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Investing in the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people

Ruth and Redemption (Petra Church Podcast)

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.
David Pileggi
Christ Church Jerusalem 

From Across the Pond - October 2017

CMJ UK Correspondent reports here on a recent gathering of the Labour Party of England, led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn for the last two years.  To many young people in England, 68-year-old Corbyn is venerated like a rock star. While the Labour Party was focused on the issue of England leaving the European Union under what came to be called “Brexit” – another topic came to the fore at the conference: Anti-Semitism. One Labour faction suggested that the Jewish groups within Labour be expelled! This movement is a harbinger of growing anti-Semitism across Europe. It should be a matter of prayer for us all. Here is Charles’ report:

Israel under fire at UK conference

Anti-Semitic ‘bullets’ fly at annual Labour Party gathering

By Charles Gardner
On the day we heard news of the killing of three Israelis by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank, the UK media was also reporting on anti-Semitic ‘bullets’ being fired at the annual conference of Her Majesty’s official Opposition.
Anti-Israel sentiment has been simmering in Britain’s Labour Party ever since Hard-Leftist Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader two years ago.  
[Right: Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party at Chatham House, 12 May 2017. Image: Chatham House/Wikimedia]
He had earlier promised to deal with it, but little if anything has been done and things got out of hand in Brighton, an otherwise gentle seaside resort designed for rest and refreshment.
Amid reports of intimidation of a leading BBC correspondent, activists applauded panellists at a fringe meeting who likened supporters of Israel to Nazis. Delegates even demanded expulsion from the party of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel – one speaker suggested Labour should be free to debate whether the Holocaust had happened! [1]
Clearly, anti-Semitism is still a big problem in Mr Corbyn’s party more than a year after he pledged to get to grips with the issue. Even the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, John Cryer, said he had tweets from party members which made his hair stand on end and were “redolent of the 1930s.” [2]
So what has happened?
All the more shocking is the fact that, until recently, Labour has been the ‘natural’ party for Britain’s 290,000 Jews – but no longer. Well, it was also once the natural party for Methodists and other non-conformist Christians who had emerged from the awakening of biblical truths following the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther 500 years ago.

100 Years Ago in Jerusalem (1917), August 2017

--Theresa Newell, 23 Aug 2017
Allenby reviews his troopsOne hundred years ago this Fall, the world changed – especially the map of the Middle East. Because the Ottoman Empire headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, aligned itself with Germany in World War I, the entire area was up for grabs by the Allied Forced as Germany surrendered. England, France and Russia all vied for sections of the old Empire. At the same time an internal battle among the adherents of Islam–-Arab and Turks–-was raging and rife with intrigue, spies and plots. In the midst of promises made and political power plays, General Sir Edmund Allenby marched into Jerusalem and received the surrender of the Ottomans. Thus, 1917 was the year that changed the world-–a world which continues to demand our attention and prayer.

General Edmund Allenby Takes Jerusalem 1917

On December 11, 1917 General Edmund Allenby, Field Marshal of the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), walked through the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem declaring victory over the Ottoman Empire by England and its allies. The event took place just in front of the entrance to the compound of CMJ's Christ Church, which had stood since the 1840s as the oldest Protestant church in the Middle East. It was the first day of Chanukah 1917, celebrating the liberation of Jerusalem by the Maccabees in 163 BC!
Chanukah with Judah Maccabee and General Allenby in JerusalemIt was the most historic of moments. With him were soldiers of the honor guard composed of English, Welsh, Scottish, Indian, Australian and New Zealand troops, with twenty soldiers each from Italy and France continuing the line inside the gate. East met West in a way that changed history and set the stage for the formation 31 years later of the State of Israel.
The Balfour Declaration had been signed in London on October 31, 1917 calling for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On that same day General Allenby's legion captured the city of Beersheba. This battle opened the way for the British force to move toward Jerusalem by early December.[1] While the Balfour Declaration was a great political coup for the Jewish aspirations for a homeland, it was not until Allenby's military victory that it was possible for the Declaration's intent to be set in motion. 
For over 400 years the territory of the future home for the Jews had been under Ottoman Turkish rule! While Jerusalem was a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, access to the area had been not only greatly restricted while under Ottoman rule but had become an undesirable place to live - subject to disease and poverty.
This year as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, we also focus on the importance of Allenby's triumphant military campaign. His entrance was the first time Jerusalem had been liberated from Muslim rule since the Crusader period ended in AD 1291.

Standing with Israel, July 2017

Perhaps some of our readers have seen the movie or read the book The Zookeeper's Wife recently. Based on a true story of the overseers of the famed Warsaw (Poland) Zoo, this couple saved the lives of over 300 Jewish men, women and children by extricating them from the Warsaw Ghetto before its inhabitants were taken by train to the Nazi death camps. They risked their lives by hiding these precious Jewish people and keeping them from destruction. The Epilogue at the end of the movie states that only two women among their hidden people were killed and that the couple have been honored among "the righteous gentiles" at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The shocking part of the story is that in the summer of 1939 all was peaceful in Warsaw and within months the Nazi army had overtaken Poland and the lives of Warsaw's 3.3 million Jewish people were in jeopardy.
Today, Israel and the Jewish people face again the horror of antisemitism and threats of annihilation by Iran-backed terrorist groups. Here is a report from our CMJ UK communications director, Charles Gardner, re the situation being faced by leaders in Britain today. Let us pray for the Peace of Jerusalem as the clouds gather again against His Jewish people. Let us pray for God's protection and for righteous leaders to be raised up in this time.
--Theresa Newell, 10 July 2017

It's time to back Israel

Disaster awaits if we don't stand with the Jewish nation

By Charles Gardner, CMJ UK
The moral backbone of the UK Government is once more being tested – this time on the crucial issue of whether or not we will stand with Israel in her time of need.
Stalked by terror and threats on every side, the Jewish state is potentially in as great a peril now as its people were under the Nazis, with an estimated 120,000 missiles pointed at Israeli cities by the Iran-sponsored, Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah. [1]
And supporters of this vile enemy of democracy have been allowed to march through the streets of London waving an intimidating flag featuring an assault rifle, and calling for the destruction of Israel!
In the wake of a petition signed by over 10,000 people calling upon the UK Government to ban Hezbollah, which Home Secretary Amber Rudd has promised to consider, a House of Commons debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was called on Wednesday.
It was perhaps aptly summed up by the sense of deja vu expressed by one participant as 'two-state solution' mantra once more echoed through the chamber.

Heroes of the Holocaust, April 2017

As we prepare to celebrate Passover (Pesach) April 10-18 and Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) April 24, it is critical that we remember the Gentile believers in Jesus who stood heroically at the side of Jews during the terrifying days of Hitler's Third Reich. These believers did not just STAND with Jewish people: they put their lives on the line for them! The story of Master Sgt Roddie Edmonds, of Knoxville, Tennessee, who saved 200 American Jewish lives in January 1945, was recently unearthed from his diaries. It is told here by our CMJ UK Communications Director, Charles Gardner - along with other generally unsung heroes during those perilous days. The question for us today is, in the light of rising anti-Semitism across the West, will we stand with His Jewish people in our day? May God help us and give us resolve.
--Theresa Newell, 13 April 2017

Christian soldier risks his life for Jewish men

By Charles Gardner, CMJ UK
[Originally published in Israel Today, January 30, 2017]
Seventy-two years after the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army on January 27, 1945, Britain and other nations are acknowledging Holocaust Memorial Day at a time when anti-Semitism is once more on the rise.
[RIGHT: International Holocaust Remembrance Day Memorial Ceremony at the Raoul Wallenberg square with Holocaust survivors. Image by Frankie Fouganthin.
Israel itself, which has since risen from the ashes of that dreadful scourge that wiped out six million European Jews, is under dire threat from enemies on all sides while attacks on synagogues and other Jewish centres are still being carried out in the ‘civilised’ West. Only this last weekend in north-west London, a swastika-daubed brick was hurled through a Jewish family’s window while others were pelted with eggs.[1]
The fragile borders to which the United Nations expect Israel to agree (just nine miles wide in places) have for good reason been described by politicians as ‘Auschwitz lines’ because they leave the Jewish state highly vulnerable to attack from neighbouring states who have repeatedly threatened to wipe them off the map.

Israel and the UN 2017

By Dr. Theresa Newell
This week saw a flurry of Israel issues surface at the United Nations in New York.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, UNITED WITH ISRAEL group reported the following:
The secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) on Friday rejected a report, authored by UN officials, that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime,” prompting the resignation of the head of the agency that authored it. The resignation was by UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf of Lebanon who has championed anti-Israel rhetoric in the UN. 
The report, compiled by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid: Palestine and the Israeli Occupation,” was produced by Princeton Professor Emeritus Richard Falk, the UN’s former Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and American political scientist Virginia Tilley of Southern Illinois University.
Both have a long history of anti-Israel activism.
The report “concludes, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, and urges swift action to oppose and end it.”
ESCWA is comprised of 18 Arab states.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for the report to be removed from ESCWA’s website.
On Monday March 20, The Times of Israel had reported that the US issued a strongly worded statement accusing the United Nations Human Rights Council of longstanding bias against Israel.
The State Department announced it would boycott the council’s entire Monday discussion about alleged human rights abuses committed by Israel and vote against any resolutions that came from it. Specifically, the United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the existence of the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item Seven. Agenda Item Seven is a permanent fixture requiring the council to discuss three times each year any alleged abuses of human rights committed by Israel against Palestinians.
Addressing the UN on March 1, US Envoy and career diplomat Erin Barclay stated:  “No other nation is the focus of an entire agenda item… The obsession with Israel… is the largest threat to this council’s credibility. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this council. The United States will oppose any effort to delegitimize or isolate Israel.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would reiterate its “strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.” Tillerson wrote that the US was concerned as well about membership in the council of countries accused of human rights violations, such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
When the UNHRC was created out of the discredited UN Human Rights Commission in 2006, then-US president George W. Bush refused to join the new group, believing that it would lack credibility and that, like its predecessor, it would allow human right violators to become members.
In 2009, then-President Barack Obama reversed that decision, hoping to improve the UNHRC.
“With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system,” then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton said at the time.
In the article below, the CMJ UK Director of Communications Charles Gardner brings to light telling comments by Israeli Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, about UN reports accusing Israel of being an “apartheid” state. Mr. Gardner’s report, "Apartheid Claims Exposed," follows.

Apartheid Claims Exposed

Arab ACE card trumps anti-Israel campaign

By Charles Gardner
As genocide is being committed against Christians, Yazidis and even "dissident" Muslims across the Arab world, the international finger of criticism continues to point at Israel.
The latest example is a UN report urging swift action to oppose and end Israeli “apartheid”.1
Thankfully, my Christian Friends of Israel colleague David Soakell has produced an "ace" card exposing all this nonsense with a timely series of testimonies from Arabs which I have aptly titled Apartheid Claims Exposed (ACE).2
He tells us that Israeli Arabs – both Christian and Muslim – are risking disapproval from their own communities by volunteering for the Israeli Defence Forces in increasing numbers, disproving the lie that Israel is a racist, apartheid state. (Non-Jews are not obligated to serve in the IDF).
One Muslim female soldier said: “I wanted to enlist because it is my duty to serve and protect my country.” And she is even allowed weekly visits to her family during the Ramadan fast, so there is no difficulty with her practicing her religion in the Jewish state.
Ibrahim Bari, an African Muslim refugee, went public with his testimony, saying: “In the army, I made friends for life [and] would do everything to defend Israel.”
Elinor Joseph, an Arab Christian serving in the IDF, says: “This is my country. When I see the [Israeli] flag waving in the wind I get excited.”
Another Arab-Israeli soldier, Monaliza Abdo, adds: “I came to serve my country and my home.”
And Major Ala Wahib, the highest-ranking Muslim in the IDF, asks: “Is Israel inherently racist – an apartheid state? Well, do you think that such a country would tolerate a person like myself getting to the position I am today? Someone who has not only fought alongside Jewish soldiers, but now trains them too? ...I do not serve in the army to kill people – I serve in it to save people. When Hamas fires rockets, or Fatah encourages stabbings, we are here to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.”
Adam Ram has also decided to “break the silence” by standing against the slander and constant defamation of Israeli soldiers. A Bedouin serving as a combat soldier in Hebron, a particularly tense area, he says: “The war is against all Israelis, regardless of who you are, because when a terrorist leaves his home with a knife, planning on murdering a soldier or a civilian, he does not care if his victim is a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian …As long as you hold a blue Israeli ID card, you are a fair target.”
Furthermore, Palestinians he has met on the streets see them as their protector, preferring them to the failure that is the Palestinian Authority which, incidentally, contributes just 10% of the cost of medical care for Palestinians treated in Israel – the rest is paid by the Israeli taxpayer.3
“As opposed to Daesh and other Islamic regimes, Israel is democratic and extends rights even to those who are not citizens of the state,” Adam adds.
Contrast this with the blatant discrimination against non-Muslims in much of the surrounding Arab world, where even Muslim women do not share the rights of their menfolk.
Meanwhile a group of North African journalists from Muslim Arab countries, visiting the Jewish state as guests of the Foreign Ministry, have described their first impressions of Israel as “appearing Western and free” and as “an opportunity to see the real Israel without the media acting as a middle man.” 4
Even if all this criticism of Israel was justified, it is out of all proportion to the reality that exists in the region. The tiny Jewish state has had to suffer wars and rumours of wars on a constant basis since she emerged once more onto the world stage as a new nation in 1948.
The world, particularly in the shape of the United Nations, is largely silent as terror stalks the streets of Jerusalem, but at the same time condemns the Jews for stealing land allegedly not their own.
The sabre-rattling of Israel’s enemies involves guns, knives, rockets, missiles and even the threat of nuclear weapons. But more than anything it is a battle for truth in the midst of ferocious spiritual warfare which demands the engagement (in prayer and other ways) of all who love the truth, perfectly revealed in our Messiah Yeshua. And we must stand up for Israel against such shocking bias that is so transparent it demands a rewriting of history.
Accusing Israel of being an "apartheid" state is just the latest in a long line of anti-Semitic attempts to invoke the wrath of a world effectively rebelling against the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah.
First there was identity theft as Yasser Arafat invented a "Palestinian" nation where Jews were once known as Palestinians; then the Jews were accused of stealing "Palestinian" land they had inhabited for thousands of years, which God himself had given them according to the Scriptures, and to which they even acquired an international legal right through a treaty signed at San Remo on the Italian Riviera in 1920. And now, in raising their protests during the recent Israel Apartheid Week, students have abandoned their inquiring minds in pursuit of a vendetta of lies and propaganda against the only democracy in the Middle East.
Open their eyes, dear Lord!
1Produced by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, according to World Israel News, March 15, 2017.
2CFI’s Watching over Zion newsletter, March 9, 2017.
4United with Israel, March 16, 2017.

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]


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