Rabbis Allow the Use of Zoom for Passover Seders
With the Passover holiday rapidly approaching, many in Israel are worried about how they are going to celebrate the Seder (Passover holiday meal) since they cannot come together with other loved ones. Israel is in lockdown, and no one can leave their homes except to buy groceries and medicine, or they can be within one hundred meters of their home to get some fresh air and to stretch their legs. This year, the rabbis have declared it kosher to use Zoom (video conferencing) during the Seder as long as the electronic devices and program are turned on and running before it begins. Usually, ultra-Orthodox Jewish people do not turn on anything electronic or mechanical during the Sabbath or a holiday. This is a major allowance during unprecedented times, and it is not universally accepted. However, the ruling—accepted by many of the leading rabbis in Israel—will allow elderly family members to participate in this celebration without the fear associated with travel and being around others.
Please pray for those who are alone and/or missing being with family at this time, that they would find encouragement in the little things and to find their peace in the Messiah.
Israel Is Working on New Unity Government
In a surprising move, Benjamin “Benny” Gantz of Kahol Lavan (Blue and White party) has now become the new Speaker of the Knesset and has been in discussions to form a unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. This new unity government will break up the Kahol Lavan party, which was comprised of three parties, leaving Gantz’s former partner, Yair Lapid, to become the leader of the opposition. Lapid and Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu are extremely frustrated with Gantz, believing that all the fighting over the past year to see Netanyahu replaced has been thrown out in what they view as a double-cross. Once the unity government is formed, Gantz will step down as Speaker of the Knesset and become either Foreign or Defense Minister while Netanyahu will remain as prime minister. After eighteen months, Netanyahu will step down to let Gantz take the role of prime minister. “These are not ordinary days and require extraordinary decisions,” he said, citing the coronavirus crisis. “Therefore, as I said, I intend to examine and promote in every possible way a national emergency government.” Gantz’s Israel Resilience party is concerned that a fourth election would be the only other option if a unity government with Netanyahu’s coalition could not be formed. A government is needed now to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Please pray for Israel’s new government to be formed smoothly and wisely during this time of emergency.
Ministry Over Zoom and Other Social Media Platforms
Our workers at Chosen People Ministries-Israel are seeing very high and enthusiastic responses to online Bible studies (via Zoom), phone calls, and WhatsApp messaging. There have been incredible times of prayer and Bible study with people who are scared and anxious about the situation. We have been able to start calling contacts from those who have ordered the Isaiah 53 Explained book in Hebrew and have had incredible, authentic responses. Please pray for even more! On our social media platforms, we are posting daily Bible verses of hope and promise as God’s hand will continue to direct and guide us. May He continue to direct and guide you, providing you safety and health. We will pray for you. Will you pray for us?
Please pray for the health and safety of the Chosen People Ministries missionaries in Israel, and that their online outreaches will continue to be successful in bringing the message of Jesus to the Jewish people in Israel.