I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to emphasize how important our presence is in the land to the Israelis. (By ‘our’ I mean people living outside the land – whether Jew or Gentile.) So many people I spoke with feel alone, that the world doesn’t care. And what they see the world saying is that all the trouble in Israel is their fault.
Now, I am saying we take the place of God. But aren’t we, as followers of the Messiah, called to be the hands and feet of Hashem in this world? Isn’t it part of our job to love his people and support them? Isn’t that what Paul emphasized?
“We Must Let Them Know”
Journey to Messiah
I suppose you know by now that Israel is suffering from the latest plague of terrorist attacks against its Jewish citizens. I also suppose you aren’t surprised that the news and social media are saying (again) it’s all Israel’s fault.
Given the nature of my blog, I can only believe that most of my regular readers are pro-Israel and support the defense of the Jewish people against their aggressors. Ro, in the blog post I quoted from above, suggested that one of the things we can do in support of Israel is to visit the Land, just as she did a short time ago (and about which she blogged prolifically).
So what can we do? Most of us aren’t in a position financially or in terms of our schedules, to hop a transatlantic flight and vacation in Israel for a couple of weeks. How else can we show our support?
I read Ro’s blog when she originally published it to the web, but didn’t consider passing along her message until today when I read an article from the Chabad with the title 7 Things You Can Do for Israel.
This list is definitely written for religious Jews, so not everything applies to the rest of us, but here it is (click the link I provided above to get the full details):
- Take Up a “Call to Arms”
- Share the Power of Light
- Check Your (Spiritual) Security System
- Be Financially Supportive
- Nurture Your Faith
- Get a Letter
Some items on that list may seem pretty obscure so I’ll expand on them a bit.
The “call to arms” is to help any Jewish man or boy over age 13 put on tefillin. That’s not something we non-Jews get much of an opportunity to do, nor is it something non-Jewish males typically perform (with a few exceptions, or so I’m told).
Sharing the power of light is lighting the Shabbos and holiday candles and encouraging Jewish girls and women to do so. Again, not something most non-Jewish believers tend to perform and we typically aren’t in a position to suggest to Jews that they do so.
The “Jewish security system” is the mezuzah. Because my wife is Jewish, we have a mezuzah attached to pretty much every doorway in our home (bathrooms are the exception). I’ve been told that when a Jew sells his or her home, they leave the mezuzot (plural of mezuzah) in place if another Jew is buying the home, and remove them if a non-Jew is the buyer (because it won’t be a Jewish home anymore).
Praying for Israel is the first item on the list that’s freely accessible to any religious person, and we can certainly encourage others to pray for Israel and the Jewish people as well.
The Chabad article has various links to charitable organizations anyone can donate to for the benefit of Jewish victims of terrorism. You can also do your own research and determine for yourself where you want to give your tzedakah (the word translates commonly as “charity” but also means “justice”).
Nurturing your faith has to do with a Jewish person encouraging more religious observance and acts of faith with their own family and friends, specifically as it relates to a Jew’s connection to Israel.
While we non-Jews don’t have the same connection to the Holy Land, it would be inaccurate to say we don’t have a connection at all. Hashem established Israel for the Jewish people but He also commanded the Jewish people to be a light to the world. That light comes most strongly from Israel and from our Rav, Yeshua (Jesus).
Further, in His grace and mercy, Hashem has extended the promise of the resurrection, eternal life, and the Holy Spirit even to the Goyim, so how could we not be attached to Rav Yeshua, whose symbolic, sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection have opened the door to redemption for any who would repent and come to faith.
We can encourage our own family and friends to embrace their faith in our Rav by expressing clear support of Israel in any manner we have available to us. No congregation that pays homage to Yeshua, which includes any Christian church, should fail to support the nation of the Jews in any way.
Getting a letter is unique. Special Torah scrolls are being written in Israel, and the Chabad article says that any Jewish person may purchase a letter being written in a scroll. The way the form is set up, asking for the Jewish name of the person for whom the letter is being purchased, as well as the Jewish mother’s name and so on, I don’t think a non-Jew would be permitted to do this.
On the other hand, we can certainly pass along this information to any Jewish people we know who we believe would be interested.
The article finishes up with the suggestion that we pass this along in social media or anyplace else that Jewish people might see it and act.
I’m writing all this not to make any non-Jew reading it feel discouraged by what they can’t do for Israel. After all, Chabad is in the business of drawing Jewish people to Jewish faith and observance, not Gentiles (though I suppose they’d have an opinion on what a Noahide could do).
I’m writing today to show that we do have options in supporting the Land and the Jewish people. As Ro suggested, we could visit Israel and show our financial (by purchasing goods and services during our visit), emotional, and spiritual support. If we are in a position to do so, we can find some way to support any Jewish people in our local communities who we may know, to greater levels of Jewish observance. We can certainly pray, donate to Israeli charities helping terror victims, and encourage other believers to support Israel as an act of our faith (the last being a great way to educate others at your church or congregation).
Non-Jewish disciples of Rav Yeshua call ourselves Christians, or sometimes believers, followers, or even “Messianic Gentiles.” We are who we are. We are not Jews and we are not Israel. But we can stand by Israel, even if we don’t know a single Jewish person, and do something to support a Land under attack, not just by human terrorism and world-wide public condemnation, but by ancient forces of spiritual evil.
I don’t often write about “supernatural forces” but let’s face it. Our physical world is an extension of a spiritual reality and of powers and events long foretold by the Biblical prophets. We know that bad things are coming for the Jewish people, for Israel, and ultimately for the whole world.
This is as good a time as any to stand up and be counted on the side of good…the side of God.
Tag. You’re it. Pass this along.
This is just the short list. For more, read 54 Ways You Can Help Israel and find out which ones you can do…and then do them.
Addendum: Just saw this link on Facebook about helping victims of terrorism and thought I’d share.
The Torah viewpoint is that the Almighty constantly creates the entire world and everything in it for each individual. This concept has the potential to give a person immense pleasure. Think about it for a moment. The Almighty — Creator and Sustainer of the universe — is constantly creating for you the sun, the moon, and all the other worldly phenomena. He is constantly bestowing upon you life, and every single second He supplies you with your needs.
(see Rabbi Noson Tzvi Finkel; Tnuas Hamussar, vol.3, p.202; Gateway to Happiness, p.36)
-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin