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Investing in the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people

Anti-Semitism: Old and New

by Dr. Theresa Newell
[Reprinted from Heart's Cry 4, no. 4 (November 2014).]
 
In his seminal book THE ANGUISH OF THE JEWS: Twenty-three Centuries of Antisemitism by Edward H. Flannery (a revised edition was published by Paulist Press in 1985), Flannery notes that even in the Greco-Roman world which predated the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth there were anti-Jewish realities in the Mediterranean world based on culture and politics.
 
And while Jesus, his apostles, disciples and the early Church were thoroughly Jewish and seen as a sect of Judaism, once Christianity began to spread to gentiles across the Roman world a new kind of theological anti-Semitism sprang up. This stand against the Jews began as early as the 2nd century AD by people like Marcion who claimed that the God of the Jews, Yahweh, was not the Father of the Lord Jesus! He said that those who worshiped the Old Testament God (i.e. Jews) were idol worshipers.
 
By the 4th century, following the early Councils of the Church which defined the basic doctrines of the Christian faith in documents like the Nicene Creed, the Jews were defined successively as “a perpetually perverse people, despised by God” (Hilary of Poiters) and the synagogue a “harlot” (St Ephraim). St. Gregory of Nyssa (AD 331-96) described the Jews as “slayers of the Lord . . . advocates of the devil . . . congregation of demons . . . haters of goodness.” Thus began the charge against Jews as “Christ-killers” which led to countless Jewish deaths across the centuries. St. John Chrysostom, in a series of sermons preached in Antioch in the fall of AD 386 during Jewish High Holy Days, accused the Jews “of their rapine, their cupidity . . . inveterate murderers, destroyers, men possessed by the devil.”
 
 
Is it 1938 again? Are we seeing a rise is a movement of hatred toward the Jewish people that is deeper and larger even than Hitler’s “Final Solution”? Will I stand with the Jewish people in their time of need that is fast approaching? Will I pray and work to share the love of the Jewish Messiah with them at this critical point in history? Will I pray “for the peace of Jerusalem”*? Today is a day of decision for each believer in the Jewish Messiah Jesus on this critical issue of our day.
 
 
*[And today, especially, will I pray for Pittsburgh?]
 

A Voice in Ramah

A voice is heard in Ramah,

   lamentation and bitter weeping.

Rachel is weeping for her children;

   she refuses to be comforted for her children,

     because they are no more.  (Jeremiah 31: 15)

 
 

The Ancient Hebrew Scroll Project is on the move

Ancient Hebrew Scrolls Project
 
Beginning Friday, September 7th, the Rev. Canon Daryl Fenton is traveling to churches and messianic congregations in Northern Illinois with the Ancient Hebrew Scroll Project, a collection of 40 Biblical Hebrew manuscripts.
 
If you live near Moline, West Chicago, Deerfield, Skokie or Freeport, Illinois... look for the event near you on our September calendar:
 
Biblical Hebrew manuscripts are the Holy Scripture--received, recorded, and preserved by the Jewish people. They have been carefully copied from the originals throughout the millennia. These Ancient Hebrew Scrolls make up the only complete set of the TANAKH (Hebrew Scriptures, or what some refer to as the Old Testament) that is available for the public to see.  
 

The TANAKH: 

Hebrew Scriptures are referred to as the Tanakh. (To others these are divided into the 39 books of the Old Testament.) The Tanakh is an acronym that stands for Torah (instruction), Neviim (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). The Ancient Hebrew Scroll Project has all 16 scrolls that make up the Tanakh
 
Scrolls in the display are unique, and most of them are 250 years old or older. These ancient scrolls were written in countries all over the world: Israel, Poland, Iraq, Morocco, and Russia, to name a few. However, each scroll at different times and in its own history made its way to Jerusalem and from there was discovered and purchased by this project. Each scroll has a look and a story of its own. Six of the scrolls in the collection were commissioned by this project to be written in Jerusalem by a scribe (sofer) when a worldwide search failed to discover those needed to complete the set. The exhibit includes duplicates of some scrolls making this a collection of 40 scrolls.  
 
Ancient Hebrew Scroll Project      
 
 

David Pileggi: Anti-Semitism, the State of Israel and the Gospel

Rev. David Pileggi, pastor of CMJ’s Christ Church Jerusalem, recently shared on today’s critical issue of anti-Semitism at The Center for Judaic-Christian Studies in Dayton, Ohio.Image of David Pileggi in the library of Christ Church
 
We present here the first of a series of three talks by David. To listen to the entire series, please contact JCStudies at their website: www.jcstudies.com. The complete set, "Anti-Semitism, the State of Israel and the Gospel," is there for purchase.
 

Prince William's Visit to Israel

 
Since Israel was declared a State on May 14, 1948, there has been no official visit by a member of the British Royal family. Prince William, second in line to the British throne, will break that record of over seventy years when he becomes the first of the Royals to make an official visit to Israel in the summer of 2018. Israel had been under a British Mandate from the end of World War I until Israel became a state.
 
What most people do not know is that Prince William’s great grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, is buried on the Mount of Olives – and hid Jews in her palace in Greece during the Second World War and is thus honored as one of “The Righteous Among The Nations” at Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
 
This story was updated recently in jewsnews.co.il and appeared there first on December 2016.
 
 

 

Prince William will become the first member of the UK Royal Family to make an official visit to Israel. Other British royals have made a small number of private visits, but did you know that William has a direct family connection to Jerusalem?

On the Mount of Olives, above the Garden of Gethsemane, lies the picturesque Church of St Mary Magdalene. There, Princess Alice of Battenberg, the paternal grandmother of Prince Charles is buried.
 
Princess Alice was an extraordinary woman. She was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the mother of Prince Philip (the Queen’s husband) and was born at Windsor Castle in 1885.
 
Congenitally deaf, she nevertheless learned to speak English and German. She led a difficult life, in and out of exile from Greece, after marrying Prince Andrew of Greece in 1903 and becoming Princess of Greece.
 
During World War II she lived in Athens and had sons-in-law who were fighting on the German side while her own son was in the British Royal Navy fighting the Nazis. During the Nazi occupation of Athens, the German’s assumed that she was pro-German, and on visiting her a general asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” She replied, “You can take your troops out of my country”.
 
In 1943, Athens was home to around 75,000 Jews. Of these, around 60,000 were deported to Nazi concentration camps, where all but 2,000 died. During this period Princess Alice hid Jewish widow Rachel Cohen and two of her five children in her home. Rachel’s husband, Haimaki Cohen had aided King George I of Greece in 1913. In return, King George offered him any service he could per-form, should Cohen ever need it. Cohen’s son remembered this during the Nazi threat and appealed to Princess Alice. She honoured the promise and saved the Cohen family.
 
When Athens was liberated in October 1944, Princess Alice insisted on walking the streets to distribute rations to policemen and children in contravention of the curfew order. When told she could be shot and killed, she replied, “They tell me that you don’t hear the shot that kills you. And in any case I am deaf. So why worry about that?”
 
Princess Alice died at Windsor Castle in 1969, and her remains lay at first in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. But her final wish was to be buried at the Russian Orthodox Convent on the Mount of Olives, near her aunt Elizabeth, the Grand Duchess of Russia, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks and declared a Russian Orthodox saint. Her remains were transferred there in 1988.
 
Princess Alice was recognised by Yad Vashem as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations.” And in 1994, her son Prince Philip attended a ceremony in Jerusalem to commemorate his mother’s life. Whilst there he met with members of the Cohen family whom his mother had hid for 13 months during the war.
 

Ruth and Redemption (Petra Church Podcast)

Author: 
Gary Buck, Dr. Theresa Newell, and Andrea Beiler
Petra Church Podcast No. 76, February 21, 2018
Hidden in the story of Ruth in the Old Testament are fascinating revelations of God's plan of redemption, not just for Ruth's life, but for all of mankind as well. In this podcast, Gary Buck (pastor of Petra Church, New Holland, PA), Dr. Theresa Newell (CMJ USA), and Andrea Beiler delve deep into the life of Ruth.
 

Modern Hebrew

by Dr. Theresa Newell, CMJ USA Board Member
 
Today we take for granted that Hebrew is the spoken language of Israel. In fact the many people groups which have emigrated from many countries of the world into Israel since about 1880 have represented almost 100 different languages! Ulpan is the name of the language training course that all new immigrants (known as olim) are given soon after they enter Israel. 
 
While the vocabulary of biblical Hebrew is composed of about 9,000 words, modern spoken Hebrew dictionaries will show approximately 75,000 words! This is the difference of a language moving from a static text to a language for everyday use. 
 
How was a language which had been reserved for synagogue worship and prayer for almost 2,000 years revived into a living language of the homeland for the Jewish people? 
 
Eliezer Ben Yehuda
 
Eliezer Ben-YehudaIt all started with a man who took the Hebrew name Eliezer Ben Yehuda. He was born in 1858 in the small town of Lushki in the province of Vilna, Lithuania. From the age of three, he had a traditional Jewish training in Hebrew. Knowing that due to Russian discrimination against Jews he would not be admitted into university in Russia, he attended the University of Paris where he studied medicine in 1879.
 
There existed at the time a Hebrew monthly periodical in Europe titled Hashahar (The Dawn). Ben Yehuda was aware of the homelessness of the Jews and quickly became a follower of the developing movement which soon became known as the Zionist movement. He presented the then novel idea that not only did the Jews need to be re-settled in their ancient homeland but that Hebrew should be revived as the spoken language of the new state!
Due to ill health, Ben Yehuda was not able to go directly to Palestine, but he continued to publish articles in the Hebrew weekly Havazelet which was published in Jerusalem. In 1881 he was invited to become the paper’s assistant editor, a post he happily accepted. He married Dvora Jonas who shared his enthusiasm for the language and on their arrival in Jerusalem organized a group dedicated to speaking Hebrew as their exclusive language. He and Dvora’s children were among the first to speak Hebrew as their mother tongue.
 
 
 
 

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Christ Church Jerusalem, December 5, 2017 
 
It has been a long time since we have sent out a prayer alert, but tensions between Iran and Israel are escalating and have every chance of breaking out into war.
 
For some time Israel has been expressing alarm at Iran’s growing (and permanent) military presence in Syria.  Iran is busy establishing numerous military bases and also wants to build a naval base in northern Syria.  Its goal is to create a Shi’ite arc that stretches from Tehran to Beirut.   Israel and also Sunni nations (led by Saudi Arabia) are in trepidation of Iran’s expanding influence.  It should be remembered that Israel’s cause for concern is even greater than the Arab states.  Since 1980 one Iranian Shi’ite cleric after another has been threatening to destroy Israel and annihilate its Jewish population.     
 
Over the weekend Israel bombed an Iranian army base south of Damascus, killing 12 soldiers.  Iran has made no comment, but they are expected to respond by launching a terrorist attack against Israel or a Jewish target abroad.  In addition the Iranians are continuing to arm Hezbollah with large numbers of sophisticated rockets able to reach almost every Israeli city.  Should war break out in Syria, it would no doubt spread to Lebanon.  Hezbollah has an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets – more than any other nation except the US and Russia.  Of course, the situation is further complicated by the role of Russia that now has substantial interests in Syria and is allied with Iran.    
 
I am not an alarmist, but the need for prayer is crucial:  
  • Pray for peace in Syria and that the situation does not bring further instability to the region (with Iranian presence there)
  • Pray that Iran will move its forces out of Syria
  • Pray that millions of Syrian refugees will be able to return to their homes soon
  • Pray that more and more Iranians will come to know Jesus as Messiah
  • Pray for wisdom for the US president as he makes a decision about moving the US Embassy
  • Pray for the security of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem
We also ask for your prayers for our upcoming Open House on Christmas Eve.  
 
Thank you for your prayers, and many blessings for a joyous Christmas and Hanukkah.
 
Shalom,
 
David Pileggi
Christ Church Jerusalem 

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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