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Israel Prayer Letter, October 20, 2017


Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge…. For Christ (Messiah) is the end of the law (the Torah) for righteousness to everyone that believeth… For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:1-2, 4, 11, 13


Dear Intercessors and Friends of Israel:


Greetings from Jerusalem!  For the past four days, protests by religious Jewish ultra-Orthodox demonstrators have tied up Jerusalem’s traffic with unruly crowds clashing violently with police and passing drivers.  These Haredim have blocked major highways across the city, including the Shabbat Square, the Sarei Israel-Yafo Street junction, the junction outside the International Convention Center, and the exit to Highway One. Drivers passing by confronted the ultra-Orthodox demonstrators, with some forcefully driving through these angry mobs.  One sign said:  “To military prison for the crime of Torah study.”  Another protestor angrily declared that “the state wants to silence all the Jews who want to study Torah” (www.i24news.co.il).


These Haredi protestors were demonstrating against an earlier High Court of Justice decision, which struck down a law exempting ultra-Orthodox men from military service.  The High Court announced that these religious exemptions undermined equality, since other secular Israelis were required to serve in the Military.  This legal decision raises the possibility that Haredim could be forced into service, a highly contentious proposition with political implications.  Then, after announcing this decision, the court promptly suspended its ruling for one year, allowing the Knesset to either pass new laws regulating the drafting of religious students or make other arrangements.


The issue is part of a decades-old debate over whether young ultra-Orthodox men studying at yeshivas should undergo compulsory military service like the rest of Israel’s Jewish population. After reaching the age of 18, men must serve for 32 months and women must serve for 24.


The ultra-Orthodox oppose serving for a variety of reasons, with the most extreme being believing a Jewish state is not allowed before the coming of the Messiah. Others argue that study of religious texts is just as important to Israel as military service or that ultra-Orthodox soldiers would be confronted with irreligious behavior (www.timesofisrael.com 10/19/2017).  Ultra-Orthodox political parties, holding key positions in the ruling coalition, are likely to draft new legislation that could seek to override the court ruling and keep the exemption in place.


Israel is home to the largest Haredi population, at approx. 750,000 (out of 7.5 million Israelis) in 2009. The number of Haredi Jews in Israel is rising rapidly. The average number of children per woman is 6.2, and the share of Haredim among those under the age of 20 was 16.3%.  The Haredim are estimated to now make up 10% of Israel's population, and their absence from the IDF often attracts significant resentment from Israel's secular majority (www.wikipedia.com).

Please pray for these Haredim.  They are the lost sheep of Israel.  Pray that they see Jesus revealed through their studies of the Torah.  Pray they read Isaiah 53 and understand that this prophetic passage refers to Yeshua their Messiah and not Israel.  Pray Romans 10:4, in that they as religious Jews would realize that “Christ is the end of the law (Torah) for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” 

IDF tanks strike Syrian army post after errant mortar fire

Israeli tanks strike a Syrian mortar position near the Syrian city of Kuneitra on Thursday, which fired a shell that struck the northern Golan Heights hours earlier, the Israel Defense Forces says.  On Thursday afternoon, the mortar shell landed in an open field on the Golan Heights in an apparent case of spillover fire from the fighting in Syria, the army says.  A week earlier, the Israeli air forces destroyed a surface to air missile (SAM) site, deep in Syria, further aggravating tensions in the Middle East.


ETH&S Jerusalem Summons

The House of Peace will be hosting ETH&S’s 3rd annual Jerusalem Summons.  The meetings begin Tuesday night, November 7, at the Israel Prayer Tower at the top of Migdal Ha’ir (The City Tower, which overlooks Ben Yehuda Street and all of Jerusalem).  This “Summons” will have an additional two days with meetings morning and evening, November 8th and 9th.  Speakers include Pastor Mark Bristow from Midland-Odessa Texas, Eva Dooley, Sharon and Philip Buss, and Claren and Nancy McQueen.  Prior to the Summons we will be having special services at the House of Peace.  Call or e-mail us, for further details.  Don’t miss this anointed appointed time in Jerusalem.  Be inspired and intercede for God’s Purposes in these Last Days.


Please Pray:

Please remember Marylois and me, and all the believers in this land of Israel.  Please pray for our protection, our provision and health, that we may “run this race” with the power, presence, and joy of our Lord in our lives.


Shabbat Shalom,

Gene and Marylois / House of Peace, Jerusalem