Christians Finding Meaning in Jewish Festivals: Round Table Conversation – Israel365 News

Rabbi Tuly Weisz of Israel365 discusses ways that Christian Zionists are finding ways to participate and celebrate the Jewish festivals mentioned in the Bible (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot) with Pastors Laura Densmore, Steve Wearp, Al McCarn and Denise Roe.

Why Care About Israel? Part 3: Because God’s Reputation Depends on Israel’s Continued Existence – Current Events Simplified

God says quite clearly that He will establish an everlasting covenant with Israel, and that He will bring Israel’s people back to the Promised Land. His name and reputation are at stake here. What does that mean for the Jewish people? What does it mean for Christians – both in the past, and right now? 

via Why Care About Israel? Part 3 – Current Events Simplified  – Founded In Truth – YouTube

The rise of antisemitism on the Left and in America – The Jerusalem Post

We should be encouraged to see our young people taking action on important issues. It means they are paying attention, they care, and they want to make a difference. Whether that difference is good or bad depends largely on what they have learned from their elders, and the willingness of both youth and elders to partner in identifying what is good and how to act on it. 

Of course, we at Nations’ 9th of Av understand both from scripture and from our own relational experience that support to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is good, which means that antisemitism is bad. That is why we are encouraged to see one of our young colleagues take a stand in a highly visible public forum. 

At 21, Matthew Wearp is the youngest member of our planning team. His talents and energy have enriched our work. As you can see in this opinion piece published in The Jerusalem Post, one of those talents is writing. The opinion he expresses here is the result of his upbringing in a family that has labored for years in Israel and America to make a difference for good that impacts the Kingdom plans of the Almighty.


Antisemitism in the United States
(photo credit: ADL)

The rise of antisemitism on the Left and in America – opinion

The Jerusalem Post

In the past few years, we have seen a surge of antisemitism in America. 
Antisemitic hate crimes are rising at an alarming pace, and according to the ADL, 2019 saw the highest level of antisemitic incidents since tracking began in 1979.
Only two months ago, as protests raged across our nation, Los Angeles experienced an explosion in antisemitism as kosher stores and synagogues were vandalized, looted, and burned.
The same has happened in cities across America as antisemitic incidents are sadly becoming more commonplace around the United States.
The problem is, instead of the Left condemning and strongly opposing these attacks, antisemitism has found a home in the Democratic Party and has become a shameful problem that the Left must confront.
Outright antisemitic statements from Democratic members of Congress have either been ignored or dismissed by party leaders and even if it is condemned no action is taken. The lack of action will doubtless lead to a rise in antisemitism in the party if Democrats continue to avoid the underlying problem. Politicians who spout any kind of antisemitic rhetoric must be shunned by both parties or else it slowly becomes accepted and normalized when party politics become more important than rejecting antisemitic hatred.
Democrat representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have both come under fire during their first term in office for prejudice towards Israel, support of the BDS movement, and outright antisemitic comments.
Early on in her time in office, Ilhan Omar portrayed American supporters of Israel as having been bought off by Jews, the scandal that followed forced Democrat leaders to scold Ilhan Omar for her comments yet beyond that, no action was taken.
In January, Rashida Tlaib retweeted and then removed a tweet falsely blaming Israelis for the death of a Palestinian child. This spread of an antisemitic blood libel was largely ignored by Democratic leaders and the media.
“The Democratic Party failed to condemn antisemitism, and that failure sent a message which Omar and Tlaib heard quite clearly. They were given a free pass to traffic in and promote antisemitism.” writes Bethany Mandel for the Washington Examiner.
“The Rubicon has been crossed. One of the two major political parties in this country is openly accepting of antisemites in its midst. We have not even begun to understand what the ramifications of this new reality are.”
The outright hypocrisy from the Left when it comes to antisemitism is also outright alarming.

Click here to continue reading: The rise of antisemitism on the Left and in America – opinion – The Jerusalem Post

Is God Really With Us?

This article was originally published in 40 days of Repentance: A Companion Guide to The LIST – Persecution of Jews by Christians Throughout History. To learn more about this subject, visit The Nations 9th of Av at https://9-av.com/.


German Wehrmacht belt buckle from World War II, with the insciption “Gott Mit Uns” (God with us), via Wikimedia Commons.

We need museums to teach us what we do not know and to reveal to us what we should have known. The Virginia War Museum in Newport News did that for me. This institution exists to educate the public about the American military experience and to honor those who have borne the burdens of it. Its exhibits cover every phase of my birth nation’s conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terrorism, but as one might expect, many of those exhibits are devoted to the Second World War.

The disturbing thing about all wars, including World War II, is that they never bring permanent solutions to anything. The same evils overcome in one generation take shape again in the next, requiring renewed effort to keep them at bay. The evils overcome in the Great Patriotic War, as our erstwhile Soviet allies called it, were not foreign to us. They were, and remain, an integral part of the civilization the Allies struggled to preserve.

One exhibit made that abundantly clear to me. In a well-illuminated display case there hung the tunic of a German soldier. The buckle of the belt fastened around the tunic depicted an eagle of the Third Reich grasping in its claws the swastika of Hitler’s National Socialist Party. That was not surprising, but the inscription above the eagle was a surprise. In capital letters it proclaimed boldly –

GOTT MIT UNS

“Gott mit uns” means “God with us.” German soldiers have worn it on their uniforms for three centuries, long before the Prussian kings began uniting the separate German states into the cohesive empire that eventually became the instrument of Nazi aggression. The Third Reich had ample reason to continue the tradition, not only for many of its soldiers, but also for certain civil servants. Adolf Hitler, after all, believed he was doing the work of God in creating space for God’s “master race” to rule the world. Such work required the enslavement or elimination of all those who were considered lesser beings according to Hitler’s ideology: Communists, homosexuals, Gypsies, Slavs. . .

. . . and especially Jews.

Jews of Germany understood the inscription on the belts of police officers who enforced the decrees that robbed them of life, liberty, and property. Jews of Poland and Russia had no trouble deciphering Gott mit uns on the belts of soldiers who rounded them up and marched them away to an uncertain fate. Jews of France, Holland, Greece, and Italy would have recognized the message as Wehrmacht soldiers handed them off to SS Totenkopf (Death Head) units that staffed the camps where their lives became solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

What would those Jews have been thinking? Some surely wondered which god these Nazis thought was with them. That this was a Christian God seemed to be certain. The Germans were, after all, Christians. Protestants and Catholics alike embraced Nazism. Many of those same soldiers and policemen who efficiently eliminated 6,000,000 Jews faithfully attended church and chapel services, and almost all of them enjoyed the festivities of Christmas. The Christian God, then, was the one served by those who sought to make themselves masters of the earth over the bones of Jews and other supposedly lesser beings.

Why do we wonder that Jews have a hard time accepting the Christian message? If Christians – even nominal or cultural Christians – like the soldiers of the Third Reich did what they did in the belief that their crimes faithfully served their God, why would any Jew want to have anything to do with that God? If the experience of the Shoa (Holocaust) was the only evidence they had, then it follows that Jews might perceive the Jesus those German soldiers praised on Sunday must be a cruel god indeed, or perhaps a demon from hell.

Gott mit uns. God with us.

How arrogant. How dare they believe God would sanction such crimes? Surely the Nazi era was an anomaly. No other Christian nation would do such things. Surely none would believe that God’s chosen people, the Jews, would be so deserving of His anger that they should be eliminated from the face of the earth. Surely the Germans were led astray. It could never happen to anyone else. Or could it? The sad truth is that the same refrain, “God with us,” echoes through the corridors of history.

God with us –

– on the lips of Crusaders marching under the banner of the cross, ravaging Jewish communities across Europe long before they ever set eyes on the Holy Land.

God with us –

– in the minds of Inquisition agents searching for Jewish houses in the cities of Spain. It was easy. Since the Torah prohibited Jews from kindling a flame on the Sabbath, all they had to do was wait until Saturday and look for the smokeless chimneys. Once identified, the Jews were given opportunity to embrace the Savior. If they refused, the best fate they might hope for would be deportation. Even descendants of Jews who converted were not immune. Those who aspired to a privileged position in society required a certificate of limpieza de sangre (purity of blood) to prove several generations of Christian heritage. Unwary applicants might find, to their horror, that they had a Jewish grandfather, making them subject to the mercies of the Inquisition courts.

God with us –

– in the decrees of Christian kings across Europe as they expelled Jews from their realms. Spain, England, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, Lithuania, Holland, Portugal, and the German states all did so. After, of course, expropriating whatever Jewish wealth might be available to aid the crown in its “divine work.”

God with us –

– moving the hands of Russian Orthodox magistrates as they authorized pogroms that made the Motherland uninhabitable for the Czar’s Jewish subjects.

God with us –

– in the hearts of American Protestants as they excluded Jews from their professional organizations and social clubs, insulted them with derisive jokes and demeaning names, and complained fearfully about Jewish bankers who supposedly controlled the world’s wealth. It’s not that these American Christians objected to the blessings of Jewish achievements. They appreciated the financial innovations of Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs, the scientific advances of Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer, and the creativity of George Gershwin and Leonard Nimoy. It wasn’t so bad that they were Jewish, but it would have been better if they could have been Jewish somewhere else.

Come to think of it, the German Nazi experience was not so unique after all. We might think of it more correctly as the culmination of two millennia of Christian holy arrogance. Such arrogance seems to have overlooked the solemn word of God:

“If the heavens above can be measured
And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
For all that they have done,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 31:37 NASB)

If God can break His promises to the Jewish people, and to the rest of scattered Israel, then what prevents Him from breaking His promises to Christians? How, then, do we dare presume that we act for God by relegating Jews to the status of lesser human beings?

Or what do we make of these words of our Savior, the Messiah of Israel?

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. (John 16:2-3 NASB)

It is customary to consider this as a prophecy of persecutions coming upon Christians, but we rarely consider that these words were spoken by a Jew to His Jewish disciples. Did He, perhaps, have in mind the persecutions that would happen to all His Father’s covenant people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike?

Do we truly desire to heal this breach between Christians and Jews? If so, the first thing we should do is to let our Heavenly Father restructure our thinking. It is, after all, His Kingdom we profess to serve. Perhaps He should have the last word about who is in it.

Repentance prayer ~ Our Father and our King, truly the revelation of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is an awesome gift You have given. Your prophet Isaiah identifies Him as Immanuel, God With Us (Isaiah 7:14). The redemption of all Israel and the world through Him is the greatest message of life. Yet we who profess His Name have all too often turned the message of “God with us” into an authorization to persecute those we should be embracing and honoring. Forgive us, Father, for our arrogance. We do not understand how Your mercy and grace work with our Jewish brethren, but the testimony of history demonstrates that You are not finished with them. Judgment belongs only to You. We want to leave it in Your hands, and instead be Your instruments of peace and reconciliation. Help us, Father. We ask in the Name of Yeshua, Amen.

The World’s Missing Heart – A Plague of Not Pining for the Temple – YouTube

Plagues have always been part of our human story. In fact, medical disorders that inflict large parts of a population have been known since ancient times, and even enter into the biblical narrative. Is there any significance to these periodic occurrences? Does God ever use them to get our attention?

Rabbi Chaim Eisen of Zion Biblical Studies has some thoughts on that subject in connection with the current pandemic. In this video teaching, he weaves together some fascinating data points from the accounts of 1 and 2 Samuel, Lamentations, and the present day. Is it possible that God is trying to get our attention, saying that His Temple in Jerusalem is much more important than we thought?

Rabbi Eisen is one of our Jewish partners with Nations’ 9th of Av. He presented this teaching as part of our Virtual Tour of Israel, which began with our observance of Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av), the fast of the fifth month, which in 2020 coincides with July 29-30. Why are Christians observing this Jewish fast? It’s part of making things right between two parts of God’s covenant people who have been at enmity for far too long. To find out more, please visit www.9-av.com.

via The World’s Missing Heart – A Plague of Not Pining for the Temple – YouTube