The ten days between Rosh HaShana (the Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur are often called the ten "Days of Awe". Jewish people often take Yom Kippur seriously as a time when they can get right with God. Many may fast, go to the synagogue, and truly hope for a clean slate. But since the temple was destroyed, there can be no sacrifices. Is there forgiveness without a sacrifice? At this contemplative time of year, some come to the conclusion that something big is missing. Something that cannot be fixed by missing a couple of meals... Click the picture to watch Ari's story below!
"I realized I was as far away from God as the moon is from me, and I had no way of being able to get back together with God, of having atonement..."
As we come up to Yom Kippur this Friday night, we would love it if you would join us in praying for the Jewish people to meet their Messiah at this time. If you want to hear of more Jewish people who have come to faith at Yom Kippur, you can read some stories here.
STAFF IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DR DAVID MISHKIN
Dr. David Mishkin is a professor with us at Israel College of the Bible, and he teaches both on campus and some online courses. Last week he was teaching an intensive course to the students in our Year in Israel Program: "The Jewish Jesus of the New Testament". He says he's happy to play checkers if anyone wants a game, but his expertise is really in ping pong. David has a PhD in Biblical and Religious Studies with the University of Pretoria, with a focus on Jewish Christian Relations. He has published several scholarly articles and books, including The Wisdom of Alfred Edersheim, and another called Rabbi and Redeemer: Discovering Yeshua in the Gospel of John.
Today we are excited to announce that his latest book about Jewish scholarship on the resurrection of Yeshua has now also been published and is available to buy either on Amazon, or if you go directly to the publisher's website, you can find it for $5 less!
"Mishkin takes up a controversial topic and deals with it intelligently and delicately. In a thorough and nuanced study, he covers and recovers the surprising twists and turns in the various Jewish approaches to the resurrection of Jesus. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the plurality of voices on this intriguing topic."
Study and live in the Land of the Bible with us for a year! Explore the land of the Bible, not in a classroom with maps, but with a pair of hiking shoes. Learn about the Feasts of the Lord not only with books, but by experiencing them for yourself. Now is a great time to think about applying for the next academic year, 2018/19. Find out more here!
And if you would prefer to study from the comfort of your own home, we have a special price for the Biblical holidays on all of our online courses until the end of October.
YESHUA IN YOM KIPPUR
There are many ways in which the Biblical ordinance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, foreshadows the greatest atonement of all: the sacrifice of the Messiah himself. God's lists of seemingly strange and even barbaric commands about blood sacrifice in the Law can be bewildering to us in the twenty-first century. But when we look carefully at the detailed instructions and what is behind them, it can be overwhelming to see the beauty and depth of God's wisdom and prophetic plans.Continue reading...
THE DOUBLE MEANING OF THE HEBREW WORD FOR "SAND"
Sometimes Israel experiences severe sandstorms, which can even result in fatalities as breathing becomes more of a challenge. Dense, yellow fog of sand particles can hang in the air for days, creating a surreal and unpleasant environment until the air clears and the skies become blue again. A few years ago we had a sandstorm during the 'Ten Days of Awe' between the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) and the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, and here are some reflections on sand in relation to our own lives.Continue reading...
This week we have an amazing story of a Jewish man who was beaten into a coma, but as he came to know Yeshua, he slowly came to the shocking realization that he must also forgive his attacker.
"Something in my heart began to change", explains Jonathan. "Almost every message of Yeshua is about forgiveness - he says that we must love our enemies bless those who curse us and do good to those who persecute us."
Can you imagine if everyone around here actually started to do what Yeshua said? To love their enemies, to pray for those who are persecuting them? To forgive deep wounds and bless the ones who caused it? The Middle East conflict would be over!
Yeshua holds the true key to peace, and so we will not stop proclaiming his Gospel of Peace - the true liberating force in the universe. Forgiveness and freedom! Peace between man and God, man and his brother! Moreover, we are committed to discipling sons and daughters of the King here in Israel, both Jew and Arab, training both new and mature believers in righteousness.
Whether people come from a Jewish, Muslim, or nominally Christian background, we all need to grow in our faith so that we can live lives worthy of him, to truly live as he called us to, and to correctly divide the word of truth.
"Make every effort to present yourself before God
as tried and true, as an unashamed worker
cutting a straight path with the word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15)
STUDENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
This is David, one of our students in the Russian program, and pastor of not one but two Russian speaking congregations! He was eager to gain proper academic training in theology, and we have loved getting to know him.
Although an upstanding pastor today, life was not always so squeaky clean for David.
He was born in Georgia and immigrated to Israel at the age of 21, but due to the great difficulties of adapting to a new country, David began to use heavy drugs and became deeply addicted for eight years. David's life was completely destroyed; relations with his family and friends seemed hopelessly ruined. But one day he visited local congregation in Haifa where he was touched by God. From that moment, David's life began to change.
Soon, David went to a Messianic rehabilitation center, where God began to work in his life. Instead of suffering the excruciating experience of coming off drugs "cold turkey" the Lord made it so that David fell asleep and woke up only after nine days! After that, the Lord healed him of Hepatitis C, restored relations with his family and friends, and gave him a wife and two daughters. Today David is the pastor of the of the "Living Israel" congregation in Rishon leZion, near Tel Aviv. Within two years he opened three congregations in the city, two of which he is the senior pastor. David has a vision to plant a fourth congregation, after that a fifth, sixth, seventh, and so on, so that Russian-speaking Israelis will know that there is a Living God in Israel.
Why Bother Reading the Lists in the Bible?
You don't have to go far in either the Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament before you hit them - those lists of unpronounceable names! The lists and genealogies in the Bible have been a source of much consternation (and sometimes merriment) as hapless readers struggle through exotic and multi-syllabled Middle Eastern names in their Bible study groups. Do we really have to bother with these lists? Is it so bad to just skip them? Continue reading...
Tu B'Av: A Day of Love in Jewish Tradition
The ancient tradition of the Jewish "Day of Love" is on "Tu B'Av" or, the 15th of the Jewish month of Av, which like all Jewish days, starts at sunset the day before, and continues until sunset the following day. The theme of love and marriage is so important in Judaism, and indeed the Bible, not only to be fruitful and multiply, but because it manifests the plans, heart and nature of God, right before our eyes. The very definition of true love. Continue reading...
By now you know a little about our college campus, and our passion for teaching the about the Bible, Israel, and life in the Messiah.
We regularly take our students to the very locations where the Bible stories happened, to learn about them on site, and now we are excited to open up the opportunity to you to join us!
This October we are doing a special Biblical Geography course on location (in English!) and we would love for you to come.
The study experience will include nine days of exploring from "Dan to Beersheva" and getting acquainted with the lay of the land while visiting major biblical sites. The sightseeing will be supplemented by evening lectures and readings to help prepare and orientate you for the day ahead.
Sites in our itinerary include:
The City of David, Mt. Carmel, the Wilderness of Zin,
the David & Goliath valley and Tel Dan among many others.
Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Qumeran (discovery location of the Dead Sea Scrolls), Masada and more!
YOU CAN ALSO GAIN ACADEMIC CREDIT!
Graduate and undergraduate academic credit is available for study tour participants.
It would be a pleasure to have you join us for an adventure that we guarantee will be a memorable experience.
We are delighted to introduce you to Eva, our librarian at Israel College of the Bible. Eva is from a Jewish family who made aliyah from Hungary. After her BA degree in history, Eva went on to do a Masters in Library and Information Sciences at the University of Haifa, making her ideally qualified for the role. She has radically upgraded our cataloging and search system, transforming the library experience for our students. The library has over 10,000 books mostly in Hebrew and English, and is the largest Messianic library in Israel, so we are very blessed to have a professional like Eva at the helm.
Eva loves to learn and teach languages (she is currently learning Korean and teaching Hungarian), and is also learning Krav Maga - an Israeli method of self-defense without weapons! So our students better make sure to return their books on time ;)
THE SYMBOLISM OF FIGS IN THE BIBLE
God gives good gifts. When he gave Israel to the Jewish people, it was not just any old piece of land... God says in Deuteronomy 8:8,
"The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land... a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey".
There is so much richness in what God has created and placed in this land for his people - not just in their good taste and nutrition, but in their meaning too. And the fig is a fruit which crops up again and again in the scriptures, because God does nothing without purpose.Continue reading...
ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNCOVER EVIDENCE OF THE BABYLONIAN DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM
Did you know that both the first temple, built by King Solomon, and the also Nehemiah's second temple that Yeshua frequented, were both destroyed on the same date in the Jewish calendar?
That date is Tisha B'Av, which means the 9th month of Av, the fifth month in the Jewish calendar, and this year it falls on Tuesday, August 1st. With perfect timing, archaeologists have just now made some important discoveries related to the Babylonian destruction of the first temple in 586 BCE! Continue reading...