Elections Means Ice Cream!
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream released a special ice cream flavor in honor of Israeli election day. In Hebrew, there is phrase that is translated as, “third time, ice cream!” It means that when you bump into someone twice within a short period of time, you happily declare the next time should be with ice cream! With Israel’s third election in a year taking place today, Israelis have been jokingly referring to the need for ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s asked their fans for flavor suggestions: some suggested savory tastes of za’atar (a spice) or Bamba (an Israeli peanut butter snack), and someone even suggested a flavor that leaves a bitter taste at the end (referring to the political stalemate of the last year). The ice cream company decided instead on a sweet ice cream that includes chocolate and vanilla, almonds, chocolate chunks, brownie bits, and more! It is called “One Sweet Vote” and is intended to motivate Israelis to head to the polls.
Please pray for a smooth election and a successful coalition formed among the parties.
Sea of Galilee Rising
This past winter has seen an abundance of rainfall all over the country, especially in northern Israel. The Sea of Galilee is Israel’s main source of water and has seen tremendous gains this winter. The water level in the lake always falls during the hot summer months as typically no rain falls for seven months. The level can even approach dangerously low levels, and salts and other minerals can change the composition of the water and start to harm the surrounding environment. However, as a result of the tremendous amount of winter precipitation, the surface of the water sits at just 96 cm (38 inches) from full capacity. There may even be more rain to come over the next few days. If the freshwater lake should reach the maximum level, the dam at the southern end can be opened to allow water to flow down the Jordan River to the Dead Sea.
Thank God for the abundance of rain!!
Israel’s Third Election
Today is Israel’s third election within twelve months. It is anticipated that the main difference this time around will be voter turnout. The parties and their policies remain the same, the polls are predicting a similar outcome, so it is the number of people voting that will have the largest impact. If voter turnout changes, the number of seats each party wins may be drastically different compared to the last two elections. However, there is also a great deal of voter apathy precisely because no one is certain that there will be a different outcome from the elections held in April and September 2019. The two main parties will not have enough Knesset seats within their bloc to form the required sixty-one-seat majority, so whoever wins will need to modify their policies to form a coalition with other parties. How much compromise the winner will need to make will be key to forming the next government. There is some concern that the wide-spread apprehension about the coronavirus might keep people from the polls. These elections are crucial for jump-starting a stalled political process that has been in limbo for a year, which in turn has caused issues for the economy, peace and security of Israel, as well as social tension among Israelis.
Please pray for the elections today.
Wisdom and Guidance for Those in Need
Please pray for our workers who spend time with those who do not yet know their Messiah Jesus. Many are worried and stressed about the election and its outcome. Although we stay away from talking about politics with those to whom we are ministering, we share that there is One who will bring peace and security to our hearts. Also, many Israelis are feeling scared and nervous about the coronavirus, and fake news reports are rampant. Finally, Israel’s south was recently attacked by a barrage of rockets from Gaza. There is a truce again, but you never know when there will be another flareup. It has been a rocky week in Israel with more to come, but we know that our workers are there to pray with many and lend a listening ear.
Pray for wisdom as we talk and pray with those who have fears and worries.