This is the week that the world turned upside down.
No kidding. It’s the week of what may be the most significant set of anniversaries in modern history. In previous shows, we have talked about the number of important anniversaries happening in 2017. What we haven’t mentioned before today is that many of them happen this week. Consider this list:
- October 31, 1517: Beginning of the Protestant Reformation, a shaking of Christianity that is still going on today, and which has had incalculable impact on the Jewish people and the restoration of all Israel.
- October 31, 1917: Battle of Beersheba, when the Australian Light Horse led the way in defeating the Turkish Army and opening the road to the liberation of Jerusalem a few weeks later.
- November 2, 1917: Balfour Declaration, in which the government of Great Britain committed to the establishment of a Jewish homeland, opening the way for rebirth of the nation of Israel a generation later.
- November 7, 1917: Beginning of the Russian Revolution, which eventually led to creation of the Soviet Union – a historical process that eventually resulted in the return of hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews to Israel at the end of the century.
Al and Barry discuss all of these events and more during the first hour.
In the second hour, we welcome Frank Houtz of Winchester, Kentucky, to talk with us about a crucial topic summarized in this passage from Isaiah:
It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Isaiah 8:13-14 NASB)
Is this passage about Messiah, or God, or both? Why is there confusion? And why is this important? That is what we asked Frank to address. In his experience as a co-founder of Congregation Beit Minorah, Dry Bones Restoration Company, Kentucky Covenant Education Corporation, and Jefferson College at Pilot View, and as an Elder for B’ney Yosef North America, Frank has had ample opportunity to study the different approaches to the Scriptures and to Messiah from the Jewish and Christian/Messianic perspectives. What may surprise you is not what each side believes, but why and how those beliefs developed – from the same sources!
This topic is so big and so important that we will have Frank back next week to continue the conversation!
You will also hear an update from Mike Clayton from the Connect to Israel Tour. As with everything else in this particular show, the news he brings is something that could (and probably will) turn the world upside down.
To listen online, go to this link:
© 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.
Something very strange happens when people face an imminent threat to life and livelihood. The strange thing is unity such as would never have been possible otherwise. History provides countless examples, such as the defense of New Orleans in January 1815. When a veteran British force attacked the city, an odd assortment of people turned out to defend their home. They included Regular soldiers of the American army under Major General Andrew Jackson, as well as Creole gentlemen and their American merchant rivals, common laborers, farmers, militia men from far away states, black slaves and free men, and even pirates and smugglers affiliated with the infamous Jean Lafitte. Once the threat was past, these disparate segments of society returned to their separate lives and the circumstances that divided them, but for one glorious moment they experienced the joy of being a people united in a common cause.
We might consider as well the example of our Jewish brethren in World War II. Immediately before the war, an Arab revolt in British Palestine compelled His Majesty’s government to issue a White Paper in 1939 which closed the door on Jewish immigration to the Holy Land. This was a political and military necessity for the British; another Arab revolt would threaten their hold on Egypt, their link to India and the Pacific, and the lifeline of the Empire. When faced with war against Hitler’s Germany, Great Britain could not afford to lose that lifeline, and thus European Jews in peril of their lives in the Shoa (Holocaust) lost their last and best chance at escape from the death camps.
One might suppose the Jewish response to the White Paper – particularly among those living in the Land – would be violent rejection and revolt. Some did respond that way, but the most memorable response was by David Ben Gurion, at that time among the most prominent leaders of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish settlers in the Land. He expressed his position this way:
Ben Gurion’s pragmatism was instrumental in establishment of the Jewish Brigade, the only regular military unit of any Allied army in World War II comprised entirely of Jews. The Jewish Brigade served with distinction in the British forces in Egypt, Italy, and Northwest Europe, and it also served as a training ground for Jewish warriors who carried the fight for Israel’s independence after the British Mandate over Palestine ended in 1948.