“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:27)
“HOLY DAYS: Nothing is quite like the fall holidays in Jerusalem. Whether coming or going (or running in circles), another significant date heralds from our calendars to our street corners. Seasonal greetings reverberate through crowded busses and busy supermarkets, as neighbors shout their regards to one another, or offer invitations for the next elaborate holiday meal. Schools and businesses are closed. Storefronts feature distinctive foods, gifts, decorations and special attire. A wonderful sense of anticipation beams from the faces of people around us, as each day seems a festive segue from one celebration to the next.
“Indeed, these are days of joy and delight, but they are not days of lightness or frivolity. They are days of introspection, expectation and preparation. They invite us to a season of wonder and worship, calling us to remember who we are and Who God is. The sweetness of our New Year moves toward the solemnity of Israel’s Most Holy Day, followed by rejoicing for Heaven’s provision and the gift of His Word to mankind. We express our awe. We give voice to our appreciation. We demonstrate our dependence on God for all that we hold precious. But perhaps most significantly, we quiet our hearts (as well as our hands and our homes) to hear what holiness the Almighty longs to share with us.
“Job 26:14 declares, ‘And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?’ If we are listening, we will hear His voice. If we are watching, we will see His face. If we are still, we will sense His presence. For truly, these are Holy Days.
“Love on Yom Kippur, Crystal” (By Crystal Nelson, Internet,October 12, 2005)
Comment: We can rejoice with those Jews who celebrated Yom Kippur. We know many kept it in all sincerity, which is good. But we, as Christians, know that the Law began to be fulfilled in its antitype when Jesus Christ was slain as The Lamb of God. “Let not man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Col. 2:16,17) Of course all the Law is not yet fulfilled because Restitution has not come, except in the return of the Jews to their homeland. When it does come, the Jews, as well as all people, will have a celebration that will make the observance of Yom Kippur as stated above seem like a child’s tea party in comparison.
“The Palestinian Parliament has decided to appoint a committee of lawmakers to investigate the cause of the death of longtime leader Yasser Arafat, alleging Israeli involvement. ‘We believe he was killed’ by the Israelis, deputy parliament speaker Hassan Kreisheh told AP. Israel denies the charge.” (International Jerusalem Post, October 7-13, 2005)
Comment: If the Palestinians could they would blame the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the earthquake in Pakistan, on Israel.
“AUSCHWITZ IS EUROPE’S CHALLENGE: This week we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation; at the same time, a BBC study has found that nearly half those surveyed have never heard of Auschwitz, suggesting that the memory of the Holocaust remains unacceptably corralled in a Jewish ghetto.
“Germany, as the nation that initiated and perpetrated the greatest of all human crimes, bears particular and unforgivable responsibility. But the recent struggle for moral and material restitution forced Europe to confront its sordid past, shattering decades of myths that Germany alone was responsible for the sins of the Holocaust.
“While apologists claim Holocaust fatigue, naysayers spread their lies in open forums, instructors teaching the Holocaust are shouted down by students and we experience insensitivity toward the Holocaust by Europe’s younger generation.
“In the past decade, Holocaust memorials and museums have sprung up around the globe. Yet, inexplicably, the world seems satisfied merely to remember the murder of 6 million Jews rather than confront the causes of their extermination.
“Holocaust conferences, memorials and museums attract government officials and myriad Jews and their friends, while the masses remain ignorant. The Jewish community has created important programs such as the one to bring Jews to the sites of European Jewry’s destruction…life-altering programs supported by European governments and institutions are long overdue. Teaching, not suppressing the Holocausts lessons shall be Europe’s covenant with the victims.
“Germany’s leaders, as they should be, are among the most sensitive and outspoken proponents of Holocaust education and protection of Jewish communities everywhere. Seizing on its unique position, Germany must lead and others should follow in the multinational effort to ensure lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten. Through the European Union and Commission, Germany should advocate legislation similar to its own related to Nazism, extremism and anti-Semitism. A continental education program to teach about the Holocaust and its causes and promote tolerance should be promulgated and a European Holocaust memorial day accompanied by relevant programming in schools and the media should be established and funded.
“Those who believe these actions unnecessary need only observe the resurgence of anti-Semite rhetoric and violence in their city squares. Those who believe this is a uniquely Jewish problem need only examine Rwanda’s recent past, Sudan’s present, and Nigeria’s future. Europe’s governments, religions and institutions must summon the will to confront history and use it to protect the future. In this week of commemoration, the blood of the victims cries out for nothing less.” (Excerpts by Israel Singer, The World Jewish Congress Report, Fall 2005)
“IRAN PRESIDENT, MARCHERS CALL FOR ISRAEL’S DEMISE: despite international outrage, the president continues to urge the destruction of Israel. TEHRAN, IRAN ─ Iran’s ultraconservative president ─ spurning international outrage over his remarks about Israel ─ joined more than 1 million demonstrators who flooded the streets of the capital and other major cities Friday to back his call for the destruction of the Jewish state.
“Mahomound Ahmadinejad stood fast behind his assertion that Israel should be wiped off the map and repeated the call during the nationwide protests Friday, the Muslim day of prayer.
“But in an apparent attempt to blunt international outrage about Ahmadinejad’s comments, the Iranian Embassy in Moscow issued a statement saying the Iranian leader did not want to ‘engage in a conflict.’
“Marching alongside the protesters, the 47-year-old former mayor of Tehran and one-time Republican Guard commander renewed his criticism of the West.
“‘They become upset when they hear any voice of truth-seeking. They think they are the absolute rulers of the world,’ he said during the al-Quds ─ or Jerusalem ─ Day protest, which was among the largest since they were first held in 1979 after Shiite Muslim clerics took power in Iran.
“His fellow marchers carried placards reading, ‘Death to Israel, death to America.’ It is not uncommon for an Iranian president to join marches in the capital. Ahmadinejad was accompanied by five bodyguards, but otherwise security was not out of the ordinary for such an event.
“Despite Ahmadinejad’s continued harsh attacks on the West, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani tried to dial back the rhetoric, suggesting that Israelis and Palestinians hold a referendum to decide the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
“‘If Muslins and Palestinians agree [to a referendum], it will be a retreat, but let’s still hold a referendum,’ Rafsanjani said in his Friday sermon.
“The Iranian Embassy statement in Moscow said Ahmadinejad ‘did not have any intention to speak in sharp terms and engage in conflict.’
“But that was not the message carried by the at least 200,000 Iranians who massed in Tehran to unleash virulent condemnation against Israel, the United States and the West in general, accusing them of oppressing Palestinians and Iran.
“Some demonstrators chanted ‘Israel is approaching its death’ and wore white shrouds in a symbolic gesture expressing readiness for their cause.” (By Ali Akbar Dareini, The Associated Press, October 29, 2005)
“FATAH AGREES: ‘WIPE OUT ISRAEL’: A Military wing of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ruling Fatah faction declared its support on November 6 for Iranian President Mahomound Ahmadinejad’s desire to see Israel ‘wiped off the map.’
“For those unconvinced that the various terrorist organizations that make up the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)/PA ever truly abandoned their own long-stated aspirations to eradicate the Jewish ‘stain’ from the Middle East, the announcement came as little surprise.
“In a leaflet published by Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigade, the group stressed its ‘identification with an overall support of the position and declaration of Iranian president, who called with all honesty to wipe Israel off the map of the world.’ Ahmadinejad was correct in labeling Israel a ‘fictitious Zionist state, which will disappear with the help of Allah,’ according to the leaflet.”
(Bridges For Peace, November 11, 2005)
Comment: “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” (Jer. 30:11) This is the Lord speaking to Israel, so what nations is it that He will make a full end of? All the nations in which the Israelites were scattered, and that includes all, not just the Christian nations. But He certainly has caused the Israelites to be punished many times, including their scattering. So there is nothing to fear from the Fatah’s grandiose words.
“ORLANDO: Muslim and Jewish inmates in the prisons of Seminole County, in central Florida, are being denied religious rights, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in early October. Plaintiff Ernest Holmes, a Muslim prisoner, claims he does not get a prayer rug for his regular devotions, and says he cannot be sure that he is consuming pork-free products. And Jews, Holmes suit asserts, do not get kosher food, a yarmulke or a tallit. A corrections official told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that the county ‘considers any request that is of a religious nature, including requests related to diet.’” (The Jerusalem Report, October 31, 2005)
“SACRAMENTO: California’s curriculum commission has rejected a 6th-grade textbook that Jewish and Hindu groups said was biased and culturally derogatory. David Gershwin of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation told the commission that the publisher, Oxford University Press, turned down a request to change a passage that says there is no historical corroboration for the story of the Exodus from Egypt, and which alleges that the tale’s only purpose is to set Jews apart from other people. Hindu spokespeople objected to a passage called ‘Where’s the Beef?’ and expressed resentment for having their faith represented in the manner ‘of an outdated TV ad.’” (The Jerusalem Report, October 31, 2005)
Comment: The Jewish people have been set apart from other people for many ages. The Lord God set them apart. He said, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth.” (Amos 3:2) And the fact that they have been preserved down to this day corroborates that they are set apart. Any other people who would have been scattered among all the nations of the earth, as the Jews were, would have become integrated with the people of whatever country they were in. But not the Jews, they remained apart, even as they obeyed the laws of the land they were in.
“Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist from Bar-Ilan University, said on July 15 that the discovery of two fragments of a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll from the Dead Sea area gave hope to biblical and archaeological scholars ─ frustrated by a dearth of material unearthed in the region in recent years ─ that the Judean Desert could yet yield further treasure. The two small pieces of brown animal skin, inscribed in Hebrew with verses from the book of Leviticus, most likely are from ‘refugee’ caves in Nachal Arugot, where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century.” (Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2005)
“An Israeli archeological group has been sorting through piles of rubble discarded by the Islamic Trust, custodians of Israel’s Temple Mount. They have discovered artifacts dating back to the First and Second Temple periods.
“Six years ago the Islamic Trust unilaterally constructed a mosque at an underground area in the Temple Mount (known as Solomon’s stables). Following the construction the Muslim custodians discarded more than ten thousand tons of rubble with history-rich artifacts at a garbage dump in the Kidron Valley. These discoveries prove a history, denied by the mufti of Jerusalem, of a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount dating from Abraham’s time to Jesus Christ.” (Bible Light International, Fall 2005)
“RISING HATE: According to a recent audit anti-Semitic crimes in the U.S. are at their highest level in nine years, and, according to the report the increased activity of Neo-Nazi groups is cited as the cause.” (Bible Light International, Fall 2005)
“HAMAS: HAIFA, JAFFA ARE NEXT: Hamas leader Mahmound al-Zahar told tens of thousands of excited Palestinians at a Gaza Strip rally on September 13 that his organization would continue to fight Israel following the withdrawal from Gaza and vowed to liberate Haifa and Jaffa from the hands of its ‘Zionist occupiers.’
“‘We will win in Jerusalem and in Palestine, the whole of Palestine,’ al-Zahar told the cheering crowd. During the event, participants yelled out ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is Great) and chanted in support of izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’s military wing, calling on the group to continue the liberation operation and refuse to disarm.
“The rally marked the climax of several parades and rallies held by the Islamist group two days prior. It was led by dozens of jeeps carrying gunmen, rockets, and shells, while Islamic songs calling for liberating the whole of Palestine were played. Al-Zahar, who was the keynote speaker said the victory was achieved thanks to the blood assassinated Hamas leaders Ahmad Yassin, Abdui Aziz Rantisi, and other martyrs. ‘We know our people is expecting us to continue the liberation journey, until the flag of Islam is raised over Jerusalem.’ he said.
“‘The Zionist enemy knows no other language aside from the language of the fire directed on him by the izz al-Din al-Cassam Brigades,’ he said. ‘We’ll continue to develop our arms industry.’
“Al-Zahar’s remarks came several hours after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), in a televised speech, vowed to end the weapons anarchy in the Palestinian Authority (PA).
“The Hamas leader added that according to his group’s strategy, ‘This land should not have any Zionists in it.’ And said the Palestinian people and his movement would never renounce the right of refugees to return to Palestine.
“Meanwhile, the PA was planning to hold its own large-scale rally on September 14 in the former Gush Katif town of Neve Dekalim. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were expected to attend the celebration.” (By Ali Waked, Ynetnews, September 14, 2005)
“PA GETS $50M FROM U.S., THEN CALLS FOR TERROR AGAINST U.S. SOLDIERS: Palestinian Authority (PA) hatred of the United States is so deeply ingrained in its ideology that it continues to openly promote vicious anti-American hatred ─ even after signing a deal to receive $50 million in direct aid from the U.S.
“Radio and television sermons by senior PA religious officials in the past week have presented the U.S. as foremost among the ‘heretical’ countries and as an enemy trying to dismantle the Islamic world.
“In the presence of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), one religious leader called for Iraqis to intensify terrorist uprisings against American soldiers.
“The timing of these anti-U.S. sermons is particularly significant ─ and not just because they come on the heels of the $50-million grant from the U.S. The PA has received considerable worldwide criticism for the hatred and calls for violence in its official sermons. In recent months, it has been reported that the texts of these sermons are now presented to PA officials for approval before the public broadcasts.” (By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Palestinian Media Watch, September 6, 2005)
“ISRAELI ARABS REJECT JEWISH ZIONIST STATE: A new poll of Israeli Arabs, conducted by a sociologist from the University of Haifa, shows an overwhelming rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a ‘Jewish Zionist state.’
“According to the survey, 73.1% reject Israel’s right to do so, while 72% claim that Israel is a ‘racist state.’ Only 30.4% agreed that Israel has a ‘right to exist as a state of the Jewish people.’ Yet, when asked if Israel has a right to exist as ‘an independent state,’ a large majority of 84.9% said yes. A majority of 70% also said yes when the question was phrased as Israel’s right to exist as ‘a Jewish and democratic state.’” (By Media Line, Dispatch From Jerusalem,BFP)
“HEALING HEARTS: Five Iraqi child-ren with heart ailments have received medical treatment in Israel. The patients and their families received treatment through the Save a Child’s Heart Foundation, which provides urgently-needed pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care for children of the Third World, in conjunction with the Wolfson Medical Center near Tel Aviv. (World Jewry, September-October 2005)
“ISRAELI PRISONER MOVING RUBBLE FINDS SITE OF ANCIENT CHURCH: MEGIDDO PRISON ─ Israeli prisoner Ramil Razilo was removing rubble from the planned site of a new prison ward when his shovel uncovered the edge of an elaborate mosaic, uncovering what Israeli archeologists said yesterday may be the Holy Land’s oldest church.
“The discovery in the town of Megiddo, near the biblical Armageddon, was hailed by experts as an important discovery that could reveal details about the development of the early church in the region. Archaeologists said that the church dates from the third century, years before Constantine legalized Christianity across the Byzantine Empire.
“Israeli officials were giddy about the discovery, with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon calling the church ‘an amazing story.’” (Wire Service, November 7, 2005)
“ISRAELIS DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVES TO ARAB OIL: An Israeli inventor and company are trying to use garbage and leftover olive pulp from olive-oil factories, respectively, to replace oil in providing fuel and electricity to the Jewish State. From one ton of garbage, half a ton of oil or 300 kg (662lbs.) of gas or 150 kg (332 lbs) of green coal can be extracted to produce electricity, according to inventor Dr. Sergel Rosenbery…
“Another company, Genova Ltd., is also working on alternatives to Arab oil. The company signed an agreement according to Globes, with an olive press in the village of Julis, in the Galilee, to establish a small facility to produce electricity from the waste from olive pressing…”
(By Ezra Halevi, Arutz 7, November 9, 2005)
“DEAD SEA, A WORLD TREASURE, IS DYING: Water that kept it supplied is diverted for other purposes. EIN GEDI, ISRAEL ─ When the Ein Gedi Spa opened in 1986 to pamper visitors with massages, mud wraps and therapeutic swims, customers walked a few steps from the main building to take their salty dip in the Dead Sea. Nineteen years later, the shoreline is three-quarters of a mile away. A tractor hauls customers to the spa’s beach and back in covered wagons.
“‘The sea is just running out, and we keep running after it,’ said Boaz Ron, 44, the manager of the resort. ‘In another 50 years, it could run out another kilometer,’
“The Dead Sea, one of the world’s cultural and ecological treasures, is dying. In the past 50 years, the water level has dropped more than 80 feet and the sea has shrunk by more than a third, largely because the Jordan River has gone dry. In the next 20 years, the sea is expected to fall at least 60 more feet, and experts say that nothing will stop it.
“The decline has been particularly rapid since the 1970s, when the water began dropping three feet a year. That created a complex domino effect that is slowly destroying some of Israel’s most cherished plant and wildlife reserves along the Dead Sea’s shores, a key resting stop along the annual migration route for 500 million birds that fly between Europe and Africa.
“The receding waters have left vast mud flats with hundreds of sinkholes that threaten to collapse roads and buildings and have led to a development freeze on Israel’s side of the sea, which lies on the border with Jordan.
“The main problem, experts agree, is that most of the water that once flowed into the sea ─ at 1,371 feet below sea level, the lowest point on Earth ─ is being diverted for drinking water and agriculture.” (The Washington Post, May 20, 2005)
“HAMAS RELEASES VIDEO OF DEFIANT BOMB MAKER: GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP ─ The militant group Hamas today released a rare videotape of a man it said is the shadowy bomb maker who has eluded Israeli forces for more than a decade. The man, who had a dark shadow over his face, was identified as fugitive bomb maker Mohammed Deif. He described Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a victory for armed resistance, rejected calls for his group to disarm and vowed to continue attacks on Israel until the Jewish state is erased from the map.” (Orlando Sentinel, August 27, 2005)
“ISRAEL DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE HURRICANE DAMAGE: Israel is on the forefront of developing solutions to mitigate the damage from hurricanes such as Katrina, which lashed the southeastern United States earlier.
“The Tnufa, ‘Momentum,’ committee, which is headed by Chief Scientist Dr. Eli Opper, has approved a preliminary research and development program aimed at advancing the development of an innovative technology for barriers against floods like the ones that followed Hurricane Katrina, according to a Globes Business report. The technology will make it possible to speedily build anti-flood barriers of any length and height necessary to protect a population center from the kind of massive flooding that destroyed thousands of homes in New Orleans.
“The committee has also approved a preliminary Research and Development program for the development of a small personal water purification system, to be used by those stranded during disasters. Many died of thirst or from drinking contaminated water following the U.S. hurricane.
“‘The recent events in the U.S. lent urgency to these plans,’ said Tnufa director Jacob Fisher. ‘The Tnufa committee has approved $350,000 for 16 preliminary R&D programs. Six of the programs are in the life sciences, three are for information systems, and seven are for consumer products or in other fields.”(Artutz Sheva, www.israelnationalnews.com, September 22, 2005)
“Israel researchers have grown a date palm from a 2000 year old seed found on Masada. The palm is from a variety that became extinct in the Middle Ages and is thought to have powerful medicinal qualities. The plant is now nearly one foot tall and comes from what scientists believe to be the oldest seed ever germinated.” (BBC, June 13, 2005)
“Canada does not recognize the sovereignty of Israel in Jerusalem and has recalled the passports of Canadians who have ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ written in their documents in order to erase the name of the Jewish State from alongside its capital. The B’nai Brith has been fighting a legal battle with Canada’s Ministry of the Interior in order to prevent the move, which is seemingly an emulation of the United States’ policy regarding not writing ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in passports.” (Arutz 7, November 2, 2005)
“HISTORY ON SALE: A rare early handwritten draft of the Balfour Declaration ─ the document in which the British government gave its blessing for the creation of a Jewish state in the land of Israel ─ has sold for $888,000 at a New York Sotheby’s auction.
“The original draft of the 1917 letter from then Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild was written by English Zionist Leon Simon at a meeting at a London hotel.” (World Jewry, July-August 2005)
“TRANSPLANTED HOPE: The circumstances of 12-year-old Ahmed Khatib’s death were tragic. Toting a toy rifle in the Jenin refugee camp, he was shot dead at a range of 130 meters (427 feet) by Israeli soldiers, who were being attacked with gunfire and stones. There is no suggestion that the soldiers acted improperly. From the distance and in the middle of a riot, a toy gun looks chillingly like the real thing, and the soldiers were not to know they were aiming at a child.
“Sadly, Ahmed Khatib is not the first innocent Palestinian child to be killed as a result of the violence, but the awe-inspiring response of his family to this terrible event gives hope to the belief that hatred is not necessarily an inevitable part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“In explaining the family’s decision to donate his son’s organs to Israelis, Ahmed’s father, Ismail Khatib, said: ‘This is a message to the Israeli people that we are not all terrorists. We do not love killing Jews… I do not care who received my son’s organs, whether they are Druze or Muslims or Jews. They are human beings.’
“This noble sentiment mirrors the decision made by the Jesner family, who lost their son Yoni in a Tel Aviv bus bombing three years ago and who donated one of his kidneys to a seven-year-old Palestinian girl. Such gestures are proof that there is genuine hope for co-existence in the Middle East, and it is on such foundations of human decency that Palestinian and Israeli leaders must build.” (Excerpted from a Jewish Chronicle editorial, November 11, 2005)
“U.S. JEWISH LEADER CALLS ‘RELIGIOUS RIGHT’ ‘ZEALOTS’: HOUSTON ─ The leader of the largest branch of American Judaism blasted conservative religious activists in a speech yesterday, calling them ‘zealots’ who claim a ‘monopoly on God’ while promoting anti-gay policies akin to Adolf Hitler’s.
“Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, said that ‘religious right’ leaders believe that ‘unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text, you cannot be a moral person. What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God?’ he said during the movement’s national assembly in Houston, which runs through today.” (Journal Wire Report, November 20, 2005)
“DREYFUS STAMP: The French Postal Service is launching a new stamp in memory of Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish army captain who was wrongly accused of treason in a case that rocked France in the 1890s. The case was considered one of the most glaring examples of national institutional anti-Semitism.
“The Dreyfus case inspired the great French novelist, Emile Zola, to write a now famous article, J’Accuse, in a Paris newspaper, and is said to have been the catalyst for Theodore Herzl’s turn to Zionism.”
(World Jewry, November 2005)