Monday, April 8, 2013

Israel 65th Birthday - "An Evening Honoring Israel"

Israel 65th Birthday - "An Evening Honoring Israel"

April 12, 2013 - Lincolnton, NC

Beit Yeshua (Curtis Loftin & Doug Williams), Highway To Zion (Cathy Hargett), and Love For His People (Steve Martin), will host our annual AN EVENING HONORING ISRAEL on Friday, April 12th, 7:00 to 9:30 pm.

Curtis Loftin - Beit Yeshua

Cathy Hargett - Highway To Zion

Steve & Laurie Martin, Indira & Edgar Persad

Beit Yeshua (Curtis Loftin & Doug Williams), Highway To Zion (Cathy Hargett), and Love For His People (Steve Martin), will host our annual AN EVENING HONORING ISRAEL on Friday, April 12th, 7:00 to 9:30 pm.

This annual event will be in the Family Life Center at Covenant Bible Church, 2168 Gastonia Hwy, Lincolnton, NC 28092, in honor of Israel's 65th Birthday.       

Genesis 12:3And I will bless them that bless thee (Israel) and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Psalm 122:6-7Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.  Peace be within thy walls and prosperity within thy palaces. Isaiah 41:1For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own land: and the stranger shall be joined with them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

Zechariah 8:23Thus saith the LORD of hosts: "In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, 'We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.' "

Chuck Anthony

Paul Miles

The evening will include: special music by Gideon Anthony, original Messianic Music by Wane Daroux, Israeli Folk Dance, numerous displays and special food.

Special Guest Speaker for the evening is Ze'ev Nevo. 

Ze'ev is a Jewish Believer from Israel and founder of Israel Media Ministries.           

Bring a kosher snack and come join us.I hope to see you there.


Curtis Loftin
Beit Yeshua

The Missionary Doctor and the Jews, Medicine in Tiberias 100 Years Ago

The Missionary Doctor and the Jews,
Medicine in Tiberias 100 Years Ago

Dr. Herbert Torrance visits Tiberias residents
The University of Dundee medical school in Scotland has posted the photos taken by two missionary doctors who established a hospital in Tiberias.  Below is the university's own description:
The Torrance collection, which includes thousands of photographs and color slides of Israel, Palestine and medical illnesses, has now been fully updated on our online catalogue. The photographs were taken by David Torrance and his son Herbert  Torrance who established a hospital in Tiberius in 1885 which lasted for over a hundred years helping the local communities.
Jewish patient in bed (circa 1930)
In recent months we posted several photo essays on the hospital, including incredible pictures dating back over 100 years.

But we were intrigued by a Christian Mission -- albeit a hospital -- in the midst of the very traditional Jewish residents of Tiberias.

We found an answer on a Hebrew Internet site by Avshalom Shachar called "נופים ותרבויות --Vistas and Cultures."
The Jews initially banned [cherem] the hospital, and rabbis prohibited their disciples from being aided in the place because of its missionary nature. However, the outbreak of cholera in the city in 1902 caused hundreds of casualties (including the doctor's wife) and led many Jews to seek out the services of the hospital and Dr. Torrance who, despite his wife's death, continued to treat patients diligently and earned great respect.
When Dr. Torrance died in 1923, the rabbi of Tiberias eulogized him: "Tiberias was blessed with three things: the Sea of Galilee, the Tiberias hot springs, and Dr. Torrance."
Jewish and Arab boy, bladder stone cases (1933)

Canadian PM vows to fight anti-Semitism

Canadian PM vows to fight anti-Semitism

SAM SOKOL, Jerusalem Post

On Yom Hashoah eve, Harper describes Holocaust atrocities as betrayal of human dignity which must never be forgotten; Quarter envoy Tony Blair tells 'Post' anti-Semitism in Europe must be exposed in order to combat it.

Train to Auschwitz
Train to Auschwitz Photo: REUTERS
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, and vowed to fight all forms of intolerance, discrimination and anti-Semitism.
"On Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Canadians stand together to remember the countless innocent people, including nearly six million Jewish men, women and children who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust," Harper said.

"As we mark the liberation of the first Nazi concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany, let us also pay tribute to all those brave souls who fought with the Jewish resistance during this dark period, and let us renew our own commitment to continue their fight against all forms of intolerance, discrimination and anti-Semitism," he continued.

Harper described the atrocities of the Holocaust as a betrayal of "the fundamental value of human dignity" which must never be forgotten or repeated.

Israel's official state ceremony marked the start of Remembrance day on Sunday evening.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post at Yad Vashem prior to the ceremony, former British prime minister and Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair said "We’ve got to be incredibly vigilant” in dealing with European anti-Semitism.

Blair stressed that when an incident occurs, “it should be given proper publicity.”

Asked how to handle the recent uptick in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, Blair replied that “when it happens we’ve got to expose it and what happens, unfortunately too often,” when such incidents do not receive proper publicity.

“I know the British government takes it very seriously and we should be putting a lot of pressure on this because you should not tolerate what is intolerable,” Blair said.

'Sometimes the loudest response is silence'

'Sometimes the loudest response is silence'

Monday, April 08, 2013 |  Ryan Jones 
Israel Today 
Israel on Monday morning came to a complete standstill for two minutes as nearly every citizen solemnly marked the Nazi Holocaust and the six million Jewish lives it claimed.

As air raid sirens wailed across the country, motorists stopped their cars, school children ceased their studies and everyone everywhere stood in reverent silence.

Immediately after the sirens, official state ceremonies were held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, while the chief of Israel's army led a march of Israeli soldiers, Holocaust survivors and other Jewish participants through the most infamous of Nazi death camps - Auschwitz.

Israeli army spokesman Eytan Buchman posted the following to his Twitter account:
"Sometimes the loudest response is pure silence. Today a country stood still to say Never Again. Proud to be an IDF officer today."

No matter how many times one hears those sirens, the experience is never less powerful.

An entire nation blanketed in the sound of mournful sirens, an entire population halting all activity to stand in solemn silence. It is a commemorative act likely unprecedented in history.

* PHOTO: IDF Chief oF Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz visits the crematorium at the Aushwitz death camp in Poland

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jewish Refugees History a Warning to the West

Jewish Refugees History a Warning to the West


JERUSALEM, Israel -- In the Middle East, much of the talk surrounding the Israeli-Arab conflict deals with land.
Israel wants the world to know about hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands as a result of the 1948 rebirth of the state of Israel.
"Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent, almost 900,000 of these Jews were exiled forcibly from their homes throughout the Middle East and North Africa beginning in 1948 when the State of Israel was founded," Dan Diker, secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress, told CBN News.
Another major wave of persecution hit after the 1967 Six Day War that forced most of the remaining Jews to leave 11 Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Linda Menuchin became one of those refugees.
"Nobody would want anything with the Jews, especially with the incitement going on in the mosques, so we were labeled like the fifth column," she recalled. "And also more constraints were put -- like you couldn't take out from your own [bank] account … more than 100 dinars a month."
In 1970, Menuchin and her brother left Baghdad for Israel, keeping their flight secret from their father, a prominent lawyer.
"We didn't even kiss goodbye because I thought we will meet again one day," she said. "I had to run away through Iran."
They escaped into the unknown.
"So we had only a very small suitcase with us, both of us, and just little money," Menuchin recalled. "I was disguised like an Arab woman and my brother bought a very old coat. It was very cold winter."
"To our big luck, everything went smoothly because at the time Jews were not allowed to be away from home more than 80 or 100 kilometers," she said.
Such incidents happened all across the Middle East -- expulsions, seizure of property, and murder of the Jews.
"In the aftermath of the Six Day War in 1967, the mob in Libya, especially in Tripoli and Benghazi, took to the streets and started burning the homes of Jewish people and ransacking our warehouses," said American Gina Waldman, founder of Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, or JIMENA.
"And my father's warehouse was burnt and then they came along and started pouring gasoline around my house," she continued. "And a Muslim neighbor came down from the building and convinced the mob that the Jewish family wasn't living there anymore, and of course he saved our lives."
"I always felt that there was a sense of injustice, that even though we really made a good life for ourselves in whichever country hosted us, nonetheless we were never recognized for the wrongs that were done to us," she said.
Two-thirds of the Jewish refugees resettled in Israel and the rest in other Western countries.
Waldman and Menuchin both say they were traumatized.
Menuchin said there's a message for the Western world. "Eight-hundred-fifty-thousand Jews were expelled or were forced to leave or persecuted from Arab countries," she said. "And when we try to overlook these issues they come again in a different way," "So now it's the turn of the Christians who are being killed, shot, and we cannot see really any effective action from the West," she added.
For Israel, sharing the saga of Jewish refugees is part of gaining international recognition for their sufferings.
"We say, well, there are two sets of refugees," Diker said. "There are Jewish refugees and there are Arab refugees and both sides should be compensated together."

Friday, April 5, 2013

Commitment, Persistence, Dedication - The first three years of Love For His People

Commitment, Persistence, Dedication

Building With Living Stones...

The First Three Years Completed!

Love For His People

" yourselves, as living stones,

are being built

into a spiritual house

to be cohanim (a holy priesthood)

set apart for God

to offer spiritual sacrifices

acceptable to Him through

Yeshua the Messiah."

(1 Peter 2:5) Complete Jewish Bible


In the spring of 2010 the ministry of Love For His People was "officially" birthed. We received our USA Federal Government 501(c)3 non-profit status. So I guess that is considered the starting point for some here in America.

But most importantly, it was in the heart of the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) from the beginning of time. He just let me know about it on my 55th birthday (Nov. 23, 2009), asking me to step out in faith, leave my important and secure job with another ministry, and go forth.

And then, of all things, He started to have me speak up and write on for this work. My background is business administration and accounting. Not so much a polished minister. (I was ordained though in 2003 and have performed two weddings to date. The third one happens October 12, 2013 with our oldest daughter Hannah.)

As a result of this commitment to bless Israel and the Jews with this new outreach, Love For His People, Inc. has pressed on through the first three lean years, and is poised to go forth further with His encouragement, wisdom and strength. Those three proclaimation words, found on our original logo above, set the foundational course we would pursue.

Over these young years we have passed a few milestones along the way. Maybe I should pick some up and leave these stones around the house, just as the Israelites did in remembrance of the Lord's faithfulness in getting them across the Jordan. Then someday we will build an altar with them, which would represent the sacrifice requested of the Lord.

One precious stone would commemorate the 48th issue of Ahava Love Letter (entitled "Back To The Future"), which was published on April 1, 2013.

The starting fire ignition of these letters came as a result of the Lord's urging, in November of 2010, within a week after a trip to Israel. His Holy Spirit, Ruach HaKodesh, stirs people up when they go. 

My purpose in writing these encouraging ahava words is to share His love in a real, down to earth expression. Did you know that the Hebrew word ahava means love? Connect that with the Gentile/English word love, which we do in our letter title, and you get the One New Man bonding of love. Ahava and love. Jew and Gentile. Coming together, as brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Ahava Love Letters have been posted on this Blog, Facebook Love For His People, Cross TV (Cross TV - Love For His People) and Twitter account (Steve Martin - Love For His People). Our other website also has some featured. Love For His People - full website.

Previously we had sent them out exclusively through e-mails and Constant Contact, but even e-mailing is becoming rare outside of the office, as social media changes hourly. Ask the next generation. My daughter Hannah is still trying to get me to switch to the IPhone. My ancient BlackBerry works just fine.

You can search this Blog to see most of the letters. They also can be found through googling. Thank God for Google, who is unknowingly helping to get the Gospel out! I believe the Lord had them and other such social media businesses established, to serve His purposes. He is always in perfect control. In each of our lives and the nations. Someday all will come to that understanding, one way or another.

Some people think numbers do not matter to the Lord. Adonai (the Lord) loves numbers! He has exact counts all through the Scriptures, beginning with those in the beginning (Genesis) to the final declarations at the triumphal celebration of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! (Revelation of Yeshua). (I personally hope we have prime rib, medium rare. Two servings, Lord?! And then triple layer chocolate cake for desert?!)

How many fish and loaves were there? How many fish did Peter pull out of the water? The days the Israelites marched around Jericho were how many? See, you know because He wanted you to. So we will share a few here, which has encouraged us as the foundation of this ministry has been laid.

In addition to the Ahava Love Letters, along with postings of news articles from Israel and other truthful sources, we have now surpassed the 777 posting mark on this Blog, with almost 47,000 page views. Another stone for the altar.

As of today, April 5, 2013, on our Cross TV website, we have had 197,324 profile views since the first look in August, 2010. (Cross TV - Love For His People Ministries)

The Love For His People FaceBook page has 3550 friends, 90 followers, and some photos (7,984 - just short of 8,000) for people to see the fascinating land of Israel. Someday we pray they themselves will walk the Land, where Jesus Himself did. By the way, the land itself is far more than just ancient stones.
On Oct. 20, 2010, we launched our YouTube channel Love For His People Inc. It now numbers 144 videos, 146 subscribers and 135,985 views. Small beginning with a big heart. Spreading the Word and touching the World.

Another stone of remembrance would represent the time in 2010, when I took my son Ben, the one who does such a great job with our full website  Love For His People and all logos, on his first time trip to Israel. He was part of the initation of our Ahava Adventures to Israel. We are looking forward to the time when many of his generation join us.

Our goal for these truly adventurous service trips is for the Lord to put a little bit more of His heart for Israel and the Jews into the hearts of those who go with us. Incredible.

As I look back now, that first Ahava Adventure was my 10th trip to Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. If I do the math, which I do often being an accountant, having made 10 trips by 2010 could mean 20 by 2020. Come along with us! We keep it cheap - but only in the cost.

That which we give thanks for the most, transpiring over these years, is the friendship and support we have established with and for the Israeli Jews. This is one major, primary purpose of this ministry. We seek to be active participants in fullfilling His Word, out of obedience - "Those who bless Israel will be blessed." (Genesis 12:3) We thus take the Lord seriously, in a practical manner.

It has been just like a few small stones thus far, like the widow's mite, by sending direct monthly support to three families in Jerusalem. But as others bring their stones of skill, experience and provision, we anticipate this solid foundation will be absolutely made stronger.

Many more stones of remembrance will be laid down, as we move forward. Some will help pave the highway for His people to make aliyah. Others who will walk down this road of carefully placed stones will come to acknowledge and appreciate what the Jews have done for the nations, beginning with the Bible.

We will also stand strong against the false, massive lie of the enemy, commonly known in the Church today as Replacement Theology. That leads people to believe that the Jews are no longer in God's eternal plan, but have been replaced by the Church. It is ONE tree that the Lord created. The Jews are the roots. We, as Gentiles (goyim) are the grafted-in branches. Simple as that.


His name is on their Promised Land. They are the apple of His eye. His Archangel Michael watches over them daily.

Therefore, our family and friends have decided to stand with the Lord and His Chosen People. As long as we live, we will be there for them - the Jews and their places of habitation.

Take your place as the Lord directs you.

The passionate love work of Love For His People marches on.

Shalom, my family of friends,

Steve and Laurie Martin
Founders and Married Together In Ahava Love

From the Complete Jewish Bible:

1 Peter 2:5-10

" yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah.


This is why the Tanakh says, "Look! I am laying in Tziyon a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and whoever rests his trust on it will certainly not be humiliated."x


Now to you who keep trusting, he is precious. But to those who are not trusting, "The very stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone";y


also he is a stone that will make people stumble, a rock over which they will trip.z They are stumbling at the Word, disobeying it — as had been planned.


But you are a chosen people,a the King’s cohanim,b a holy nation,c a people for God to possess!d Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before, you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.e


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The 2 Spies: The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Foundation

The 2 Spies: The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Foundation: The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive collects and preserves the world’s largest collection of moving images that record the story of the Jewish people. The vaults contain material shot in Israel before and after the establishment of the State in 1948, motion picture records of many Jewish communities in the Diaspora and two special collections relating to the Holocaust.

Started in the late 1960s by Professor Moshe Davis and other historians of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. the Archives have passed through many hands and finally into Spielberg's foundation.. The Archive has over 13,000 films and videos and provides an invaluable resource.

Since it is Springtime in Israel, The 2 Spies would like to share the Archive's film on Spring in Israel in 1939. Enjoy!

March of Remembrance worldwide - APRIL 7, 2013


March of Remembrance: APRIL 7, 2013

in cities everywhere.

March of Remembrance is a Christian prayer walk held on Yom HaShoah (Day of Holocaust Remembrance) as a memorial and to give a public platform for Shoah survivors to tell their stories.

We are closely related to the March of Life movement which has gone across Germany twice, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, & Poland with more national campaigns being planned.

For full information and locations in the USA and worldwide:


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Palestinian convert to Christianity hosts Evangelical TV show.


‘Ex-Muslim’ preaches the Gospel

Palestinian convert to Christianity hosts Evangelical TV show.
When Hazem Farraj was 15, he became a Christian. But as a Palestinian Muslim
living in east Jerusalem, he couldn’t tell anyone, especially his father.

“For almost three years I was an underground believer,” Farraj told The Media Line
during a visit to Jerusalem. “I would go to the local mosque and to the Dome of the
Rock in Jerusalem and pray Islamically, but in my heart I was praying to Jesus.”

Today Farraj, 27, is very public. He lives in California and hosts Reflections, a
Christian TV show in English and Arabic. He is grateful for everything in his life,
he says, but he has also made sacrifices for his faith.

Farraj was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1984. Like many immigrants, his father
insisted the children speak Arabic at home. An observant Muslim, he worked hard
to teach his children about Islam.

When Farraj was 12, his father moved the family back to Beit Hanina, a middle-class
 east Jerusalem suburb. The large family of 13 siblings studied Islam, and many
of them became more committed Muslims.

“Islam says to pray five time daily – I only prayed four times, because I was too
lazy to get up for the early morning prayer,” Farraj recounts. “Do the prayers.
Memorize the verses from the Koran. Go to Islamic class and the mosque.
It was all just actions to me. The deeper I got into Islam, the more depressing
it was for me.”

Farraj decided the solution was to convert some Christians to Islam. He approached
his upstairs neighbors, Christians, and they began a discussion that lasted more than
a year and a half.

“I said to them, ‘What if I told you that God can answer your prayers in the name of
Allah,’” he recalls. “Now, he wasn’t answering my prayers, but I needed something to
hold onto. They told me things I was searching for, like ‘Cast your worries upon Jesus,
who cares for you’ and ‘God so loved Hazem that He gave His only son for him.’”

When Farraj was 15, he attended an east Jerusalem church with these neighbors.
He does not want to name the church, fearing it could become a target of attacks.

“I sat in the last pew in the back corner, and I saw something I had never seen,” he
recalls with a wistful smile. “I saw a guy named Steve singing with a guitar and
smiling as if he knew Jesus. I saw people at the altar raising their hands and
loving God, and it made me mad because I wanted it to be the God of the Koran.”

He fled to a downstairs room, where he lay a piece of carpet on the floor and
prayed facing Mecca in Saudi Arabia, according to Islamic rules.

Nothing happened. He went back upstairs to the church, and, he says,
became a Christian.

“I started to pray in the name of Jesus and something happened on the inside that
transformed me,” he remembers.

Soon afterward, the second intifada broke out, and his father moved the
family back to the US.

Farraj continued to practice as an underground Christian. Finally, just before his
18th birthday, he told his father that he had become a Christian. His father cut off
all contact with him, and Farraj has not seen him since.

The pain hurts even 10 years later.

“You don’t ever get over it, you just get through it,” he says. “It has left me
wounded even today.”

He also has no relationship with his stepmother or his siblings.

At age 18 he followed his former neighbors to Alabama, where they had moved.

“I slept for six months, and when I wasn’t sleeping I was eating – I weighed
225 pounds and I was so depressed,” he recalls.

“Then one day I came across a Christian TV station, and there was this preacher.
This voice inside me – I believe it was the voice of God – said, ‘I’ve called you to this.’
I knew it meant that I was called to tell people about Jesus and to help them
come to prayer.”

His TV show, Reflections, reaches millions of viewers around the world.

Farraj says there are “many” underground Christians in Arab countries today, and that
he gets emails thanking him from around the Arab world.

He also gets death threats.

David Parsons, the media director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem,
says there are “hundreds” if not “thousands” of underground Christians in the West Bank.

“There’s a lot of upheaval in the Arab and Muslim world right now,” Parsons told
The Media Line.

“Some are saying ‘Islam is the answer,’ but there are a lot of Muslims who know they
tried it for hundreds of years and it’s not the answer. As a Christian I would attribute it
to the movement of the Holy Spirit. People are looking for different answers.”

Parsons says the International Christian Embassy has opened branches in “several
North African countries.”

Farraj says his recent trip to Jerusalem was to recharge his own batteries and to meet
underground Christians.

“I love Jerusalem,” he said with a grin. “I’m here to enjoy the spirituality of Jerusalem
and to encourage the believers. I thought I was the only ex-Muslim in the world,
but they’re really everywhere.”


Miracle of Holy Fire - Happens Every Year In Jerusalem

Holy fire will appear this year on April 26.

Often unlit oil lamps catch light by themselves
before the eyes of the pilgrims. The blue flame is seen to move
in different places in the Church.


up to content Where and when does the miracle occur?

The ceremony, which awes the souls of Christians, takes place in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. The date for Pascha is determined anew for every year. It must be a first Sunday after the spring equinox and Jewish Passover.

Therefore, most of the time it differs from the date of Catholic and Protestant Easter, which is determined using different criteria. The Holy Fire is the most renowned miracle in the world of Eastern Orthodoxy.

It has taken place at the same time, in the same manner, in the same place every single year for centuries.

No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and so steadily over time.

No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and so steadily over time.

It happens in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the holiest place on earth, where Christ was crucified, entombed, and where He finally rose from the dead.

up to content Ceremony of Holy Light

In order to be as close to the Sepulchre as possible, pilgrims camp next to it. The Sepulchre is located in the small chapel called Holy Ciborium, which is inside the Church of the Resurrection. Typically they wait from the afternoon of Holy Friday in anticipation of the miracle on Holy Saturday. Beginning at around 11:00 in the morning the Christian Arabs chant traditional hymns in a loud voice. These chants date back to the Turkish occupation of Jerusalem in the 13th century, a period in which the Christians were not allowed to chant anywhere but in the churches.  "We are the Christians, we have been Christians for centuries, and we shall be forever and ever. Amen!" - they chant at the top of their voices accompanied by the sound of drums.  The drummers sit on the shoulders of others who dance vigorously around the Holy Ciborium. But at 1:00 pm the chants fade out, and then there is a silence.  A tense silence, charged from the anticipation of the great demonstration of God's power for all to witness. Shortly thereafter, a delegation from the local authorities elbows its way through the crowd. At the time of the Turkish occupation of Palestine they were Muslim Turks; today they are Israelis.

Their function is to represent the Romans at the time of Jesus. The Gospels speak of the Romans that went to seal the tomb of Jesus, so that his disciples would not steal his body and claim he had risen.

In the same way the Israeli authorities on this Holy Saturday come and seal the tomb with wax. Before they seal the door, they follow a custom to enter the tomb, and to check for any hidden source of fire, which would make a fraud of the miracle.

up to content How the miracle occurs

"I enter the tomb and kneel in holy fear in front of the place where Christ lay after His death and where He rose again from the dead... (narrates Orthodox Patriarch Diodor - ed.) I find my way through the darkness towards the inner chamber in which I fall on my knees.Miracle of God. At a certain point the light rises and forms a column in which the fire is of a different nature... See also a line of lights at bottom-left Here I say certain prayers that have been handed down to us through the centuries and, having said them, I wait. Sometimes I may wait a few minutes, but normally the miracle happens immediately after I have said the prayers. From the core of the very stone on which Jesus lay an indefinable light pours forth. It usually has a blue tint, but the colour may change and take many different hues. It cannot be described in human terms. The light rises out of the stone as mist may rise out of a lake — it almost looks as if the stone is covered by a moist cloud, but it is light.

 Church of the Holy Sepulchre
- front door pillars in Old City, Jerusalem

For the comple article (due to length not posted here in its entirety), click this link. It is worth the time reading.

IDF Soldier Gilad Schalit's Capture, in his own words (Part II)

Gilad Schalit's Capture, in his own words (Part II)


Former IDF soldier gives military investigators account of attack that led to his capture, deaths of 2 comrades.

Gilad and Noam Schalit reuniting
Gilad and Noam Schalit reuniting Photo: Reuters)
On June 25, 2006, IDF Corporal Gilad Schalit was abducted by Palestinian militants from Gaza, who had infiltrated into Israel by tunneling under the border fence. An attack on Schalit's tank led to the deaths of two of the tank crew, and Schalit, frozen in the face of an assault, freely admitted that he had acted in such a way as to facilitate his capture. After more than five years as a hostage in Gaza, Schalit gave IDF investigators an honest and often unflattering recount of the events surrounding the attack. The second part of an exclusive two-part feature.  (For part one, search for "Gilad Schalit in the top right hand corner.)

The use of the hand grenades that were thrown into Gilad Schalit's tank casts doubt on the view that the main goal of the attack was to kidnap a soldier. If the militants had wanted to kidnap a soldier, it is unlikely that they would have thrown a grenade into the tank. They wanted to kill, to cause as much damage as possible and then get away quickly.

Click here to read the original article in Hebrew

Somehow, Schalit survived the grenade blasts and exited the tank. As he left the tank, he saw the terrorist climbing the front of the tank which on the Merkava is referred to as "the knife."

In order to climb, the terrorist needed to use both hands, which meant that his personal weapon - a Kalashnikov - was strapped across his back. At this point, he was in close range, making him an easy target. Schalit, who was sitting on the dome of the tank, where the tank commander has a view of the surrounding area, saw the militant climbing toward him but could not see the second militant on the other side of the tank.

The militant had still not seen Schalit, and Schalit could have easily moved his hand 10 cm to take control of the .50 caliber tank machine gun and shoot him, cutting him to pieces in seconds.
The .50 cal is not a weapon that you would want to have fired at you - its firing speed is lethal, and squeezing the trigger is quick and easy. But that is not what Schalit did; in fact, he did nothing.
It is plausible to assume that if the machine gun had been fired, it would have killed the militant climbing the tank and caused the second man to flee. Even if it had not occurred that way, taking control of the machine gun would still have given Schalit, who was inside the tank with three guns and the main tank cannon at his disposal, a marked advantage over his adversaries.

“You never thought to shoot the terrorist?” Schalit was asked during the investigation.

“No,” he answered, “I was completely confused. I did not think about anything. I was in shock.”

Seconds later the terrorist noticed Schalit at the top of the tank and Schalit shouted to him in Hebrew, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.”

The militant realized that Schalit was handing himself over, and leveled his weapon at him. He then shouted at Schalit in Hebrew, “Come with me.” Schalit climbed down from the tank, shaking wildly.
The second militant joined them, the two immediately understanding what a prize had fallen in their laps: a live Israeli soldier who was not fighting back. This was the prize that Hamas had dreamed of for years, and now here it was in front of them.

The three of them, Schalit and his two captors, moved quickly to the Gaza fence. At 5:21 a.m., they blew a hole in the fence and entered a small tunnel underneath. Schalit went with them quickly the entire way, without attempting to slow them down to save time until the second tank or other back up could arrive. He simply went along with them and ran toward the fence.

One of the militants crawled underneath and told Schalit to do the same, the latter complying immediately. The militants told him to move more quickly and he rushed to obey. Afterward, his bullet proof vest was found next to the fence; it appears he took it off in order to move more freely.

After passing under the fence, the three headed deep into the Gaza Strip, with all possible haste. An IDF tank arrived at the scene and at an observation post locked a fix on the three, but permission to fire was not issued. It was still not known that a soldier was being kidnapped. They were already more than a kilometer in Palestinian territory. Finally the tank opened fire, but only with its machine guns.

They did not receive permission to fire heavy weapons, and the machine guns missed their target. Schalit and his captors reached the first line of houses where a tractor was waiting for them. They boarded the tractor, which took them to a car, which in turn took them to another car. On the way, the terrorists stripped Schalit of his army uniform and dressed him in civilian clothing. Schalit was firmly in their hands, and five and a half years of captivity had begun.

Humus and Soccer

Schalit remembers his time in captivity clearly. He was not held in basements and he was not tortured other than slight "annoyances" in his first days of captivity. Though they hit him a bit and tied him to bars, they quickly understood that he was fragile and would die in their hands if they beat him too badly. They did not want him to die, that would have been a catastrophe. At that point, Schalit was the Palestinian people’s greatest asset.

During his captivity he was passed among several Palestinian families around the Gaza Strip. He watched television, listened to the radio and was even occasionally allowed to surf the internet. He heard all of the news reports during “Operation Cast Lead” in winter 2008-9, and watched all of the 2010 World Cup games. He specifically remembers the game he saw when he was moved from one family to another - it was a game featuring Spain, the world champions. All in all, he was treated reasonably.

The main problem was food. There were not many culinary options and Schalit was forced to eat what Gazans eat, which is mainly humus. Understandably he was in a depressed state, which affected his appetite, which in turn caused a dramatic drop in his weight. He did not go on a hunger strike, and indeed never considered the option. One day he ate with a family on their rooftop in Khan Yunis and from their roof he could see the Mediterranean.  Under other circumstances, he could have believed that he was on vacation.

 Schalit communicated with his captors in Hebrew and English, and his guards were changed throughout the duration of his captivity. For the most part, he was guarded by a special squad who worked in shifts. Schalit knew exactly what was happening in Israel; he followed the elections in 2009, and knew what was going on in world events. He was never in danger during “Cast Lead,” though it was suspected that since the operation was an attempt to save him it might anger his captors.

Schalit complied completely with his captors and interrogators at all times, though there was little new information he could provide. The scant details he did know, he told them. When asked, he provided information about Israeli fortifications and the Merkava tank. It was important to him to please them and give them information in order to receive good treatment.

The story of Gilad Schalit is a difficult one, full of failure. It is about the failure of his tank team, of Schalit himself and the lack of intelligence, which was the responsibility of the Shin Bet security service, which had had no success in tracking him for more than five years. Two soldiers died in the initial action, defending Israel. They did not perform their duties as well as possible, but the history of the IDF is full of stories of failure. That is just the way of war.

Schalit may have handed himself over to the militants without putting up a fight, but it is unfair to criticize him. It was a normal, human reaction. I served as a tank commander and I have no idea how I would have acted in the same situation. It is entirely possible that I would have responded just like him.  “Do not judge a man,” it is written, “until you are in his place,” and in this case there is no way to judge him. He has already been judged by spending more than five years in captivity. On the other hand, it is important to know the circumstances behind this terrible event and to learn lessons from it. There will be similar situations in the future and we must hope they will end differently than this one.

Schalit is an introverted young man who is both emotional and fragile. It is likely that he should not have been placed in a tank unit in the first place. Perhaps he simply was not fit for it. When his tank was hit, he went into shock and lost the ability to act. The term "hero", which was given him by IDF Chief Benny Gantz  when Schalit returned to Israel, is misplaced. Brigadier General Avigdor Kahalani, a tank commander in 1967 and 1973, was a hero. Major Roi Klein, who died in the 2006 Lebanon War by jumping on a grenade to save his comrades, was a hero. Lieutenant Colonel Avi Lanir, tortured to death by Syrian soldiers during the Yom Kippur War, was a hero. The history of Israel and the IDF is checkered with many stories of bravery, and Gilad Schalit is far from being among them. He is in a way a type of anti-hero. He was a soldier who was placed in a difficult situation and chose a path of submission. There is no heroism in this story. This story is one of humanity that is both sad and touching.

It is possible that Schalit was never fit to serve as a combat soldier. Still maybe it is the very fact that he served in the tank unit and fulfilled his duty to his country even so that is his badge of honor. Yet after all of this, we cannot forget that there is a state to protect, one that is surrounded by enemies. Israel cannot afford to allow herself too many stories of "bravery" like this.

So what is the lesson of this story? There is no lesson. It is a good thing that Schalit returned home and received a new lease of life, which I am happy about. He is traveling, which is great, but if I were in his stead I would somehow try to take the public adulation and celebrity, and attempt to make a positive contribution - even a symbolic one - for the benefit of Israeli society.
The State of Israel paid a heavy price for his return, one that is hard to swallow. His story will not be included in lessons on combat tradition, and he knows this. There are those that think that this is the beauty of it all, that the lesson to be learnt here is the strength of Israel in its concern for every single soldier, without exceptions, but I am not among them.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that there is no other nation that knows how to invest itself so completely in the safety of each and every soldier. Yet along with the celebrations and joy, there must be some soul-searching on the part of the state, the IDF and Schalit himself.

If I were Schalit, I would devote some of my time and energy to some form of volunteer work that would give back to the state. Something symbolic, that would show thanks to the country that compromised many of its essential interests in order to bring him home, if for no other reason than to feel good. Maybe this will still happen. But first he must enjoy the freedom that he has truly earned. He may not be our hero, but he still is our antihero.

Translated by Amishai Gottlieb.

Poll Says 65%: No Fear of New Holocaust

Editor's Note:  The March of Remembrance  (Yom HaShoah) is being held this Sunday, April 7, 2013, across many cities in the USA and the world.)

65%: No Fear of New Holocaust

Most Israelis think the Jewish people do not face a new near-elimination.
By Maayana Miskin, Israel National News, First Publish: 4/3/2013

Hate grafitti at Yad VaShem  
Hate grafitti at Yad VaShem  
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Sixty-five percent of Israelis believe the Jewish people do not face a second Holocaust, according to a new poll conducted by Dahaf on behalf of the Knesset Channel.

The poll shows Israelis’ optimism on the rise. A similar survey last year found that just 60% believed there would not be a second mass slaughter of the Jewish people.

Twenty-nine percent said in 2013 that they believe there is a danger of a second Holocaust, compared to 36% who believed that such a danger existed the year before.

However a different poll, conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach, found most Israelis are concerned over potential threats, with 75% believing that a nuclear weapon in Iranian hands would pose an existential threat to Israel. Twenty-one percent said it would not.

A slim majority of Israelis – 52% - said they do not fear an existential threat from nuclear weapons in the hands of Pakistan or North Korea, while 42% said that those countries, too, could pose an existential threat.

The entire survey will be published Thursday by the Knesset Channel’s Shovrim Kelim program.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hackers vow to 'erase Israel from the Internet'

Editor's Note: One of our efforts with this Love For His People Blog is to get information like this on the Internet. The more we can stand with Israel, the more actual truth will be presented. Steve Martin

Hackers vow to 'erase Israel from the Internet'
Sunday, March 31, 2013 | Israel Today Staff
Israel Today has reported numerous times in recent years about the mounting cyber war that the Jewish state has found itself a prominent part of. Cyber warfare teams set up by the government and Israeli army, not to mention private security firms, fend off thousands of attacks every day.

But things move fast in this arena, and if Israel fails to stay at least one step ahead of its enemies, it could fall prey to an attack that could devastate Israel's computer-linked infrastructure.

The global hacker group Anonymous has threated repeatedly to target Israel, and likely has done so many times.

It is apparently set to try again on Sunday, April 7 under the banner of #OpIsrael.

A leading hacker going by the handle of "Anon Ghost" told The Hackers Post that "the hacking teams have decided to unite against Israel as one entity…Israel should be getting prepared to be erased from the Internet."