I know for many who love Israel and follow the Hebraic roots of our faith, whether or not to celebrate Christmas can be a real struggle. And I usually get some chastising notes and emails from well-meaning folks who are aghast that I allow a pagan Christmas tree in my home, when I should know better! So I will apologize in advance if talking about Christmas or saying “Merry Christmas” is offensive to you.
Political leaders are not our heroes. These men and women are. They are the ones who are making a difference in the lives of so many. And thanks to you, our loyal supporters and friends, these heroes have been able to turn their values and dreams into action, to help the People and settle the Land of Israel.
Imagine being woken up at 5 in the morning by a wailing and threatening siren whose menacing tone rises and falls with the known signal of impending attack. It is the same sort of feeling that is experienced by families living near Gaza — those families have been experiencing sirens like this for years.
A few weeks ago, I personally visited some of the communities in Samaria, to get an update on their needs and to gain a first-hand perspective on how your support has helped them. It was a wonderful opportunity to drive through the mountains I love and visit with the leaders and ordinary residents that represent the heartbeat of this land.
This week we celebrated Shavuot, my personal favorite holiday of the Jewish year. While the Bible references this holiday as the Festival of First Fruits, on this holiday we also commemorate receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. In fact, since our exile from the Land of Israel nearly 2,000 years ago and our separation from the Biblical harvests, this aspect of the holiday has become its central theme.
The area was called the Land of Israel or Judea (a place belonging to Jews) from Biblical times until 135 AD, when the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of the province from Judea to Syria Palaestina, a brilliant PR stunt to sever the Jewish people’s connection to the region. This was done following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire. For most of the period between 135 AD and May 15, 1948, the area was referred to as Palestine or the Land of Israel.
Tuesday August 2, 2016 Summer is raging in Israel. And that is a good thing. I love the summer months. I love the heat, the sun, the warm air enveloping me and reminding me how beautiful this country is. I walk out of my house in the morning and see the sun shining and it … Read more