“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
PURIM 2019: Purim celebrations begin this year at sundown on Wed. 20 March 2019. Shushan Purim, which is celebrated in walled cities such as Jerusalem, will begin the evening of 21 March. This holiday described in the biblical book of Esther commemorates the story of the Jewish Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai who rescued the Jewish people from the evil Haman and his plot to kill Jews in Persia. Following the Jewish victory, “He [Mordecai] wrote to them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” Esther 9:22. Taking time out of our busy lives to celebrate a joyous holiday like Purim is good for the spirit, soul, and body. It’s a season to rejoice in our freedom and to pass on that joy by giving gifts to those in need.
HAMAS SUPPRESSES SOCIAL PROTEST IN GAZA: The official Palestinian Authority (PA) news agency Wafa reported that Hamas gunmen attacked, using live ammunition and clubs, hundreds of residents throughout Gaza who were protesting in demand to improve their living conditions and cancel the fees and taxes levied on basic goods. Wafa quoted eyewitnesses who said that Hamas’ armed militia operatives chased the demonstrators who tried to reach the gathering places in several towns in Gaza, in accordance with a call by the youth movement that promoted the social protest under the slogan “We want to live.” Violent confrontations took place in towns and villages across Gaza. In several places, the demonstrators were able to set tires on fire and fly banners against the cost of living and against the violence against them. The demonstrations against the cost of living continued on Saturday 16 March 2019 for the third consecutive day in Gaza. On Friday, the so-called “March of the Return” processions along the border fence with Israel were canceled, possibly in light of the spreading of the social protest directed against the Hamas authorities. Pictures posted on social media showed residents, including young people, who were seriously injured by Hamas gangs. (INN)
TWO TERROR ATTACKS NEAR ARIEL: A Palestinian Arab terrorist on Sunday 17 March 2019 went on a stabbing and shooting spree that initially left one Israeli dead and two more in critical condition. The first Israeli man killed in a combination stabbing and shooting attack in Samaria was identified as a 19-year-old IDF sergeant from the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva. A second victim, Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, passed away after succumbing to his wounds on Mon.18 March 2019. Ettinger, 47, a resident of the Israeli town of Eli in Samaria, is survived by his wife and 12 children, ages one to 20. The prolonged attack began near the Samaria Jewish settlement of Ariel, where the terrorist assaulted an Israeli soldier near a bus stop. After stabbing the soldier, the terrorist managed to seize his rifle and immediately opened fire on passing vehicles, hitting an Israeli motorist. Another Israeli driver ran from his vehicle, which the terrorist then stole and drove off in the direction of Tel Aviv. At the next major junction, the terrorist again opened fire, hitting another Israeli soldier waiting at a hitchhiking post. From there, the terrorist drove to the nearby Palestinian village of Burqin, where he abandoned the stolen vehicle and disappeared. Israeli forces are conducting a manhunt in search of the killer. Meanwhile, Palestinians distributed sweets in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday morning 17 March 2019 in celebration of the terror attacks in Ariel. (Israel Today/J.Post) Pray for the comfort of those who are grieving, also for the provision of 12 children who are left without a father, and for the full and speedy recovery of the third victim who remains in critical condition.
NETANYAHU RESPONDS TO ERDOGAN’S CRITICISM: ‘WHAT A JOKE’: In a post on Twitter, PM Benyamin Netanyahu responded to Turkish President Erdogan’s comments that Israel being a Jewish state “is blatant racism”. “Turkey’s dictator Erdogan attacks Israel’s democracy while Turkish journalists and judges fill his prisons. What a joke!” Netanyahu wrote. “In Israel, no one is a second-class citizen. Israel is a democracy in which all Israelis, including our nearly 2 million Arab citizens, enjoy equal individual rights.” He added, “But Israel is also the one and only Jewish state, with a Star of David on our flag, Hatikvah our national anthem, Hebrew our official language and where a Law of Return gives every Jew around the world the right to return to our ancestral homeland,” Netanyahu finished. (INN)
REPORT: IDF IS PREPARING TO DESTROY HAMAS: According to Hebrew news sources, Israel’s military echelon has approved a plan to reconquer the Gaza Strip, at least temporarily, and destroy Hamas’ militarily. The army believes that the need for such an operation may be imminent, as the situation in Gaza is extremely volatile. The IDF is considering several reasons that could set off a conflict: The unintentional death of a senior official or Palestinian children during the ongoing border riots, the Hamas leadership’s desire to distract from the economic crisis in the Strip, and the rise of Palestinian Islamic Jihad as an even more radical and violent organization than Hamas. In addition, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has a strong desire for Hamas’ decimation, either by Israel or through a Hamas “surrender” induced by economic and political pressure. Hamas is aware of this, and therefore wants some kind of mediation from Egypt that will persuade Israel to remove economic restrictions on the Strip. Without this, the IDF believes Hamas may deliberately trigger a major war. As a result of these considerations, the IDF has undertaken a comprehensive plan for taking over the Strip and eliminating Hamas. What will happen next is uncertain. The options include an international force to govern the Strip, handing the territory back to the PA, or the possibility of extended Israeli military rule. (Algemeiner)
EGYPT THREATENS HAMAS: ‘ISRAEL WILL DEFEAT YOU’: Egyptian intelligence officials seethed with anger on Thur. night 14 March 2019 after missiles were fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv. One of the Egyptian delegates present in Gaza during those dramatic moments told Israeli media sources about the delegation’s conversation with Hamas that evening. “At the beginning of the meeting the atmosphere was very relaxed,” said the Egyptian official. “We had just returned from Israel with answers, we estimated that Hamas would accept them and allow us to begin a stable, long-term peace. A few minutes later, one of the Egyptian delegation’s aides entered the room looking worried, and gave the delegation leaders his cellular phone. The smiles immediately turned into frowns, and senior delegates turned to Hamas leader Yahyah Sinwar and yelled at him: ‘Where do you think you’ll end up with your double play? We’re sitting here to finalize a peace agreement with Israel, and behind our backs you allow your people to fire missiles at Tel Aviv?? If Israel decides to start a widescale operation in Gaza, this time we’re not going to do anything to stop the Israeli attacks. Even if Israel decides to bring down your rule in Gaza by assassinating every single one of you, while they reconquer Gaza. Egypt and its regional allies will not lift a finger to stop the Israeli response.'” (Arutz-7) Please pray for His shield of defense to surround Israel’s southern communities. Intercede also for the escalating dangerous situation emanating from the Gaza Strip to be brought under control without another war with Hamas and other terrorist operatives in that area.
NEW ALBERT EINSTEIN MANUSCRIPTS REVEALED: Earlier this month, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem unveiled 110 new Einstein manuscript pages, most of which have not been displayed before, shedding light on the scientist and the man behind the science. Einstein was one of the founding fathers of Hebrew University and he bequeathed his personal and scientific writings to the university. The university’s Albert Einstein Archives contains more than 80,000 items, including manuscripts, correspondences, photographs, diplomas, and medals. The new manuscripts were purchased from a private collector in North Carolina. The collection contains: 84 sheets, most of them mathematical derivations from 1944-48; a handwritten, unpublished appendix to a scientific article on the Unified Theory that Einstein submitted to the Prussian Academy of Science in 1930. This appendix was thought lost until now. It included a 1935 letter from Einstein to his son Hans Albert, who was living in Switzerland at the time. Einstein, in the letter, expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in Europe and the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. The collection also contains four letters from Einstein to his lifelong friend and fellow scientist, Michele Besso. Three of the 1916 letters refer to Einstein’s monumental work on the absorption and emission of light by atoms. This idea later became the basis for laser technology. In the fourth letter, Einstein confesses that after 50 years of thinking about it, he still does not understand the quantum nature of light. Following the preservation and digitization of these new documents, HU’s Einstein Archives is working with Caltech’s Prof. Diana Kormos-Buchwald to decipher the scientific and mathematical contexts for many of the calculations in this new collection. (Jerusalem Life)
ISRAEL TAKES HOME SIX MEDALS IN ABU DHABI’S SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Israel had a successful weekend winning six medals in swimming, bowling, and Judo in the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games this March. Israel took home a gold and two bronze medals in swimming. Avital Naveh won a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter medley, a combination of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. She also won a bronze medal for the backstroke 100-meter. Gilad Kalishov won a bronze in the men’s 50-meter swim. An Israeli, Dekel Bar-Nir, also took the bronze medal in Judo. Two Israeli bowling teams also brought home a bronze and a silver medal. These teams were made of those with and without disabilities. There are 25 Israelis participating in the Special Olympics this year. In total there are 7,000 athletes from 192 countries around the world. In the upcoming days, Israelis will compete in more swimming, Judo and bowling competitions. (J.Post)
1,700-YEAR-OLD INSCRIPTION FOUND AT NEGEV EXCAVATION: Archaeologists have uncovered a Greek inscription at the Haluza excavation in southern Israel indicating the name of the town. The name Haluza is mentioned in many historic sources, but this is the first archaeological evidence for the name of the city of Haluza found at the site itself. It is one of the two main possible locations for the Biblical city of Ziklag, mentioned in Genesis and I Samuel. Haluza was an important station for Christian pilgrims on their way to the Monastery of Santa Catarina in southern Sinai. In addition, a church and a bathhouse were uncovered in the area. Researchers succeeded in reconstructing the city plan, identifying the main streets as well as the building style of the city. Haluza was established at the end of the 4th century BC as an important station on the Incense Route – the road that led from Petra in today’s Jordan, to Gaza, which at the time had a Jewish community. It continued to develop and reached its peak in the Byzantine period, from the 4th to 6th centuries AD when tens of thousands of residents lived there. Haluza was the only major city in the Negev region during this period. (J.Post)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff