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“Console, O Lord, the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem”, Rev. Mike Evans

August 14, 2016

“Console, O Lord, the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem” – Rev. Mike Evans

Dear Rev. Robert,

Today is Tisha B’Av, the day on which both the first and second Temples were destroyed. It is a day of mourning and solemn remembrance for the Jewish people, not only for the loss of their place of worship, but for all those whose lives have been lost through the centuries.

This is sometimes called the saddest day of the year on the Jewish calendar. Synagogues often read from the book of Lamentations or the book of Job during Tisha B’Av services. In some traditions a Nachem (consolation prayer) like this is part of the service as well: “Console, O Lord, the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and the city laid waste, despised and desolate. In mourning for she is childless, her dwellings laid waste, despised in the downfall of her glory and desolate through the loss of her inhabitants….Legions have devoured her, worshipers of strange gods have possessed her. They have put the people of Israel to the sword… Therefore let Zion weep bitterly and Jerusalem give forth her voice…For You, O Lord, did consume her with fire and with fire will You in future restore her… Blessed are You, O Lord, Who consoles Zion and builds Jerusalem.”

This solemn day of remembrance should be an encouragement to all of us to do more now than ever to defend and support God’s Chosen People. They have suffered greatly at the hands of those who claimed to be Christians and we need to do everything we can to show them a different message—that true Christians love and care for and support the Jewish people.

Today, I am asking you to bless the Jewish brothers and sisters of Jesus in a special way. As you know we are heavily involved in meeting the needs of the poor of the house of Israel, especially the elderly Holocaust survivors. Each week we deliver food to more than two thousand poor Holocaust survivors in Haifa…every day Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem come to the beautiful community center/bomb shelter we renovated for their use.

We have been reaching out to help the poor Jewish people of Ukraine as well. Though the continuing war there is not mentioned much in the news any more, the impact on the people is still very real. And the ancient hatred and animosity toward the Jewish people is rearing its ugly head, making many Jewish people, especially the elderly Holocaust survivors, special targets. When I was in Ukraine, many of these precious people were afraid to answer their doors.

There is so much more that needs to be done both in Israel and in Ukraine to help meet the urgent humanitarian needs. Every day at our wonderful Friends of Zion Museum we tell the stories of true Christian love. And every day we show that love in action by our generosity and compassion on poor Holocaust survivors.But we can’t do it without your help.

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