09 June 2006

The New Mentchen on the Block

Readers will know that I am a huge fan of Israel National Radio, "the largest independent news-talk radio station in the Middle East." Seriously, I love these people-- they are my mishpocha. Through their broadcasts, I am truly able to connect to what is going on in the Land, and learn about it through a Biblical lens. In my quest to know more about Eretz Yisrael, I have sought out news sources and blogs with great success, but Israel National Radio is special, because I can actually hear the voices of my people LIVE. HaShem bless them in what they do; they are truly a light unto the nations when it comes to getting the voice of Israel heard around the world.

Speaking of being A Light Unto the Nations, Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel, two INR hosts, have been longtime favorites of mine since I first heard one of their broadcasts over a year ago. They're two young American Jews who made aliyah, served in the IDF, and have now started their own organization called ADMIL:
We are ADMIL Ltd., a Jerusalem based team of American born, Israeli Defense Force soldiers, who have recently finished our tours of duty. ADMIL is an acronym in Hebrew for The Land of Israel - Admat Yisrael. Our mission is to strengthen the emotional and spiritual connection of Jews and other lovers of Israel around the world to the Land of Israel.
In their most recent radio broadcast, Ari and Jeremy discussed where the Shefa (G-d's providence) has led them:
  • First, "To strengthen the Jews here in Israel, bring the Israeli secular Jews back to Torah, back to Judaism. ...G-d brought us back to Israel, it's time to bring Israel back to G-d."

  • The "second goal is the Christians of the world-- to help strengthen their connection to Judaism, to help bridge the gap, to teach them about Judaism, to help them to recognize the one G-d of Israel, to support Israel."

  • "The third goal ...is to reach out to the American and the exile Jews and tell them how important it is to return to the land of Israel, to support us here."
  • How exciting is this? How amazing is this? You have Torah-faithful Israelis seeking to reach out, not just to fellow Jewish people, but to Christians as well. Their actions are so inherently Biblical, I love it. I just love it.

    One aspect of their ministry to the Christian world is creating a tour of Israel for Christians seeking to know more about Judaism and the Jewish people in Israel. Advertised as "an authentic Jewish tour" to be hosted by Orthodox Jewish tour leaders, it isn't a tour for the "tourist" but rather "for those who want to experience Israel." The Caveat stated at the bottom of the page reads:
    We will not tolerate any proselytizing or missionary activity on The Land of Israel Tour. This tour is a tour of mutual respect and understanding. We are reaching a hand out to the Christian world striving to build a true brotherhood. Missionary activity only builds barriers between us and furthers misunderstanding and resentment we have all experienced for the last 2,000 years.
    I totally and completely respect that. I've been a staunch critic of certain aspects of the Messianic movement for years, especially that of "missionizing" or "witnessing" to people about my faith. Faith in HaShem, and my faith in Yeshua, is about walking the walk, not talking the talk; there's a reason "halacha" comes from the root "halach" which means "to go, to walk." Emmunah (faith) is about living a life pleasing to G-d, and what pleases HaShem more than following the commands to "love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, soul, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself"? When you love someone, you love them for who they are, not what you think (or are told) they ought to do or be.

    Through this tour, their radio show, and their speaking engagements, Ari and Jeremy are doing such a huge service to the believing community across the globe. To share the truth of the G-d of Israel and the importance of Israel and Biblical Zionism with Christians is no easy task. For as many Jewish people I've had say to me things like, "Christians just want us all to move to Israel so Jesus can come back," I've had an equal number of Christians say things like, "Of course we love Israel and want the Jewish people to live in their Biblical home. That way Jesus will return." (Please tell me eye-rolling is a popular Israeli expression.) Such archaic notions are much more prevalent than anyone would ever think, mainly because the established leaders of the Christian faith have brushed Israel aside for so long that most adherents to the faith view Israel through those over-mediated, time-corrupted channels. As a result, Christians approach Israel from a third-person perspective. Instead of placing the Land of G-d's people first in their hearts, they placate with uninformed cheers and checks. Israel deserves more than your twenty-five dollar donation of support and a mention during your prayer meeting. Israel is the stomping grounds of your G-D and the home of His people! There is a reason David prayed, "Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget her cunning." When you forget Jerusalem, when you forget how important Israel is, you lose your cunning.

    It is so important for the believing community to really understand what is going on in Israel, what life in Israel is like, and how important Israel is to the world. What better way to understand all of this than through an Orthodox Israeli perspective? As Ari & Jeremy's guest, Rev. Malcolm Hedding, the Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, said on the air, we have so much in common and there is so much at stake, that we must learn to put aside our differences to work for the common good. Now is the time.

    "And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai
    to serve Him, to love the name of Adonai,
    and to be His workers,
    all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it,
    and hold fast to My covenant,
    I will bring them to My holy mountain
    and make them joyful in My House of Prayer;
    their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on My altar;
    for My House will be called
    a House of Prayer for all peoples."
    Isaiah 56:6-7







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