In this issue:
Israel at 60: Blinded in Part, Sees in Part  |  Birthday Greetings to our country  

                                             Israel at 60:                       
                             Blinded in Part, Sees in Part



Monthly Report: May 2008
Nisan - Iyar  5768

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David Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, signs the Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948. 



By Shira Sorko-Ram

Sixty years ago this month a nation was born in a day - but at great cost. Emaciated Jews from 1945 to 1948, stumbled out of Europe’s death camps liberated by the Allies, but they had no place to go. Their homes and possessions were destroyed or confiscated and their family members murdered. Many of the survivors believed that the only place in the world they might find safety would be back in their ancient homeland - the land of Israel.

But there was only one catch. The British army had conquered the Holy
Land at the end of World War I, and for the thirty-one critical years they controlled Israel’s ancient land, they did all in their power to keep Jews from entering so-called Palestine (from the word Philistine). Their close ties with the Arab world and its oil was persuasive enough for them to impose increasingly strict quotas for Jews entering Israel each year. Arabs were free to settle the land, but the quota for Jews was  absurd.




Decimated and heavily weighted with flashbacks of Nazi slaughter, all through WWII and after, Jews attempted to board rickety boats and land secretly on deserted beaches, trying desperately to avoid the British occupying forces who were there to put them back on boats to
Europe. Those who succeeded (most did not) to set their feet on the holy ground in the middle of the night, were met by local Jews in the underground who gave them guns and told them they must fight for their lives - or another Holocaust was awaiting them - this one by the surrounding
Arab nations, themselves only a few years old.


Barbed wire separates Arab and Jewish Sections of Jerusalem on Independence Day.


The pitifully small number of 46,000 Holocaust survivors who were admitted into the land after World War II (plus those who were smuggled in) celebrated with the local Jewish community
Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948 - 60 years ago. Most of these recent immigrants hadn’t yet learned much Hebrew, and many knew none at all. But when five Arab armies invaded the newborn nation the next day, all able men and women took up whatever weapons they had. 6,000 Jews died in that war, some of them because they could not understand their officers’ commands.

As for your birth…when I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood,
I said to you in your blood, “Live!”
Ezekiel 16:7

Sixty years ago, 600,000 Jews lived in this land. Some came from families who had inhabited the Promised Land for many generations - Safed, Tiberius, Jaffa, Hebron and above all, Jerusalem. There were always Jews living in the Holy Land, though most were wanderers among the nations of the world.


When Hitler rose to power in the 1930’s, and the black clouds gathered over the millions of Jews living in Europe and Russia, a few sniffed the wind, saw the present danger and heeded the call. Instead of declaring the ancient hope, “Next year in Jerusalem,” at Passover, they decided, “This
year.” Of those who left Europe, some 150,000 made it to Palestine between 1933-1935.


But as a rising Hitler became more brazen against the Jews, hundreds of thousands who recognized the danger would have made their escape but were heartlessly blocked from coming to Palestine. The British saw that few nations were ready to take in the European Jews, and feared that the Holy Land would be flooded with millions of them. They cold-bloodedly directed their navy to intercept the few desperate boatloads of Jews that managed to flee Europe before
the war started. The refugees were stopped in the water and turned back to Nazi-controlled Europe by the British navy.

Throughout the centuries, there were always Jews living in the Holy Land, mostly in Jerusalem. This picture is of elderly men in a Study Room of Shalom HaAretz, an old age home. The photo was taken in the 1800's, but the exact date is unknown.


The demons of World War II ascended out of the pit. Now it was too late. As the ovens burned, the gates of British occupied Palestine were mercilessly locked tight, stranding 6,000,000 Jews in Europe who went to their deaths.

Unless you look at the situation close-up, you cannot possibly comprehend the heinous sins done to the Jewish people by the Allies - especially Britain. One small incident: A group of Jews hired a dilapidated boat called the Struma, which quickly developed a leak and a malfunction in the engine. It was allowed into a Turkish port, and the Turks worked long and hard for two months to get the British to give the passengers visas to Palestine. The British absolutely refused, and relentlessly pressured Turkey not to take them either!

Finally a tug boat simply pulled the boat out into the sea where suddenly an unexplained explosion blew the ship out of the water and 763 women, men and children perished. Only one
man survived.

No doubt England itself survived the war because of the praying men and women of Great
Britain who interceded day and night on behalf of their nation and for the Jewish people.


Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 on the outskirts of the ancient city of Jaffa. Already by 1930 when this photo was taken, the new settlement had taken on the aura of a city with about 100,000 persons. This is Allenby Street in the center of Tel Aviv.


After the war ended, 70,000 Jews boarded more ramshackled boats and were smuggled into the Holy Land, as the British, even after the death of 6,000,000 Jews, continued to block their immigration except for a tiny quota. Still, here and there, another boatload of more souls landed in the dead of night at some isolated beach, silently following their Jewish guides to evade the British. Their descendants are here in Israel today.

I will take you one from a city and two from a family,
And I will bring you to Zion.
Jeremiah 3:14


Around the turn of the 20th century, only some 40,000 Jews lived in Israel. (There are many different numbers given by various sources) They faced abject poverty, famine, roving marauders and expulsion by the Turks. But steadily, every year, in the early 1900’s, because of persecution in Russia and Eastern Europe, they kept coming.

But what they found was a land despised and forsaken of men. A land of no trees, of desert, and in Galilee, a land of malaria-ridden swamps. A lonely land with few inhabitants.

They cleaned the swamps. They fought the roving bands of Arabs. And the emerging local Arab leaders continued to attack under the permissive eye of British rulers. Still, before the British cut off Jewish immigration in 1939, 450,000 Jews had come home.

The Atlantic Monthly wrote in its July 1919 magazine:

“There is no chapter in the colonizing history of any people finer than the story of these Jewish pioneers. They came to Palestine ignorant of agriculture, ignorant of the land, ignorant of the people, miserably equipped. The [Turkish, then British] government laid its dead hand on all development. It was only by stealth, and with the assistance of baksheesh [money], that a house or a shelter could be erected. There was no security for land property or life, and fever and pestilence raged. The settlers had to compete with native labor accustomed to a very low standard of life. They had to make their own roads, furnish their own police, their own schools,
their own sanitary apparatus; and while the government of Palestine offered them nothing but the privilege of paying taxes, the governors of the countries from which colonists came extended them no protection.”


In past centuries Jerusalem was generally a very poor city with little commerce to increase prosperity. Here poor Jews wait outside a Jerusalem Relief Office for food distribution in 1921.


The Jewish immigrants created an enterprise unknown anywhere else in the world. Under the harsh conditions of a barren land and dangerous neighbors they created the kibbutz - a communal society where a group of people built their houses together, ate together, built factories together, farmed together, and even had special homes in the kibbutz for the children. Though the structure of the kibbutz has radically changed in modern times in the direction of a normal village, the kibbutz was a vehicle that had a tremendous impact in building a Jewish state from scratch. Many of Israel’s most well-known politicians and military officers were raised on a kibbutz.

Now here is an interesting point that is crucially important to understand. Wherever Jews settled, Arab immigration grew exponentially. “The Arabs who went to Palestine sought economic opportunity created by the Zionists. As Europeans, the Zionists brought with them to Palestine resources and skills far in advance of anything possessed by the local population. Jews initiated advanced economic activities that created jobs and wealth and drew Arabs.”  (




1. The 1300-ton Parita sailed from Rumania with 850 immigrants aboard. They arrived after 40 days to Tel Aviv on August 22.1939, a week and a half before WWII broke out. Thousands of citizens thronged the beach and helped bring the immigrants to shore in small boats. This is one of the success stories of the illegal immigration.
2. A U.S. Army sergeant speaks with a newly liberated prisoner near death camp Buchenwald, Germany on April 11, 1945. The man, explaining that he had weighed 190 pounds, now weighed 80 pounds.
3. In the concentration camp of Auschwitz, Poland, 1,100,100 Jews were gassed. 65,000 survived until liberated in freezing weather by the Russians in January 1945.
4-5. After World War II ended, a life and death struggle was waged by Holocaust survivors who were attempting to reach the shores of the Holy Land. The British were determined that they would not - except for a tiny yearly quota. The boat "Jewish State" carried 4,500 passengers. Note the British soldiers waiting to arrest the passengers. Many ships like these two  were seized by the British, and sent back to Europe.

6.The famous boat Exodus, as it drew near the Palestine coast on July 11,1947, was rammed and boarded by British naval officers. The 4,700 passengers were forced onto deportation ships which headed back to France. The passengers refused to disembark, suffering in extreme heat with little food and terrible sanitary conditions. The British then moved the ships to Germany where the Jews were forcibly removed and taken to British detainee camps. The media coverage was a public relations disaster for the British, showing immigrants seeking to flee anti-Semitism against the merciless and brutal British. From then on, the British did not send any more Jews back to Europe, but sent them to detention camps in Cyprus and elsewhere. They were released after Israel became a state.



Nevertheless when the new Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, declared Israel an independent state, the Islamic nations had absolutely no intention of permitting such a state to rise out of the ashes of this devastated people. Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq immediately invaded Israel. Their intentions were declared by Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken
of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.” (Jewish Virtual Library, The 1948 War, Mitchell Bard)

For reasons only God can give, the Jews survived. Both Jews and Arabs fought until exhausted, and the 1949 Cease Fire was signed by all. However, Arab attacks continued without cessation. The Islamic god categorically refused to accept the reestablishment of a Jewish state on the land God gave Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


As hundreds of thousands of refugees from Arab countries thronged to the new Jewish state, the government had no choice but to erect tent encampments where immigrants lived, some for several years, This photo is from 1950. 


But with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Jews in Arab countries began to suffer great persecution. Arab riots broke out, and Jewish property was burned and looted. Jews lost their holdings, their bank accounts were frozen and their property confiscated. 856,000 Jews from Arab countries fled for their lives, forced to leave their property behind. (In comparison, about 700,000 Arabs fled from Palestine when the five Arab nations invaded Israel in 1948). In three years, the population of Israel doubled, and by 1957 900,000 Jews had found refuge in Israel because the new State had opened its gates to all Jews. Israel absorbed them all.


The souls of the Jews who came to Israel from the Holocaust were marred and broken. Most became hardened atheists. They reasoned that if there were a God, He would not have let the Holocaust happened. There are still 250,000 Holocaust survivors alive in Israel today. Not only they, but their children and their children’s children bear scars.


Some European ultra-Orthodox Jews managed to escape to the Holy Land before the death trains caught them. They are haters of Christianity. They see Christians as Nazis, or as the Russian-Orthodox priests who slaughtered Jews in Russia in the pogroms. They see Christians as the Spanish inquisitors who drove a million Jews out of Spain. They see Christians as the Crusaders galloping towards Jewish towns and burning down synagogues full of Jews.

As refugees from Arab countries continued to pour into Israel, the young state created transit camps - a bit more than a tent - but not yet a home. This picture was taken in 1956. 


But I am very angry with the nations. . .for
while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.
Zechariah 1:15

They see Jews who believe in Yeshua as the descendants of the above - traitors to the Jewish people, betrayers of the God of Israel, followers of a Man who caused His disciples to become the modern Hamans - enemies of the Jewish people. In persecuting us they think that they are offering service to God.


Today there are just over 5,500,000 Jews living in Israel - fewer than the number killed in the concentration camps. The nation has seen continuous war for 60 years - in her cities and along her borders.


A BBC poll released on April 2 found Israel to be the second most disliked country in the world. Only Iran is seen as surpassing Israel in unpopularity, with Pakistan coming in as a close third. As the Jerusalem Post described it, “Welcome to the Axis of the Unloved.” The nation with the most negative feelings toward Israel is Egypt with an incredible 94% of the population. (And we have a peace agreement with Egypt?!) Israel was seen as playing a harmful role in the world by more than half of the 17,000 respondents who were questioned in 34 countries.
Every immigrant had to learn some Hebrew. Classes called "ulpanim" were set up to teach the language. This class took place on Kibbutz Gaash near Tel Aviv in 1957.


Israelis have watched with incredulity the monster of Islamic tyranny rise - not only with bombs and guns, but with sophisticated skills to manipulate the world media as its greatest ally. Israel has watched in amazement and unbelief as virtually the whole world, through the United Nations,
has turned against Israel.

Israel has witnessed the top universities in the western world and the east, join the haters of Israel by placing hordes of professors who preach and teach the up-and-coming generation of world leaders the illegitimacy of Israel, the occupiers, who built their nation on another’s land.

Israel watches the Middle East burn as Europe and the U.S. fiddle over which sanctions to impose on Iran and her nuclear installations - (which sanctions are best - the nations ponder - the weak ones or the weaker ones?). Iran is already invading Israel - through Hizbullah and Hamas. It is no secret - these terrorists are trained in Iran and their weapons are coming from Iran.

In a little anger I hid My face from you a moment;
But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,
Says your redeemer.
Isaiah 54:8

An orange canning factory in Yakhin, not far from Tel Aviv, operating in 1940.


There are areas of spiritual reality that Israel sees better than any country in the world. She understands the existential threat of Islamic theology. She understands, as no one else does, that the spiritual powers that revealed the Koran to Mohammed are planning a complete takeover of the world.


There is one area where Israel has been blinded - the most important of all. Satan has seen to it that Jewish people associate Yeshua, the King of the Jews, the Redeemer of Israel, as the Person most responsible for the persecution of the Jewish people over the last 2,000 years.

Therefore she is confused as she sees Evangelical Christians from America, Canada, Britain, Germany, Japan, Korea, South America and even the islands of the sea, becoming the only friends left in the whole wide world who support Israel. How can it be? What has happened to Christianity that has caused it to evolve from a fierce enemy of the Jews to the only friend left? What happened to all the liberals and the leftists, the intelligencia of the nations that were her erstwhile best friends? Where did they all go?


Young Jewish pioneers plan the establishment of brand new Kibbutz Dovrat in Galilee in 1946.


And Christians of all people! Jews have felt more uncomfortable around Christians than any other group of people anywhere! How is she to respond to the outreached hand of her new friends?

Some Jews, like President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Eric H. Yoffie, has warned everyone to stay away from Christians. Besides the constant fear of all Jews that Christians want to convert them to Christianity, he says the differences in theology between Reform Judaism and Evangelical Christianity are simply a gap too wide to bridge. Gay lifestyle and abortions are championed by the secular (Reform) Jewish community in the Diaspora, who after thousands of
years of persecution, instinctively believe that freedom to believe whatever you want and to do whatever you want is the best climate for Jews to survive.

Jews have long memories. Those who are alive are survivors.



But here is where the Orthodox Jewish community - especially in Israel - comes to the fore. Their theology agrees in many areas with Evangelical Christianity. The Orthodox are against abortion, gay lifestyle, and believe that this land was given to the Jewish people - as do Christian Zionists. And there are many other Israelis and Jews from the Diaspora of all persuasions who are saying, “We really can’t be picky about our friends. If Christians are reaching out to us, we are willing to accept their friendship.” This is an enormous paradigm shift in the way Israelis perceived Christians in the past.

Furthermore, Israelis are seeing that Arab Christians living in the land are very very different than Muslim Arabs. As a whole, Christian Arabs have received the revelation of God’s love for the Jewish people and His plan to plant them back in this land. Evangelical Arab Christians understand that one day the Jews will return wholeheartedly to their God and usher in the Kingdom of God where the King will rule from Jerusalem.

The differences between Muslim and Evangelical Arabs are growing starker. Christian Arabs in the Palestinian Authority are themselves fiercely persecuted. And you cannot imagine the deep, all-consuming hatred the Muslim Palestinians have for Israelis. Westerners simply do not experience this kind of passionate, burning hatred. You have to hear it to believe it. We are inundated with their rage pouring forth on the BBC, CNN or when interviewed on Israeli TV.

$10,000 worth of food packages from contributors were delivered to the poor and victims of terror as Passover gifts.
Ari explains to other humanitarian aid agents working side by side, why Israeli Messianic Jews want to bless the poor at this season.
Volunteers from Congregation Tiferet Yeshua help in the distribution.


And the hatred will not change because the Palestinians are teaching their children from birth to see Israel has a hideous, monstrous occupier, murderers who kill babies and children, thieves who have stolen Palestinian land - although the Palestinians as a people only appeared in human history a generation ago and they have never ever had their own land.

Even though the United Nations miraculously endorsed Israel’s right to birth a nation on her ancient homeland on November 29, 1947, the Arabs did not accept it, do not accept it and will not accept it in the future.


Many Jews seek to live a holy life before God, but alas, their forefathers have led them astray. Instead of opening their hearts to all of God’s redemptive revelation, they have walked in the way of their fathers, choosing ritual and tradition over intimate relationship.

You too have done evil, even more than your
forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking
according to the stubbornness of his own evil
heart, without listening to Me.
Jeremiah 16:12

Religious Jews still talk to God today, but they do not know He wants to talk to them.

Orthodox Jews relate to the Biblical text only in reference to what ancient and modern rabbinical authorities say it means. Thus the great, deep veil over the eyes of the Jewish people concerning Yeshua, the only Hope of Israel.

There is not yet the concept of the God of Israel dwelling inside a life. The Jewish people don’t understand the meaning of, “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit . . .and I will put My Spirit within you...” Ezekiel 36:26

Today, they seek Judaism as their savior. Repentance is a turning back to Judaism. But one day, their eyes will turn to God.

In those days and at that time, declares the Lord, the sons of Israel will come,
they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go,
and it will be the Lord their God they seek... that they may join themselves to the Lord
in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.
Jeremiah 50:4-5

Today, in Israel’s 60th year, the Messianic Jewish community has been mandated one of the most important assignments of all ages - to pour Light and Life into the darkness covering our people towards the Messiah. We are the light. We have been given the truth of God’s Word.

But we are considered a sect, Jews who have lost their way. Rejection by the general public and harassment and even expulsion by the Orthodox establishment are our daily bread. Many Jewish public figures who have embraced Christians - some wholeheartedly - still despise the Jews who are followers of Yeshua.

But how will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And how shall they believe in Him whom they
have not heard [in a way that they understand what is being said about Yeshua]?
And how will they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach unless they are sent?
Romans 10:14-15

Israel still has a calling. And since the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, Israel will one day be a light to the gentiles, and their acceptance of their Savior will cause the dead to rise.

What will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Romans 11:15

Isn’t it interesting that God has promised to redeem all Israel and turn her back to Himself when He pours out His Spirit and washes away all her guilt? And isn’t it equally interesting that God will bless whatever nation stands with Israel, and prays for her peace, but curse the nation that opposes her?

Note: This year Israel’s Independence Day will be celebrated on the evening of May 7 and all day May 8, according to the Hebrew calendar.

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Birthday Greetings to our country
from Congregation Tiferet Yeshua



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May 2008

 Dear Maoz Partner,

With all the courage, grit and determination the Jewish nation has shown, still, Israel could never have succeeded without massive and continuous support from Jews around the world.

There is not an Israeli enterprise, organization or institution, private, governmental or military that has not received contributions from Jews around the world.

The Jewish Agency, The Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Communal Fund, the Jewish United Fund, the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, the Jewish Fund for Justice, are examples of the immense emphasis Jews living in more prosperous countries place on helping their own people in the nation of Israel.

By each individual giving much or little into these funds they have supported immigrants and enabled local Israelis to build homes, start businesses, build synagogues, schools, hospitals, roads and every other venture imaginable.

Several generations of the Rothchilds from Europe actually established whole towns in Israel through their generosity.

Today thousands of Christians are funding a great variety of Jewish humanitarian projects, including bringing Jewish immigrants from Russia to Israel. And we have not mentioned the massive aid received from the U.S. government.

The results are for all to see.

In a parallel way, the Messianic community of bornagain believers, congregations and ministries, like every other entity in Israel, is able to grow, build and bear fruit because of people like you who believe that what we are doing has great value and will impact this land for eternity.

Israel is surviving because of God’s promises, because of Israel’s indomitable spirit, and because God gave the Jews in the Diaspora the heart to give and give and give, year after year.

This is the way God is keeping His promise - to bring back His people to their land.

And this is the way God will keep His promise to bring His people back to Him - through the determination of the believers in Israel to go forward and never give up, and through the generous hearts of believers like you who believe Israel’s salvation is of most importance.

Plainly, we need you to accomplish the mission God has entrusted to us in these last days. Israel could not do it alone. And we cannot do it alone. We need you!

          For Zion’s sake, and for the salvation of the Jewish people,

A&S signature

          Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram

P.S. On this 60th birthday of our nation, we invite you to share in this celebration with a special gift - a gift that will touch people throughout our nation with the Gospel of Yeshua - their true and only hope for peace.

Give your special gift to Israel today
by donating to one of our projects:

Maoz Israel Ministries  |  istandwithisrael  |  Hebrew Book of the Month
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua  |  Coffee House Outreach  |  Burkina Faso 
Arab Congregations  |  Persecuted Believers    

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