Israel Update

John KerryCommentary & Analysis


L. A. Marzulli

Israel okays ceasefire proposal, but Hamas says no

Israel accepted an Egyptian-backed proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas early Tuesday morning, agreeing to stop its raids on targets in the Gaza Strip in exchange for a halt in rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

However, the proposal was quickly rejected by Hamas as “not acceptable.”

Neo-Nazis, Islamists declare ‘You Jews are beasts’ during protest of Israeli operation

German police megaphone used in anti-Israel rant

 German police allowed an anti-Israel protester to climb inside a police car and shout slogans including “child murderer Israel” and “Allahu akbar!” — Arabic for “God is Great!” — through a police megaphone, a spokeswoman for Frankfurt’s police said Sunday.

Yesterday in the comment section of this Blog, another blogger came in and attempted to set me straight in regard to Israel.  My reply was a list of ten prophecies which are centered solely on the nation of Israeli.  I will post them here:

1. Israel has been gathered back into her ancient homeland. Prophecy fulfilled.
2. The Later rain falls. More prophecy fulfilled.
3. Hebrew is spoken. Need I say more.
4. The land is covered with fruit and trees after it was denuded. Yet another Prophecy.
5. The third temple will be rebuilt. Future.
6. Father God is not finished with Israel – they will look on Him whom they have pierced. Future.
7. The prophecies of Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38 & 39 revolve around Israel. Future.
8. Jesus comes back to Jerusalem not to New York City. Future.
9. The entire world will hate the Jews… It’s starting to happen.
10. Jerusalem will become a stumbling block. Happening as we speak.

So, I’m not making this up. These prophecies are in our Bibles and those who fail to see them and understand that they revolve around the nation of Israel, do so at their own risk of not understanding the scriptures. L.A.

Some would argue that the people in Israel now are not the real Jews, to which I reply, you’re right, we’ll have to move these people out of the land and go find the real Jews.  They must be hiding somewhere!  When viewed in this light this argument, which is used over and over again, falls of its own weight.  It’s absurd!

Bob Ulrich, Gary Stearman and I were discussing what is happening in Israel over dinner last night and one of the points made by Bob was this, just the fact that the hatred toward Israel is at a boiling point should be an indicator that there is a supernatural component to this!

He’s right!  Look at the article above, The Neo Nazi’s and the Islamists want the destruction of Israel.  Their hatred of Israel just doesn’t make any sense, until we factor in the Fallen Cherub who hates Israel and the Jewish people.  Why?  Because the Messiah came from the Jews, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

The Fallen One was defeated at the cross and it was check mate.  However, just like prophecy tells us, his time is at hand and he wants to drag as many people down with him into the Lake of Fire.  He has a special hatred for those people who brought about the Messiah, the Jewish people.

In closing todays post:  HAMAS has passed on the peace treaty.  They don’t want peace, they want the destruction of Israel, so their actions speak louder than words and all the spin by our liberal media won’t change this.  As Dan Gordon told us, these are the thugs—HAMAS— who threw people off of three-story buildings in Gaza so they could elect their candidate.

In the End prophecy will come to pass:  What was foretold will unfold.  You know what?  It’s unfolding now for those who have eyes to see!



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46 thoughts on “Israel Update

  1. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

    “Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

    15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

  2. Amen to all that! Thanks for keeping up with all these updates. I know it’s insane because it’s all moving so fast.


    The Raelians have been making press as of late again. None of it good.

    I hate to say this but I’m glad the decision was made by Hamas on that absurd ceasefire because after the Lebanon debacle several years ago and some other things I really do see a tendency on some of Israel’s leadership to want to cave to world opinion and pressure.


    ^^ Liberman gets it.

    • Yes Eric, …. seeing hamas reject this is just the way they role, but at least it is “documented” [ whatever that means on the world stage ]….

      because most of the world is STILL gonna be against ISRAEL…….no matter what ISRAEL would ever do.

      That’s why The Church must stand with ISRAEL and be BOLD to proclaim our support of The Jewish Nation.

      As Jerry Golden, Amir Tsarfati, LA, … all agree … the anti-ISRAEL belief system is rising around the world faster than ever before.

      Europe is certainly experiencing a muslim indoctrination that is turning Europe against ISRAEL once again….same in Africa too.
      We see this happening in our own government, schools, communities….on American soil …. that are virtually going all muslim.
      The nation of Britain is but a shadow of itself…just as America…and as mosques continue to be built in America…Islam increases.

      It will unfortunately continue to rise to new levels with more devils pushing this “ancient hatred” of The Jews.

      The Revived Ottoman Empire [ Caliphate ]…. that swept through the middle east is arising again….it’s deadly wound is being healed.

  3. Jesus Christ already won the war.

    The signs we see with regard to Israel, are signs that the Lord God will keep His Word to protect His chosen people, the Jewish and His elect. That’s why they aren’t being killed.


  4. L.A., good to see that list you posted yesterday, on today’s blog..

    Especially ….

    9. The entire world will hate the Jews.
    10. Jerusalem will become a stumbling block.

    As you said, and as Azureceu reiterated on yesterday’s blog, “#10 is happening as we speak”.

    Yes, the hatred is at such a boiling point that it is irrational. But apparently a lot of people (even professing Christians) are seeing the “evil Zionist” behind it all.

    • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED short snippet………”The world Opinion” is a huge key for ISRAEL….and hamas knows it !!!

  5. Turkey Lashes out at Israel

    “Israel’s approach to the Palestinians is no different to the mentality of Adolf Hitler, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, accusing Israel of committing “systematic atrocity and state terror” against the Palestinians since 1948. While he welcomed Egypt’s initiative for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, Erdoğan said a cease-fire was not enough and stressed that Israel should “immediately lift the illegal embargo on Palestine.”

    • Turkey is one of the countries that will unite with Russia Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, India & Pakistan to destroy the U.S. (Babylon)

      Jer 51:27 Set ye up a STANDARD (run to the standard for safety) in the LAND (world), blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against HER (Babylon, U.S., whore) the kingdoms of ARARAT (Turkey), MINNI (Russia), and ASHCHENAZ (Germany); appoint a captain against her; cause the HORSES (cavalry-military troops) to come up as the rough CATERPILLERS (devourers)

      Jer 51:28 Prepare against HER (Babylon, U.S., whore) the nations with THE KINGS OF THE MEDES (Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, turkey, India, Pakistan), the captains thereof, and all the RULERS (leaders of nations) thereof, and all the land of his dominion

  6. Cup of Trembling in play

    “Israel’s approach to the Palestinians is no different to the mentality of Adolf Hitler, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, accusing Israel of committing “systematic atrocity and state terror” against the Palestinians since 1948. While he welcomed Egypt’s initiative for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, Erdoğan said a cease-fire was not enough and stressed that Israel should “immediately lift the illegal embargo on Palestine.”

    • Yeah, if nothing else works, just name drop Hitler and you are assured headlines. Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan is a chump for pulling this card. The guy wouldn’t know systematic atrocity and state terror if it slapped him in the face. What an idiotic comment from a world leader.

  7. More Signs of the coming Psalm 83 war with Frank DiMora <<<<>>>> About engagements in GAZA !!

  8. I read the “Neo-Nazis, Islamists declare ‘You Jews are beasts’ during protest of Israeli operation” with a lot of interest in today’s blog… I have poured quite a bit of time and expense on the study of WW2 over the years and I don’t believe the Nazi’s were ever subtle in their attempts (before and during WW2) to bring the world of Islam to the table as allies….. Himmler’s love affair with the Arab world is well known plus the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was an enthusiastic ally. The seeds of what is seen from Salafist Islam (and its Iranian equivalent) were laid during WW2. The Nazi’s have not faded from the scene as some may believe; their heirs are the leadership of Iran, and the Sunni Jihadist nut jobs… I also think it is interesting that Persia changed its name to Iran (which means Land of the Aryans) during the Nazi regime, probably not a coincidence. It is a known fact Nazis and Muslims during WW2 were united in their hatred of Jews. There were even Muslim SS units and the fez was an accepted piece of headgear which was adorned with the Nazi deaths head symbol. Also several high ranking Nazis fled to the Middle East after the war and took refuge there. War criminals such as Alois Brunner in Syria, Dr Ari Heim in Egypt etc. But, noooo the liberal media doesn’t like to talk about the ugly facts – not P.C., don’t-cha-know.
    Funny side note about the Muslim divisions of the SS, they were disbanded due to their lack of organization and hierarchy. It also a documented fact they kept stealing each other’s gear…lol, leave it to those zany Muslims to steal from themselves

    • Matt….

      you seem to know that a muslim Caliph ( i can’t remember his name ) met with Hitler back in his day regarding the extermination of The Jews ??

      Very interesting to see the many connections between them. Even the name change of Persia to Iran….kinda obvious overtones, eh !?!?!

    • Germany is one of the countries that will unite with Russia Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, India & Pakistan & Turkey to destroy the U.S. (Babylon)

      Jer 51:27 Set ye up a STANDARD (run to the standard for safety) in the LAND (world), blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against HER (Babylon, U.S., whore) the kingdoms of ARARAT (Turkey), MINNI (Russia), and ASHCHENAZ (Germany); appoint a captain against her; cause the HORSES (cavalry-military troops) to come up as the rough CATERPILLERS (devourers)

      Jer 51:28 Prepare against HER (Babylon, U.S., whore) the nations with THE KINGS OF THE MEDES (Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, turkey, India, Pakistan), the captains thereof, and all the RULERS (leaders of nations) thereof, and all the land of his dominion

    • Walid Shoebat: Bible Prophecy and the Islamic Antichrist <<<<<>>>> ALL CHRISTIANS MUST UNDERSTAND THIS VIDEO !!! We are seeing these PROPHETIC TRUTHS in real time today!!!

    • Excellent commentary Matt. I just saw this from one of our local news stations. Did you know they found a sunken Nazi U-boat in the Gulf? This is right in your neck of the woods, partner.


    • Kirk, I know I have shared my opinion before on this, but it bares repeating. I believe the Muslim religion was hand crafted by Satan himself and if that is true, he could shape Muslim “end times prophecy” to spin any angle he wishes to undermine God’s word.

      If Satan knows that Christians everywhere in the end times will be looking for the antichrist, then the best way to conceal his identity is to give the world a false antichrist. The false Christ will be Muslim. The real antichrist will be the one the world embraces and rejoices.

      My point is if you Are dogmatic about the antichrist being Muslim you might just get what you are looking for and miss the real one that slips in the back door.

      Funny thing about being deceived. It’s never obvious. If it were it wouldn’t be deception.

    • Sorry i wrote that wrong. The false antichrist will be Muslim. The real antichrist will be a Jesus impostor.

    • Hopeful…

      Consider the following glaring Biblical facts…..

      1) EVERY NATION ….. that JESUS fights against when He comes back ………. is a MUSLIM nation.
      That is a huge clue. Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre and Sidon, Egypt, Turkey, Persia, Syria [ Muslim ].

      2) The Current Revival of The Ottoman Empire…from which the anti-CHRIST comes ….
      ……………..which was a MUSLIM CALIPHATE for like 500 years then it died in 1924…. is a fulfillment of prophecy…..
      and is again today ……. being Revived again… a fulfillment of end time prophecy.

      The ottoman/MUSLIM Empire is the fulfillment of Revelation 13:3 ( right now in the early stages ) …. as a “head” is an empire…
      and The Ottoman empire ceased to exist any longer after WW I. (1924) …But now, we see the deadly wound being healed.

      3) The fact that people will get their heads cut off in Revelation ( and are TODAY ) ……… is showing a MUSLIM anti-CHRIST.
      because anyone who does not submit to ISLAM ( means:submission ) …. gets their head cut off as an infidel.

      these are just a few things to think about.

    • Comments on your numerated items.

      1) I assume you are talking about Isaiah here when you are saying that Jesus will fight against Muslim nations. I do not deny world war three is coming and it will be with Muslim nations. It is not clear if it is Jesus Christ who is doing the fighting against these nations. In fact, God uses the assyrian as an instrument to come against the nation of Israel. In my eschatological view, this is the strong delusion that I believe God will send upon them. That a savior will come (in a spacecraft) and save Israel that is close to annihilation.

      2) lots of dispute about what the mortal head wound is with plenty who lean towards this being an actual head wound and not a metaphor

      3) getting ones head cut off is very disturbing indeed, unfortunately, Muslims do not have a lock on this kind of killing as its been around a long time.

      Let me ask a pointed question to you kirk. If the antichrist is Muslim as you say, what is the strong delusion that God will send? How are we deceived?

    • Video which talks about prophecy that the Antichrist will fight AGAINST Muslim nations. How is this possible if the antichrist is Muslim?


    • Hopeful….

      the muslims have already attacked Mecca in the past during the Ottoman Empire and the TURKS torched the whole city and
      destroyed the Kaaba….which we see that Mecca has since been rebuilt even more extravagant than ever before.

      again MECCA was torched ……. by MUSLIMS. it’s history … in the books.

      You see, ….today…..IRAN HATES SAUDI ARABIA…..I mean…..IRAN HATES SAUDI ARABIA…..BIG TIME !!!! And one day it’s coming!!

      They see Saudi Arabia as a HARLOT…..and they will one day BURN HER WITH FIRE…..just as prophesied in Revelation 17:16-17.

      And funny as it is…..there are several prophecies in ISLAM that speak of MECCA and MEDINA being destroyed….
      …….and when that happens………The MUSLIM CALIPH ….. will then …..RULE from ……….JERUSALEM.
      This is why there is a growing tide of support by MUSLIMS … rebuild the TEMPLE in Jerusalem…because it will serve them soon!

      So this Destruction of Babylon….
      This is also seen in Isaiah 21 …which speaks of ELAM (IRAN) .. that will cause Babylon to fall ( see Isaiah 21:9 then see Rev 14:8 + 18:2)

      This is also mentioned in Isaiah 13:17-22 and in Jeremiah 49:7-22 and notice Jeremiah 50:39-40….and Isaiah 34:1-15 ….
      then see isaiah 63:1-6…..and compare v.2-3…. with Revelation 14:19-20. ………….and a number of other passages too all relate.

      So, you see, the middle east is in this thing ………UP TO THEIR EYEBALLS………and they are all MUSLIM nations that will serve
      the anti-CHRIST……….because ISLAM ….denies the Father and The Son………..see 1 john 2:22-23.

      Understand that ISLAM……….denies that “allah” (their false god) ….is a Father ….like YAHWEH is OUR HEAVENLY FATHER….

      and………ISLAM …………denies that “allah” (their false god) ….has a Son… YAHSHUA is THE BEGOTTEN SON of OUR FATHER.

      And you and i both know …. that …..”NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY JESUS HIS ONLY SON.”

      So it is all presented to us in The Word…..we just have to do a little digging…..which I happen to love!!!

    • Kirk, you know your stuff no doubt. Perhaps I have cognitive dissonance on this one, cuz I see the pieces coming together to complete the puzzle but I always come back to The fact Satan was the one who designed the puzzle in The first place. So we are constructing the big picture, but is that picture truth or deception.

      Well we may be looking at different places for the antichrist, but here is one thing I know we both can agree on. Jesus is savior of us all. There maybe impostors along the way, but we will recognize them by their fruit. That every knee will bend and if they don’t then we are not seeing the genuine article. Let us hold on tightly to that truth and you and I both will be steered away from deception wherever it may lie.

      Be blessed kirk. You always make us think and have you excellent view points.

  9. Anti-semitism is on the rise and it’s breaking my heart. All I can do is pray. The world gets nastier and uglier every passing minute.

    • Kristen….

      the two videos I placed above in blog >>>
      1) Third temple and Islamic anti-CHRIST ……..and 2) Walid Shoebat: Bible Prophecy and the Islamic Antichrist

      BOTH are EXCELLENT for understanding for what we see developing in the middle east and tied to Islam. You’ll see the connections!


    • Hey Kirk! I just finished watching the third temple. I’m almost done with my lunch break. I will watch the Walid Shoebat video after work! Thanks for sharing. The third temple video was very interesting! It’s all starting to make sense.

  10. I stumbled across this guy’s video yesterday.

    So I do not know a whole lot about him …

    But I thought his video yesterday and today had some great insights on the Israel/Gaza crisis.

    I highly recommend you listen to today’s video and if you find the info interesting go back an listen to yesterdays.

    Your not going to get this kind of insight from any American or European new station.

    Israel Gaza War Will It Expand to Other Arab States, July 15, 2014


    • Kirt…

      Chewing on this video for the 2nd time. Lots of good nuggets, especially about the dangers of a full scale ground operation into GAZA.
      I would think that ISRAEL and the leaders of Military already know this from past experience, but heck, stranger things have happened.
      most of my life i have seen heavy casualties come from weakly planned incursions into Lebanon and Gaza, so hopefully it is different.

      Scripture does paint a different picture in the future for GAZA = Zephaniah 2:4-9 … Zechariah 9:1-8 … Amos 1:6-8

      the special forces that have already gone in … did experience some injuries, but no casualties that I heard of…but i feel it was a specific
      mission they were on in order to find a large cache of missiles and rockets, etc….as ISRAEL wanted to take away that stock pile.
      I don’t know if it was successful, other than some were hurt. I have not seen anything else.

      Anyways, the guy in the video obviously doesn’t believe in the rapture ( as you know I believe that is what Scripture teaches )….
      but i will check out a few more of his videos, sorting through some stuff that we will just have to wait and see about in real time.

      Many ideas are floating out there, and that is why we WATCH ….and compare stuff to Scripture…..

      because Scripture is just a little more ACCURATE than even what we find in “the media”….as we all realize.

    • Kirt …

      I already finished the 2nd part for today july 15, 2014

      When ISIS went into IRAQ it took hold off 1,500 US MADE HUMVEES + 50 Howitzers Long Range Weapons ( 20 mile range ) w/ GPS.

      Supposedly, hamas was to try to overwhelm the IRON DOME of ISRAEL by firing 2,000 Rockets into ISRAEL….all at once.
      ( has not happened though….was to happen yesterday….maybe still on table for hamas.) certainly need to consider it.

      ISRAEL did send in small Special Ops into Gaza, some got hurt / none killed. No further info.
      From a different source, I am pretty sure this was specifically to find a cache of rockets, etc among other weapons.

      One potential possibility is that ISRAEL may cut all power to Gaza and then wait a while to minimize power / and cell phone usage
      by hamas militants………but this is only a consideration. This would help minimize communications in Gaza between militants. maybe.

      Another potential would be to Carpet Bomb all of Gaza with very heavy activity…….still in discussion.

      Also, arabs in ISRAEL could actually be serving as “spotters” for when and where rockets come down and feed that info back
      to hamas in Gaza to better equip them for further attacks. i don’t know if this would work real well, because ISRAEL seems to have
      the phone numbers of Gazans anyway …. so maybe they do the “NSA thing” to all of Gaza. ISRAEL already makes calls before the strike!

      Another interesting thing the guy said was that the other Arab Nations do NOT want the palestinians (philistines) coming to their nations!
      Well, that says a lot about their nice friendly muslim ties! ………and probably why they kill, hurt, rape, and murder their own type….
      just like it says in Genesis 16:11-12.

      Final two things, he mentioned a sorta media blackout from ISRAEL in some sense….to minimize intel….that hamas can use.
      makes sense to me. How good that may actually work out is different entirely. having the secrets of the enemy is always an advantage.

      He also said some things about Netanyahu being “perceived” as weak by ISRAELI’s …. and some riots in the streets in protest
      to actually do more in Gaza I guess. He wasn’t really specific, kinda in general. But i guess it could be possible as well.

      SO……we pray for PEACE…..we seek THE LORD on ISRAEL’s behalf and for muslims everywhere to get saved…..and WE WATCH !!!

  11. Anyone notice the moon looks very ominous and foreboding tonight ??

    Someone sent this to my mom a couple days ago…….EXTREMELY TIMELY !!!

    Well, yesterday was July 15th, which is the 17th of Tammuz …beginning at sundown. This starts a period of tough times in ISRAEL’s history.

    While for much of the world summer is a time of joy, relaxation and vacations, but for the Jewish People it is a time of mourning
    and remembrance of great loss, including the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.

    In modern times in Israel, summer can also be a time of WAR.

    In the summer of 1967, the Six Day War was fought. During the summer of 2006, the Second Lebanese War broke out.

    This year (2014) follows the same trend. In response to heavy missile fire from Gaza over the last month, which is reaching further
    into Israel than ever before, Israel has launched Operation Protective Edge to defend Israeli citizens whose businesses, transportation,
    and homes are being destroyed ….and whose peace is being shattered.

    Israel now stands in the midst of an existential battle as Operation Protective Edge rages on. She fights back as her enemies pursue her
    from beyond her borders. Each day hundreds of rockets and missiles rain down on all parts of the country.

    A rocket fired from Gaza hit Ashdod on Friday, causing a massive fire near a gas station. The day before, 194 rockets struck Israel.
    At that time, Palestinian terrorists had fired 548 rockets in three days. Now over 1,000 rockets!

    Tonight, as terrorist missiles continue to fall on Israel, Jews around the world will solemnly prepare for a fast that recalls historic tragedies
    that befell the Jewish People on the Shiva Asar B’Tammuz (בתמוז עשר שבעה), which is more simply called the Fast of Tammuz or 17th of Tammuz.
    (July 15, 2014…this year.)

    Although the 17th of Tammuz begins at sundown, the fast begins at dawn tomorrow morning and lasts until sunset.

    In the midst of bombs blasting and windows shattering, we fast and lament a great tragedy—the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem
    by the Romans under the command of Titus, in AD 70.

    This melancholy day ushers in the three-week period of mourning called “Bein HaMetzarim” (Between the Straits), ….
    ……which culminates with Tisha B’av, the anniversary of the destruction of the Holy Temple.

    The fact that the current bombardment of Israel is coinciding with this time called “Between the Straits” is both distressing and chilling.

    Defying Coincidence: The 17th of Tammuz is a day of ominous coincidences.

    While we remember the breach of the wall tonight and tomorrow, this is not the only tragedy that happened on this day.
    Throughout history, a host of others occurred, as well. The Mishnah (book of rabbinic teachings) records five in all.

    The first tragedy happened in the days of the Israelites after the Exodus.
    When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Tablets of the Law (Ten Commandments) and saw the Israelites worshiping the Golden Calf,
    he smashed the tablets.

    To understand the timing for this, it is helpful to know that Tammuz 17 occurs 40 days after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost).
    On Shavuot, Moses ascended Mount Sinai where he remained for 40 days.

    On the 16th of Tammuz, thinking that Moses would not return, the Israelites constructed the Golden Calf. The next day, the 17th,
    when Moses descended, he saw that they were violating the laws God had given and he destroyed the tablets.

    Another tragedy occurred during the First Temple Era. The daily Temple sacrifices were cut off on Tammuz 17 (Taanit 28b) because the city
    was under siege by the Babylonians, and it was no longer possible to attain the necessary animals for the sacrifices.

    A year later to that very day, Nebuchadnezzar and his invading army breached the walls of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:2–7).
    (Although Jeremiah 39:2 and 52:6–7 seem to indicate that this breach happened on the 9th of Tammuz, the Jerusalem Talmud
    [Tannit 4:5] states that it took place on the 17th and that the timing given in Jeremiah was distorted due to the distress of the times.)

    Three weeks later, the First Temple was destroyed on Tisha B’av. The Mishnah states that during the Second Temple Era, Titus’ armies also
    breached the walls on Tammuz 17, and three weeks later, they destroyed the Second Temple on Tisha B’Av in AD 70.

    The breach of the walls of Jerusalem and the destruction of the First and Second Temples on these same dates, so many years apart,
    defies coincidence. It speaks of the hand of God and judgment, and that is why the summer is such a time of mourning and repentance.

    But there is yet more that has happened on this date. It was also on this date that the Jewish King Manasseh had an idol placed
    in the Holy Temple(2 Kings 21:7).

    As well, a Greek oppressor named Apustemus burned the Torah on this day during the time of Antiochus Epiphanies.

    Five events in more recent times that also occurred on the 17th of Tammuz include the following:
    1239 – Pope Gregory the IX ordered the confiscations of all copies of the Talmud.
    1391 – 4,000 Jews were killed in Toledo and Jaen, Spain.
    1559 – The Jewish quarter of Prague were burned and looted.
    1944 – The entire population of the Kovno ghetto was liquidated.
    1970 – Libya ordered the confiscation of all Jewish property.

    Observing Bein HaMetzarim: Between the Straits
    “Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwells among the heathen, she finds no rest:
    all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.” (Lamentations 1:3)

    The three-week period of mourning observances that begins tonight increase in intensity and culminate on the Ninth of Av (Tisha B’Av),
    which coincides this year with August 5. Such observances include no Jewish weddings or major celebrations. Some abstain from cutting
    their hair or shaving while others refrain from attending concerts or even listening to music.

    In Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, the last nine days of the three weeks are especially intense.

    Many do not eat poultry, red meat or wine, and they refrain from the luxury of wearing freshly laundered clothing and taking warm baths.

    Although Sephardi Jews also observe many of these customs, they do so beginning the Sunday before Tisha B’Av.
    If the 9th of Av falls on Sunday, however, these customs are dispensed with.

    While summer weddings are popular in many parts of the world,
    traditionally in Judaism, weddings do not take place over the next three weeks.

    As during the period of the counting of the Omer, the Three Weeks is a time for considering our thoughts and actions.
    It is a season of teshuvah (returning to God, repentance) and salvation.

    While some may wonder the purpose of such days of fasting on the Jewish calendar, Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov explains that they are designed
    “to awaken hearts towards repentance through recalling our forefathers’ misdeeds; misdeeds which led to calamities.” (Book of Our Heritage)

    Indeed, as the breach of the wall in Jerusalem is remembered, it is a good time for all Believers not only to stand with Israel,
    but also to take stock of their lives.

    Sin can cause a breach or gap in the protective wall surrounding us. Through that breach, the enemy (Satan) can enter in and wreak havoc
    in our lives or the lives of those we are responsible for.

    As we take stock, we should repent and seek God’s never-ending grace for our shortfalls.

    “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

    The Search for God During the Three Weeks

    There is a Hassidic (branch of Orthodox Judaism) parable (mashal) that relates to this three-week period of mourning.

    A story is told of the grandson of Rabbi Baruch of Medziboz who was playing hide and seek with another child. After hiding and waiting
    a long time for his friend to find him, he popped out of his hiding spot only to discover that his friend was not looking for him. The boy ran
    to his grandfather. With tears rolling down his face, he explained that his friend had stopped looking for him. In response, the rabbi said,
    “Indeed. That is exactly what the Almighty Himself says: ‘I hide myself but nobody wants to look for Me.’” (Rabbi Aryeh Hendler)

    Although every child enjoys hiding, he still wants to be searched for, and Rabbi Baruch wisely pointed out that God hides Himself
    because of our sins. Nevertheless, He wants us to seek Him out and to really desire to find Him.

    Sadly, like the child’s young friend, we too often fail to respond to the challenge to find Him. But His promise remains that we will find Him
    when we search for Him wholeheartedly. “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

    This three-week period of mourning is an opportune time to seek God with all our heart.

    The 17th of Tammuz and these next three weeks remind us that there have been times when God’s face has been hidden because His
    people strayed so far that they found themselves beyond the bounds of His protective covering.

    “And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide My face from them, and they will be destroyed.
    Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask,
    ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’” (Deuteronomy 31:17)

    Let us examine our ways and look for possible breaches in the walls that surround our soul in order that we through teshuvah and
    redemption might repair them and renew our relationship with our Father in Heaven.

    Let us also pray that not only those who know Him will use this time to renew their relationship with their Creator, but also that all of Israel
    will sincerely seek Him and find Him.

    From Mourning to Joy

    “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.” (Isaiah 65:18)

    The Talmud (Ta’anis 30b) states that “all who mourn over (the destruction of) Jerusalem merit to see her in her joy.”

    In other words, all of those who mourn the destruction of the Temple and appreciate the enormity of its loss will share in the joy of seeing
    it again re-established in all its glory.

    We know that in the coming Messianic age, the Messiah will reign from the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. Today we wait for the imminent
    return of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) and the establishment of His Messianic age.

    The Talmud teaches the Jewish People to have hope because following the future redemption of Israel, for which we pray daily,
    and the rebuilding of the Temple, to which we look forward with great expectation, the fast days will become days of rejoicing and
    festive occasions. The summer will become a joyful time.

    And although Tammuz 17 is obviously not a fast that God instituted through Moses, Zechariah prophetically mentions it as a day that will be
    transformed into a day of gladness.

    “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘The fasts of the fourth [Tammuz], fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions
    and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’” (Zechariah 8:19)

    God will turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with joy (Psalm 30:11). Just as the prophet Zechariah prophesied, the 17th of Tammuz
    will become a feast day of joy.

    During this dire period, as Israel seeks to end the siege against her, we must not be overcome with discouragement or fear due to the troubles
    we see mounting in Israel and around the world.

    Although, we are entering this three-week period of serious teshuvah with bombs falling, we must also have a sense of joyful expectation
    knowing that God hears our prayers….Our prayers for peace in Israel, and for our Jewish people—that they might find their Messiah—
    will be answered.

    For the next three weeks especially, let each of us be those prophetic watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem,
    making intercession for Israel and the Jewish People.

    “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest,
    and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6–7)

    “For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save Jerusalem and show My glory to Israel.”
    (Isaiah 46:13)

    “I will bless those who bless Israel.” (Genesis 12:3)

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