The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

NO ARTICLES FOR TWO WEEKS – TOUR IN ISRAEL!

October 14th, 2014

NO ARTICLES FOR TWO WEEKS – TOUR IN ISRAEL!
by David Hocking

Thanks for your prayers and support. We will not have any new articles for the next two weeks. We have a group of 101 people from all over North America. Pastor Barry Stagner (Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Tustin, CA, is with me on this trip – doing some of the teaching. Also, Pastor Dwight Douville (Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel in Appleton, Wisconsin) is also with us, and will help with the teaching. Thank you for praying!
Love to you all – David

THE SUKKAH, OUR PROTECTIVE FORTRESS

October 13th, 2014

THE SUKKAH, OUR PROTECTIVE FORTRESS
by the first chief rabbit of Israel – Rav Avraham Yitzchak

Torah from the first chief rabbi of Israel, Religious Zionist leader, philosopher, poet and Torah luminary.
First Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, revered and famed Torah sage, philosopher,…

The sukkah booth that we live in during the Succoth holiday is by definition a temporary dwelling. The Sages ruled that a very tall structure, over ten meters high, is invalid as a sukkah because it is a permanent structure. An exposed hut consisting of only two walls and a handbreadth for the third, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable.

And yet, this rickety booth is our protective fortress. As King David said, “You protect them in a sukkah from the strife of tongues” (Ps. 31:21). Why should such a flimsy structure be a paradigm of protection and safety?

The Sukkot of the Great Assembly

To better understand the metaphor of the sukkah, we should examine a remarkable Talmudic passage. In Nehemiah 8:17 it states that, from the time of Joshua, the Jewish people had not dwelt in sukkot until the mitzvah was reinstated after their return from the Babylonian exile. How is it possible that this mitzvah was neglected for so many centuries?

The Talmud in Arachin 32b explains that the Jewish people always performed the mitzvah of dwelling in a sukkah. However, the sukkot erected by the Great Assembly in the time of Nehemiah were special sukkot, possessing a protective quality that had not existed since the days of Joshua bin Nun.

According to the Talmud, these were not even physical sukkot, but rather a unique spiritual act of Ezra and the Great Assembly: “They prayed and abolished the passion for idolatry, and this merit protected them like a sukkah.”

The Ultimate Fortress

Clearly, the protective aspect of the sukkah is of a spiritual nature. The eternal truth is that the sukkah – purposely defined as a structure so flimsy that it cannot even be called a proper dwelling – is a fortress that protects us from all adversaries and foes. What is it that transforms the exposed sukkah into a shelter and stronghold? Certainly not any of its physical properties. Rather, its source of inner strength is none other than God’s word. The sukkah protects us by virtue of the Torah law that declares this structure to be our shelter during the holiday of Succoth.

This is an important message for all times, and especially in our generation. We need great courage to return to the land of our fathers and rebuild our national home. Where can we find the moral and spiritual resolve to withstand the challenges of those who oppose our return and deny our right to a homeland in Eretz Yisrael?

Like the sukkah dwelling, our national home is based on the spiritual strength of God’s eternal word. The most advanced weapons may be able to penetrate the thickest walls, but they cannot prevail over the stronghold of God’s word.

This is our fortress, our ultimate shelter of security: God’s eternal promise that the Jewish people will return to their land and the House of Israel will be built once again.

The protective sukkah of the Great Assembly was the merit provided by their spiritual efforts to abolish the desire for idolatry. Our right to the land of Israel is similarly based, not on our military prowess, but on the moral strength of our eternal covenant with God and the merit of the Torah’s mitzvot.

Beautifying the Law

However, we should not be satisfied with keeping only the minimum requirements of Torah law. Jerusalem was destroyed, the Sages taught, because the judges ruled according to the strict letter of the law. They failed to take into account the spirit of the law and seek a ruling that is both just and compassionate – lifnim mishurat hadin (Baba Metzi’ah 30b).

The mitzvah of sukkah is based on Divine law, but there is an ancient custom to adorn the sukkah with decorated fabrics, fruits, and grains (Sukkah 10a). We should similarly seek to ‘adorn’ the Torah law. We should go beyond the minimum requirements of the Law and aspire to the highest level of God’s word, in its purest ethical form. Then we will merit that “David’s fallen sukkah” (Amos 9:11), the prophet’s metaphor for Jewish sovereignty, will rise again, speedily in our days.

UN CHIEF SLAMS “SETTLEMENT BUILDING” DESPITE FREEZE

October 13th, 2014

UN CHIEF SLAMS “SETTLEMENT BUILDING” DESPITE FREEZE
by Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

UN chief visiting Ramallah criticizes ‘provocations’ at Temple Mount, hitting out at Israeli police – not Arab rioters.

A day after Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) admitted the government is conducting a covert building freeze against Jews in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday bashed “settlement building.”

Ban was in Ramallah, where he held a joint news conference with Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Just a day earlier he justified Hamas terrorism by saying its cause is Israeli “occupation,” at a Cairo donor conference on Sunday that raised $5.4 billion for Gaza.

“While rebuilding is important, we must tackle the root causes of instability. We must give renewed attention to the West Bank. I once again strongly condemn the continued settlement activity by Israel,” said Ban on Monday, according to AFP.

The statement may be a reference to construction plans in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Hamatos that far-left group Peace Now raised to thwart Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit with US President Barack Obama two weeks ago.

The move was in fact merely the approval of building tenders at some future date in the Jewish neighborhood of Israel’s capital, and leaves intact the building freeze gripping the area.

Speaking just hours after Israeli police foiled Arab rioters who were planning violent disruptions on the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism – by locking them in the Al Aqsa Mosque, Ban also slammed “provocations” in a clear barb at law enforcement and not the violent riots.

“I am…deeply concerned by repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem. These only inflame tensions and must stop,” said Ban.

He further urged renewed “peace talks” between Israel and the PA, despite the fact that the PA torpedoed the last round of talks in April with a unity deal with the Hamas terror group, and despite Hamas’s recent terror war on Israel.

“I urge Palestinians to show courage and continue engaging in the…peace process…(and) Israelis to do the same. Time is not on the side of peace. We need to act immediately to prevent a deepening of an already unsustainable status quo,” said the UN chief.

“The Palestinian government of national consensus will play a lead role in…supervising Gaza’s reconstruction with the support of the international community,” added Ban of the unity government with Hamas. “We’d like to see the unity government succeed in assuming its rightful responsibilities and functions in Gaza.”

Hamdallah spoke at the press conference about the pledged $5.4 million to rebuild Gaza after Hamas’s terror war, saying “our plans are ready to rebuild, but it depends on the flow of funds. In 2009 most of the money that was promised didn’t arrive. We hope this time it will be different.”

While world leaders have often sought to make a division between the PA and Hamas, Hamdallah held another joint press conference just last week with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, following the PA unity government’s first cabinet meeting – held in Gaza.

At the conference, Haniyeh said “the division in the Palestinian people has ended. We have one government and one region.”

FOREIGN POWER BEHIND EXPLOSION AT IRAN NUCLEAR FACILITY

October 10th, 2014

FOREIGN POWER BEHIND EXPLOSION AT IRAN NUCLEAR FACILITY
by Israel Today Staff

Israel hopes world doesn’t fall for Iran nuclear ploy
The explosion that apparently devastated a top secret nuclear facility in Iran earlier this week was reportedly caused by a foreign power.

Citing European diplomats, the Al-Rai newspaper in Kuwait identified Israel as being behind the blast at the Parchin military site 30 kilometers southwest of Tehran. According to the newspaper, Iran subsequently ordered Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon to plant bombs along the Israeli border as a response to the action. Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in a border explosion this week.

Western intelligence agencies believe the Parchin site was used for nuclear testing and as a facility to fit nuclear warheads to Iran’s long-range missiles. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors had long been denied access to the site.

The explosion that destroyed the Parchin site was massive. Various reports reveal that windows shattered up to 15 kilometers away. Satellite photographs backed up claims that the explosion was the result of an attack, and showed almost total devastation to the facility.

Israel’s government declined to issue an official statement on the incident, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent weeks had renewed his firm warnings that Israel would not accept a nuclear-armed Iran.

ISIS LOSES GROUND TO KURDS AS US AIRSTRIKES FINALLY EFFECTIVE

October 10th, 2014

ISIS LOSES GROUND TO KURDS AS US AIRSTRIKES FINALLY EFFECTIVE
by Ari Soffer (Arutz Sheva News)

Islamic State pushed out of Kobane by Kurdish fighters as previously ‘ineffective’ US strikes finally hit the mark.

US airstrikes appear to have halted an advance by the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group on the embattled Kurdish city of Kobane, northern Syria.

Despite fierce resistance – including bloody street-by-street battles – the city’s lightly-armed Kurdish defenders were outgunned by ISIS fighters who as of Wednesday were said to have captured as much as a third of Kobane. US airstrikes were criticized for being largely ineffective until now, with Kurdish commanders claiming they were largely hitting peripheral targets and even empty buildings.

But according to reports on Thursday a combination of more effective airstrikes and dogged resistance by the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) militia have succeeded in pushing ISIS out of the town – marking the first time during the recent assault in which the jihadis have lost ground.

Additionally, local reports cited by the BBC claimed that a unit of Free Syrian Army rebels attacked ISIS lines from behind, inflicting serious losses to the Islamists and forcing them to pull back from Kobane to defend against the FSA offensive. ISIS is fighting both the Assad regime and other Syrian rebel groups – all of whom it considers as infidels.

Turkey has continued to call for “more” to be done to defend Kobane – even as Kurds accuse the Turkish government of indirectly supporting the jihadis as a way of crushing Kurdish hopes for independence in the region. Turkey itself has ruled out any ground offensive to rescue the city, and has deployed significant forces to its border with Syria to prevent Kurds from crossing over to help defend Kobane, sparking angry riots in Kurdish cities throughout Turkey.

The lack of action by Turkey is reportedly a source of “deep frustration” in Washington as well, according to media reports. Secretary of State John Kerry has reportedly been asking Turkish government officials why no action is being taken despite parliamentary approval for military intervention.

The UN says that if Kobani falls, a “bloodbath” will ensue, and Kurdish leaders have warned of an impending “genocide”.

ISRAEL BASHER’S PHONY CONTRITION

October 7th, 2014

ISRAEL BASHER’S PHONY CONTRITION

On August 19 Horton published a 1,600-word letter criminalizing Israel.
Rambam Medical Center

Horton came to Israel last week the guest of Rambam Medical Center in a bid to dig himself out of the hole he dug himself into. On August 19 Horton published a 1,600-word letter criminalizing Israel. In it, Israel was accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The authors called for a boycott of Israel, including Israeli academia. Since its publication on Lancet’s website, the letter has garnered 20,000 signatures.

The letter made no mention of the fact that the war this summer was initiated by Hamas through its illegal missile, mortar and rocket offensive against Israeli population centers. The esteemed medical professionals who wrote the letter failed to mention that Hamas’s operational headquarters was located in Shifa hospital in Gaza. And of course, they ignored the underlying fact that Hamas’s entire campaign against Israel was a crime against humanity.

Immediately following its publication, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the head of NGO Monitor, exposed that the letter’s principal authors are frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Semites. Dr. Paola Manduca and Dr. Swee Ang disseminated a video entitled, CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix. It was produced by the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke.

As Britain’s Telegraph reported, in disseminating the video, Ang exhorted her audience to understand that the Jewish threat outlined in the video is a threat to humanity. In her words, it “is not about Palestine – it is about all of us!” For her part, as the Telegraph reported, Manduca has accused Israel of responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombing. And she disseminated an article comparing Israel to a “strangler fig,” which as the Telegraph explained, “grows around other trees and takes their sunlight, often resulting in the deaths of the original trees.”

Steinberg cataloged Horton’s long record of publishing anti-Israel slanders under the guise of a scientific research. Horton responded with indignation to the initial criticisms of his decision to publish the defamatory letter. He told the Telegraph that the anti-Semitic views of letter authors were “utterly irrelevant.” He called criticism of his decision to publish the letter, “a smear campaign.”

Horton then pledged not to retract the letter – which is still posted on Lancet’s website – “even if [criticism of the authors] was found to be substantiated.”

Yet as the outrage mounted against him, and the stench of the Jew hatred of his colleagues grew stronger, Horton began to feel the heat. So after refusing to publish a letter from Israeli doctors from Rambam rejecting the libelous attacks against Israel, Horton accepted Rambam’s invitation to come to Israel last week and learn firsthand how none of his allegations were true.

At the end of his three-day visit, Horton gave a lecture at Rambam where he condemned the Cossack-style Jew hatred of his colleagues Ang and Manduca. But despite his seeming contrition, Horton did not disavow their letter. He did not agree to remove the slander from The Lancet’s website.

Horton’s selective contrition was an expression of contempt for Israel, for his Israeli hosts and for their Herculean efforts over three days to demonstrate to him that Israel is good, not evil. Yet, instead of calling him on his obnoxious behavior, the heads of Rambam and other critics embraced him and praised his transformation.

As Dr. Anthony Luder, the director of pediatrics at Ziv Medical Center in Safed, wrote in a letter to The Jerusalem Post published Monday, “In what looks like an academic version of the Stockholm Syndrome, my esteemed colleagues at Rambam Medical Center have only succeeded in throwing sand in the face of the medical community by providing legitimization for a hateful hypocrite and terrible scientist.”

Horton’s behavior is very much in keeping with what has become standard operating procedure throughout much of Europe today. First, attack Israel. If you get called on it, issue a clarification or a clearing-of-the-throat apology that does not contain any retraction of your falsehoods. For your willingness to rhetorically temper your mendacious allegations, you can expect to be forgiven by Israel and those who care about truth in your country.

CONSIDER THE new Swedish government’s behavior.

During his inaugural speech last Friday, the new Social Democrat Swedish Prime Minister, Stefen Lofven, announced that his government will recognize the non-existent State of Palestine.

Israel rightly responded angrily to his statement, noting that the reason no peace accord has been signed between Israel and the Palestinians is because the Palestinians have scuttled and prevented negotiations for the past five years.

In the face of Israel’s angry rebuke of Lofven’s statement, the Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv issued a clarification saying that Sweden supports a negotiated settlement and values its ties with Israel. Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser told Army Radio that the remark was simply made to jump-start peace talks.

Lofven’s statement was not notable because he revealed himself as a fan of Palestinian terrorists who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. That’s been Sweden’s policy for decades.

What was notable about Lofven’s statement is that he made it in his inaugural address to the Swedish Parliament.

What this means is that in Sweden, supporting the Palestinians against Israel is not a foreign policy issue. It is a domestic policy issue.

As Benjamin Weinthal documented in Monday’s Post, Swedish Social Democrat politicians with no connection to foreign policy have long records of vilifying Israel and condemning Jews that insist on supporting the Jewish state. Lofven’s government reflects this anti-Israel, and frankly anti-Semitic trend.

Lofven appointed Turkish-born Green Party politician Mehmet Kaplan to serve as urban planning and environment minister in his government. Three years ago Kaplan participated in the illegal, pro-Hamas Turkish flotilla to Gaza as a passenger aboard the Mavi Marmara terrorist ship. In a rally over the summer, he used jihadist language and called for the “liberation of Jerusalem,” and the “liberation of Palestine.” Kaplan has likened Swedish jihadists who travel to Iraq and Syria to fight for Islamic State to Swedish freedom fighters who fought against the Soviets in Finland during World War II.

Other leading politicians in the Social Democratic Party have traveled to Israel and participated in riots against IDF forces.

In other words, Swedish politicians have identified anti-Israel activism as a potent tool for garnering domestic support. This is why Lofven spent so much more time discussing it in his inaugural address than he spent discussing the killing fields in Syria and Iraq, for instance.

But just as Horton wasn’t willing to be lumped together with his Ku Klux Klan-supporting comrades, so the Swedes aren’t willing to admit that their hostility towards Israel owes to domestic considerations that have nothing to do with what Israel does.

Horton’s phony contrition and the Swedish embassy’s “clarification” flow from the same source. And they tell us something about what is happening in Europe and how we need to deal with Europe as it transforms itself before our eyes.

Europe is abandoning the ideals of the Enlightenment, and embracing authoritarianism and irrationality.

But it isn’t willing to admit what it is doing. As a consequence, it is possible to hearken to those ideals to shame Europeans for their irrational bigotry and so slow the process down.

Horton will no doubt revert to open defamation of Israel in due time. The Swedish government will similarly attack us in due course.

But forcing them to slow down is important.

Whether or not Europe’s downward spiral is unstoppable is irrelevant for Israel because what is clear enough is that if Europe decides to abandon its current path, it won’t be because of anything Israel does.

Facing this situation, Israel must be guided by two goals as it confronts Europe. It needs to stop caring about what Europeans think of it, and it needs to reduce as much as possible its exposure to the European market.

On the latter issue, unless something fundamental changes, it is undeniable that at some point in the next 10 to 15 years, Europe will join the Arab League’s boycott of Israel. Israel needs time to develop alternative markets for its exports.

On the former issue, Europe’s main non-economic weapon against Israel today is the fact that the Israeli public and particularly Israel’s elites still care what Europe thinks of us. Israelis need time to understand that European hatred for Israel has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Israel does.

SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD MIKVEH FOUND IN VALLEY OF ELAH

October 7th, 2014

SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD MIKVEH FOUND IN VALLEY OF ELAH
by Omit Etzer and Ari Yashuer (Arutz Sheva News)

Archaeologists stunned to find inscription by Australian soldiers from World War II alongside 1,900-year-old Jewish ritual bath.

Israel Antiquities Authority excavations in the Valley of Elah’s Tzomet Haelah, funded by the Netivei Israel state transportation company, made a rare discovery recently in unearthing a mikveh (ritual Jewish bath) from the Second Temple period.

In an interesting intertwining of time periods, on the roof of an adjacent massive water cistern inscriptions were found, made in the rock by Australian soldiers who were on the site during World War II.

The 1,900-year-old mikveh and 1,700-year-old water cistern were unearthed in explorations ahead of the construction of Highway 38.

“We found a mikveh with five steps quarried into the rock, with the fifth step serving as a bench to sit on the lip of the ritual immersion pool,” said Yoav Tsur, the Authority’s director of excavations.

Elaborating on the find, Tsur noted “at the site we found intricate pottery shards from the second century CE, including candles, red burnished vessels, a jug and cooking pots. It appears that during the second century CE the mikveh fell out of use, possibly in light of the events of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 CE).”

“South of the mikveh, an entrance carved in the rock was found that apparently served as an entrance to an expansive water reserve,” continued Tsur.

“It seems that in an early period, the reserve was smaller, and served as an otzar (water collecting vat) for the mikveh. When the mikveh stopped serving its original function, the reserve cavity was widened to its larger dimensions, and next to it was built a wide space to make water drawing easier,” noted the archaeologist.

During the excavation, researchers were surprised to discover more modern finds – namely the Australian soldiers’ inscriptions on the reserve’s ceiling, showing that the site was known of in the 1940s.

“Among other things, two names were identified inscribed into the rock in English: Cpl Scarlett and Walsh,” said Peretz. “Adjacent to the names, the abbreviation RAE was carved with two numbers, NX9168 and NX7792. Under the writing appears the date 30/05/1940.”

Explaining the inscriptions, Peretz noted they realized they were made by soldiers since Cpl stands for Corporal, with the numbers being their military identity numbers, and RAE standing for Royal Australian Engineers.

By searching the Australian government archives, the Authority located Corporal Philip William Scarlett, born in Melbourne in 1918 who served in the war and died in 1970, and Patrick Raphael Walsh, who was born in Cowra in 1910 and died in 2005.

Apparently the two were part of the Australian Sixth Division stationed in Israel during the British Mandate to undergo training before joining the combat in France, although France’s early surrender had them sent to Egypt in October 1940.

“If the relatives of these people are acquainted with the story, we’ll be happy if they contact us and we’ll share with them the warm greetings left behind by Scarlett and Walsh,” the Israel Antiquities Authority released in a statement.

In another discovery on the site, Peretz noted “the fins of British mortar bombs were found while searching the site, as were twenty-seven rifle cartridges, six of which were manufactured in Australia and fired in the region.”

Tsur summarized the finds, saying they “allow us to reconstruct a double story: about the Jewish settlement in the second century CE, probably against the background of the events of the Bar Kokhba revolt, and another story, no less fascinating, about a group of Australian soldiers who visited the site c. 1,700 years later and left their mark there.”

Pablo Betzer, the Authority’s district archaeologist for the Judah region, stated that in light of the discoveries, it was requested that Netivei Israel change the route of the highway around the junction to preserve the finds, a proposal that the company agreed to.

NETANYAHU: CRITICISM OF CONSTRUCTION IS AGAINST AMERICAN VALUES

October 6th, 2014

NETANYAHU: CRITICISM OF CONSTRUCTIONS IS AGAINST AMERICAN VALUES
by Ben Ariel (Arutz Sheva News)

In CBS interview, Prime Minister Netanyahu says he is “baffled” by U.S. condemnation of Israeli plans to build in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview which aired Sunday on CBS that the White House’s rebuke of Israeli construction in Jerusalem goes “against American values”.

In the interview, which was recorded on Thursday and of which excerpts were quoted by The Associated Press (AP), Netanyahu said he did not accept restrictions on where Jews could live, and said that Jerusalem’s Arabs and Jews should be able to buy homes wherever they want.

He said he was “baffled” by the American condemnation.

“It’s against the American values. And it doesn’t bode well for peace,” Netanyahu told CBS. “The idea that we’d have this ethnic purification as a condition for peace, I think it’s anti-peace.”

The recently backlash against Israel is mainly over a plan to build 2,610 new homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Hamatos.

The housing units were slated for construction since 2012 and were given final approval last week.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki criticized the move, using unusually harsh language in doing so.

She said the step would send a “troubling message” and added the construction would “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations.”

Netanyahu later fired back at the United States’ criticism, telling NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell that the U.S. should study the facts before it criticizes Israel over its construction.

“I think the important thing is to just get the facts right. I mean start with the facts,” he told Mitchell.

Psaki later rejected Netanyahu’s claims, saying, “I think we have our information clear, and we responded to the facts on the ground.”

The White House declined to comment on Netanyahu’s statements in the CBS interview, noted AP.

In the same interview, Netanyahu warned that the “Islamic State” (ISIS), Hamas and Iran are locked in a competition to become the dominant Islamist power in the Middle East, which threatens both the United States and Israel.

“ISIS has got to be defeated because it’s doing what all these militant Islamists are trying to do. They all want to first dominate their part of the Middle East, and then go on for their twisted idea of world domination,” he said.

“The difference between ISIS and Hamas and ISIS and Iran and so on is they all agree that the world should be an Islamist hill, but … each of them wants to be the king of the hill,” he added.

“They want to accumulate enough power to then carry out their mad ambitions,” said Netanyahu.

The Israeli Prime Minister also warned in the interview about what he believes are the dangers of making a deal on nuclear capabilities with Iran.

“This is the greatest terrorist regime in the world. And we don’t want them to have the ultimate weapon of terror, which is nuclear weapons. My fear is that they would get the ability to enrich enough uranium for a bomb in a very short time, weeks, months, and that’s the deal that I hope is not signed,” Netanyahu said.

He said that such a deal would be bad for both the U.S. and Israel because Iran will not allow inspectors into the state and will exploit a time of crisis around the world to enrich enough material for a bomb that can be taken out of Iran by ship.

“I think it would endanger the future of our common civilization,” he said of Iran, or a power like ISIS, gaining a nuclear weapon.

“The greatest danger that I see from these militant Islamists is that they will marry their mad ideologies to weapons of mass death. That is a threat not only to my people, the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel, but to your people. They view us as one because of our tolerant societies, whom they think is weak and corrupt,” he said.

NETANYAHU HOME BIBLE STUDY HIGHLIGHTS ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO THE LAND

October 6th, 2014

NETNAYAHU HOME BIBLE STUDY HIGHLIGHTS ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO THE LAND
by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday hosted his sixth open Bible study at the official Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem since reestablishing the practice two years ago.

The event was attended by dozens of leading rabbis and academics, many of them members of Knesset and the current government.

One of those participating in the round-table discussion was Education Minister Shai Peron, who spoke on the topic of why the Bible begins with the story of creation, rather than jumping straight into God’s relationship with and commandments to the Nation of Israel.

Peron cited the famous 11th century Jewish sage Rashi, who taught that the Bible begins with the story of creation to demonstrate that the whole world belongs to God, and He gives this land or that to whom He will.

Netanyahu noted that there are many in the world today who do not accept Israel’s divine appointment to this particular land, and who seek to defame the Jewish people and deny their birthright.

The Prime Minister said that while these open Bible studies have only been held a handful of times, the Word of God is studied in his home at least once a week. Netanyahu’s younger son, Avner, won the National Bible Quiz for Youth in 2010, and, according to the Prime Minister, often leads their home sessions.

ABOUT YOM KIPPUR AND GOD’S FORGIVENESS

October 3rd, 2014

ABOUT YOM KIPPUR AND GOD’S FORGIVENESS
(Article from the “Jesus Boat” Museum in Israel)

The Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur is one of the most holy days in the Jewish calendar. In accordance to Leviticus 16:29-31 Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, is commanded to be on the 10th day os the Jewish month of Tishri. As mandated by the Torah, it is a day spent in prayer atoning for our sins and it is a day of strict rest.

Preparations for Yom Kippur begin early in the morning. It is very important to prepare for Yom Kippur because as evening falls, we completely cease all work, all food, all drink and fall into the time for atonement. Therefore, the body needs to be prepared for the fast and the mind and soul need to be prepared to be in the proper place to ask for forgiveness.

Two large meals are prepared and eaten – one earlier in the day and one just prior to the onset of Yom Kippur – to prepare the body for the 25 hour fast. Before the onset of Yom Kippur we must conclude the seeking of forgiveness from any person we may have wronged during the past year. Another important component is to give a blessing of your children. There is no set formula for this blessing, but it usually includes hoping one’s children will be righteous, Torah observant, have wisdom, and a heart filled with awe for God. Additionally, we also give to charity, a little more than usually. These customs will help prepare our minds and spirits to seek forgiveness from God.

As daylight begins to wane we conclude our preparations with one final meal. The meal needs to be concluded and candles lit 18 minutes prior to sunset. After the candles are lit, the fast begins. The fast lasts for 25 hours and 18 minutes. We abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather footwear and abstain from spousal intimacy. We spend much of our day engaged in repentance and prayer.

In the course of Yom Kippur five prayer services are held. The tallit or prayer shawl is normally only worn for morning services. However, on Yom Kippur the tallit is worn in the night service called Kol Nidrei as a symbol of the special reverence of this day. The final prayer service is the Neilah (locking) prayer. The Neilah culminates in the resounding cries of the Shema Yisrael… “Hear O Israel, The Lord Our God, God is One…” Then joy erupts throughout the synagogue with song and dance. Yom Kippur is concluded with a single blast from the shofar and the proclamation, “Next Year in Jerusalem!”

When 3 stars appear in the sky we are permitted to break the fast. While there is no particular food associated breaking the Yom Kippur fast, it is customary to eat a dairy meal. Many Israeli families have a dish called pashtida. This is an egg dish something akin to a quiche. Other popular break the fast dishes are kuggel, blintzes, and bagels with cream cheese.

Yom Kippur is the most solemn of days in Jewish calendar. But, it is also a time for elation because we know that we have followed God’s law and been forgiven for our sins. On Rosh HaShanah God inscribed each person’s fate for the year to come in the Book of Life, but the book was kept open to allow for changes for the repentant soul. For the past 10 days, the Days of Awe, we have been atoning for our sins. On Yom Kippur God seals the Book of Life. We move forward with the next year confident that God has sealed our favorable verdict in the Book of Life for a year filled with life, health, and happiness.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement for the Nation of Israel. It is spiritually healthy, of course, to seek forgiveness from those we have offended or hurt during the past year. However, in spite of the sincerity of many Jewish friends during this day (the only day in which the LORD GOD commanded a “fast” or to “afflict our souls.”), forgiveness in these traditional Jewish ways are often ignoring the heart of forgiveness as taught in the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament). Consider the following:

Psalm 32:1-5 – “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

Psalm 51:1-12 – “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot our y transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightiest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, Thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”

Isaiah 43:25 – “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

Isaiah 44:21-22 – “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art My servant: I have formed thee; thou art My servant: O Israel, thou shall not be forgotten of Me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee.”

It is the LORD GOD and His Messiah that provide eternal redemption and forgiveness. It is not based upon our efforts and works, but on the redemption of the Messiah, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. May God help us to understand our need of forgiveness – it comes from the Lord and is certainly based on our confession of sin to Him.

Psalm 130:7-8 – “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

To be “inscribed” in the Book of Life is NOT a yearly practice based upon our good deeds – but it is a fact of God’s grace and mercy given to those who confess and forsake their sin, and put their complete trust in the finished work of the Messiah of Israel! We need to be permanently “inscribed” in the Book of Life!
God bless you all!)


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