kidnapped Teens

Israeli security forces conducted an overnight manhunt in the West Bank, arresting 80 Palestinians connected to the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers. Three boys were on their way home from high school in a Jewish settlement this past Thursday when they were kidnapped. Prime Minister Netanyahu has accused terrorist group Hamas with the abduction. 

"Today I can say what I refrained from saying yesterday ahead of the wave of arrests that captured Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria. Hamas men carried out the kidnapping. This is the same Hamas with which Abbas entered a unity government. This has grave consequences," Netanyahu said. "At this point our focus is on returning the abductees home."

Palestinian officials reject Netanyahu’s accusation that Hamas is responsible. Although Hamas has praised the apparent kidnapping, they will not own up to accepting responsibility for it.

Israeli government is doing everything it can to bring the boys home. The entire nation of Israel weeps for them. A mass prayer service was held yesterday at the Western Wall.

The names of the three teenagers are: Naftali Frenkel, 16; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Eyal Yifrach, 19--who carries dual American-Israeli citizenship. Click below to hear a song from Israel—a cry of the people to have their boys returned:

Please pray for their safe return home!

Operation Lifeshield Delivers Shelter in Netivot

Here is an update from our partners  from Operation Lifeshield in Israel!  Be sure to hear from Sh'muel at about two minutes into the video. Sh'muel visited here last month and many of you met him!

The unsmiling face of Avraham (not his real name) really says it all. There's not much to be happy about. Avraham's 9 year old daughter suffers from perpetual trauma. Every time she hears a loud noise or bang, even on the radio or TV, she becomes hysterical. Too many rockets have landed near Avraham's home in Netivot. Although the one that slammed into their backyard would have been more than enough to send the girl into screaming fits. She can't be alone, and at night she sleeps with her parents - the only way she can relax and get a few hours rest.

We delivered a Lifeshield Bell shelter to Avraham's street yesterday, and he could not contain his gratitude. He has invited me to visit him at his home for coffee next time I visit. And I was thinking that it would be nice if you (yes, you the reader) would join me.

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

Tonight, June 3, 2014, 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 

Fatah-Hamas Form a Unity Government

For years, Fatah and Hamas have rivaled one another, yet this past Thursday, they have formed a unity government between these two main Palestinian factions. Last week, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, announced that the two sides have agreed on a prime minister of the new unity government, Rami Hamdallah. He will form a new transitional government, working together.

(From L to R) Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya and Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzuk pose for a photo.

(From L to R) Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya and Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzuk pose for a photo.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that it will not negotiate with any government that includes Hamas because they are a recognized terrorist organization that refuses to recognize the Jewish state.

The United States views Hamas as a terrorist group, and yet, the United States announced that it will work with the new Palestinian Hamas-Fatah Unity Government. Monday night Jerusalem slammed the United States for this alignment. According to The Times of Israel, Israeli “Officials said that rather than cooperating with a government backed by a terror group, Washington ought to be urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disband his pact with Hamas and resume peace negotiations with Israel.”

How will this new alignment of the United States with the Palestinian unity government affect our relationship with our long-time ally, Israel? Why would we support a government known to be terrorists? How can we allies with two enemies?

Scripture tells us that in the last days, all nations would come against Israel. Is the United States headed in this direction now?

Please pray that our government leaders will see that we cannot sit on the fence with this issue. We need to choose sides and if we want favor from God, then it is clear that we are to side with Israel.

 “I (God) will bless those who bless you (Israel); and I will curse him who curses you.” Genesis 12:3

Israeli Security Arrests Suicide Bomber

Israel has not experienced suicide bombers in the past few years, but this past Friday, an attempt was thwarted. Israeli Security caught a Palestinian man wearing an explosive belt and arrested him.

Guards near the Palestinian city of Nablus were suspicious of a man who was wearing a coat on a hot day. They stopped him and immediately the man dropped to the ground and exposed the explosive belt of 12 pipes of steel.  

Some military analysts have warned that there could be uprisings following the failed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians last month.

Please pray for the safety of those living in Israel and that attempts to harm them would be thwarted, just as this one.

Yom Yerushalayim -- Jerusalem Day (Hebrew: יום ירושלים‎)

Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. This day begins on the 28th day of the month of Iyyar in the Hebrew calendar. On our calendar it begins tonight and the official day is tomorrow. The Six-Day War began with a pre-emptive strike Israel made when Egyptian enemy forces were seen surrounding Jerusalem in preparation for annihilation. Israel was able to remove the enemy forces before they were able to make their initial attack. On the morning of June 7, the order was given to recapture the Old City. Israeli paratroopers stormed the city and secured it. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan arrived with Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to formally mark the Jews’ return to their historic capital and their holiest site.

It was just three years after Auschweitz that Israel became a state….a state without a soul. After the Six-Day War, Israel felt completed because they had captured the Kotel (which is what the Jewish people refer to as the Western Wall), the heart and soul of the people of Israel. At the Western Wall, a shofar was blown to celebrate this capture!

The Six-Day War united Jerusalem. Israel has always wanted to live in peace and after this war, they continue to strive to live together with others in peace. This holiday is declared as a minor religious holiday to thank God for victory in the Six-Day War and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of "Next Year in Jerusalem".

The day is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, parades through downtown Jerusalem, reciting the Hallel prayer with blessings in synagogues, There are also lectures on Jerusalem-related topics, singing and dancing, and special television programming.



A Huge Thank You To Our Israel Expo Volunteers!

This Sunday, over 10,000 people flocked to take part in the annual ISRAEL EXPO at the Orange County Jewish Federation. It was a fun-packed day filled with live entertainment, dancing, demonstrations, exhibitions, shopping, Israeli food and volunteering.

This Sunday, according to the Orange County Register, over 10,000 attendees enjoyed the ISRAEL EXPO organized by the Friends of the Jewish Federation and Family Services and held at Irvine's Samueli Jewish Campus. 

Song For Israel  thanks our many volunteers, some of whom are pictured here.

Israel Expo - May 18th - Go for fun or Volunteer!

For the third year, Song For Israel has the awesome opportunity of recruiting volunteers to help at the Israel Expo in Irvine (next to Mariners Church). If you have never been, plan to spend an hour or so just visiting the booths, riding a camel, watching a movie or eating an Israeli lunch!  Its a fun day for the whole family.

Then volunteer to serve the Jewish people in our own backyard at this event.  For a list of opportunities to volunteer, please click here. There are opportunities during the Expo and in preparation a few days prior to the event.

Let's bless the Jewish people in our community! Sign up today!  (Volunteers are given a free lunch and tshirt).

 

Israel Celebrates 66th Birthday!

66 years ago today, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced Israel's independence at midnight (May 14, 1948 on the Hebrew calendar). Below is an excerpt from his speech:

"The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish People. Here the spiritual, religious, and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world....

"We, the members of the National council...hereby declare the establishment of a jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel."

 On this exciting day 66 years ago, Israel was reborn, that ended 2,000 years of exile, which was clearly written about by the prophets in Scripture, even as far back as Moses. Although there was always a remnant in the land, most were exiled by force and brutality.

God has regathered the Jewish people who were scattered, from the four corners of the earth. They continue to return, fulfilling God's promise, right before our eyes.  A clear prophecy currently being fulfilled is Amos 9:14-15:

"'I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,' Says the Lord your God."

This is yet one more testimony that God will do what He says He will do. We can trust Him because He has proven this over and over again. Throughout the ages, the Jewish people have been persecuted, with repeated attempts to annihilate them. However, God preserved this people group and is now fulfilling His promise to return them to the land of Israel! 

Happy Birthday, Israel!