Temple Mount
Christ Church
Old City Ramparts
En Avedat Canyon
Christ Church courtyard
Tower of David Museum
Image of Masada
Gates at Capernaum
Mount of the Beatitudes
Sea of Galilee
Hillside in Galilee
4th Century Burial Cave
Investing in the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people

Moon Walkers

Our CMJ UK correspondent has offered this piece on US astronauts and their strong belief in their Creator God -- as they looked at Earth from outer space! Here is an astounding story told about one of those astronauts, Neil Armstrong, when he visited Israel:
"When Neil Armstrong visited Israel in 1994, he asked his host, archaeologist Meir Ben Dov, if there was a place where Jesus would undoubtedly have walked when he was on earth. Dov, one of the excavators of the Temple Mount, was sure that he would have used the southern steps as he walked up to the Temple. So when Armstrong got there, the man who is more famous for his statement “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” is understood to have bent down and kissed the ground, saying that this was an even more exciting moment for him than walking on the moon."
Photo: Southern Wall of the Temple Mount enclosure, stairs leading to the triple Hulda gates [Wikimedia Commons]

Keeping Chanukah at Home

For the fourth time in the last 100 years, Chanukah falls on Christmas Eve 2016. Lights are part of the celebration of each of these feasts: Chanukah for the miraculous supply of oil in the rededicated Temple; and Christmas lights for the star of Bethlehem and the Messiah-God coming in flesh as the Light of the world! As with Christmas, at Chanukah there are also traditional food and family games and gift giving. Here are some ideas of how you can celebrate Chanukah at your house this year. Did you know the “Feast of Dedication/Chanukah” is mentioned only in the New Testament in John 10: 22, 23?

Lighting of Candles 

As you light up your Christmas tree this year, you can also light the candles of Chanukah at your family dinner table. At Amazon.com, you can find a Chanukah menorah with its eight candle holders, plus a special "servant" or shammus candle holder for the candle used to light the others for the eight day feast. If you don't have one, here is a link to several good options: Amazon.com + hanukkah candle holder.
 (Please use smile.Amazon.com and designate CMJ-USA to help the ministry! See the link on the right-sidebar for more details.)
Each night of the feast, a candle is lit – one the first night, two the second night, etc. Light the Shammus candle first and recite the blessing while holding the candle. Begin lighting the candles each night from right to left (the direction Hebrew is read).
The first night for lighting the candles this year is Saturday, December 24.

Blessing over Candles

Light the Shammus candle first, and then recite the blessings while holding the candle. Do not light the other candles until the blessings are done! 
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe 
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu
Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us 
l'had'lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein)
to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen) 
[Continue reading for recipes and games to play at home...]

Secret Weapon Against Anti-Semitism

In the culture wars in Western Europe and America, the growth of anti-Jewish movements have rightfully been viewed with alarm by the Jewish communities of the world. In this article published recently in The Forward, (the largest Jewish weekly published in the US), writer Sam Kestenbaum asks if messianic believers are “a secret weapon in the anti-Semitism fight with the *‘Alt-right’,” and postulates that it is perhaps the Jewish believers in Jesus who are the bulwark against anti-Semitism as they take a vocal pro-Jewish stand for their own people!
CMJ USA stands with our messianic Jewish brothers and sisters quoted in the article--Jews for Jesus, Chosen People Ministries and the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA)-- in their outspoken position against any form of anti-Semitism. We base our love for the Jewish people on the biblical truth that they are “the apple of His eye” and the people of His choosing. We believe God when he promised Abraham that “[He] will bless those who bless you [Jewish people], and whoever curses you [he] will curse” (Genesis 12: 3). As the dark clouds of anti-Semitism once again gather, let us pray diligently for and stand courageously with His Jewish people.
* “Alt-right” is a shortened version of Alternative Right, which was a white supremacist website created by Richard Spencer and Colin Liddell in 2010. Followers of the Alt-right movement swung away from the traditional “conservative” movement in the US. Its ideology often embraces anti-Semitism. (Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_right)
by Dr. Theresa Newell, CMJ Board Member
[Photo:  Dr. Newell with Rabbi Paul Liberman, Executive Board Member of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) and Executive Director of the Alliance for Israel Advocacy (AIA)]

UNESCO Resolution

by Dr. Theresa Newell, CMJ USA Board Member
On Thursday, October 13, 2016, UNESCO’s Executive Board meeting in Paris adopted a resolution put forth by an Arab delegation on behalf of the Palestinian Authority that effectively disregards Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem holy sites, and has led Israel to cut ties with the cultural body. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an arm of the United Nations. The resolution is titled “Occupied Palestine.” The Jerusalem Post reported that the six-page draft resolution claims that the Western Wall is part of the Temple Mount and therefore Islamic. It broadly condemns Israeli actions in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
The Israeli ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen called the resolution “a total Islamization” of a site revered by Jews as well as Muslims. The Post pointed out that the Western Wall is a retaining wall built 2,000 years ago by King Herod. The purpose was to create an acropolis or flat area for the enhancement of the Jewish Temple, which stood on the mount at that time. This was the Temple that stood during the life of Jesus. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, a Byzantine [Christian] church stood on the spot in the 3rd and 4th centuries. 
“To disconnect the Jewish people from the Western Wall is one step too much, even for nations that are the most anti-Israel,” Hacohen said. He noted that “the timing is also problematic, since the Temple Mount issue has already sparked Palestinian violence against Jewish citizens.” 
The Temple Mount is under the custodianship of the Wakf Muslim religious trust and the Jordanian monarchy. Jordon voted for the resolution. Palestinians have accused Israel of wanting to change the status quo of this arrangement – a charge which Israel has repeatedly denied. 
An aerial view of the Dome of the Rock, left, in the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s old city, and the Western Wall, center, the holiest site for Jews, October 2, 2007. (AFP/Jack Guez)
UNESCO’s Executive Board chairman Michael Worbs told Israel’s Channel 10 that when Jerusalem was declared a World Heritage Site, its importance to the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) was highlighted. He stated, “I am very well aware of that [importance] and personally would never deny that,” referring to Jewish historical connection to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Golden future for Jesus followers

[Charles Gardner, CMJ Communications Director in the UK, posted this reflection on the recently completed Olympics and those who stood for Jesus and took home gold -- from a view from England and reminiscing on the famous 1924 Paris Olympics win by Eric Liddell  when he honored the Sabbath by refusing to run a heat that day...]

Olympic athletes give praise where it is really due

By Charles Gardner
As the Olympic Games show increasing signs of returning to its pagan[1] roots, the humility amid personal brilliance of a few outstanding Christian competitors shines out like stars in a darkened universe.
And its promotion as a showpiece for world peace and unity was tarnished by the hostility shown to the 47-member Israeli delegation[2] –- 44 years after eleven Israeli athletes were massacred at the Munich Olympics by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
For Britain, bursting with pride after collecting a staggering 67 medals and finishing second in the table to the United States at Rio, it was an event to savour after some of our politicians had downplayed patriotism in favour of staying within the European Union.
It seems the British bulldog spirit has instead received a belated boost. But the prowess of our athletes isn’t enough; what the human body can achieve should not be an opportunity for self-congratulation, but for giving honour where it is really due as in the case of South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk, who gave glory to God just moments after his spectacular win in the 400 metres –- echoing the gold medal won in the same event at the 1924 Paris Olympics by legendary Scottish athlete Eric Liddell, who went on to be a missionary in China.[3]

New Orleans-style Shakshuka discovered in Pennsylvania

Here's a surprise find by our board member Theresa Newell, from the Sunday magazine of her local newspaper (in Lancaster County, PA)...  "Louisiana Shrimp Shakshuka" by an Israeli chef associated with a famous restaurant in New Orleans! Dr. Newell remembers the first time she tasted shakshuka in Jerusalem. She assumed it was a Latin American dish (it reminded her of huevos rancheros), only to find out it is a Mediterranean dish. 
Another surprise is Chef Alon's addition of shrimp and okra (he IS in New Orleans, after all). It may not be kosher, but Theresa says it is delicious. (She recommends substituting a few red pepper flake for the hot sauce, if you're from the North.)

Christ Church Numbered Among Treasures in the Old City

Inside Jaffa Gate: Christ Church Jerusalem is numbered among other treasures near the Jaffa Gate in a Times of Israel travel article, entitled "Inside Jaffa Gate: remembering the Caliph who revered the Temple Mount" [click here to read the article]. Christ Church is located directly across the street from the Citadel, also noted in the article.
[Image: CMJ's "Christ Church, also home to the Christian Heritage Center, a 2,000-year-old water reservoir, and a guesthouse." (Shmuel Bar-Am)]

500th Anniversary of Venice’s Jewish Ghetto. . .

Venice's Jewish Ghetto, circa 1516This is the title of a story by Silvia Donati in the March 30, 2016 edition of Italy magazine, marking the date March 29, 1516, when the Senate of the republic of Venice (Italy) signed a decree mandating that all Jews residing in the city live together in a monitored and gated area, separated from the Christians. So the Jews of Venice were relocated to a small island encircled by walls, where a foundry used to stand. The word in Italian/Venetian dialect was getto—and thus was born the name of this first established Jewish ghetto in Europe. The name stuck and took on a general meaning of a confined space for a specified group of people which separated the group from the general population for whatever reason.
Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497, Jewish refugees began to show up in cities across the Mediterranean basin and ultimately as far away as the coasts of North and South America. Over 5,000 of these Sephardic Jews ended up in Venice. An agitation began for their expulsion once again and culminated in 1516 in the decision by the state to confine the entire community of Jews to the area of the former cannon foundry, the ghetto nuovo—in the area furthest removed from the Piazza San Marco, which was the symbol of Christianity in Venice. 
Special taxes were levied against the Jews of the ghetto, and security to keep them inside the walls of the ghetto at night was set up. As the Jewish community grew larger, new areas were added to the enclosed space. Stories were added to the existing buildings to accommodate the new arrivals – which is why the buildings in the ghetto are among the highest in Venice, up to six to eight floors. 
In 1589, Jews were officially authorized by the Republic to build synagogues. The ghetto’s gates were opened in 1797, when Napoleon conquered Venice. The heart of Venice’s Jewish ghetto is Campo del Ghetto Nuovo, a quiet square not far from the train station, in the district of Cannaregio.

Interested in a trip to Israel?

Consider joining a CMJ Shoresh Tour to Israel. . .

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What is Shoresh?

Shoresh is Hebrew for "root." Our study tours are designed to help you grasp the Jewish roots of the New Testament faith and to give you "new ears" to hear biblical teachings in their original context.

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