|Peres to call for reconciliation between Orthodox and secular Jews|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 18 April 2008 09:37|
The year 2008 will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the rebirth of the state of Israel. And there is much to celebrate, despite the mainstream media's demonization of the Jewish state. Israel's very existence is a miracle. Never before in the history of the world has an ancient people been regathered to their original homeland after nearly 20 centuries of separation. And never before has an ancient tongue been successfully revived and used as a native language. Not only have we witnessed these amazing miracles take place, but the Bible foretold that these things would happen, over 2500 years ago. And since May 14th, 1948, Israel has fought and won over half a dozen wars with the surrounding Arab nations, against incredible odds. Sixty years on, the Jewish state is still a nation of contrasts. Despite their ancient history and despite these modern miracles, Israel is still a very secular nation. Until I went to Israel I didn't really understand how someone could be a secular Jew. Our Israeli tour guide was secular, and as he explained, it is very difficult for them to understand how they could be related to the Orthodox Jews. At the other end of the scale you have the ultra-Orthodox, who reject Zionism completely, and refuse to recognize the modern state of Israel. As external pressures mount on Israel to divide the land and their Holy City, Israeli President Shimon Peres is intending to call for the reconciliation of both secular and Orthodox Jews in his public address on independence day, in an attempt to unite the country under his leadership. Peres believes that the physical revival of Israel had to come first, and hopes that a spiritual revival amongst the people will soon follow.
Quote: "Peres told the rabbis that he would address "first secular people, before complaining about the ultra-Orthodox and others. I'll say: Let's examine ourselves before preaching to others. After all, we're the majority. This is no way to behave, with disrespect, with lack of restraint. I hope this voice will be heard in all the communities. This issue must become part of the public discourse." "Our fathers, who revived the Jewish settlement in Israel, acted in two ways. First physical national revival, for we were a nation without land. Then spiritual revival - reviving Jewish culture and heritage, which I see as no less important than the physical revival," Peres said. The conversation was reported by Yossi Elitov. Peres said he hoped the second part of the plan - the spiritual revival - would begin soon. "Let's return to our roots," he said.
The Bible does say that national revival would come to the Jewish people before they would be spiritually revived (Hosea 6:2, Ezekiel 36:24-27). In the mountains of Jerusalem stands a monument which is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in all Israel's wars. It is called the Scrolls of Fire. On the outside of the scrolls are depicted the many sufferings of the Jewish people, ranging from the Babylonian captivity to the Nazi Holocaust. On the inside of the scrolls are two verses from the prophecy of Ezekiel, written in both Hebrew and English...
Today the Jewish people have been physically revived as a nation, but nationally speaking there is still no breath in them. The Lord has not yet poured out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28). The nation is still blinded as to the identity of their Messiah, whether that is by religion or by secularism. While I was in Israel I couldn't help but think what it would take before the Jewish people would turn to the Saviour. We are given a brief insight in Scripture into what will befall the nation during the tribulation period... Their expulsion from east Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2, Revelation 11:2), the defilement of their Temple (Mark 13:14), the Har-Megiddon war (Revelation 16:16). Only when they have nowhere else to turn will they cry out, "Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord", Luke 13:35, and mean it of the One they once rejected. But Jesus Christ will come and will deliver them, just as He delivered us when we called upon Him for salvation. Have you called upon Jesus Christ for salvation? What will it take before you will turn to the True and Living God? Trust in Him for salvation today.