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27 May, 201027 May, 2010 20 comments Discourse Discourse

Today I went to the Ministry of Interior and renewed my permanent residency visa. I am still trying to figure out why something with the title "permanent" needs to be renewed, but I guess bureaucracy is the same in every country. It has been just about a year since I really "settled" in Israel. I was in and out before, but the past year was my first official, I have a Taudat Zaut (National Israeli ID), year in Israel. I thought it would be appropriate to review the past year and mention some of my most outstanding memories and invaluable lessons.


Probably the most numerous experiences were those connected with holidays. It seems there is always something to celebrate or mourn or commemorate. I think that is one of my favorite things about life in Israel. While all the Hagim or Holidays are special, I think one stands out as the most unique - the ha yoreah or "first rains". Where I come from rain is a good thing, but we often are frustrated by it when it ruins our plans. There is an abundance of rain and it is not often celebrated. This past September when the first rains fell in Israel I was in Zichon Yacov eating in a restaurant with friends. The place erupted in clapping and singing as torrential rain beg

21 March, 201021 March, 2010 19 comments Discourse Discourse

I was in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday when the latest riots broke out. Days like these always serve as a reality check. I was interviewing Christian Arabs for an upcoming article. I was quite safe. Except for the added police force at Jaffa gate, and the abnormally quiet markets, I felt no difference in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. The focus of the riots has been around the Temple Mount and in the Muslim quarter. After Friday prayers, many young Palestinian men began throwing rocks down from the Temple Mount and Israeli security forces intervened. The situation got progressively tense as Israel closed the Temple Mount to all tourists and the mosque to worshipers under 50. On Tuesday clashes broke out. Things are now quiet again and the mosque and Temple Mount reopened to all.


On Tuesday I was close to the area, but far enough that I felt no fear. I did, however, leave the area and my interviews with a renewed realization that I am living and working in an intense conflict region. While I do have strong and well defined political views, I would like to share something much more critical to the situation in my estimation. That is, how do we Christians relate on a personal level to the p

27 January, 201027 January, 2010 23 comments Discourse Discourse

This morning I picked up the Jerusalem Post to read the headline, "PM expected to draw connections between Iran's nukes and Holocaust." The article goes on to quote other leaders. "Merkel to Peres in Berlin: "Teheran's time is up." Today is the official United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day and also the anniversary of the historic liberation of Auschwitz.  I expected to see historic articles throughout the paper, but the main thrust of today's headlines is a, not so subtle, warning that a second holocaust is waiting around the corner if the world does not act in some measure, and very quickly.


I find it eerie that on this day that we remember the atrocities of the past, we are confronted with a present day threat that could potentially kill more people in a few minutes then Hitler and his SS guards did in several years.  On Tuesday, at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu wrote in the guestbook, "The people of Israel have learned their lesson." I do not doubt his words, but I question whether the world has learned its lesson

24 August, 200924 August, 2009 9 comments Discourse Discourse

Many people calling themselves Christians throughout history have taught incorrectly that God has rejected his people and that the church has replaced Israel. This theology directly contributed to egregious acts of violence against the Jewish people in the name of Christiandom. Christian anti-Semitism creates two victims. It has brought terror and death to numerous Jews, but it also attacks the very heart of Christianity and has led to persecution of many Christians such as Cory Ten-Boom and Martin Niemoller. In some cases Christians gave their lives to defend their faith and the Jewish people, as was the case for German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who helped Jews escape Germany during the reign of Hitler. He also was advisor to a high-level assasination attempt on Hitler that eventually brought about his arrest. He was sent to prison and later to a concentration camp where he was killed just days before liberation of that camp.


Paul warns against Christian arrogance in Romans. He uses an olive tree to illustrate the relationship of the gentiles to the Jews. He refers to the roots as the Jewish covenants and promises. The natural branches are the Jews. Paul reminds us that we gentiles are not

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