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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Striking a blow for justice.

Striking a blow for justice.


Why this is important

Ten years after the US military found a trove of Jewish books, records and religious artefacts in the flooded basement of Saddam's secret police headquarters in Baghdad, the US government is preparing to ship it back following restoration.
The archive contains holy books, including a rare Bible from 1568, Torah scrolls seized from synagogues, and personal and community documents and records.

Iraq's government, however, is insisting that the archive go back to Iraq: it points out that the US interim administration (CPA) signed a memorandum in 2003 promising its return.

The archive must not be returned.

Here's why:

*The archive does not belong to Iraq, but was stolen from private homes, schools and synagogues in the 1970s. It is the cultural property of the Iraqi-Jewish community.
*According to Jewish law, sacred objects such as Torah scrolls must be entrusted to a living Jewish community.
*The Jewish community in Iraq is virtually extinct. Jews of Iraqi origin and their descendants now live outside Iraq - in Israel and the West.

*When there were Jews in Iraq, the modern Iraqi state showed only contempt for them and their heritage. It did its utmost to persecute and destroy its ancient, pre-Islamic Jewish community. From 140,000, the community has dwindled to five people. To return the archive to Iraq will be to compound a crime: returning stolen property to those who stole it.

*Iraq itself does not have the resources to conserve and store the archive safely.

*Iraq's Jews and their descendants, 90 percent of whom are in Israel, will be debarred from access to original documents and history if the archive returns to Iraq.

*The memorandum drawn up between the US CPA interim government and Iraq in 2003 was signed on a flawed premise: that the archive is part of Iraq's national heritage.

It is not. Unless we challenge this erroneous idea, the return of the Jewish archive sets a precedent for all Arab countries who seized the property of 870,000 Jews to claim back as their national heritage any confiscated items that might have left the country. Indeed these states can claim as their own the property of all oppressed communities. Web: iraqijewisharchives.org


Honey, could you bring me a box? It's a war thing.

I came across the following video through the Israel Video Network. I looked up her website http://www.94maidens.com/ and was left smiling by a line at the end of the excerpt from Rhonda Fink-Whitman's book.

"Honey, could you bring me a box?"  It's a war thing. Read on.

I was intrigued by the video, interested by the website and left smiling at the line I quoted above.
I am a former teacher of Religious Education in the UK. I didn't know whether to be appalled at US education and isolationism or terrified at the institutionalised anti-Semitism of a world super-power.
As to her mother's remark, it's a war thing. Obviously, it was far more intense for Jews in Europe, but rationing produced similar behaviour in the UK. My mother-in-law always seemed to be stocking up for another war even into the 21st. Century.
As a child, canned fruit salad (a Sunday treat in post-war UK) was accompanied by a slice of bread "in order to fill you up". It was not until my early twenties when I finally understood what this was about that I was able to dissuade my father from asking for a slice of bread with the (fresh!) fruit salad by the reminder, "Dad, the war is over". Surprisingly, to me, it worked.
I don't buy many books these days, I have too many, so I will make no promises, but I will give this one  serious consideration
I am proud to call myself a Christian Zionist,
Every blessing in the Messiah.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The angels rejoice over Poirot - sort of.

Fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and David Suchet's definitive portrayal will find a recent Telegraph article interesting. Christians and Messianic Jews will find it revelatory! We rejoice with the angels. Suchet is a non-orthodox Jew who has joined the Church of England.

Persevere, if you do not like Poirot, to the end of the article. Like Rocky Raccoon, he went into his room ... and then he read the letter to the Romans. He almost quotes C.S. Lewis in 'Surprised by Joy'.

“I read it as a letter than had just been sent to me through the post”, he says. “ By the time I got to the end, I found a world view I had been looking for all my life; something I could hang onto. I don’t have blind faith. If I were ever to write a book about my journey to faith the title would be ‘Dragged Kicking and Screaming’.” 

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in Curtain, ITV's last Poirot film

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in 'Curtain', ITV's last Poirot film Photo: ITV

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

More on Christian Jewish relations.

What follows comes from links sent by Daphne Anson for various reasons. I admit it's a bit of a filler, but it's all good stuff and worth a look. I've been too busy with decorating the kitchen (aargh) and  with church and stuff, this week. I hope to put up some original material in the very near future.

A very good article that does not have a go at Christian Zionists. Jews and Christians have too much in common to remain estranged forever.

This article is a brilliant survey of Christian Zionism and Evangelical Christianity.  It is a must-read. http://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2013/10/evangelicals-and-israel/

Evangelicals and Israel

I don't like rap but I'll give this a pass. It makes a very valid point.

And finally, where our tax money goes when it goes to the UNRWA when it is supposed to be helping refugees. I suppose it is helping them - 

to hate Jews.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The fight against anti-Semitism


Sign this petition to encourage the media to conform to US and EU (!!!) definitions of anti-Semitism.

Recent cases of anti-Israel bias have crossed the line. Demonization of Israel is recognized as a form of anti-Semitism in both the U.S. State Department and European Union Working Definitions of Anti-Semitism.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 2                                           Sunday Times, Jan. 27                                       
July 2, 2013: Süddeutsche Zeitung                                                                                              

Somethings just need doing.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Catching up with Australia.

This is a follow-up to my previous post. I emailed Daphne Anson (see blog list) and she replied with a link to an Anglican vicar, the Rev. Mark Durie. He's another Australian and it turns out  also associated with the same School of Theology as Elizabeth Kendal, whom I referenced in the previous post. I intend to add their sites to my blog list. They are too good to miss.
The Melbourne School of Theology fascinates me, because I studied at the, now defunct, Birmingham Bible Institute (UK). The Australians achieved everything that BBI wanted to be. The vision of their founder Re. C H Nash is practically identical to the vision of the Rev. H.Brash Bonsall , founder of BBI.

  1. Biblical knowledge. The essence of training is to provide a thorough working knowledge of the Bible as the one dependable revelation from God. It is the chief equipment for the Christian worker.
  2. Equal opportunity for all Christians. Training is open to people of all ages and levels of educational background, whether they are pursuing full-time paid Christian ministry, or seeking to be better equipped to serve the church and the world.
  3. Practical relevance. There is great emphasis on the application of truth to daily life.
  4. Spiritual growth. The encouragement of personal spiritual growth in Christ is a major objective that permeates the total program of the College.
  5. Training in community. There is a strong emphasis upon students learning, sharing and worshipping together, discovering in depth the meaning of fellowship in Christ and the loving service of others.
  6. Interdenominational unity. One of the great appeals of MST is its denominational diversity. It's exciting and, at times, challenging to learn to express our deep unity in Christ in the midst of our many different backgrounds.
  7. Flexibility in the program. MST is continually seeking to appropriately adapt its teaching and learning methods to a fast-changing educational environment, while remaining committed to the unchanging gospel.
  8. Evangelism and mission. One of MST's great emphases is the training of men and women for evangelism and cross-cultural mission. It is imperative that all students have a clear understanding of the gospel and the uniqueness of Christ as Lord and Saviour in a pluralistic world.
  9. Leadership. MST seeks to equip its graduates for leadership in the church, mission and market place, so that they will be people who influence others in their thinking and behaviour. It is also our passion to equip people for key leadership roles, and to continue to assist their professional growth and development through in service programs.
BBI (UK) would have signed up to all of this. It is a sad reflection on the state of Christianity in the UK that the college lost its vision, its student applications and eventually ceased its ministry.

Nevertheless, in its heyday I spent three happy years there studying the Bible, training for Christian service and enjoying the fellowship.

It's all about not liking God.

That is to say the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if you are a Jew,  all that plus the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ if you are not , and of Yeshua Ha Moschiach if you are Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah.

That God, the God of the Ten Commandments and the Old and New Testaments etc. etc. That - dare I say it - that JEWISH God. 

Actually, God is an Englishman, it's His Son who is Jewish. (It's a joke, readers, about the English, not God, Jesus  or the Jews.)

Levity apart, it's what Peter Hitchins called the 'Rage against God'. I haven't read the book , but the title alone speaks volumes. Almost any believing Jew or Christian could write a book with that title.

Now, at last, there is  an (almost) mainstream media article  about the persecution of Christians - and it pulls no punches.

The Spectator has led with a front page article on,  'The war on Christians'

explosiveThe article describes the scale of the war. It is massive. It also proposes reasons why it is ignored. It misses the anger against God.  It couldn't possibly be sin, rebellion etc. Nonetheless, we should rejoice that the issue is beginning to move into the mainstream and pray that this continues.

The article is well worth reading.

Another such article is provided by the ever-reliable Melanie Phillips.

In the Jewish Chronicle, she exposes Iran's hatred of Israel and Obama's naivety over Iran. Obama is in la-la land. (That's where you refuse to listen to anything you don't like.) 

Israel Today thinks that Binyamin Netanyahu is bordering on the prophetic. My wife and I have always been admirers of him, especially my wife. I think that God's hand is upon him.Pray for Bibi. He needs all the prayer he can get in his job!

Next, an Australian female academic  - no. it's not Daphne Anson (!) - is doing sterling work on religious persecution. She is definitely a resource worth hanging onto.

All her sites are worth monitoring;




Her August posts on the Syria crisis are particularly illuminating.

Finally, adding insult to injury, is the headline article of today's Telegraph Online
Some of the money is getting lost on reaching Syria, but Mr William Shawcross of the Charities Commission is quoted thusly,

The commission said it was up to charity trustees to ensure that donors’ generosity, intended to benefit those in need, was not diverted to terrorists.
“There is a risk that funds raised in the name of 'charity’ generally or under the name of a specific charity are misused to support terrorist activities, with or without the charity’s knowledge,” the commission said.
It warned that “individuals supporting terrorist activity might also claim to work for a charity and trade on its name and legitimacy to gain access to a region or community”.

Presumably, he is unable to say who is at fault because that would be discriminatory or "phobic".

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A welcome addition to the fight for the truth about Israel

The magazine Israel Today is featuring the Jerusalem Institute of Justice and its new campaign called 'The Whole Story.'

The founder of the Institute is a Messianic Jew (believer in Jesus as Messiah/ Yeshua as the Christ). His father is a preacher and was a community leader in Jerusalem.

You can learn a lot more by exploring the links, but these videos give a flavour of what they are about.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Succoth, Hoshana Rabba in the New Testament

It will come as a surprise to many Christians, let alone Jews, that Succoth and, especially, Hoshana Rabba are in the New Testament.

It's clear that, if Jesus was born at the beginning of Tabernacles, he must have been circumcised on the eighth day. However, the gospels do not record this event. It was a standard family event that would pass without comment. There had been enough fuss with the shepherds and an angelic choir.

The Magi had not yet turned up and would not arrive for some time. When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the Temple they offered the sacrifice of the very poor. Clearly, they had not received any gold at that stage.

Rivers of living water at High Force in Teesdale UK

A firedance
A fire dancer with fire trails creating beautiful effect Stock Photo - 966462
It is much later in the life of Jesus that we find Hoshana Rabba and Succoth . Chapters seven and eight of the Gospel of John take place in the Temple during the feast of Tabernacles. From 7:37 to the end of chapter eight it is Hoshana Rabba. 

It is this background that gives the real drama and significance to what Jesus will say. This ceremony was preceded by spectacular fire dances performed by the Levites. When water is brought from the pool of Siloam and it is being pored into the votive basin by the altar, and as the people are praying for the blessing of the Autumnal (Latter) rains as well as the Spring Former) rains, Jesus answers their prayers with the promise of rivers of living water (the Holy Spirit), if only they will believe in Him.

  Unsurprisingly, this sparks of a storm of controversy. Jesus is, variously, the prophet (like Moses); the Messiah; a man of whom the Temple Guard said, 'no-one ever spoke like this'; a Samaritan and having a demon. 

If He was not the Christ, then he was 'mad, bad and dangerous to know', not unlike the deeply disturbed Lord Byron; but, unlike Byron, Jesus was not disturbed, mad or bad. However, it cannot be denied that He could, and can, be dangerous to know.

The reaction of the establishment was a master-class in how to be wrong. 

No authorities or Pharisees believed in Jesus - just Nicodemus, head of the rabbinical college - and later Joseph of Arimethea. He wasn't born in Bethlehem of the Tribe of David  - the Temple records would show differently. No prophet comes from Galilee - just Jonah, possibly Elijah, Hosea and Nahum.

Jesus taught in the Temple, called Himself, 'The Light of the World', as well as the giver of the Spirit and no-one could arrest Him. They could not lay hands upon Him until He was ready to let them.

It must have been frustrating for them.

In the end, the majority of the Jewish Establishment (the Jews -  just as we say 'the Brits' or 'the Yanks' meaning the authorities) decided that Jesus was, indeed, 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'.

One out of three isn't good enough.

If you read through John, you will find that Chanukah is mentioned in 10:22 and finally the last Passover in Chapter 12.