Tag Archive | House of Israel

After the Fox! Two New Projects About the Torah Awakening

Has anyone noticed The Barking Fox hasn’t posted much in recent months? It may be that the only one who has noticed is your humble author. Aside from self-generated deadlines and publication goals, there is no pressure to maintain the pace of posting up to three times each week. That’s very good when other surprising opportunities appear out of nowhere.

Two such unexpected opportunities arrived last spring: a new radio show, and a new book.

Reunion Roadmap

The radio show is Reunion Roadmap, the weekly broadcast by B’ney Yosef North America (BYNA). As reported here, Reunion Roadmap features high-quality worship music, encouraging testimonies of Torah followers from around North America, and uplifting teaching by BYNA’s Elders.

The show came into existence at the invitation of Eddie Chumney, founder of Hebraic Heritage Ministries. He had the idea of establishing Hebraic Roots Radio as an internet broadcasting forum for teaching, worship music, and more. Eddie’s invitation came as we were praying about how to proceed with our vision of connecting the people of the emerging House of Ephraim here in North America. It took two months to establish and refine the concept of the show and prepare for our first broadcast in mid-June. Now Reunion Roadmap is on the air every Saturday and Sunday evening at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Hebraic Heritage Radio, and Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Pacific on Hebrew Nation Radio. Podcasts of the show are available on the BYNA web site at:

https://bneyyosefna.com/category/byna-radio-reunion-roadmap/.

As you may imagine, being part of a dynamic production team preparing a pre-recorded radio show each week is a time-consuming process. That, however, is not the only project eating into the time and energy previously invested in blog posts. The other major project is –

Ten Parts in the King: The Prophesied Reconciliation of God’s Two Witnesses

My friend and colleague Pete Rambo, creator of the blog, natsab.com, had an idea early in 2014 to write a book, “articulating and defending from Scripture the message of ‘The Prophesied Reconciliation of God’s Two Witnesses.’” Pete made that statement in an article he wrote as the inaugural post on our new website, Ten Parts in the King (https://tenpartsintheking.com/).

We created the web site to promote our forthcoming book, Ten Parts in the King: The Prophesied Reconciliation of God’s Two Witnesses. It took over three years to come to the point when we could actually write the book, but we finally realized early this spring that the time had arrived. We have worked all summer to write this important work that explains from Scripture who the Two Witnesses are, what they have to do with the Torah Awakening among Christians, and why they are essential to the Kingdom process of redemption.

Who are the two witnesses? We believe they are none other than the House of Judah and the House of Israel, the parties mentioned in the famous New Covenant in Hebrews 8:8-12 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. That Covenant, as explained by Jeremiah, is this:

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34 NASB, emphasis added)

Our years of study, first as Christians in the traditional church and now as Torah-honoring followers of Messiah Yeshua, has brought us to the conclusion that God’s plan of redemption involves two parts of His covenant nation of Israel: the Jewish House of Judah, and the non-Jewish House of Israel (also known as the House of Joseph and House of Ephraim). The Two Houses are two witnesses YHVH has established to share with the world two distinct testimonies of His ability and willingness to redeem all of humanity.

How does this work? That’s what this book explains!

Our intent is to have Ten Parts in the King available by the end of this year (2017). Even now we are going through that tedious, yet necessary, process of the final copy editing to get the manuscript ready for print. If you would like to know more, visit the web site! There you can sign up to receive publication updates, news about preorders, and notifications of new articles and features. In fact, you can already see how we came up with this peculiar name, Ten Parts in the King. That story is in an excerpt from the book posted here:

https://tenpartsintheking.com/2017/10/10/pictured-in-a-parable/#more-112

And that’s what The Barking Fox has been doing all summer! You may not see a return to the frequency of posts as in recent years, but that’s because Pete and I have combined our efforts to do our part in our God’s redemptive Kingdom process!


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2014-2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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Resurrection of the Leprous Prodigal

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, The King Uzziah Stricken with Leprosy  (Wikimedia Commons)

Those who have leprosy might as well be dead.  Never mind that the disease we call leprosy today may or may not be one of the skin diseases meant by the Hebrew word tzara’at (צָרַעַת).  The fact is, whoever had it was cut off from the community:

Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, “Unclean!  Unclean!”  He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.  (Leviticus 13:45-46 NKJV)

Think about that for a moment.  Lepers could not go home.  They could not have any kind of normal relationship with their family members, friends, business associates, or anyone else with whom they interacted before the cursed condition fell upon them.  It did not matter what station of life the leper occupied; whether peasant or king, the disease cut them off from the life of the nation.  Even mighty King Uzziah of Judah learned that.  Although he reigned for 52 years in Jerusalem, the leprosy he contracted in the midst of his reign meant that he was king in name only:

King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death.  He dwelt in an isolated house, because he was a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord.  Then Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.  (II Chronicles 26:21 NKJV)

How can a person shepherd the people of God when he is cut off from the House of God?  Is there any hope for him, or for the people he is anointed to lead?

Yes, there is hope.  That is why the Torah portion Metzora (The Leper; Leviticus 14:1-15:33) provides elaborate detail on the procedures for cleansing lepers.  Once healed, the priests help them through this process to restore them to their place in society.  In a certain sense, this is a resurrection from a type of death, and thus it is a symbol of what Messiah will do. 

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The Dilemma of the Ger, Part 3: Dealing with the Kinslaying

This is the third part of a dialogue with Dr. Rivkah Adler of Breaking Israel News on the question of whether the biblical concept of ger, or foreigner, could be considered as a possible status for Torah-keeping non-Jews.  It began with Rivkah’s article, “Are We Witnessing the Restoration of an Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews?”, followed by my commentary, “The Dilemma of the Ger, and her observations in “A Jewish Response to the Dilemma of the Ger.

Dealing with the Kinslaying

Albert J. McCarn
April 16,2017

The Kinslaying at Alqualondë, by Ted Nasmith. Used by permission.

A motif running through J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction works is the exile of the Elves from Valinor, the Blessed Realm of the Valar, the gods of Tolkien’s world.  Those who read The Lord of the Rings first encounter the exiles as the High Elves who aid Frodo and his companions in their flight from the Shire.  Readers who venture into The Silmarillion learn that the High Elves are the Noldor, one of three Elven clans who answered the Valar’s invitation to leave Middle Earth and live in Valinor.  The Vanyar and Teleri – the other two clans – remained in Valinor, but the Noldor rebelled against the Valar and returned to Middle Earth to fight against Morgoth, Tolkien’s equivalent of Satan.

The Noldor had justification for their actions.  Morgoth had stolen the Silmarils, the matchless jewels fashioned by Fëanor, greatest of the Elven craftsmen, and had killed Finwë, Fëanor’s father and king of the Noldor.  Nevertheless, their rebellion under Fëanor’s leadership incurred a sentence of exile and separation from any help the Valar could offer.  Over the next several centuries the Noldor and their allies among the Elves and Men of Middle Earth proved unable to defeat Morgoth, and they suffered a long defeat.  At the end of their strength, the humbled remnant repented and begged help from the Valar.  When help came, Morgoth was defeated and the Valar granted clemency for the Noldor to return to the Blessed Realm, bringing with them the remaining Elves of Middle Earth who had never seen Valinor.

This is the unseen backdrop for the Elves appearing in Tolkien’s later and more popular works.  Those who pick up the story with The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings meet wise Elrond, stern yet kindly Thranduil, and gentle Galadriel, but they have no understanding of their history.  Galadriel, for example, was Fëanor’s niece, and along with his sons and her brothers led the Noldor in rebellion.  Upon passing the test of refusing the Ring of Power when Frodo offers it to her, she proves that she, the only surviving rebel leader, is indeed ready to return home as a humble penitent.

In Galadriel’s story we see the stunning panorama flowing through the body of Tolkien’s works.  Yet there is one missing detail:  he never tells us what happens when the exiles return.  It is a significant omission.  We can imagine the scenes of reconciliation as the Noldor made amends with the eternal Valar, but we do not know what happens when they encountered the brethren they had wronged.  At the beginning of their flight from Valinor, the Noldor demanded of their kin, the Teleri, use of their ships.  The Teleri refused, resulting in a terrible battle known thereafter as the Kinslaying.  As Tolkien describes it, “Thus at last the Teleri were overcome, and a great part of their mariners that dwelt in Alqualondë were wickedly slain.”  If that were not enough, when they arrived on the shores of Middle Earth, Fëanor gave orders to burn the wondrous Telerian ships, craft of great beauty the like of which could never be made again.

What happens when the prodigal Noldor return home is a tale we do not know.  We hope they are reconciled with their brethren, but achieving reconciliation requires conscious effort to overcome the debt of blood between them.  Until that debt is paid or forgiven, the bliss of the Blessed Realm remains unbearably diminished.

Tolkien’s epic thus becomes a parable for us, the returning exiles of the House of Yosef (Joseph).  Like the Noldor, we are guilty not only of rebellion against our God and the king He had anointed, but also of an endless Kinslaying of our brethren of Judah.

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How Christians will recognize Jesus again – World Net Daily

bfb170131-restitution-of-all-thingsHow big is the Torah Awakening?  It’s big enough to motivate the CEO of the world’s largest Christian website to write a book about it.

The book is The Restitution of All Things:  Israel, Christians, and the End of the Age, by Joseph Farah, Chairman, and CEO of World Net Daily.  The description of Farah’s work says:

The Restitution of All Things is a primer on the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith that will forever give you a new appreciation of the work Jesus did on the cross, and will answer these provocative questions:
– What does the Bible clearly teach about the ultimate solution to the Middle East conflict?

– Is the story of the New Testament really grace vs law? Or has grace always been around and is the law forever?
– What is the ultimate destination of redeemed mankind – heaven or earth?
– Why is there so much focus in the prophecy world on events leading up to the return of Jesus and so little about what follows?
– What is the central conflict Jesus has in the gospels and what was the great error of the Pharisees?
– Is it possible today’s believers in Jesus could be making the same error as the Pharisees of His time?
– Have Christians replaced Israel as the people of promise?

In promoting the book, WND recently published the report of an interview Paul Maguire conducted with Farah on GodTV two years ago in which he outlines many of the ideas presented in the new work.  Enjoy reading the article, which is reposted below, and then consider not only looking at Farah’s book, but at the questions he asks.


How Christians Will Recognize Jesus Again:  Joseph Farah Interview Anticipates

Published in World Net Daily, January 29, 2017

Warner Sallman first drew his famous Christ picture in charcoal. It was colorized later.

Warner Sallman first drew his famous Christ picture in charcoal. It was colorized later.

When the Jewish people finally received their Messiah, the vast majority did not recognize Him.

When He returns, will Christians make the same mistake?

That’s the fear WND founder Joseph Farah expressed in an interview with Paul McGuire on “Apocalypse and the End Times” on GodTV. It was part of a wide-ranging conversation about how the last days will be far different than what many believers expect.

“Who is Jesus and how is he going to come back?” Farah asked. “You know, a lot of people missed Jesus the first time He came. Most of the Jews did not recognize Him as their Messiah. They had a misunderstanding of how the Messiah was going to come. And they were going a lot by man’s teaching rather than going back to the Scriptures. And I wonder, when Jesus does come back, if many people in the church are going to miss Him too.”

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The Cure For Disunity In The House Of Israel – Kimberly Rogers

Recently The Barking Fox posted a series on “The Jerusalem Debate”, which exhorted followers of Messiah Yeshua to consider seriously the commandment to go up to Jerusalem three times a year for the Feasts of YHVH (Passover/Pesach, Pentecost/Shavuot, and Tabernacles/Sukkot).  This is not the first word on the subject, and certainly not the last.  Several months ago Kimberly Rogers of BeastWatch News  released a short video commentary about this question.  In it she suggests that the division within the House of Israel/Joseph/Ephraim and between Joseph and Judah can only be healed when we all begin to go up to Jerusalem, regardless whether there is a Temple there or not.  Watch this video and judge for yourselves:

If you will be in Jerusalem for Pesach this year, consider coming early to hear Kimberly at the Reconciliation of Israel conference – Pesach17 on March 28, 2017.  The purpose of the conference is to consider how rebuilding the Temple can be an impetus between the two Houses for reconciliation.

Always remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and be intentional about going there and sending others to see the city of the Great King as soon and as often as you can!


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2017.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Dilemma of the Ger: Commentary on “Has an Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged After 2500 Years?”

The Torah Awakening among Christians is creating something the world has not seen for two thousand years:  a growing body of non-Jewish people who are doing the best they can to live by God’s eternal standards (His Torah – Law, Teaching, Commandments), but who do not intend to convert to Judaism.

What is the world to do with such people?  Perhaps the more immediate question is, what are the Jewish people and the State of Israel to do with such people?

Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler explored these questions recently in an article for Breaking Israel News.  Her article, “Has an Ancient Biblical Status for Non-Jews Reemerged after 2500 Years?”, presents the biblical concept of ger, (גָּר, Strong’s H1616), or foreigner, as a possible status for Torah-keeping non-Jews.  Dr. Adler and I have shared some correspondence on this question, and hopefully will be able to continue that conversation in a point-counterpoint discussion.  Here is my initial offering.

According to Strong’s Concordance, a ger is a “sojourner; a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking inherited rights; of foreigners in Israel, though conceded rights”.  The implication is that such people are not Israelites, not Hebrews, and not members of the nation or commonwealth of Israel. 

This is where we run into several issues.  The easy path is to argue these points, but that is not necessarily the wisest path.  What we all need is the path of wisdom and reconciliation, and that is what I hope to investigate.

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Israel 2016: Family In Twelve Languages – The Conclusion of the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress

Dorothy and Tommy Wilson teach from the Torah portion Beresheet (In the Beginning), applying insights from the creation of man and woman to the process of restoring the people of Joseph/Ephraim.

Dorothy and Tommy Wilson teach from the Torah portion Beresheet (In the Beginning), applying insights from the creation of man and woman to the process of restoring the people of Joseph/Ephraim.

In some ways the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress was actually the Second First B’ney Yosef National Congress.  This emerging people of the House of Joseph (Yosef) is still a long way from transacting business as one would expect from cohesive people groups such as the Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, Lakota, Navajo, or Ibo.  We still have much to discover about ourselves and much historical division to overcome before we can speak with a unified voice.  Nevertheless, the seeds have been sown, both in the First Congress and in this Second Congress.  The fruit is not yet ready, but it is becoming recognizable as fruit, and that in itself is a major step forward.

My earlier report on the first half of the Congress (see Picking Up Where We Left Off:  A Report on the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress) covered most of the formal business on the schedule.  When we arrived at Shabbat on the evening of Friday, October 28, we had already heard from visionaries and scholars such as Iris Bouwman, Ron Campbell, and Ephraim Frank.  They focused us on:

  • Our identity as the returning children of Yosef/Ephraim
  • Our hope in restoration by YHVH and reunification with our brethren of Judah
  • Our responsibilities in moving with the Almighty as He directs and empowers this process.  

What happened over the next two days did not bring anything new or different, but instead imparted greater depth to what we had already heard and shared.

The formal meetings on Shabbat did not commence until late in the afternoon.  As with any such gathering, the real business took place not in the formal presentations, but in the quiet conversations among two or three huddled in the common room, or sitting at table for a meal.  It seemed that these informal meetings took on a heightened importance during and after Shabbat.  After breakfast, many delegates gathered to read the Torah portion Beresheet (In the Beginning), another simple activity which enhanced the bonding already taking place among these diverse Ephraimites from so many different places and cultures.  Others who did not participate in the Torah reading continued in quiet relationship-building conversation, or in private prayer and Bible study.  All partook of considerable rest during the day, the feature of Shabbat which has become precious to us all.

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Israel 2016: Picking Up Where We Left Off – A Report on the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress

A remarkable thing happened seventeen months ago, when the First B’ney Yosef National Congress convened in Ariel, Israel.  At that time a people who had not existed as a people for over 2,700 years came back from the ash heap of history.  The people of the House of Joseph (Yosef) – Ephraim, those “Lost Tribes” of Israel’s northern kingdom – assembled in Samaria, the territory of their ancient ancestors, and acknowledged their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to accomplish His Word to bring their people back as a nation and join them with the Jewish part of Israel (the House of Judah) in fulfillment of His covenant.

Delegates gather at the Second B'ney Yosef National Congress, October 26, 2016.

Delegates gather at the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress, October 26, 2016.

It was a modest beginning; only a little over 130 people attended, representing 12 countries.  We made no bold declarations, but humbly whispered to one another and to the world that we were ready to answer the Father’s call and walk out the return of the Prodigal.  Humble indeed, but astounding nevertheless.  Certainly no less astounding than the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948 after 1,900 years of dissolution.

The momentum of that First Congress has carried into the Second B’ney Yosef Congress, which is now in its third day.  The Congress convened on the evening of October 26, 2016, and will continue until Monday, October 31.  The venue once again is the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.  The numbers of delegates are about the same, but this time there are some significant differences. 

For one thing, the number of nations has grown to 15.  Not surprisingly, the United States has the largest number of delegates, comprising about half of the total.  What is surprising is that the second largest contingent is from one of the world’s smallest countries:  the Netherlands.  Over 20 Dutch Ephraimites are here, imparting a beautiful Dutch accent to all the proceedings.  Also represented are Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Fiji, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland.  A central feature of the Congress has been reports from each of these countries, as well as video and proxy reports from Finland, Pakistan, Uganda, and India. 

These reports build a mosaic of the Hebrew Awakening happening across the globe.  In Pakistan, for example, Pastor Qaiser Ilyas shared by video his work in building Hebrew language and Torah teaching programs in Urdu for children and adults.  Valerie Bulkunu, representing the Aboriginal people of Australia, shared the revival that is beginning among the youth of her people, and the awakening among Aboriginals to their Hebrew roots and Israelite identity.  A similar phenomenon is happening among the Mizo people of northeast India, as Margot Crossing related in her report about the descendants of exiled Israelites who migrated across the Silk Road into South Asia.  These developments are happening simultaneously with the better-known Torah awakenings in Europe and North America, and in time will have an even more significant impact as tens of millions of Ephraimites come into the understanding of their covenant identity.

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Israel 2016: Days of Transition

imageComing to Jerusalem at the invitation of the Almighty for one of His feasts means stepping into a bubble of time and space.  It is holy and joyous, but like all good things is must end at some point.  My friend Pete has written about the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles our families shared in the moshav (village) of Gi’vat Ye’arim.  I cannot improve on what he shared in his post called Embraced!  (To read it, please go here:  https://natsab.com/2016/10/24/embraced/)

Our farewell to Gi’vat Ye’arim arrived on October 25.  We travelled from there in three cars to Ariel, site of the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress.  The plan as to take the highway to the coast and drive up Route 2 along the Mediterranean, then stop at Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18), and from there go to Ariel.  We did not count on Tel Aviv traffic!  Before long we became separated, leaving my wife, Charlayne, our daughter Katie, Pete’s son Jeremiah, and myself to make our own way.

It turned out to be a very pleasant journey.  We did dip our feet in the sea at Caesarea, where the old Roman aqueduct still stands.  The calm blue of the water captured our admiration, but could not keep me from remembering that the ships of at least five navies were playing games of cat-and-mouse not that far away in the deadly dance over Syria.  Such thoughts are never far away when one is in Israel.  And yet they did not diminish our enjoyment of Caesarea that day.

As we resumed the journey, we drove to and through the Mount Carmel National Park.  The views are splendid, the roads wind up and down the hills, and sometimes large trucks slow the journey.  Driving through the Druze town on the slopes of the Carmel Range was a cultural experience – made more interesting by a wrong turn down a side street.  (Hint:  never, ever, ever do that in the Middle East!)

Eventually we arrived at the Carmelite monastery which is the traditional site of Elijah’s victory.  There we were reunited with our friends, thanks to the timely arrival of several tour busses why I blocked their cars in the parking lot for an hour!  We had time to take in the stunning views of the Jezreel Valley and of the imposing statue of Elijah on its tall pedestal before continuing on to our final destination:  the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.

Since arriving here we have enjoyed continuous fellowship with old and new friends from 15 countries and six continents.  The Congress convened last night, October 26, with a review of the First Congress by Ephraim and Rimona Frank, and reports from delegates of the participating countries.  Mike Clayton provided a short exhortation from Scripture which set the tone for these five days.  He pointed out that Judah’s returning exiles in the days of Nehemiah celebrated Sukkot (Tabernacles) after building Jerusalem’s wall, and then assembled on the 24th day of the seventh month to fast, pray, read the Torah, and declare their repentance and allegiance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to His covenant (see Nehemiah 8 and 9).  As Mike pointed out, we returning Ephraimites just happen to have assemble on the 24th day of the seventh Hebrew month to convene our Congress for the same purpose.  As in all things of YHVH, that is not a coincidence.

The evening ended with a time of worship and dance, featuring a powerful dance presentation by the Dutch group Mahanaim (Two Camps).  They depicted two brides – Judah in white and Ephraim in red – who separated, fought with one another, and in the end were reunited by the same Bridegroom they both love.  Their performance established a worshipful tone which introduced Andrew Hodkinson of South Africa to lead us all in song and dance.  Those of us who joined the dance circle had come from Holland, England, Fiji, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, the USA.  Together we danced as one people, brought near by the Messiah we adore to the brother we have longed to embrace here in this land of Israel.  At the of the evening, Ed Boring of the USA led us all in singing Hatikvah – Israel’s national anthem.  It could not have been a better ending to these days of transition.

The Roman accused the at Caesarea.

The Roman aqueduct at Caesarea.

image

On the beach at Caesarea.

On the beach at Caesarea.

Statue of Elijah's Victory over the prophets of Ba'al at Mount Carmel.

Statue of Elijah’s Victory over the prophets of Ba’al at Mount Carmel.

Enjoying the view at Mount Carmel.

Enjoying the view at Mount Carmel.

The Jezreel Valley as seen from Mount Carmel.

The Jezreel Valley as seen from Mount Carmel.

Delegates from 15 countries assemble for the Second B'ney Yosef National Congress at the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.

Delegates from 15 countries assemble for the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress at the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Israel 2016: Between the Surreal and a Holy Place

Our plan today was to visit the Kotel (Western Wall) and then go shopping.  At least that was the general outline.  Pete and I had other things in mind – activities which involved more walking and exploration, and less exchange of hard currency.  It would be cheaper, of course, but more importantly, it would help vigorous teenage boys expend more energy and perhaps enjoy their time in Jerusalem a little more.

Worshippers at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem for Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), October 23, 2016.

Worshipers at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem for Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), October 23, 2016.

We are now veterans at navigating Jerusalem.  Drive through Ein Kerem (hometown of John the Baptist) up to Mount Herzl, get on the light rail, and ride to the City Hall.  Walk down to the Jaffa Gate, and wind our way through the Jewish Quarter to the Kotel.  It was easy – aside from forgetting to remove my wallet from my pocket at the security checkpoint.  Not a problem, other than embarrassment when the sensor announced my faux pas.  The officer was patient and professional; he sees this a thousand times a day.  Put the wallet on the table, go back through the sensor, and all is well.

This is my third time to the Kotel.  It’s the first time for the young people with us.  The women went to their side, leaving the six of us men to move through the crowds on our side.  Tommy and Pete led the way, followed by Pete’s sons Jeremiah, Joseph, and Silas.  I brought up the rear.  Eventually we found space at the wall where all of us could touch the ancient stones and pray side by side.  What I prayed recalled the words of the Son of David who dedicated this holy place above us:

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth?  Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You.  How much less this temple which I have built!  Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today:  that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.  And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place.  Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.  (I Kings 8:27-30 NKJV)

Why do we pray toward Jerusalem?  That is why.  It is His city, the place He has chosen from all the places on this planet.  The one place where His visible glory appeared and remained for centuries – and will return one day.

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The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

Wilderness Report

by Cathy Helms

Pew Theology

Faith | Life | Society

Finding a Place For Me

This zebra needs a home.

Tegenhetlicht

Terug naar de Oude paden

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

Prophecy is the history of the future, and the future of history

Bubba's Bald P-nuts

'cuz hairy ones are nasty!

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