Jerusaldm Vistas / IsraelVision

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Walk Through Our Valley in Israel...

Israel is a tiny country but it is filled with wonders, from the arid desert to the snowy mountains, and the lush welcoming valleys.

The best way to see and appreciate the Wonders of God's Creation is to "walk the land". The Jewish Talmud says that “one who walks four cubits (1.8 meters) in the Land of Israel will merit a portion in the world to come.” When one is privileged to be in Israel it is easy to see why the sages made this statement!

This year, on Tisha B'Av, Jay and Meridel did just that. On the Jewish Calendar the 9th of Av, or Tisha B'Av (15-16 July 2013) is known as the saddest day of the year for Jews. The list of tragedies is long, beginning with the Sin of the Spies. The destruction of the First and Second temples, and the fall of Beitar (the last fort to hold off the Romans), during the Bar Kockba Revolt were also added to the day. Later in 1492, King Ferdinand of Spain ordered the expulsion of the Jews, wtih Tisha B'av being the last day Jews would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil. Later, WWI, which eventually led to the Holocaust began on  (you guessed it) Tisha B'Av. Jump to 1942~on the eve of Tisha B'av~the Germans began mass deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka. Even as recent as 2005, we watched as 10,000 Jews of Gush Katif were expelled from their homes, and their towns were bulldozed to the ground. The next day, members of the terror group Hamas moved in and began firing rockets into Israel...and the people mourned on Tisha B'Av.

It is no wonder that people in Israel fast, mourn and reflect. They also spend time walking the land, amongst the lush growth, allowing the "Land of God" to bring them peace and regeneration.

Jay and Meridel are blessed to live on the edge of a beautiful Valley. With cameras in hand they took a walk, to find "peace" in the valley. Join them in their walk, and share a portion in the world to come...

Israel Shall Blossom and Bud, and Fill the Face of the World with Fruit...Isaiah 27:6

Sunday, July 14, 2013

From Sudan to Israel to Ethiopa to Canada...

Over five years ago, when Jay and Meridel were in Eilat a chance meeting introduced them to a very special young man from South Sudan, named Michael. They immediately “clicked”. As they spoke, Michael revealed an amazing story. Fifteen years earlier, he and his family were horrifically attacked by Muslim extremists~Simply Because They Were Christians.

As the village elders were slaughtered and burned, Michael and his only surviving cousin, Dobuol Bouy, hid in the bulrushes of a nearby riverbank. The next day he was forced to try to identify his parents but could not because they were so badly disfigured.

An officer in the conquering Muslim army held Michael and his cousin as virtual slaves. When the officer commanded them to convert to Islam, they said, “We will die first.” Seven years later, they escaped to Khartoum.

Penniless, they made their way 1600 kms (1000 miles) to Cairo. Michael and his cousin worked nights on menial jobs so they could study at school during the day. It was there that Michael met, and married Nicole, also a Sudanese Christian refugee.

All Sudanese refugees were harshly persecuted by the Egyptian Police who burned their hard earned identification papers. Seeing other refugees killed, Michael and his cousin decided to spend their last savings to try and reach the Israeli border in the Negev desert. Michael and Nicole (now pregnant), parted not knowing if they would ever see each other again. 

Escorted by Bedouin smugglers, amidst gunfire from the Egyptian police, they scrabbled over the barbed wire border fence and arrived in Israel battered and bleeding.

They soon learned that their fear of the Israeli Border Police was unfounded. They were given water, food and medical attention.

Finally, they were transferred to a holding center for refugees near Beer Sheva. Some time later they were sent to work in Eilat, Israel’s southern most tourist town.

The Hotel where they worked recognized their natural leadership qualities. Michael and his cousin were quickly promoted to positions as  department managers.

Meanwhile, Nicole, thin and malnourished, carried her newborn baby to the Israeli border. She crossed into Israel determined to find her husband.

Miraculously she was sent to Eilot Kibbutz five kilometers north of Eilat, and she soon found her beloved Michael.

 It was in the hotel where Michael and his cousin were working when Jay and Meridel met them. Since that time, they have been linked by the Lord in a powerful way. Immediately Jay and Meridel adopted them and became ”Abba and Ima” (Hebrew for Dad and Mom).

When Jay asked them “How can I help you the most?” They responded, “We would like to go to Canada. Can you help us?"

Jay learned of Canada's refugee and human rights resettlement program for which Michael, Nicole and family~including his cousin~certainly qualified. Thus began a long process at the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv~filling out numerous application forms, locating a sponsor church in Toronto and eventually getting scholarships for them to study in a college in Scarborough, Ontario. Jay also appealed to Ottawa for help.

Everyone waited, and waited, and waited some more~almost five years!

Finally in May 2013, an email from the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv arrived, asking for help in locating Michael, Nicole, the children and cousin Dobuol Bouy. Jay found Michael and Nicole in a refugee camp in Ethiopia and Dobuol Bouy in South Sudanl. We all wept when we heard each others voices.

The family are living under very difficult conditions. They are housed in a multi-family tent, with food and water rationed. Michael never asks for anything but only said, “Abba it is very hard here.” Jay and Meridel are sending what they can on a regular basis, but it is not enough. They need milk for the childrean and other basics. They also need to find money to purchase their tickets to Nairobi, Kenya. This is where the Canadian Embassy has a Visa Office. Their papers now have to be transferred from Tel Aviv to Nairobi. How long this will take~no one knows. They need miracles!

It is our goal to travel to the Ethiopian Refugee Camp where Michael, Nichole and their children are; to comfort them.

Once there, we will film them as they tell their amazing story, and show the world what conditions they are now existing in.

This could then be used not only as a teaching tool, but as a means for this family to finally achieve their goal~Freedom~to live, work, worship, study and raise their children without fear of persecution.

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
and His children will have a place of refuge”...Proverbs 14: 26

Please Pray for These Precious Souls~If You Can Help Us to Help Them It Will Be A Blessing

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Praying At The Kotel

Picture Credit: Jerusalem Vistas
Our crew have been busy filming around the country for many weeks now. At the end of June, while in the Old City of Jerusalem they stopped by the Kotel (Wailing Wall or Western Wall) and spotted a Minyan at their Shacharit (morning) prayer service next to the Wall. The readings take place on Shabbats, Mondays, and Thursdays. On Jewish holidays, Rosh Chodesh, and fast days, special sections connected to the day are read. The beautiful, elaborately decorated covers that "house" the Torah Scrolls are very typical of Sephardi communities~if you are able to see one at close quarters it will take your breath away .

In this brief clip, the men have on their Tefillin and Tallit and raise the Torah Scroll (Hagbahah) before the Haftorah (selections from the books of Nevi'im "Prophets" of the Hebrew Bible "Tanach"). Of course, customs vary around the world, from one community to another, but from the sages we learn the following:

“When the Torah scroll (is about to be read) he rolls out the scroll to show three columns, raises it and shows the people standing to his right and to his left, and then turns it forward and backwards, for it is a mitzvah for all the men and women to see the writing and say while bowing, V’zot HaTorah:

"And this is the Torah which Moses placed before the Children of Israel’...Deuteronomy 4:44; and 
"The Torah of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul"...Psalm 19:8*

*The second verse is (generally) no longer said. The information provided is for "general knowledge". The customs vary depending on many things, such as residing inside Israel or in other countries, and the traditions of the community, and strictness of observance.

If you come to Jerusalem, we encourage you to pay a visit to the Kotel and observe the various Minyans at prayer. Meanwhile as we enter into the weekend and the Holiest day of the week~Saturday (Shabbat) for Jews, and Sunday for Christian believers~here is a short clip to set the mood...Shabbat Shalom to All!

Raising the Torah Scroll~Hagbahah (Lifting)

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Agricultural Jihad Against Israel

For some years, Eric Stakelbeck has been recording "Stakelbeck on Terror". He has spent a lot of time in the Holy Land and strives to bring facts to the forefront.

In this latest video Eric visits Judea and Samaria to examine a new type of Jihad. He meets and speaks with the citizens and gives us an "up close" look at the land. When he spoke with Nadia Matar with Women in Green (an organization dedicated to safeguarding Israel's biblical lands), Nadia told him:

"The water pipes were cut by the Arabs, and the trees didn't get water…what was left of them [was] completely dry and completely dead..."

"The Arabs have a very big difficulty seeing the Jews planting on their biblical, God-given homeland, even in areas where there's no dispute at all like here [in Netzer],"

Eric also reveals that the IRS has been targeting supporters of Judea and Samaria...

There are three commercials located at: (11:07~13:35), (17:30~19:35), 25:00~27:02)

Stakelbeck on Terror~Agricultural Jihad in the Biblical Homeland

What Really Happened In The Middle East

Something to Think and Pray About...Search For Truth~Reject Propaganda!