Take to the Streets
©June 22, 2010 by Asher Intrater
On Thursday afternoon (June 17), 100,000 haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) in Jerusalem and 50,000 in Tel Aviv (Bnei Brak) staged a protest rally in an impressive display of mobilization and power. The Israeli Supreme Court had ruled that the religious school in the settlement "Immanuel" was guilty of racial discrimination toward the Sephardic students. When the school and its parents refused to rectify the situation, they were charged with contempt of court. The parents were summoned to a 14 day jail sentence, to start on Thursday.
The ultra-Orthodox reacted against the Supreme Court's right to jurisdiction over them. They actually responded with joy at the opportunity for these parents to go to jail "for their faith." The ultra-Orthodox took to the streets wearing their most festive black garments, with signs reading: "Touch not My anointed," "Martyrs for Heaven's sake," and "The Torah is our authority, not the Supreme Court."
What the ultra-Orthodox mean by Torah is not the Bible or Law of Moses, but their own rabbinic authority. This clash between the Supreme Court and the ultra-Orthodox represents the widest split ever between the religious and the secular. One Hebrew newspaper referred to it as a civil war between "Judah" and "Israel." [The religious identify themselves more with the terms "Jew" and "Judaism," and less as citizens of the State of Israel. The secular identify with just the opposite.]
The claims of the ultra-Orthodox in this protest rally present a weird and unfortunate perversion of the relationship between religion and state. It reminds me of the question that the ultra-Orthodox of His day posed to Yeshua (Jesus): "Do you pay taxes to Caesar?" To which question Yeshua answered, "Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God" – Matthew 22:21.
The mainstream of the Israeli public is caught between an extreme atheist hedonistic secularism on one side and an extreme legalistic manipulative religiosity on the other. It is interesting to note that both the extreme secular and the extreme religious are basically "anti-Zionist" in their world view.
The Tikkun America Conference 2010
©June 22, 2010 by Troy Wallace
The Tikkun America Conference enables Messianic Jewish and Gentile believers to gather once a year and receive impartation from leaders of the Body in Israel and around the world. This year we had the opportunity to hear from Dan Juster, Asher Intrater, Eitan Shishkoff, Paul Wilbur, and Jack Hayford among others.
As the week progressed, it became evident that this is a “change of season” as we approach the “great and awesome day of the Lord” (Joel 2). Dan encouraged leaders to be intentional in developing communities that are strong in covenantal commitment so that corporate faith and love can sustain us in the days ahead. Eitan exhorted us to shake off discouragement and stand strong in the faith despite past failures and disappointments. Paul encouraged us that though the times are growing darker, the Light of the Lord continues to shine around the world, even in Muslim countries like Kuwait and Dubai. Asher prayed that our hearts would be awakened to the “Biblical proportions” of lines being crossed in the current geopolitical climate. Jack Hayford shared with us a vision of following the Lord even if the scenario He is leading us into as individuals and as communities appears less than our ideal.
Another theme that emerged as we were assembled was the importance of reflecting on the value of relationship and history. This was the first Tikkun gathering in many years when Asher, Dan, Eitan, and Paul were all together sharing time with the Body in America. These four men continue to define the course of Tikkun International as their relationship has done for nearly 30 years. Each of them took precious time to reflect on their personal and ministry history. Let us remember that the “testimony of Yeshua [that] is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10).
The Cloud and the Manna
©June 22, 2010 by Eddie Santoro
God's supernatural leading and supply will help us reach the Promised Land in our lives.
The Torah portions this month have to do with Israel's traveling in the wilderness in the book of Numbers. By any natural measure their situation was impossible but the success of their journey depended not on the natural but on the supernatural.
Before them stood an awesome pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, in which dwelt the very presence of God. As that cloud moved, Israel would follow. It would take forty years, but that presence, filled with infinite love, would lead them to their destination. And that same God who would lead them would also supply all of their needs. Their sandals would not wear out, water would flow from rocks and manna would be supplied from heaven.
Several days ago in prayer the Lord showed me how our situation as New Covenant believers is like Israel so long ago. We too have a “promised land” that we are traveling towards but do not know how to get there. And like Israel, what we possess in the natural falls far short of what is needed in order to achieve the mighty calling that God has given us.
But in Yeshua, we also have a cloud that is leading us. God’s Spirit has not just put a final destination in our hearts but He is faithful to direct us each and every step of the way. And although in the natural we are weak and lacking, His power will supply all our needs. He has put His very life within us by which we can do all things.
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