Dear Friend of Israel,
November is a season of thanksgiving and harvest. We have just finished the Succot holiday, the Feast of Tabernacles, which is the Biblical feast to celebrate the completion of the harvest – the final gathering of the fruits and grapes, completion of the wheat harvest, and the final preparations for winter. On the Feast of Tabernacles we pray for rain and in November we begin to anticipate the rainy season, hoping and praying that the winter season will be bountiful and will enable a successful harvest next spring and summer.
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in November, commemorating the original harvest feast when the European settlers in the New World gathered their first harvest and offered thanks to G-d for His bounty. Similar Thanksgiving holidays are celebrated in Canada and some European countries, always in the fall and always to commemorate the bounty of the harvest. Today, when most citizens of industrial societies are less connected to agriculture in a personal way, Thanksgiving has become a time to reflect on the blessings we have all received in the past year and to thank G-d for His blessings upon us.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for all you have done for me personally and for my people in Israel and particularly those in Judea and Samaria. I want to thank you for your prayers and words and letters of encouragement. I want to thank you for your financial support that has enabled us to bless so many people and communities in need this year. I want to thank you for hosting me and the rest of the CFOIC Heartland team in your churches, homes and community centers, as we travelled to many countries to bring you our messages. And now that COVID restrictions have come to an end, thank G-d, we will be traveling even more extensively once again: in Asia and Europe, in addition to North America and Australia. I hope I will be able to meet you personally in the coming months.
As we are all witness to the changing seasons, let us join together and offer a prayer of thanks to G-d for all He has done for each of us. But above all, let us thank G-d for all He has done for Israel. When I recall photographs of what this country looked like in 1948, and when I recall my own experiences in Israel beginning in 1973, I can truly say it is a miracle that we have come so far. I pinch myself to remind myself that this is not a dream. It is a reality. But then again Israel’s reality has always been miraculous. Thank you for all you have done to be a part of all of this.
Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office
P.S. I hope you enjoy reading the enclosed Heartland Stories newsletter. This is a huge THANK YOU to you. Your support helped to purchase an Ultrasound Machine for the Samaria Region. The miracle of bringing this technology to the brave pioneers of Samaria is an incredible testament of G-d’s goodness to us and His provision through you. So many pregnant moms are already taking advantage of having this technology close to home and they are so incredibly grateful that you cared enough to help make their lives a little easier. You are restoring and rebuilding Biblical Israel!