One Day She Will Not Remember Her Shame Anymore

Tisha B'Av - Eterna Sefarad: Relembrando o porquê do jejum de 9 de Av!:

This week we commemorated Tisha B’Av. The ninth day of the month of Av. The worse day of the year In Judaism throughout our history.

Here are some of the horrific events that happened on the 9th day of Av (some of these dates are considered traditionally to have happened on Tisha B’Av, though there is no actual way of proving it):

∴  Circa 1312 BC: God declares that the Israelites will wonder in the desert for 40 years, because they chose to believe the report of the 10 spies, and not His promises

∴  586 BC: First temple destroyed by the Babyloneans

∴  70 AD: Second temple was destroyed by Titus the Greek

∴  135 AD: The city of Beitar conquored by the Romans, representing the end of the Bar Kochva revolt

∴  135 AD: Jerusalem plowed by the Romans, to symbolize its total destruction

∴  1290 AD: Edward, King of England, ordered to expel all Jews from England, and kill all that remained

∴  1492 AD: The infamous deportation of the Spanish Jews

∴  1942: A mass deportation of the Jews of Warsa to the Treblinka extermination camp

∴  2005: The coerced evacuation of Gush Katif, former group of Jewish settlements which bordered the southwestern edge of Gaza

Orthodox Jews flood their local synagogues and the Western Wall during the ninth day of Av. They sit on the floor, read the book of lamentations and fast for more than 24 hours. This is the fast of the 5th month of which God speaks in the Bible.

Boys from Golani Brigade at the Kotel on Tish B'Av

Soldiers from the Golani Brigade
fasting and praying at the Western Wall

This week I learned something really interesting about this fast. Never heard it before. Apparently, at the end of the fast, orthodox women (mostly Sephardic Jews) return home from the synagogue, and start cleaning their homes diligently, polishing it, even painting the walls afresh. Why? Because in the face of destruction, the nation is always looking for some hope. And what is the hope of these women? “The coming of the Messiah,” they say. They clean their homes in preparation for Him, in case He will show up. There is even a Talmudic tradition (tract Berachot) that speaks about the Messiah being born on that day.

The prophet Zechariah prophesied that this day of fasting will turn one day into a joyful event (8:19). We do not know when exactly, but we do see the widow Israel, who mourned this week the destruction of her holiest sites – a destruction that led to the exile of her children, that marked the beginning of her physical widowhood (being desolate, without anyone to take care of her, with her Husband turning His face away from her) – starting to get it, to search for Him (see more about it in my article Israel, a widow?)

Multitudes of Jews mourned that widowhood (though they don′t use that term), and ended it with a ray of hope for the coming of a Messiah, not realizing He is already in our midst.

If Israel is on your heart, and you are looking to enrich your prayers on her behalf, you are welcome to join us as we pray:

∴  That the widow will desire to see her Husband.

∴  That our nation will pursue righteousness, and worship Him alone. The disasters that came upon our nation were not a coincidence. God warned us again and again that this will happen if we neglect to act justly and righteously, and if we worship others besides Him. We turned a deaf ear, He turned His face and His protective Hand away from us.

∴  That the physical restoration of the widow Israel will lead to her spiritual restoration, meaning that the widow will finally realize she does have a Husband, and that she can lean on Him for provision and safety.

Creatively Glamorous Wedding Ideas - bridal bouquet; Photo: WHEN HE FOUND HER; Via Wedluxe;: A bride that suffered many losses being restored

∴  That the nation will forget the shame of our youth and not remember the reproach of her widowhood anymore, but call on the name of her Husband and Maker – the Lord of Hosts, her Redeemer (Isa. 54: 4-8).

Knock knock

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In my previous post I shared about Michael, and the immediate freedom he experienced once he chose to forgive. A major part of our ministry is dedicated exactly to that: equipping people with powerful tools, that can transform their lives. We constantly witness immediate changes. It has to do with listening to God′s Hand knocking on various doors in our hearts, mostly through our pain, struggles and suffering.

Most of us tend to look at hardships as a punishment, as a proof that God is hiding His Face from us, or the fault of someone else who misbehaved and thus causing us to pay the price. So in face of suffering, we usually try to find a way out.

But after ministering to many people through the years, many of them with devastating stories, and based on what I find in the Bible, I can say that the main reason for our suffering is connected to something inside us God wants to touch and change, and not to something external.

Hardships can either destroy us or transform us. The key is to find out which door God is knocking on, and than open and invite Him in (see Rev. 3:19-20). You can read more about how to utilize this amazing tool of forgiveness in my booklet Who is knocking on your door?

In the past year we offered this kind of training in Israel and abroad; to small groups, and to large audiences; one on one, and mostly – applied it ourselves. For us on the team, these tools are our routine, our immediate reaction to anything that goes wrong, to any hardship. I cannot even begin to tell you how this simplifies life in the complicated and sinful world we live in.

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Forgiveness group from Jerusalem

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Teaching forgiveness in Moldova

When will Israel forgive?

I am reading the book of Jeremiah these days, and sometimes just want to weep with Him. From the beginning God was so clear with my people. We had no reason to question Him, or look for comfort and adrenaline rushes elsewhere. But we sure did. And so He brought some drought, and than hunger, and a plague, and small enemies, and eventually bigger ones, and than took us out of the land He gave us, and no need to even mention all the suffering inflicted upon us in the diaspora.

Did we finally get it? Did we turn to Him? Not yet, but we are getting there.

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Forgiveness session as part of Libech (brides weekend)

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Another small group I led this year, focusing on forgiveness

While we minister to groups and individuals through their suffering, teaching them to listen to God specifically when it hurts, we are praying for our beloved nation: that the hardships and battles we go through will soften her heart, and cause us all to turn back into His outstretched arms. Will you join us in this prayer?

 

Within 10 seconds…

“I have so much hatred inside me. I do not belong here. I hate the German perfectionism with all that I have within me. I don′t even want German friends, as I cannot stand their mentality. And I don′t want to live here, but I have to.”

Michael is Jew who lives in Germany. This was his reaction after I suggested he may need to start forgiving the culture and people he lives in their midst.

“What should I forgive? And whom? Is it wrong to not like a specific mentality? And how can I forgive a system? I don′t know anyone in the system that I can approach and say: I forgive you.”

I suggested he reads my booklet, that talks about this issue (Who is knocking on your door?). Eventually he consented to give it a try.

“Baruch Ata Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach,” he emailed me his prayer. You died for our sins and the sins of the world. I forgive Germany and the Germans for abusing the gift you gave them – the love of perfection – and for making it a satanic weapon that destroyed the life of my family, as well as my own life. I invite you to come into this place in my soul where I am lost in loneliness, fear, fighting and distancing myself from Germans. Please forgive me for my negative reactions. It is forgiven. Amen.”

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Michael

On the next line in the email Michael started thanking me for taking the time to read about his struggle, and than had to pause since the phone rang.

What he emailed me next was so cool!!!

“Wow, I was going to send the email when the phone rang. On the line was a representative of our health insurance company. Her first words were: ‘We need to ask your forgiveness’. Apparently they made a mistake last year with their calculations, and now they are going to send us some money….

Can you believe it? A German woman, working for the system, just asked me to forgive a mistake that the system has made long time ago. And that happened within 10 seconds after I declared in the name of Yeshua that I have forgiven! 

It feels so good! I solemnly told her that I forgive her. And in my heart I was thinking of all the pain I carried inside me because of the way the German system is built to perfection. This was so cool. And God is so great!!!”

Yes, indeed, and so is the power of forgiveness! I like to compare forgiveness to a nuclear bomb. You throw it into a pain stricken area in your heart, and it transforms its DNA for good, to the point no bitter root can grow there. Unlike a bomb, forgiveness enables us to start fresh and allow a lot of good stuff to grow.

Incredible Photos of Nuclear Explosions:

There is much talking about forgiveness. “But why doesn’t it always work? And why does it involve so much pain? I prefer to suppress my pain,” people tell me, “rather than let it surface, just to find out my forgiveness didn’t really work.”

More about this in my next post.