Tisha B'Av - A Jewish Day of Mourning

Tisha B'Av is the Fast of the Ninth of Av (Jewish calendar) and begins at sundown, July 25th. It is a time for mourning, the saddest day in Jewish history, which primarily commemorates the destruction of the First (586 BC) and Second (70 CE) Temples in Jerusalem. It boggles the mind to think that both Temples were destroyed on the very same day of the Hebrew calendar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ray Vander Laan Speaks at Friends Church about Israel

Join Focus on the Family for an evening of teaching with author and historian Ray Vander Laan as they celebrate the release of “Israel’s Mission”, the newest volume in the That the World May Know® film series.

This free event will be at Friends Church Yorba Linda, 5141 Lakeview Avenue, Yorba Linda, CA 92886 on July 21, 2015, at 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm.  To register for this free event, please

Song For Israel will have a table near the registration area, so please stop by to say hello!

* Childcare is not available.

Eden Kibbutz in Karmia, Israel

Many thanks to those who donated toward our bomb shelter project for the Eden Center located in Kibbutz Karmia, which is south of Ashkelon, and 2 miles north of Gaza border. On my last day in Israel, I was able to visit the center to see where the bomb shelter would be placed and to meet the Director of the center.

Shirley (center) is the Director of the Eden Center for girls

Shirley (center) is the Director of the Eden Center for girls

We visited the five dorms that house 12-15 girls each, who share in responsibilities of kibbutz life. Check out the collage of pictures below.

This school for abused girls is located two miles from the Gaza border. In the 2014 war, just outside their gate, the IDF used the area for an outpost. Rockets hit this area constantly and the girls ran for cover in the existing bomb shelters. As a sixth dorm is being completed next month, the bomb shelter donated by Song For Israel will be placed just outside the new dorm. 1-2 rockets hit this area per week even during non-war times so the sound of the siren is very familiar.

A prominent coffee chain, Espresso, donated a coffee/food truck to the center and the qualified girls in the center are employed as the truck roams from city to city providing food and drink. 50% of the profits go back into the kibbutz and the other 50% is saved for the girls when they "graduate" from kibbutz living and are ready to go out on their own.

Deby Brown, Director of Song For Israel, presented Shmuel Bowman, Director of Operation Lifeshield, a check for $10,861 to purchase a bomb shelter for the Eden Center for girls.


Our new bomb shelter project is now underway. If you would like to contribute to another worthy cause (to be determined shortly), please click here.


Pictures from Tel Aviv

Our tour group only spent one day in Tel Aviv. A few of us (women) ventured out to the beach and didn't know that there are sections designated to men, women or mixed.  We walked into the men's section and were kindly ushered out by an Orthodox Jewish man.  Things are different here in Israel!

Enjoy a few pictures that were taken from the women's section. Notice that many of the women are fully clothed even in the water!  Beautiful Mediterranean Sea!

$10,861 Donated to Build Bomb Shelter Near Gaza

Yesterday, Deby Brown, President of Song For Israel presented a check to Shmuel Bowman, Director of Operation Lifeshield in Jerusalem in the amount of $10,861.50. A new bomb shelter will be purchased and delivered to the Eden Center school for girls just two miles from the Gaza border, keeping them safe when rockets are directed in their area. 

To learn more about this bomb shelter project or to donate to our next bomb shelter project, please click here.

"This Year in Jerusalem"

One of the common phrases chanted by Jewish people and Christians who want to visit Jerusalem is "next year in Jerusalem." We hope you will join us in 2016 for one of our tours.  Here are some highlights from the City of Jerusalem!


Greetings from Greece!

The Song For Israel/History on the Move Tour 2015 has finished our Greece portion of the trip.  We leave for Israel tomorrow.

We thought you might enjoy a collage of some of the many pictures that were taken on the trip. in Greece.  Enjoy!

More Sirens Sound in Israel as Another Rocket Hits

In the past two weeks, there have been three incidents of rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel by Hamas. The most recent rocket landed in an open area near Ashkelon on Saturday. Ashkelon is about 10 miles from the Gaza border. The bomb shelter we are working to provide is only two miles from the Gaza border. The girls at the Eden Center heard the sirens and ran for what protection they could find.

Could this be a precursor to what happened last summer when Israel and Hamas fought a deadly war in which more than 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed? The mayor in Ashkelon is cautioning that Israel is facing the "moment of truth" regarding Gaza. The Israeli government has urged the Palestinians to stop the trickle of rocket fire before the situation deteriorates.

Israel has vowed a "zero tolerance" against attacks and an immediate response to rocket fire. If rockets continue to invade Southern Israel, the summer of 2015 could look much like the summer of 2014, unfortunately. Please pray that this escalation does not occur and pray for peace in the area.

The girls at the Eden Center are so close to the border that they have only 7 seconds to find shelter. We have collected $10,500 toward the $14,000 bomb shelter that is needed for their protection. Our campaign ends June 12th. Won't you consider making a tax-free donation to help us complete the goal and save lives? To learn more about this shelter project, please click here.  Click here to donate to this life-saving cause.

 

Gaza Fires Rockets into Israel

Alarms sounded in Southern Israel this past Tuesday night and at least one rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a town outside Ashdod. There were no reports of any damage nor injuries.

Jerusalem holds Hamas responsible for the attack and is suspected due to an internal dispute inside the Islamic Jihad terrorist group. A new Islamic commander was supposed to begin his new position Tuesday, but his predecessor opposed it, which created tensions between the two commanders' supporters. 

Israel is wary of Gaza terrorist groups rearming after Operation Protective Edge's ceasefire in August 2014. The IDF says Hamas has been conducting test launches in recent months, in order to increase its rocket-launching capabilities.

Iron Dome interceptors have been relocated to Northern Israel (in anticipation of a Hezbollah assault), and therefore, none of the five reported rockets launched into Israel were intercepted. The area where the rocket hit was between Ashkelon and Ashdod--an area where Operation Lifeshield has placed many shelters and continues to do so when funding is available. 

Song For Israel is coming to the rescue for the girls living at the Eden Center--all the girls ran for cover as sirens blared and the sound of the rockets exploding filled the area. The new shelter dedicated by Song For Israel will provide additional protection for those needing to run to safety within 6-7 seconds of the alarm.

Please watch the video below to learn more about the Eden Center and to donate to save the lives of these girls. We have collected $10,500 as of May 31, 2015 and need an additional $3,500 to meet our $14,000 goal to have this shelter installed as soon as possible.  Our current Bomb Shelter project ends June 10, 2015! Please donate by clicking here.


Bomb Shelters Needed in Israel to Help Save Lives

Israel’s surrounding enemies have acquired sophisticated long-range missiles and are capable of reaching any location within the Israeli borders. Today the Jewish people face annihilation from radical Muslims, including Palestinians and Hezbollah, who continually launch missiles from Gaza to attack towns in southern Israel. The violence escalated sharply since Israel withdrew from Gaza in the summer of 2005. Often, when the air-raid sirens sound in towns such as Sderot or Askelon, there is nowhere for innocent civilians to run for cover. Unfortunately, many do not survive. Because we believe that the Jewish people have a right to live in Israel, Song For Israel believes they have a right to be protected in their land from enemies surrounding them.

"We live in fear and anxiety… We have only 15 seconds to find a shelter..."

Song For Israel recognizes the need for providing bomb shelters to those who cannot afford them.  How frightening it must be to know that your family would not be protected because they have no shelter. We are launching a campaign and will be partnering with “Operation Lifeshield” (a non-profit Israeli charity) to provide one small bomb shelter in Israel. “Operation Lifeshield” has placed bomb shelters at public bus stops and schools in the western Negev, to protect the location population from the recurring rocket barrages. To date, they have donated over 25 shelters in Sderot, Ashkelon and other nearby towns and villages.

Our current project is the Eden Organization, which is located in the Negev region of Israel, impacting thousands of children and teenagers. However, they do not have a bomb shelter at this facility. Song For Israel is partnering with Operation Lifeshield to provide a shelter for them. The bomb shelter will cost $14,000. 

Right now, Song For Israel has already raised $9,600.50 toward this project. We are very close to being able to provide safety for these needy friends in Israel.  Please watch this video and then click here to donate to this project. Thank you for helping us to bless them!

The program provides special shelters for social service institutions located in areas hardest hit by rockets launched by Hamas. Working together with the an Israel Government Ministry, we select a social service institution (i.e. a residential school for troubled teen girls near the Gaza border) and raise funds for a special shelter. OperationLifeshield pays half the amount, and Israel pays the other half. 


The shelter will serve as a lasting testimony of Christian love to those who seek safety and comfort inside. It is a wonderful opportunity to express love to the Jewish people. In 2013, we collected over $2,000 and presented our check on our 2013 Israel tour. Help us in 2015 to present an even larger amount to help save lives.  This campaign ends June 30, 2015.

We can make a difference in Israel. We are asking you to partner with us to protect the lives of our Jewish friends in Israel. Very soon, we will be able to give you information about the city where this will be placed and we will provide regular updates on the progress of this campaign .  Start by making a donation today and know that you are helping people find safety because of your gift.

To donate to the Bomb Shelter Project in Israel, please click here.

Feast of Harvest/Pentecost Will be Celebrated This Sunday!

 

God gave us two of His most priceless gifts on this day: The Torah (His Holy Word) and the Holy Spirit. We need both—the Truth of God’s Word AND the Holy Spirit. But it is the Spirit that gives us the grace to live out that Truth in our daily lives.

Feast of Weeks marks the summer harvest or the wheat harvest. A Wave Offering was given of two leavened loaves of wheat before the Lord. It is a day to give thanksgiving for God’s ONGOING provision for His people. A Burnt Offering of 7 lambs, one bull, 2 rams, grain, oil, wine, a Sin Offering of a male goat, a Peace Offering of 2 male lambs were also part of Shavuot.

Feast of Harvest is 50 days after First Fruits (seven weeks/Sabbaths plus one day after Day of First Fruits) lasts one day. It is the only Feast that does not have a specific date attached to it, but you must count it down from Passover. The Jews call this “counting the Omer.” The counting begins with the wave offering of barley at Passover and continues for 49 days until the wheat offering on Shavuot.Historical –

According to Rabbinic tradition, Moses and the people received the Torah or Law at Mt. Sinai on this day.

This is also the same day that God poured out the Holy Spirit on His followers and united believers into the church referred to in Acts 2. Instead of the priest waving sheaves before the Lord (as was done at Passover), he waved together two loaves of bread baked with leaven, which were brought to the Temple. This unity of the Jews and Gentiles is illustrated by the two leavened loaves waved together.

Believers were empowered that day to live a holy, Spirit-led life and be His witnesses – in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!

They also made animal sacrifices as an offering to the Lord. No work was to be done on this day. This event would have marked the end of the wheat harvest and the Jews were commanded to remember the poor as they harvested the grain God had generously given them. They were reminded to leave the corners of the field for the poor and alien to glean. The traditional Scripture reading for Shavuot is the Book of Ruth, who gleaned in the fields of Boaz.

On Pentecost (the same day as Shavuot), Israel saw an amazing reversal. After receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, 3,000 souls perished because of the sin of the golden calf (Exodus 32:28). On this same date, all those years later, this same number of souls were saved after the Holy Spirit was poured out! About 3,000 people were added to the community of believers on Pentecost (Acts 2:41). The Spirit of God reversed the destruction caused by the sin of man!

 The promise of the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the Church: Jews/Gentiles in one body

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem Day

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

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

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

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




 

Three Weeks Left in our Israel Bomb Shelter For Abused Girls Campaign

The project in Israel that we support is called the Eden Center for girls, ages 12 - 18, who have been removed from abusive situations only to find themselves a short two miles from Gaza. Being that close to Gaza gives the girls only a quick 7-second run, once the siren sounds, to make a run for a bomb shelter for safety. During non-war times, they continue to experience one or two rockets headed in their direction per week. 

Regular and frequent rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea indicate the steady buildup and recovery of the terrorist organization's weapons stockpiles, reports Shmuel Bowman, Director of Operation Lifeshield. Shmuel met with Israeli Navy soldiers yesterday who confirmed that they personally witnessed  Hamas exercises involving the firing of rockets into the sea, which clearly indicates an eventual plan to initiate another round of violence against Israeli communities.  They are monitoring the situation closely and are actively doing as much as possible to help prepare for fresh rocket attacks.

Our campaign to help the girls will be completed in only three weeks when we will personally present a check to Shmuel Bowman at Operation Lifeshield, who will install the shelter at the Eden Center. 

Please watch the video below and then plan to make a donation to help us reach our goal. This shelter will cost $14,000 and we have collected $9,750 to date! We need your help before another war breaks out or a rocket hits the middle of the Eden Center and takes the life of a young girl. Click here to donate. (Please write "Bomb Shelter" on your donation for this project). 

Song For Israel Celebrates FOUR Years!

Today, May 3, 2015, Song For Israel celebrates its fourth year! We've grown and hit our stride! Please celebrate some of our four-year highlights below. Please leave a comment if you participated in our events! Happy Birthday, Song For Israel!