Israel’s Southern Communities Experiencing Increased PTSD

A public shelter in Sderot (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This summer saw a sharp increase in the number of those seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Israel’s southern communities near the Gaza Strip. Many are feeling the trauma because of the intensification of rocket attacks, violent demonstrations on the Gaza border, incendiary balloons attempting to set fire to communities and to farmers’ fields, and several attempts to infiltrate into Israel. The most common PTSD effects reported are sleep deprivation, emotional distress, and burnout among those working in emergency services. Most recently, ninety-nine people were treated by mental health services as a result of the rockets fired toward Sderot, where a music festival was taking place. And with the new school year just starting, there is also concern for the children of the region and how they will handle the additional security-related stress. Please pray for the healing of mind, body, and soul for those affected by the violence from Hamas in Gaza.

Read more at YNet

Sprawling Underground Tunnels to House Jerusalem’s Dead

A worker walks at the construction site of a massive underground cemetery in Jerusalem, August 18, 2019 (Photo: AP)

With the increasing population of Israel, and a limited amount of land, the nation is running out of cemetery space. To help with the shortfall of space to bury the dead, a sprawling catacomb complex will soon open in Jerusalem after three years of construction. This underground cemetery will be able to hold 23,000 graves along a mile of tunnels. Both Jewish and Arab burial customs require the dead to be buried in the ground and not cremated, so space is limited in Israel. The underground limestone walls keep a year-round temperature of 73 degrees. The inspiration for this $50 million project came from ancient Jewish burial customs, where the dead were placed in a cave for a time, after which the bones were collected and placed in ossuaries. While the graves in the new section will remain sealed, the current structure comprises only 5 percent of the available underground space, allowing for future expansion. Please pray for those who have not yet received Jesus as their Jewish Messiah, that their heavenly bodies might be able to celebrate for eternity with our Maker!

Read more at YNet

Aggression on the Israeli Gaza Border

A still from a video purporting to show explosions in Gaza during Israeli airstrikes on September 7, 2019. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Over the weekend, Hamas in Gaza launched more rockets into Israel. Sirens sounded and the Iron Dome intercepted the missiles, and there were no injuries reported. This follows Friday’s violent demonstrations along the border where large rocks, grenades, and firebombs were hurled by Palestinians from Gaza at Israeli military on the other side of the fence. Israel responded by attacking several military targets with artillery and aircraft attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement, saying, “Any attempt to harm our citizens and our soldiers will be met with a forceful response.” Only hours after that message, Hamas launched an armed drone that crossed the border and damaged an Israeli military vehicle. Israel responded with airstrikes on military centers for Hamas aerial systems and an equipment depot for naval warfare. Please pray for the increasing violence to stop along the Israeli/Gaza border.

Read more at Times of Israel

Fall Season Ministry Kick Off!

Beit Sar Shalom—Chosen People Ministries in Israel—is planning for our fall ministries season, which includes special events, visits with Holocaust survivors, food distribution, and High Holiday events for the Jewish New Year and the Feast of Tabernacles. We will also continue our  Bible studies, the Isaiah 53 online campaign, hosting short-term ministry teams, and other activities. We want to be His workers and for us to listen to His guidance as we seek to serve and share the gospel with the Jewish people, especially those living in His Holy Land. Please pray for the all of the events being planned, that they would glorify God and many would come to know the Jewish Messiah as a result of these events!