By Joseph Shulam
The State of Israel needs your prayer urgently. The Israeli society is more divided now than in the last 30 years. The case that is dividing the population of Israel would not even be a case at all in at least 90% of the countries of the World. In short in March 2016 a Palestinian terrorist attached some Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron. He killed one Israeli soldier and approached to kill other. He was shot by an Israeli soldier five times but was not yet dead. One of the young Israeli soldiers saw the terrorist put his hand into his coat and suspected that the terrorist had a weapon or a suicide belt under his coat. At that point the young soldier shot the terrorist and killed him. All of this was filmed by an Arab reporter and floated in the media. The young 18 year old Israeli soldier was arrested and accused of killing the terrorist after he was already on the ground.
Yesterday this Israeli soldier was found guilty of man-slaughter for killing the terrorist. Now there is an internal conflict in the Israeli society across the board. Some applaud the Israeli judicial system and other condemn the Israeli judicial system. The ones who praise the system and the judge say that as Jews in the Land of Israel we must hold to the highest standard of Justice and the solider is guilty for killing a man who is already on the ground. This of course ignores that the person who was on the ground already was neutralized with five bullets for attacking the soldiers and killing one of them. It also ignores the fact that when a Palestinian Arab kills Jews he is praised and celebrated and his family receives a significant sum of money from countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. If the terrorist dies his family will have a life time pension from these same countries. An Israeli soldier has to think twice if he kills a terrorist because he could be accused and tried and even go to jail.
So, now this case is tarring Israel apart at the seam. The population is very divided and there are some strong feelings on both sides and some Israeli young people are refusing to join the Army and refuse to serve in fighting unites claiming that the State of Israel is nor standing by their men in uniform. The rift in this nation is deep and we need your prayers and intercession. The issues at hand are not physical they are issues of faith and righteousness, and between concern for the dry letter of the law and the understanding of higher values of truth and righteousness that gives life and considers more than the dry letter of the law. As we all know the words of Apostle Paul: “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
(2 Corinthians 3:6 NKJV)
Pray for the Hamotzi (food distribution program of Netivyah). We started the year 2017 with a new group of people provided by the social department of the city. We are feeding 130 families of the poorest poor of Jerusalem. The average family that is receiving food from Netivyah has six mouths to feed. This makes the number of people who receive this grace 680 souls. There are people from every race and group in the city of Jerusalem. We have Ethiopians, Russian, old time Jerusalemites, Arabs, Orthodox Jews, and Holocaust survivors, and old timers who can’t even come themselves to pick up the food and food it taken to them by others. We appreciate so much all of you stand with the Hamotzi food program. We love the people of Jerusalem and we are doing our best to be obedient to the apostolic command to care for the poor saints of Jerusalem. In fact the Apostle raised the funds among the congregations in Asia Minor (Today’s Turkey) and in Greece and Rome and brought the funds personally to Jerusalem and gave the money for the poor saints in Jerusalem in the temple as a sacrifice to God for the poor of Jerusalem. “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation. . .” (Acts 24:17 NKJV) The context of this passage is Paul and his disciples in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Netivyah appreciates your generosity to the Hamotzi program, but wants to remind you that there are other needs that we have especially the General Fund that provides funds for publications and pays salaries and Kol HaYeshua Radio broadcasts. We appreciate all of you and your heart for Jerusalem and for Israel.
This Sabbath we will be reading the last Parasha of the book of Genesis 47:28 – 50:26. The name of this Parasha is VaYechi – ויחי (He lived). It is interesting because in this reading Jacob dies and Joseph dies. However, the most important thing that is in this reading is the blessings that Jacob gave to his sons. These blessings spark tons of literature in the inter-testamentary period and in later midrash literature in Judaism. I will not jump in now to deal with this major topic, but I want to share one word from this portion of reading. “The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Genesis 48:16 NKJV) The word for “grow into multitude” in Hebrew is a derivative of the word “Fish – Dag – דג” and it means they will fish. It is from these words of Jacob that Yeshua commanded His apostles to become fishers of men. It is interesting that even this special command to share the Good News with men of every nation is based on the Torah. Yeshua our Lord, our Teacher and our Rabbi, Savior and example – was a Torah teacher and for most of the years of his ministry in the Galilee he was considered a great Rabbi and He was invited by all the Synagogues in the Galilee to teach there on the Sabbath. “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.”(Luke 4:14–15 NKJV) This aspect of Yeshua’s ministry and persona is often forgotten and neglected. WE must not allow this one of the most impressive aspects of Yeshua’s life and ministry – Yeshua is not only Lord but also a Rabbi and a teacher of God’s wisdom.
Please pray for me and my family. Keep praying for Barry my son. He still has a big hole in his stomach and the healing is going on but very slow. He is still in discomfort. Barry needs your prayers. Marcia my wife also needs your prayers for her health and strength. So do Danah and Noaam, our daughter and granddaughter. They must cope with so many health issues and other issues that beset their lives.
For me, please pray, next week I am starting my teaching tour for 2017 in Amsterdam in the Congregation Beit Yeshua. The topic of the teaching this year is fascinating, but if misunderstood can become controversial. I am going to teach “Yeshua and Paul.” This is a comparative study and an apologetic for both Yeshua and Paul and a show of the reasons for the difference in emphasis and scenario between Paul’s teaching and Yeshua. I do need your prayer for the stamina necessary to teach intensely many hours per day at the age of 70+. I am sure that the study will be interesting and inspirational for all those who will attend these seminars. This is normally not something that one hears in most church settings and it opens a wider understanding of both Yeshua and Paul’s teaching. One of the reasons that I have chosen this topic is because Paul is under no small attack among academics these days and I believe that as a Jew and as a Disciple of Yeshua I owe reconciliation for both. Please pray for Lion the Rabbi of Beit Yeshua in Amsterdam. Lion will be interpreting also for many hours per day and needs the Holy Spirit anointing just as much as I need it.
God bless all those who pray for people and healing even when he does not know them personally. This in my opinion is the greatest and most effective prayer. For this reason I really do believe in your prayers and in your sincerity in calling upon the Lord God of Israel to bless, heal, help, and answer the prayers of the righteous for the sake of His Kingdom and for Israel.
Please keep praying for the sick brothers and sisters from all around the World. I would like to ask you to pray for some friends who have a need for God’s blessing on their work: Chung and Sister Lee. I have special concern for our dear brother Goh and his family, and for Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Kenzevic. These are brothers who have needs in their work and God is gracious to bless and help those who have concern to bless others.
Please don’t forget to especial pray for healing and strength for our dear brothers in Murfreesboro. Pray for our dear brother and sister Bobby, and Emmet, and Joe M., and Gloria D., these are all very precious brothers and friends are battling serious health issues and we must keep them in our prayers.
Please don’t forget to pray for our dear sister Ruby, and for one of my finest teachers, Dr. John McRay.
We continue to pray for Gary in Jerusalem. Gary is in the USA now for his father’s funeral. Gary’s father died in a good old age, but it is still painful and difficult so keep Gary and his family in your prayers. Nancy is in the USA now and we will continue to pray for Aharon (Don and Nancy’s Son) is still struggling with a tumor in his brain keep him in your prayers please! I must report to you that Aaron does have some improvement and is back on his job. Yuri Marianenko a member of our congregation in Jerusalem is fighting a prostate cancer. Our wonderful older brothers and sisters need our prayers: Ahuvah Ben Meir, David Stern, Marcia Shulam, Sarit, Miriam, Ilana, and Leah. This week I am adding to this prayer list our dear sister Lydia – lift her up in your prayers and ask for special encouragement for her from the Lord Himself.
We lift up our dear brothers and sisters Ruby, Clara, Paulo, Naomi, Tim Tucker, Anna, Anne-Mirijami, Satu-Maria, Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, and Evelina, Eva H., and our dear sister Liz J., in Georgia, and Horace and June Marcia’s parents.
We especially lift up before your throne of mercy Marcelo’s father and mother in Belo-Horizonte. We pray for the following dear brothers and sisters: Pastor Curita in Tokyo, Toru San, and the husband of Yumi, Sadako San, Shoko San, Takeo Sensei and Tomoko San all in Japan.
May we all look beyond this life and the valley of tears and be preparing for eternal glory. Prepare now so that when the hour comes and we are called home – our bags are packed and we are ready to roll and strive upward and upward now so that we don’t go down and down. This is not a melancholy message it is a very optimistic and realistic message to encourage us all and prepare us for the much better and the best for our lives now and eternally. I myself need to remind myself of this truth in order to gain the strength and energy to keep going knowing that my labor is not in vain.
God bless you all and bless all that you do with joy fruit and new opportunities to do more and increase in all that is good and healthy and beneficial now and for ever.