THE WATERSHED TIMES IN WHICH WE ARE LIVING
We set out for Beit Shemesh, already having purchased our bus tickets yesterday, already knowing the location and the departure time. Confidently we stepped onto the bus, handed the driver our bus cards, only to receive a barrage of foreign words. All we could return were puzzled looks on our faces. Stares and voices surrounded us as we held up the line. A young man came forward and in perfect English, rescued us from our embarrassment.
We arrived at our destination, 34 Ein Gedi St. We happily received a cup of cold water. Eight English speaking individuals welcomed us the to the office of ISRAEL365 and JERUSALEM365.
We have for several years already enjoyed their daily inspirational emails. In May Rick happened to attend a dinner function sponsored by Rabbi Tuly Weisz as the conclusion of a tour of Israel designed for Christians; other members of his staff were also present, and, in the conversations that evening, they invited us to submit our photographs for their daily publications.
At their office today, after introductory kind words, the conversation began to flow. Rabbi Tuly represented his entire staff as he so passionately spoke of Jews and Christians needing one another. Open avenues of dialogue are beginning to develop where none existed. They are mutually edifying. Our commonalities, love for God and His Word, unify us; our differences keep us praying, loving and listening.
In this morning's meeting, we discussed, among many other aspects of what God is doing with His people in His land, the deceptions/illusions under which President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are claiming that IS is a political, not a religious, threat.
The very fact that it is possible for world leaders not to see the essentially religious nature of the driving motivation of this organisation, as it is with Hamas, is hardly believable; unless, as Rabbi Tuly Weisz commented, we see it in the context of the Exodus story in which we read that "the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart". This hardening, either the LORD doing the hardening, or Pharaoh hardening his own heart, is stressed in the story in its repetition, ( times).
There must be a spiritually hardened heart in these world leaders for them to believe what they say they believe.
Returning from this excursion, I logged into Caroline Glick's blog to read her latest Jerusalem Post article and found that she found it expedient to analyse the same subject.
Rabbi Weisz also suggested that as the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, and the re-unification of Jerusalem in 1967 were "watershed" events, so is the time we are experiencing today a watershed event.
Time will tell, of course if this is an accurate description; to us it seems to be absolutely on target.
We have often been at a loss to understand why our own Mennonite people, particularly those in MCC, as seen recently by Rachelle Friesen's article in the Winnipeg Free Press, cannot understand that their professed "pro-Palestinian" stance is essentially an anti-Semitic position. How can one not see that to be PRO an organisation whose founding charter includes the annihilation of all Jews, one must be anti-Jew.
I quite realise that in that context, as in the Obama/Cameron context mentioned earlier, their argument would attempt to explain away the actual facts of the situation. I am quite aware of the fact that I have not engaged in nearly enough conversation with my kinsmen about this issue, but in the conversations in which I have participated, there has been no willingness even to examine the facts surrounding their position: the answer to all questions is explicitly expressed as "the occupation"; no consideration of history and international law, or, which is much more baffling, any consideration of the Biblical text as it stands. That text, of course, can be made to say whatever seems convenient given the "lens of Jesus teaching", whatever that is made out to mean.
I always though that Yeshua was adamant that he had not come to abrogate the words of the actual text, but to fulfil it. That would seem quite clearly to mean that any "lens of Jesus teaching" would need to take full account of and be intended to substantiate the original text.