And he carried me away in the spirit, to a great and high mountain and shewed me, that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God: And her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass…and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass Rev. 21:10-11, 18,21.
Dear Intercessors for Israel:
Next week, from the evening of May 28th to sundown May 29th, all of Israel will be celebrating what is known here as Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day. This civil holiday recognizes the momentous victory when IDF paratroopers liberated the old city of Jerusalem, the very heart of the nation. They were the first Jews to approach the Kotel (the Western Wall) in nineteen years, since Jordan had controlled this part of the city since 1948. The Israeli soldiers prayed and then sang Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (“Jerusalem of Gold”) with a wild abandoned joy. Here are the lyrics:
Yerushalayim Shel Zahav
Mountain air as clear as wine, and the scent of pine. Carried on the evening wind, with the sound of bells. And in the slumber of trees and stones.
Captured in her dream is the city which dwells alone. A wall within her heart. Jerusalem of gold, and of copper and of light.
Behold I am a harp for all your songs. Your name burns my lips like a seraphim’s kiss
An Instant “Hit”
Just three weeks earlier, songwriter Naomi Shemer had composed this song for an Israeli spring music festival. It became an instant hit. All of Israel was singing this melody. She had touched a chord in the hearts of all Israelis with her lyrics and haunting melody. It was as if, in singing this anthem thousands of years of pent up emotions and yearnings to embrace the holy city were released. The hearts of the nation in singing “Jerusalem of Gold” were crying out for the soul of their identity: Jerusalem! Take time and listen to Yerushalaim Shel Zahav on www.youtube.com you will be blessed!
And in what can only be called a miracle, liberation came to the ancient city of Jerusalem. It was once again in the hands of her people. Jerusalem was free and the golden city was no longer a memory but home to the Jewish people. Naomi Shemer, at home, heard this rejoicing on the radio, and quickly penned an additional verse. Her new composition highlighted the victorious blasts of the shofar from the Temple Mount
Back to the wells and to the fountains. Within the ancient walls. The sound of the horn from the Temple’s mountain
Again, so loudly calls. From rocky caves this very morning. A thousand suns will glow. As we shall go down to the Jordan by way of Jericho
The 28th of Iyar
Not long after the unification of Jerusalem, the Israeli government proclaimed a new holiday: Yom Yerushalayim or “Jerusalem Day.” This holiday was to be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the date on the Hebrew calendar when the divided city of Jerusalem became one. The date floats since it is observed on the Hebrew Calendar, and not on June 7th, when it happened in 1967 on the Gregorian Calendar. For Israelis, Yom Yerushalayim is a day of joy. The date it falls on the Hebrew calendar is significant. The number 28 is represented in the Hebrew alphabet by two letters: kaph (20) and heth (8). Together these two letters form the root of the Hebrew word ko’ah meaning strength or power. This word is found in Psalms 29:4, where it is written Kol Adonai ba ko’ah or “the voice of the LORD comes in strength.” For the Jewish nation, the return of Jerusalem meant that the LORD had brought them back to the spiritual center of their land.
This date every year brings an acknowledgment among the Jewish people of God’s strength and power in fulfilling His word. Jerusalem had to be liberated on the 28th of Iyar. Any other day would not bring a recognition and thankfulness for God’s mighty power. This is a day when everyone in Jerusalem shouts and declares: “This is the day that the LORD has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).
“Dance of the Flags”
It is on this day, that all of Israel will rejoice. Thousands of revelers will gather from all across the country. They will meet up and take to the streets of Jerusalem, with everyone singing and dancing and proclaiming the unity of Jerusalem. This rejoicing is highlighted by a traditional “Rikudegalim” or “Dance of the Flags” which is held with thousands of youths streaming through the gates of the Old City, waving numerous Israeli flags and shouting for joy. The crowds meet and converge at the Western Wall, where they conclude this celebration in one mass demonstration of gladness.
An Islamic “Red Line”
This year, Israeli authorities have given permission for participants in the “Dance of the Flags” to enter through the Damascus Gate, a “hot spot” that Hamas and other Islamic factions have vowed to defend. These factions recently told the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news that they had sent messages to Israel saying that they would not allow the Flag March to pass as planned and would not allow the “red lines” to be crossed. Israel though after two years of COVID restrictions is ready to celebrate and will not be stopped by threats. Israeli security forces will be on alert, and on guard. Pray for the safety of all the participants in this “Dance” and for all Israel.
A Fractured “Coalition”
Prime Minister Bennett’s “Unity” coalition is fracturing apart before the eyes of the nation. This week another MK Ghaida Zoabi, an Arab member of the left leaning Meretz political party suddenly “resigned” from the coalition. Zoabi in resigning was “protesting” the government’s so called “repressive” actions against rock and bottle throwing Arab protesters on the Temple Mount as well as crowd control security actions during the funeral of the P.A. Al-Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh. Zoabi’s “resignation” is mostly symbolic as she elected to keep her seat in the Knesset, and still has voting rights.
Yet her resignation from Bennett’s coalition leaves his government with only 59 members in the 120 seat coalition, thus breaking a fragile parliamentary deadlock in favor of the opposition. MK Shlomo Karhi of the opposition’s Likud party rejoiced at the news of Zoabi’s resignation. “There are anti-Zionists like Zoabi who struggle even in a fully anti-Zionist government,” he tweeted. “Truth is, rightly so. This government has absolutely no values. They sold out everything, whether right or left, for respect and power.”(israelhayom.com)
According to Knesset sources, the opposition is planning to advance a motion to dissolve the government and call a snap election next Wednesday May 25th.
61 Knesset Votes are needed
Prime Minister Bennett, represents a small, right wing nationalist party (Yamina), but was chosen to lead an unwieldy coalition of eight ideologically diverse factions – from dovish ones that support Palestinian statehood to nationalist parties and even, for the first time in Israeli history, an Islamist Arab party. They came together last June 2021 with little in common other than their drive to oust former leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who now heads the opposition.
As part of their union, the parties agreed to set aside divisive issues, like Palestinian statehood, and focus instead on topics such as the COVID pandemic and the economy. Despite the differences among the coalition, it has managed to pass a budget, navigate the pandemic and strengthen relations with both the Biden administration and Israel’s Arab allies.
To topple the government, opposition lawmakers would need to secure 61 votes in favor of dissolving the Knesset or forming an alternate governing coalition. Netanyahu still lacks enough support to bring the current government down. He has some 54 members that would vote with him, but still lacks a majority of 61.
President Biden’s Visit
The White House had previously announced that President Joe Biden would visit Jerusalem in late June, specifically “East Jerusalem.” President Biden would visit sites such as the Islamic Makassed Hospital on the Mount of Olives in a show of support for so called Palestinian rights and the “Two State Solution.” This visit would be seen as a U.S. statement opposing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and giving credence for the P.A. claims that East Jerusalem is “its capital.” Israeli officials were also told that they would not be welcomed to accompany Biden during his “East Jerusalem” visit. This official trip though would be in jeopardy of being canceled if the Bennett’s Government collapses. (jpost.com)
New Residence for U.S. Ambassador
Israeli news sources revealed today that the U.S. Government has rented two large houses in the Emek Rafaim neighborhood of Jerusalem to use as the official Ambassador’s residence. The U.S. Embassy here in Jerusalem has refused “to confirm or deny” these news reports, but high fencing and a guard post have been constructed. Previous to finding this location, the U.S. Ambassador Thomas Nides has been living in Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The U.S. Ambassador’s official residence used to be located in Herzliya, complete with a pool overlooking the beach, until the Trump Administration sold it.
A Unified City
God gave John an eternal vision of the New Jerusalem. It will be a city known for its unity. “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it” and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there will be no night there” (Rev. 21:24-25).
There are at least three visions today for Jerusalem’s future. The Palestinian Authority calls it “AL Quds” (“the Holy,” for Mohammed’s so-called ascension into heaven), and re-divide it along the pre1967 lines. The United Nations and the E.U. desire to internationalize the Old City and create a “two state” solution. Presently, Israel stands resolute: Jerusalem will not be divided.
Jerusalem is at present “a cup of trembling” and “a burdensome stone” (Zec. 12:2-3) for all nations. Zechariah says “They shall be cut to pieces.” It is a city that is far from perfect. Jesus wept over Jerusalem and in the end-times, the anti-Christ will rule here, until the Lord throws him into the Lake of fire and establishes His Kingdom.
The Jewish feast of Shavuot/Pentecost occurs June 5th this year. May the LORD pour forth His Holy Fire once again on Jerusalem and on all of us, as He did some 2000 years ago. We will be meeting in an “upper room” at the House of Peace with other believers this day, and praying for a great revival to come once again on this city, and on this people.
Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem
Gene and Marylois/ House of Peace