Israel365’s Rabbi Tuly Weisz (right) and Pastor Alex Cho (center) and members of his Taiwanese pilgrims plant trees in Ofra. (Credit: Eliana Rudee/Breaking Israel News)
On the first day of Hanukkah, a group of 120 – comprised of 75 Christians and 40 Jews – brought light to the Knesset in a joint Bible study that included 40 honored guests, Christians visiting from Taiwan.
Representing the fifth Schindler Society Knesset Bible Study, co-sponsored by the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study and Israel365, Knesset Member Yehuda Glick (Likud) opened the Tuesday session with Israel’s national anthem (HaTikvah, “The Hope”) and exuberant renditions of Psalms 118:24 in English, Hebrew and Taiwanese Mandarin:
“This is the day that Hashem has made— let us exult and rejoice on it.”(Psalms 118:24)
Glick lit a chanukiah made by Holocaust survivors, thanking God for “our ability to be His light in the world.”
Reading from The Israel Bible– the world’s first Hebrew Bible to highlight the special relationship between the land and the people of Israel – Glick spoke about the prophetic beginnings of Hanukkah, maintaining, “Hanukkah is celebrated in the darkest time of the year, on the longest and darkest night, but by putting the menorah in our windows, we can bring light to the entire world.” He continued, “That’s our job on Hanukkah – to remind the world that even in the darkest of darkness, we had a connection to the light of the menorah, to the Temple, to God and to Jerusalem.”
Rabbi Shmuel Veffer, President and Co-Founder of Galilee Green Olive Oil, spoke of the Biblical aspects of olive oil and its connection to Hanukkah and the Jewish people. “The menorah, which was chosen as the emblem of the State of Israel, needs olive oil as fuel. In Biblical times, olive oil was the basis of the economy and it was used in the Temple to spread light.”
Veffer further explained, “Light represents Torah, our instructions for living. In addition, Jews are compared to olive oil – because if you try to them, you get this beautiful pure thing that lights up the world. But more importantly, it represents our job as the proprietor of the fuel to spread the Torah – the wisdom of the Almighty.” Without olive oil in the menorah- the Jewish people in the land of Israel – posed Veffer, there will be no light for the nations and “the world is destroyed.”
Singer Rabbi Shlomo Katz spoke of the “fixing of the eyes” that Hanukkah brings. “We have no permission to use the light for any other benefit, only to observe the light,” he explained. When we see each other in this way – “looking at each other, ourselves, Israel and God just for the presence of our light, without thinking of how we can use what is in front of us,” he posed – “man comes to a state of gratitude and everything becomes a miracle.”
Director of Align with Zion, AnaRina Heymann, spoke of the importance of “flipping the switch” from Greek influence that tried to drown out Jewish spirituality to “becoming who we really are.” The physical embodiment of Greek influence, she said, an Acra (a massive Greek stronghold) which some scholars claim was found in the City of David was originally built “to block out the vision of the Temple Mount.” When King David re-conquered the city, she said, he “flipped the switch of the Jewish people to understand who they really are, not bound to the system of the world, but rather, being the system of the living God and being the light unto the nations.”
Rabbi Pesach Wolicki of the Center for Jewish and Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) focused his comments on the exhilaration and celebration we have during Hanukkah for a miracle that happened “in those days” – over 2,000 years ago – “now.” He exclaimed, “We are not recalling history – there is no word in the Hebrew language for history – we are remembering, and memories only happen in relation to our own experiences.” Thus, he posed, the miracle of Hanukkah is related to each and every one of our lives.
David Nekrutman, executive director for the CJCUC, praised Christians who light the Hanukkah candles for “affirming that the Torah is still alive and standing in partnership with the Jewish community and Israel to sanctify God’s name together.”
Rabbi Elan Adler warned against Israel’s secular tendencies, becoming “more Greek” and breaking from traditions and discarding customs. He connected this thought to the Hebrew word for Greece (יָוָן). When read in Hebrew, the characters show increasing tendencies. Adler urged the audience to follow in the footsteps of Judah the Maccabee, who stood resolute against increasing tendencies to become more Greek. He argued for the Hanukkah story to affect government and public policy by requiring all Jewish students to learn the basis of the Jewish faith. Rather than “let my people go,” he said, “let my children know.”
Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler, Bible and Prophecy Watch reporter on Breaking Israel News and editor of Ten From the Nations: Torah Awakening Among Non-Jews, spoke of an alternative Biblical paradigm of leadership – a female and private form of leadership – that can change the world. She recalled the lesser-known story of Judith, aunt of Judah the Maccabee, who “contributed to a victory in her own way” during the Maccabean revolt against Syrian-Greek oppression.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, Director of Israel365 and publisher of The Israel Bible and Breaking Israel News, spoke of the Bible study happening in the Knesset as a prophetic event, where the nations non-Jews come to Israel and declare their desire to learn the Torah as stated in Zecharia:
“In that day many nations will attach themselves to Hashem and become His people, and He will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that I was sent to you by the lord of Hosts.” (Zecharia 2:15)
“That’s what’s happening here, in Taiwan, all over the world – together we are bringing Zecharia’s vision to light,” he said.
Pastor Jim Garlow (a member of US President Trump’s faith advisory council) and Rosemary Schindler Garlow, founders of the Schindler Society, found the location of the Bible study – Israel’s parliament – especially meaningful as a place where government officials can explore Biblical concepts and lessons in leadership that may guide their governance of the Jewish state. The Schindler Society is a US-based Christian group that has introduced ongoing Bible study in the US Congress and the United Nations.
In the context of Judeo-Christian values that have shaped societal and governmental values from the times of the Maccabees until today, Schindler thanked the Jewish people and the nation of Israel “for the victory that you portrayed through the Maccabees and through the Hanukkah story.” She maintained, “When anti-Semitism rose up and the Greeks tried to influence governments against the ways of God, you stood strong and preserved the light for the nations so we could be here today and understand the ways of the Lord and worship the God of Israel.”
Garlow posed that Hanukkah is a “picture of the struggle that we are in right now.” He spoke of the opposition of “two different worldviews,” represented by “all that is light and all that is dark” – the Maccabees and the Greeks, “one of a reverence and awe of God in which Biblical truths lead governance and one of mini or no Gods.” He closed the event wishing upon those in attendance to continue the “Maccabean spirit,” representing “the truth of God’s revelation from Zion.”
A Taiwanese family at the tree planting ceremony in Ofra. (Credit: Eliana Rudee/Breaking Israel News)
Immediately following the Bible study, the Christian Taiwanese group traveled to Israel’s Biblical heartland of Ofra, where they met with Owner and CEO of Lipkin Tours, Aaron Lipkin. The group planted trees – representing Judeo-Christian roots to the land of Israel – actualizing the promise at the Bible study that the Christian people will continue to stand with the Jewish people, playing an active role in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in the Jewish homeland in Israel.
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.