of Truth, Simchat Torah
Today the agreed period of settlement freeze by Israel in the territories comes to an end. There is intense pressure on Benyamin Netanyahu to continue the freeze. Please pray for wisdom for Netanyahu to know the right thing to do and to have the courage to do it. If he agrees to continue the freeze, it would facilitate a continued period of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and appease international pressure as well from the United States and the United Nations.
On the other hand, agreement to continue the freeze breaks the basic principle of negotiations, give and take, and fulfilling promises. Israel agreed to a limited freeze and did so. Nothing has been offered in return.
In addition, continuing the freeze reinforces the international myth that Israel's building homes in the territories is equivalent to terrorism. Israeli citizens need homes. What would be the world reaction if some country demanded a freeze on building homes for Blacks or Muslims? What if Israel demanded a freeze on building homes for Arabs within Israel as a pre-requisite for resuming peace talks? The racist attitude against Jews in the reaction to the settlements should be apparent.
Love of Truth
There was an increased wave of "double standard" criticism against Israel this week. Ahmadinejad spoke at the U. N. saying that the U. S. and Israel were responsible for the Twin Towers attack. Obama demanded of Israel to continue its building freeze while demanding no concessions of the Palestinians. There was a hysterical reaction to a pastor in Florida who said he might burn copies of the Koran, with no mention of the fact that American and Israeli flags have been burned by Muslims in countless demonstrations around the world (let alone the murder of Christian missionaries). The U.N. condemned Israel's handling of the flotilla incident, although there was clear photographed proof that the Israeli soldiers were attacked first.
The international political and media attacks against Israel reflect a certain disregard for truth. The issue for them is not what really happened or what is right and wrong, but rather how much Muslims will be offended and the United Nations will be upset.
See this article by Daniel Pipes in the Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/20/rushdie-rules-reach-florida/
There is a demonstration scheduled on September 28 on behalf of Gilad Shalit at the international headquarters of the Red Cross in Switzerland. Watch this video produced by Calev Meyers and SI about the demonstration and the double standard against Israel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6GBXLwixzw
Sukkot at Ahavat Yeshua
We had a special celebration to inaugurate the Feast of Tabernacles at our congregation in Jerusalem this past week. We had a sukkah, waving of palm branches, praise and worship, and a message on the fruit of the Spirit by Yehezkel Intrater. We also received a revelation of the parallels between what we were doing and the dedication of the Temple in II Chronicles 5.
There the feast of the 7th month (verse 3) was also Sukkot. We were in Jerusalem, just as they were (verse 2). We had elders of our community present (verse 4), as represented by Eddie Santoro and Dan Juster. We had our "ark of the covenant" and torah scroll at the service (verse 7). Members in our congregation from the Cohen family (verse 11) and Levite tribe (verse 12) came forward to pronounce the priestly blessing, led by Chaim Warshawsky.
Our worship team assembled with musical instruments (verses 12-13). We realized that God was beginning to restore the same historic and covenantal conditions in our midst that were part of the Temple dedication. Instead of King Solomon (verse 1), we were meeting in unity in the name of Yeshua, King Messiah.
As we began to worship, a holy presence filled the room. It was similar to what many "charismatic" worship services experience around the world, yet there was a special element of awe. We felt that we were touching an ancient root of holiness and a future seed of prophecy at one and the same time.
This week the end of Sukkot marks the Jewish holy day of "Simchat Torah." Jewish synagogues read through the Law of Moses once a year. [Apparently Yeshua (Jesus) participated in this reading cycle as well (Luke 4:16-17).] On this holy day, the cycle finishes the end of Deuteronomy and returns to the beginning of the book of Genesis.
An "iron-like" self discipline of meditating on Scriptures every day is the basis of true spirituality. Reading through the entire Old and New Covenants in a year is a standard for all believers; those in ministry should do much more. We suggest reading the Bible in sections (Law, History, Prophets, Writings, Gospels, Epistles); and within those sections, reading sequentially and consistently from beginning to end. I recommend reading the same quantity every day. The point is to make Bible meditation a daily habit that is never missed.
This daily reading habit, when accompanied by obedience in faith and integrity, leads to a blessing in which everything we do in life.
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