With the most awesome and introspective season on the Jewish calendar upon us, it's very hard not to see God's hand in recent events and His protecting Israel, even in the wake of the recent war. As we beseech Him for a year of health and happiness for us and for our loved ones, we also need to give God thanks for delivering Israel from threats against us. This year, that's all the more vivid.
At festive times, Jewish tradition is to praise God with reciting Psalms 113 through 118. This season is one in which we need to recall that, and all He has done, singing to God:
Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The Lord's right hand has done mighty things! The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done mighty things!" I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
Nobody in Israel wanted another war. However, as 4,600 rockets were fired at us, with so many shot down by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, and many acts of bravery and heroism, it's clear that amid the war that was thrust upon Israel this summer, with all the death, injuries and destruction that ensued, there were still many blessings to Israel. How so?
Widely reported in Israel, and largely unknown outside Israel, one of the miraculous consequences of the war was the discovery of plans for another surprise terrorist attack that was planned against Israel by Hamas, scheduled as all of Israel was united in worship on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 26. With plans to infiltrate Israel with thousands of armed terrorists, through a network of dozens of tunnels, with the aim to kill and kidnap as many Israelis as possible, the attack could have killed as many as the Yom Kippur war, or even Sept. 11.
Though the terrorists' tunnels have been destroyed, and Hamas' evil plot foiled, the threats Israel faces are still grave, and recovery from the recent fighting and casualties will take time.
Also miraculous, as a consequence of the war, Jews and Christians have joined hands to stand together against our common enemies, while sanctifying the One True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many examples abound: 1) Senator Ted Cruz's now famous standing with Israel at an event In Defense of Christians; 2) former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's national rally for Israel next month; 3) CUFI's Washington Summit and solidarity trips to Israel; 4) The National Religious Broadcasters' solidarity mission to Israel; 5) American veterans with Heroes to Heroes donating blood in Israel; 6) Countless prayer events, worldwide.
Personally, I have been uplifted by receiving numerous emails of support from throughout the U.S. and places as remote as Nigeria and Pakistan.
One of the most remarkable and special of these miraculous events is the upcoming telethon, For Israel's Sake, scheduled to take place this Sunday, Sept. 21. For Israel's Sake will be broadcast on at least 15 TV ministries, with all ministries, partners, and participating businesses donating their time and services. All of the funds raised will go to support three essential programs. I am proud and grateful that Heart to Heart was chosen to be one of these, providing resources to support Israel's national EMS, ambulance and blood service.
For information about program times and participating ministries featuring For Israel's Sake, please visit forisraelssake.org.
I am grateful to all those who have devoted their time and shared their wonderful heart for Israel, especially at this season, to restore Israel following the recent war and bless Israel as God's chosen people. Just as the Jewish people faced a similar plot in Persia 2,500 years ago, from where a grave threat still emanates today, please stand with Israel as in Esther 4:14, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place ... And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"
As Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the New Year (according to Lev. 23:24-25), it is customary to wish one another Shana Tova, a happy new year. These are more prayerful wishes than festive ones (like at New Year's Eve). We wish one another to be inscribed for another year in the book of life, blessing, peace and sustenance.
At this season, please accept my sincere prayers that you, your family and loved ones all be inscribed for a year of health and happiness.