Last week, Simchat Torah was celebrated in synagogues all over the world. Immediately upon reading the last portion of Deuteronomy, the Torah scroll containing the Five Books of Moses, is rolled back to the beginning, to B'resheet and Genesis 1:1-5 is read.
This way we remember that the Torah is God's never-ending teaching for right living. It's a handbook for how to obtain blessings in our lives. This is a fun time, when we actually "dance" around the ark or building, holding the scroll in our arms. It's always exciting to have a new beginning, which is why we enjoy Simchat Torah so much. read more
The Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth and one of Israel's most popular tourist sites, is one of 28 finalists in the 7 Wonders of Nature, an international online competition that grades the seven natural wonders of the world.
To reach the final shortlist, the Dead Sea beat out approximately 440 sites from 220 countries.
The competition will last through 2011, and organizers expect millions of people to cast their vote. Other natural wonders in the competition include, the Amazon River, Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon and Maldives.
Officials are hoping the competition will promote tourism in the Dead Sea region and raise public awareness around the world about the problems facing the sea, which has lost close to one meter of water annually for the past 30 years.
For the next two years, Israel's Ministry of Tourism will lead the campaign for the Dead Sea to be selected as one of the winners in the contest, via 14 offices around the world, websites in 11 languages, and marketing activities that will emphasize the unique attributes of the Dead Sea. (To vote, go to www.new7wonders.com.)
Positioned 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is known as the largest natural health spa in the world. It is made up of black mud and thermo-mineral hot springs that ease muscular tension, improve blood circulation and alleviate rheumatic pain.
Other tourist attractions in the area include the Roman fortress at Masada, Ein Gedi and Einot Tzu Kim, nature reserves and the Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
We are living in the last days, and many of the prophecies in God's Word about Israel have been fulfilled. One of these main prophecies is in our reading in Jeremiah today.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks of a time when Israel will no longer say, "'The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' but 'The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.' I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers" (Jer. 16:15). read more
The Jewish holiday Sukkot, which is also known as the Festival of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles, is celebrated not only in the Holy Land, but also around the world. Jews call it the "season of joy" because Messiah was born. In biblical times, Jews journeyed to Jerusalem to commemorate the children of Israel's exodus, when God led them in the wilderness and they lived in booths. Jews today celebrate the holiday by eating, rejoicing and sleeping in decorated booths for eight days. Whether you're Jewish or not, we can all celebrate Yeshua and rejoice that He has come to "tabernacle" or dwell in us. Click below to watch video.
Nearly everyone has a special place he would like to visit during his lifetime. For many people, that place is Israel.
The mere mention of the country's name evokes a wide range of emotions, one of which is longing. For thousands of years, Israel has held great significance for people from all walks of life, and those who have a heart for the land yearn to see it. read more
Though Jesus clearly said of His return to the earth, "Of that day or hour no one knows" (Matt. 24:36, NKJV), there are signs throughout Scripture that point to the second coming of the Lord. One of them is the increasing number of Jewish people who are coming to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, and another is the growing body of Messiah in the land of Israel itself.
The Messianic movement refers to the growing number of Jewish people who have become believers in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel. This movement began with the Jewish disciples, continued into the first four or five centuries and then was lost. After a terrible season of forced conversions during medieval times, more reasonable attempts to help Jewish people find Jesus began during the post-Reformation period. read more
Some 5,000 Christians from 100 nations marched through the streets of Jerusalem Tuesday to show their solidarity with the nation of Israel.
March participants waved Zionist banners and flags, while others wore T-shirts that read "Jerusalem United" as part of a campaign responding to political pressure on Israel to stop construction in the largely Arab eastern part of the city. read more
The Israel Antiquities Authority in Migdal near the Sea of Galilee discovered a 2,000-year-old synagogue from the Second Temple period this month during archaeological excavations.
The 390-square-foot synagogue contains mosaic floors and walls covered with frescos. Also, a square stone featuring sides adorned with reliefs and engraved with a seven-branched menorah was discovered in the hall atop a pedestal with a triangular base. read more
Jewish people celebrate holy days throughout the year with special observances, ceremonies and activities. Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is said to be the holiest day of the year for religious Jews. During this special time, Jewish people pray, fast and repent of their sins. Yeshua made atonement not only for God's chosen people, but for whoever will accept Him. To learn more about this high and holy day, watch video.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week addressed the United Nations General Assembly. This man, who stole his re-election and violently suppresses his political opponents, sought to teach the world about democracy.
Ahmadinejad, who persecutes religious minorities and tortures civic activists, presumed to lecture the world about human rights. He denies the Holocaust and has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, but he dares to accuse Israel of genocide. read more