Inside Israel

Heavy-Handed Jail Sentence for Israeli Woman in Russia

L-R: Benjamin Netanyahu, Naama Issachar and Vladimir Putin (Photo: MCT, AP)

In April, a 26-year-old Israeli woman was traveling from India on her way home to Israel. While on a layover in Moscow, she was arrested with nine grams of marijuana in her possession and charged with drug smuggling, even though her bag had already been checked through and was in the plane’s cargo hold. She recently had her court date where a sentence of seven and a half years was handed down. Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for clemency for her. Many believe her sentence is excessive as she has no prior criminal history. Some, including the young woman’s family, believe that the severity of the sentence may be an overture to pressure Israel to release a Russian prisoner. Israel is set to extradite the Russian hacker to the United States on charges of embezzlement for a credit card scheme. Please pray for Naama Issachar to be safe while she sits in a Russian prison facing an unknown future.

Read more at YNet…

An Ancient Cosmopolitan City Found in Central Israel

Remains of 5,000-year-old city in Israel (Source: Israel Antiquities Authority)

A little more than two and a half years ago, prior to the start of road construction in central Israel, a dramatic archeological discovery was made. The excavation since that initial find has revealed a very large ancient city. Called “the Early Bronze Age New York” by the site directors, the city housed 6,000 inhabitants and showed a planned and detailed urban life. There were roads, temples, housing, and fortifications. The city was located near trade routes and freshwater springs, creating fertile land for agriculture. This discovery helps to shed light on the early urbanization and cosmopolitan life of the region. This finding is great contribution to Israel’s already rich cultural heritage. Please pray for the many archeological projects that take place in Israel, and that the results of these findings will continue to reveal Israel’s historical value, contribute to the wider body of knowledge, and support the truth of the Bible.

Read more at BBC…

Massive Solar Plant in Israel’s Negev

Ashalim photovoltaic mirrors (Source: YNet)

Israel recently opened a solar power plant near Beersheva with 360 solar panels, covering 309 acres. It will help Israel turn away from the use of fossil fuels and use environmentally friendly renewable energy. It will not release any greenhouse gases or pollution. It aims to provide electricity to 60,000 homes annually. Praise God for the development and use of environmentally friendly energy that helps to keep our planet clean.

Read more at YNet…

After the Holidays

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah at the Western Wall

As Sukkot comes to an end, people in Israel celebrate Simchat Torah (Hebrew for “the joy of the Torah”). In synagogues, the scrolls are taken out of their arks, which are special cabinets, and processed around, celebrating God’s Word. The weekly Torah portion finishes with Deuteronomy and begins again with Genesis. People view this as the end of the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot) and, soon enough, children will go back to school. People say, “after the holidays,” as a sign that they have put aside major projects and routines, eventually to be picked back up. For our workers in Israel, it has been a busy High Holiday season with festive meals with family, friends, and our Holocaust survivor groups, special concerts and children’s camps; and “after the holidays,” we continue our vibrant ministries all over the country. Praise God! Please pray for continued grace and open doors with the people with whom we are sharing Jesus!