the orchard experience

On October the 27th 2018, during Sabbath worship services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, a gunman entered the premises and opened fire indiscriminately at the congregation. In total eleven worshippers were killed. Aside from the tragic loss of life and heartbreak that will follow, the Jewish community is once again left to ponder its place as a victim of this most pernicious form of hatred – antisemitism. The shooters motivations were clear, as he entered the synagogue he declared “all Jews must die”. Such vile statements have unfortunately become part and parcel of Jewish history, and indeed present-day Jewish life.

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Jerusalem’s East Gate (also the Golden Gate, Beautiful Gate, and in Hebrew, Gate of Mercy)

 Part of the current gate was built in the sixth or seventh century, probably upon the foundation of the original gate. The gate was sealed by the Ottoman ruler Suleiman (he rebuilt the city’s current walls) in the early 1500s.

The East Gate features prominently in tradition and Scripture. In Jewish literature, when Messiah finally comes to Jerusalem it will be through the East Gate. Thus, one view why the gate was sealed by Suleiman was to prevent the coming of Messiah. It has also been suggested this is why he established a graveyard in front of the gate (as seen in the image), as it was believed a holy man could not enter a cemetery.

Article by Colin Barnes, tutors with KEDS/JCS.

What is the role and purpose of the Palestinian Christian in God’s good plans concerning Israel? Where do the Palestinian churches and Christians fit in Christian Zionism?

Many Palestinian Christians strongly believe that Christian Zionism ignores them, or even wishes that they did not exist.

Isaac Munther; “Christian Zionism has ignored us Palestinian Christians at best.”

A significant portion of Palestinian Christianity feels that ‘if modern Israel is the fulfilment of prophecy, then we are disinherited, have no right to be here. Our very existence and validity depend on Israel not being of God! Otherwise, we would be squatters, strangers on a land given to others. We need Israel to be illegitimate, because otherwise we are. We cannot co-exist.’

Continue reading Dreaming of Mount Gerizim