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Crossing the Jordan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

From Exile to Israel

In Hebrew teaching, a Jew living anywhere but in the Promised Land (the Land known today as Israel) is living in Exile or in Hebrew, Galut. One of the curses listed in Deuteronomy (28:14-68) for not obeying the One True G-d is removal from the Land of Israel:

“…and you shall be plucked from off the land…the L-rd will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other…and among those nations you shall find no rest…but there the L-rd will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life…(Deut. 28 63c-66)

The Israelites experienced three specific times of exile (galut). First, the Northern Kingdom (known as Israel or Ephraim) was exiled by the conquering Assyrian Army. They were scattered throughout the world and are today known as the “Ten Lost Tribes”. The second exile was of the Southern Kingdom of Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar removed most of the people to Babylon. That exile lasted only 70 years. When they returned to the Land, they rebuilt the Temple of G-d, but they never fully returned to G-d Himself, Yahweh. They continued to worship other G-ds and to disobey G-d’s commands. That caused the third and final exile when the Roman Empire forced the Jews to leave Israel in 135 AD and renamed the Land, Palestine.

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Aliyah PDF Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

Going Up To Zion

I recently read an article by Mark Batterson that described the behavior of birds when removed from their mother’s nest on Skokholm Island off the coast of Wales. They were tagged and transported to distant locations, in some cases, thousands of miles away. In spite of their young age and the far-off place, each bird found its way back by a path unknown, over unfamiliar terrain, in as few as 12 days and as long as 14 days! Ornithologists, Batterson explained, call this inbuilt capability the homing instinct. He went on to use this illustration as being similar to the instinct hardwired into the human soul––the longing to be blessed by G-d.

As I thought about this, I couldn’t help relating this principle to the longing of the Jewish people to return to the homeland of their ancestors, Israel, as is expressed each year at Passover when they exclaim, “Next year in Jerusalem!” It is more than just a festival chant; for many, it is not only a longing and deep desire to be there, but also a life-giving vision for their future. So many scriptures reflect that longing to return to Zion, which has become a word encompassing the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, and indeed all of Israel. It is easy to believe that G-d has put that homing instinct in every Jew to ‘return’ to Israel, a/k/a Zion at this time in response to His call. 

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A Word From The Land Down Under PDF Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

FROM OUR CHRISTIAN BROTHER IN AUSTRALIA

Brother Leo lives in a beachfront community in Australia where they have a 'floating' population so that his witnessing tracts are always 'fresh'. He has numerous opportunities to speak to the many young backpackers from around the world as they wait for their next coaches to take them along their way. Brother Leo reflects on the fact that attitudes are changing among those he encounters. While some are still receptive to the Light of G-d's Word many are no longer interested and turn down the tracts offered them. He witnesses locally every morning to those to whom the L-rd guides him and the then brings them before the L-rd afterward in prayer. 

As a result of his regular, determined witness, the L-rd has opened many doors to Brother Leo. His ministry always bears fruit in the hearts of those that receive him. He says his greatest joy is that he will be able to see all those to whom he has witnessed rejoicing in the L-rd forever and ever [in Eternity].

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