|Israeli government votes to restrict Aliyah|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 18 October 2007 09:35|
The Israeli government has voted this week in favour of restricting the Law of Return for Jewish descendants seeking to return to their ancient homeland. There are several people groups that claim a direct lineage from the twelve tribes of Israel, such as the B'nai Menashe of India (sons of Manasseh) and the Falash Mura of Ethiopia. These groups have customs and rituals that are remarkably similar to those in found in Judaism, despite having been separated from their homeland for thousands of years. Many of these Jewish descendants have made Aliyah (ascension) to the land of their fathers. Earlier in the year, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attended a ceremony to remember the lives of those Ethiopian Jews who did not realize their dream of going home to Israel. Jewish emigration from Britain and the United States is also at an all time high, due to increased anti-Semitism in these countries. Presently around 400 Jewish people leave Britain every year to to live in Israel. But this process is likely to become more difficult, now that the Israeli Interior Minister will no longer be responsible for approving the immigration of olim (people who make Aliyah). Instead the entire Israeli cabinet must vote every time a new group wants to make Aliyah to Israel. These regulations have caused some to accuse the government of post-Zionism, believing that Jewish emigration to Israel is no longer necessary following the establishment of the state of Israel.
Quote: "Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based organization working to bring the remaining 7,000 Bnei Menashe from India to Israel, slammed the decision. He accused Sheetreet of attempting to "prevent groups with historical ties to the Jewish people from returning to Judaism and moving to Israel." "Requiring full cabinet approval every time a group of 100 or 200 people wish to move here and undergo conversion is a recipe for bureaucratic inertia, as there is little chance of getting such an item onto the busy agenda of the entire government," said Freund, who previously served as deputy communications director under former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While I'm not sure if the Israeli government could be accused of propagating post-Zionism, it is sad that they are seeking to restrict Jewish people making Aliyah to Israel. For I believe the desire born within the hearts of these people to return to the land of their fathers is the Lord's doing. The Old Testament prophets spoke of the days when Israel would be regathered out of every nation where the Lord had driven them...
As we can see from Jeremiah's prophecy, the regathering of Israel to the land is inextricably linked with the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. The Lord did raise unto David a righteous Branch, and as Jeremiah predicted, this Son of David would be none other than the Lord Himself. While Jesus Christ was born King of the Jews, He was rejected by the nation and as a result the remainder of Jeremiah's prophecy concerning Him has not yet been fulfilled. A King does not yet reign and prosper, judgement and justice is not yet executed in the earth, and Judah and Israel do not yet dwell in safety. But the Scriptures state that one day Christ will reign over the house of Israel (Luke 1:32). Just as we have witnessed the regathering of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, we can be sure that the Scriptures concerning the Millennial Reign of Christ must also be fulfilled. The prophets Isaiah and Zechariah give more detail on who this Branch would be, and what He would accomplish. Zechariah 3:8-9 states that He will remove the iniquity of the children of Israel in one day. In one day, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary put a complete end to the Jewish sacrificial system, God being fully satisfied with the travail of His soul (Isaiah 53:11) in bearing the iniquity of the house of Israel and the world. Zechariah 6:11-3 says this Branch shall be a Priest upon His Throne. Not since the days of Melchizedek has a man filled the roles of both priest and king in Israel (Genesis 14:18). The priestly tribe were the sons of Aaron, and the Levites looked after the administration of the Tabernacle and Temples. But only the tribe of Judah was given permission by God to reign over His people. Jacob prophesied that the sceptre would not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes (Genesis 49:10). The Scriptures state that Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1, Luke 1:27), and as descendant of Judah and David He has a legal right to the Throne of David. As Jacob states, the sceptre shall not depart from Judah "until He come who's right it is". Upon this earth Christ fulfilled his role as Prophet. In Heaven He presently intercedes for us before the Throne of God as our Great High Priest (Hebrews 8). And soon Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem to fulfill the Scriptures concerning His reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Have you beheld the Man whose name is the Branch? Have you beheld the Man with the nail wounds in His hands? Jesus Christ died for you. He's coming again soon. Trust in Him for salvation today.