By Joseph Shulam from home
This Sabbath’s reading is from Leviticus 26-27 – the last chapters of Leviticus. The reading starts in verse 3 of chapter 26; “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them . . .” There are 11 verses that say all the good things that are going to happen to those who keep God’s commandments. After these blessings come 33 verses of all the bad things that are going to happen to those who don’t obey God and who go against His command and abhor His judgments. Note that there are 11 verses of blessings and 33 verses of the punishments and plagues that will come to the disobedient. The details are horrible and the sad thing that happened in our history is that all of these promises of God, the good ones and the bad ones happened in our history and even more than once. The question is to my fellow Jewish brothers – why not just do keep God’s commands? Yes, this does not mean that we don’t need God’s grace and the sacrifice of Yeshua for our sins, but it does mean that as Jews we have a calling to be faithful from God and obligation to Love Him with all our heart and with all of our Soul, and with all our being. We must at least try and do our best to be faithful to our calling like Paul and like the other Apostles! Look what Paul said about himself and his relationship to the Torah: “concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:6b) Paul also said the following to the Jewish Leadership of the City of Rome after his arrival there: “And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: “Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. . .” Can we, the Jewish Disciples of Yeshua take Paul as an Example? Did something change in God’s will after Paul that we don’t know about it from the Bible? Is Paul the Apostle of Yeshua who took the Good News to Europe and from there it spread all around the World not someone that we ought to emulate? The only question remains today is which commandments and how to keep them? Do we need to follow the Orthodox Jewish traditions, or may be the American Reform Movement and their practices? These questions are the ones that as Jewish Disciples of Yeshua we ought to examine and weight seriously. The Jewish Community does not take us seriously and does not take our faith in Yeshua seriously because we have not yet taken our identity as Jewish Disciples of Yeshua seriously. May be we ought to desire to see the blessings promised in Leviticus 26:3-14 in our lives much more than the curses that Yeshua took with Himself to the cross? These are just ideas that as Disciples of Yeshua we ought to ponder!
Israel’s government is going through another serious crisis. Our Prime Minister has actually fired our defense minister who is a highly decorated General with much experience in all of the defense issues, and in his place has put a person who has no experience in defense issues, a person with shady character. There is a serious shake up in our government and the smell of elections in the air. Israel needs our prayers. Destabilization of Israel’s politics now is not very wise because of all what is going on in our neighborhood with ISIS and Assad and the other terrorist activity in our region. Destabilizing of the government in Israel is a major mistake. Our politicians like others in the world are more worried about their own interest and power than for the general good and welfare of the people. We have several politicians including an ex-president and ex-prime minister who are already in jail, and several others who are in line to go to jail and are under police investigations. I am convinced that you should pray for Israel, but I can’t tell you how to pray for Israel – other than for Israel to turn to God and ask His favor upon our country and our leadership. This at least is my prayer.
Danah our daughter had the surgery on last Tuesday. The surgery was successful but Danah still needs our prayers. She is not feeling good at all and not sleeping at night and has some other problems related to the surgery. Today she is going back to the doctor to check why she is not recovering as scheduled. Please pray for Danah and Noaam. Beth our really fine daughter-in-law is in California with Danah and helping take care of Danah and Noaam during this difficult period after the surgery. We are waiting for the results in two weeks and praying that they will be clear from any more serious issues. Please pray with us all in the Shulam family for Danah and in fact for Barry. Barry too has some health issues and he too needs our prayers for his health. We all hope that he will find ways to get better and not need surgery.
Zvi L., for whom we have been praying, is in the Hadassah Hospital ICU and in serious condition and we are praying for God’s mercy to be demonstrated in Zvi and Sara’s lives. They are both survivors of the Holocaust and wonderfully strong Disciples of Yeshua. They moved from the North to Jerusalem many years ago just in order to be close to our congregation. Please keep them daily in your prayers.
Anna H., in Finland is another 90-year-old sister with one of the strongest constitutions, but now she has been very ill for several months. She is in and out of the hospital. We are praying for Anna and for her family that is also under much stress with their mother and grandmother so ill and in need of care.
Please pray for Netivyah and for the Roeh Israel Congregation in Jerusalem. I am traveling much this year and the young leadership is doing a great job, but they all need prayer and support during my absence. We have a very unusual congregation with many young leaders who can all teach and lead and do a great job, but they need God’s blessing and guidance.
Pray for the food distribution program of Netivyah. Netivyah is back to almost full load and the city’s social welfare department is sending people just as soon as we have the means to take on more people. We give ample food for the families in need. We give meat, and chicken, and fish, and fresh fruit and vegetables, dry goods like rice and pasta and sugar and canned tuna and oil you just name it. On the day of distribution every week our building downstairs looks like a supermarket. We appreciate your prayer and support for this unique of blessing the poor and needy people in Jerusalem. We have no prejudice and we are providing food to Jews and Arabs, Ethiopian Immigrants, Russian Immigrants, Arabs from the old city of Jerusalem, and Orthodox Jews and single mothers and homeless . . .
Please pray for the daily Kol HaYeshua Radio broadcast in Hebrew. We have been broadcasting in Hebrew on A.M. radio for near 20 years in cooperation with Trans-World-Radio. We have some financial support from World Radio and we appreciate that so very much. It is generous and together with the major support of Trans-World-Radio it helps us do a better job presenting the Good News from Jerusalem to Hebrew speakers all around the World through the Internet. We need the Lord to bless our broadcast and message of Good News and more people to respond to our message.
Please keep praying for open-minded Muslims around the world. Muslims who are looking for truth and who are ashamed of what their Muslim brothers are doing to each other Muslims and to Christians in Syria, Iraq, France, Belgium, and in fact all around the world. These open-minded and peace seeking Muslims around the world need our prayers and they need God’s protection and blessing! The problem with radical and Jihadist Islam will not be solved by Christians or Jews, it has to be solved by Muslims who love God and love truth and love God’s people.
The prayer list for the sick brothers and sisters in Jerusalem, in the USA, in Brazil, and Japan and our brothers who need special provision of help and blessing does not change much. We must be like the widow who knocked on the door of the judge until midnight until he answered her and gave her what she wanted. We keep praying for these dear brothers and sisters and you join us in these prayers with the full assurance that the Lord is hearing our prayers and will answer them according to His will and time.
Please pray for the following people:
Tatiana, Sara L., Zvi D., Ahuva, Ilana, Leah, Marcia, Hannah, David S., Naomi, Sarit, and Miriam.
In Finland Tim Tucker, and especially Anna who is also 90 years old and very sick, Anne-Mirijami, Satu-Maria, Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, and Evelina.
In Brazil: Marcelo’s father and mother, Paulo, Clara, and the spiritually sick women and men who knew the truth and chose to believe lies.
In the USA: Ruby, and Barry my son, and Liz in Georgia, and Horace and June Marcia’s parents.
In Japan: Pastor Curita in Tokyo, Toru San, and the husband of Yumi, Sadako San, Shoko San, Takeo Sensei and Tomoko San all in Japan.
For brothers and sisters who need the hand of God’s blessing on their lives: Michael Knezevich, Raymond and his family and his company, Laurel S., Elise Isaiah, and the Bean family. Please pray for Marcelo and Matheus and the Har Zion Congregation in B.H. and for our dear brothers in the new congregation in Vitoria, Brazil.
I bless all of you who pray for Jerusalem and for the Peace in this city and among God’s children everywhere. I bless you who stand with Israel and with Netivyah’s ministry and the Lord’s work in Jerusalem, Brazil, Finland, and in the Far East. I wish upon you the fulfillment of God’s promises in a visibly and tangible ways, in Yeshua’s name. Amen!