Dear brothers and sisters in the LORD. I am on my way to China today and I need your prayers. It is cold in China and I do have proper clothing this year. Last year I was freezing, but this year I carry a whole suitcase of winter clothing, including a Russian submariner fur hat. Your prayers for my safety are highly appreciated.

This week’s reading of the Torah is the beginning of the story of Joseph, Genesis 37:1 – 40:23. Every time that I read this portion of the Torah my mind takes me to the second to the forth verses.

“This is the history of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.” (Gen. 37:2–4)

I am puzzled by this simple text. What was the real reason that Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they could not even say “Shalom” to their brother Joseph. This is the description of a very deep hate, a hate that is not even to say “Shalom” to their brother. There are two reasons given by the scriptures why the brothers hated Joseph with such a deep hate.

  1. Joseph brought a bad report against his brothers. In other words Joseph was a snitch, a person who was reporting to his father what his older brothers were doing.
  2. His father loved him more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age! Probably also because he was the son of Rachel – Jacob’s beloved wife.

No one likes a snitch. A snitch is a person who can’t be trusted and you can’t share a secret with a snitch. He will spread it faster than lighting. In society people who can’t be trusted with a secret or will go gossiping behind people’s backs and telling everything to every one of what the others did in the party are generally speaking not liked and not included.

The second reason why the brothers hated Joseph was because Jacob, (note in this verse it does not say Jacob loved Joseph more then his other brothers, but it says, “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children.”) This use of “Israel” in a context of a chapter that is telling the history of Jacob is of great significance. When the Word of God uses “Jacob” it refers to Jacob’s old nature who was a kind of a shifty character. “Israel” is the name that God gave to Jacob after contending with the angle at the river Yabok. The Jacob that loved Joseph more his other sons, was not the shifty character that took the inheritance from his brother Esau, but the Jacob who contended with God and came out winning the blessing, and the change of name from Jacob to Israel. The is the right Jacob/Israel who loves Joseph more. The reason for this extra love for Joseph is not clear in the beginning of the story, but by the middle of the Story after Joseph’s brothers go down to Egypt to gather food, we find the nobility and humility and love of Joseph for his brothers. Joseph is an all powerful man in Egypt of Pharaoh. Joseph is the one person that all of Egypt eats from his hand, and he could have accused his brothers with criminal activity and put them in jail for life. It is not right for a father to demonstrate love for one of his children above the other of his children. So, how is it that Jacob loved Joseph more than his brothers? Jacob has the gift of prophecy. We see this in the end of the book of Genesis in Jacob’s blessing of his sons. Jacob predicts the future of the tribes and points out from which tribe the Savior will come and many more prediction for each tribe. Jacob prophetic gift is the explanation of why Jacob loved Joseph more than all his brothers. Jacob saw Joseph’s character and how Joseph will eventually save his brothers and the family from disaster. Even though Jacob’s love for Joseph would be eventually proven and justified the hate that the brothers developed against their younger brother was also predictable and it played a part in the ultimate salvation of all the Abrahamic family and the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and the salvation of the world.

In the same way the rejection of Yeshua by the majority of His race, the Jewish people. God gave revelation to the prophets of Israel that the Messiah will be rejected and despised, will be killed and buried in the grave of a rich man, will come to Jerusalem on a donkey, and will save his all the nations. The process of salvation required that Israel will fall and go to exile and God would restore Israel back to the land that He gave to Abraham and his seed forever. (See Genesis 13:14-15).

Please don’t be surprised that God is faithful to keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their seed forever. Stand with Israel and with your brothers and sisters in Israel. Pray for the salvation of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. This is a mandate and an instruction of God in His word.

Happy Hanukkah to all of you and a happy and wonderful season of Christmas!

Pray for Israel and be an intercessor for the salvation of the Jewish nation and for our Arab neighbors to see that their proclamation of faith in all the prophets obligates them to read and study the whole Bible to find out what these prophets of God spoke and proclaimed. Challenge your Muslim friends and acquaintances to read the Bible and find out what the prophets of God said and wrote.

Pray for the Israeli government. There is a strong smell of smell of elections in Israel – may be in March 2019. Pray that faithful and godly men get elected and that those elected will see and know God’s agenda for this ancient and great nation of Israel.

Marcia is back to Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Danah and Noaam are in Thousand Oaks, California, and life is a little more normal. Noaam is back in school and Danah back at work. They both need your prayers and God’s grace to take them out of their predicament. The Lord can do wonders in our lives and our trust is in Him alone, but the prayers of the righteous are powerful and I trust you will pray for my family.

My nephew Eli Levi – is doing Chemo-Therapy in massive dose. I ask you to pray for Eli. So, please pray for Eli Levi, and Ruby Little who are both ill with bad cancer and undergoing Chemo-Therapy. Pray for Ruby to get the kind of help that she needs to pass this bridge in her life and be blessed in addition to the medical treatment by the grace of God in her life.

Pray for Sharon from Hong Kong and pray for total healing of her eyes. I am praying for Sharon and ask you to join me.

My teaching schedule is intense and the reception of my teaching is warm and welcoming. I need your prayers for staying healthy and strong to keep up with this schedule of hours of teaching almost every day. Netivyah is a unique ministry. My ministry is teaching the Word of God and encouraging brother and sisters to work for the restoration of the Biblical Church.

Keep praying for Netivyah in Israel and in the USA. The leadership of Netivyah needs your prayers and your support. We are still praying and seeking the Lord for a replacement vehicle for Netivyah in Israel. This has to be a van that can carry at least 9 people, and preferably 11 people, it has to be a van that can be used for transporting goods for the Hamotzi food program, and it has to be a van that can serve the Munchkins – the Netivyah youth group.

Please pray for the international conference in Portugal in Castelo de Vide from May 17-19 and followed by a four-day prayer tour in the places where Jews were tortured and burned by the Inquisition between 1497 – 1821. This will be a significant conference for the awakening of both Jews and Christians and hopefully the state of Israel for the need to open the doors of Israel and absorb several million Jewish victims of the Inquisition back home in Israel. This ought to be the next major wave of Aliyah to Israel and the resettling of the Negev Desert according to the prophecy of Obadiah the prophet.

We wanted to let you know we have opened public registration for the Netivyah 40th Anniversary Tour! Click here to register now.

Please pray for Netivyah and pray for this 40th Anniversary Tour to be a success and an opportunity for us all here in Jerusalem to show our joy and gratitude for your prayers and support.

Please pray for the congress in Portugal that will be held between 17-24th of May, 2019. Pray about joint us in Portugal. Please write Netivyah if you are interested to know more about this very important congress on the state of the Anussim/Marrano Jews who were victimized by the “Holy Office of the Inquisition” of the Catholic Church for 350 years. Tens of thousands of Jews were judged by the Catholic courts and executed and burned. We must pray for the restoration of these Jews back home to the land of Israel in fulfillment of the prophecy of Obadiah the prophet.

Remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani and ask The Lord to give strength and healing to Jacob.

Keep a dear sister in the Lord named Courtney in your prayers. Courtney has a number of health challenges and I ask you all to pray for this dear sister and her healing of all those challenges.

Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW. Little Lion is doing better in the last week and is back receiving Chemo-Therapy.

Please continue to pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki. Pray for Patty, Andrea and Tineke are all in Netherlands and need healing from God. Continue to Pray for Julia and Victor our dear sister and brother who both need healing and God’s help. Please add a dear sister that is suffering from prejudice in Switzerland. Her name is Paula and she needs divine breakthrough.

Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou Wenlian living in China. There is a dear brother Isaac in Chenai, India, who has a deep love for the Lord and for Israel. He is sick with kidney problems and needs a dialysis treatment several times per week. He is Pastor and a leader in a church in his city and I am asking you all to pray for the Lord to heal him.

Margareta, keep her in your prayers she is a dear woman who is going through some real hardship and anguish for her faith. Pray for Kenneth and Margarite G. in Tennessee. They are worthy for God’s grace and we are privileged to pray for the healing of these dear mother and son who suffer. Pray for Um Abu-Eid is a dear old Arab sister. Please pray for her healing and strength. Keep the following brothers who are improving with their health, but still lneed God’s merciful hand to touch them with healing, George, Gary, Melanie, Aharon, Yuri Marianenko, Sarit, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Miraim, Yehuda H., David Stern, Paulo, Noami, Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, Keijo and Salme, Evelina, Eva H., Horace and June Marcia’s father and mother, Marcelo’s parents. Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, Sadako San, Yumi, her husband has just died last week, and keep praying for her father, Pastor Oharah in Okinawa.

Please pray Ritva Huhtala and for sister Oksanen they need prayer for illness. Please pray for Louisa and Tony in Hong Kong. I have special concern for our dear brother Goh and his family, and for Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Knezevich.

If you would pray for those whom you know that need this prayer – the Lord will surely cover those for whom you pray and those for whom I pray. It is hard enough to live in this world and work and business-related issues make it harder and as much as we pray for the spiritual issues and health issues.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and believe in God’s promises!

Joseph Shulam