Inside Israel

Israel’s 72nd Independence Day to be Celebrated in Lockdown

The flag of Israel

Israel has approved measures to lockdown the country during this week’s back-to-back holidays—Memorial Day and Independence Day. In addition, Arab communities in Israel will face nightly curfews (6:00 pm–3:00 am) during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Just like during the start and finish of the Passover holiday, the country will go into full lockdown on Independence Day to prohibit the normal celebrations of picnics, hiking, going to the beaches, watching airshows, and attending crowded fireworks displays. During Memorial Day, people are not allowed to leave their neighborhoods or go to the cemeteries. They had been urged to visit the graves of their loved ones sporadically before Memorial Day, while maintaining social distancing. Memorial Day begins tonight at sundown, and Independence Day will begin tomorrow at sundown.

Praise God that the modern state of Israel has reached 72 years! Please pray for the country to continue to prosper, maintain safety on her borders, and experience advancements in science, technology, medicine, and the arts.

Read more at YNet…

Israel’s Vacation Capital Sees Nearly 100 Percent Unemployment

The city of Eilat

The Israeli city of Eilat, at the southernmost tip of Israel, is facing almost 100 percent unemployment due to the effects of coronavirus on tourism. The city is considered the vacation capital of Israel due to its location on the beach and easy access to water activities. Now that tourism has halted, just about every resident of Eilat is out of work. The workers recently protested the lack of government help. It is estimated that it will take longer for Eilat to recover economically compared to other cities. Before the pandemic, they boasted nearly 100 percent employment.

Please pray for those who are struggling financially in Eilat, that they would be provided for in this difficult time and lift their eyes to Lord who can ease their burdens.

Read more at YNet…

Remembering the Fallen Soldiers

The Israel Defense Force (Source: IDF)

This week, Israel is commemorating Remembrance Day—a day to pay tribute to those Israel Defense Forces soldiers who lost their lives while serving the country. This year, forty-two soldiers have died. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremonies at the Western Wall and at Mount Herzl will be held without anyone in attendance. Instead, they will be broadcast live on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Those who have recently died will have their names read out in the televised ceremony. It was mandated that the cemeteries will remain closed to the bereaved families, and Israel will be in lockdown during Remembrance Day and Independence Day. The annual tradition of sounding an alarm will continue, with a siren at 8:00 pm, which is the time when the memorial will start. Following the evening siren, Israelis are being encouraged to go to their balconies and join together in the singing of HaTikvah, the Israeli national anthem. Another siren will sound at 11:00 am the next day, when the whole country will stop and stand still for a minute in remembrance of the fallen IDF soldiers. Prior to the morning ceremonies, all 23,816 names of fallen soldiers will be read.

Please pray for all those who are mourning the loss of loved ones who have served in the Israel Defense Forces.

Read more at Jerusalem Post…

Immigration Down to a Trickle

Jewish immigrants from Russia and Ukraine arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, January 30, 2018. (Photo: AP/Ariel Schalit)

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, immigration to Israel has seen a dramatic decrease, with about 1,250 in March and only a handful in April. Usually, Israel sees Jewish immigrants from all over the world. But with the closure of most countries’ borders, it is nearly impossible for travelers to get to Israel. Despite the logistic obstacles, thirty-six new immigrants from Belarus arrived yesterday. They will be required to go directly to their “Corona Hotel” to wait out the fourteen-day mandatory quarantine. These Jewish men and women were pre-approved to make aliyah, which is how they were able to arrange for their flight.

Please pray for these new immigrants to settle easily in their new homeland, and to find Jesus as their Messiah!

Read more at Haaretz…

Freedom to Share the Messiah

Our director of ministry in Israel, Michael Zinn, holding Russian and Hebrew copies of Isaiah 53 Explained

As the country prepares to mourn its fallen soldiers, the songs on the radio change to a more somber tune and people take time to reflect. Immediately following Remembrance Day, Israel changes its tune and erupts into rejoicing on Independence Day. We do not take for granted the freedoms we have to continue to share the gospel boldly in Israel: we are “not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).

Please pray with us as we share the good news with others through building relationships, helping those in need, and praying with those who are hurting.