New Immigrants: Oleg and Victoria’s Story

“We had to leave our city with rockets flying overhead,” Oleg remembered. He and his wife Victoria, both 59, have two teenagers—one with a disability—and an elderly mother who was ill. The bombings left their Ukraine apartment in ruins, destroying what they owned. 

As the Russians invaded their country, the family fled Ukraine, shaken by living in the crossfire. Escaping by train, they had to sleep on the hard floor. They headed for Israel, and upon arriving, stayed in a refugee absorption center.

Eventually, they were able to rent an apartment, but it had no refrigerator, and a very old stove. Like most refugees, they were alone in a new country with no possessions—only what they could carry with them. Where could they find help to feed their kids and get established? 

Fortunately, friends like you were there for this family through CBN Israel. Donors provided them with groceries and essentials—along with a new refrigerator and stove! Oleg exclaimed, “You have no idea how much this helps. Back in Ukraine, we would have had to work hard to buy this. And you just said, ‘This is for you.’ This is a precious gift for us, and we are grateful!” 

We live in a time when many who are fleeing war and poverty seek refuge in the Holy Land. Your gift to CBN Israel can be a blessing to those in need who call this land their home. You can be there with food, basic necessities, financial aid, job training, and more. 

The needs are great everywhere—from elderly Holocaust survivors and terror victims, to single mothers and new immigrants. Your support can offer them compassionate relief—while reporting crucial frontline news and stories. 

Please let us hear from you today!


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Weekly Q&A: How does archaeology help us better understand the Bible?

Archaeology by itself can neither prove nor disprove the Bible. But archaeology does help us understand the world of the Bible, daily life, culture, and religious practices. The field of archaeology makes it possible to discover and study the material culture of people in a specific time and place.

The Bible conveys peoples’ interaction with God in time and place, which does not show up in the archaeological record. Archaeology can help us interpret details of the Bible. It can widen our understanding of the biblical world. It can even offer correction to our interpretations. But it cannot prove the faith claims of the Bible. That’s not its purpose.

Archaeology has advantages and limitations. Yet archaeological discoveries must be interpreted. Archaeologists do not excavate an entire site. Finds undergo comparison with other excavations, and the material remains are interpreted, just as a written text.

Archaeology adds new evidence and information to help us reconstruct the biblical world. It helps us understand the daily lives of ancient peoples. It can enable us to visualize objects mentioned in the Bible and life as described by the Bible. It can assist us in illuminating sections, sometimes difficult, within the Bible. We can see the people of the Bible come alive as real people who used tools, weapons, farmed, raised families, buried their dead, and worshipped their God/gods. Archaeology does supplement written records, like the Bible.

At the same time, archaeology has limitations. The physical artifacts excavated by archaeologists are fragmentary. More artifacts remain buried than have been uncovered. Even if we uncovered everything to be found, archaeology could not find enough material remains to fully reconstruct daily life in the biblical world.

When excavators uncover artifacts from the earth, they are mute and silent. They must be interpreted, and all interpretations are subjective. For example, someone setting out to prove his or her theory about the Bible has a built-in bias one way or the other, which can impact how they interpret the finds. Because archaeology deals with physical remains, it cannot prove or disprove theological statements.

Archaeological methods continue to change as technology and archaeological processes improve and evolve. Archaeologists can study things today within a site they could not twenty or thirty years ago. This allows new study and questions. But archaeology is a science of destruction; therefore, once something has been excavated a certain amount of data has been destroyed. Future generations cannot return and rediscover or restudy what was destroyed. For this reason, older excavations have inherent limitations and should be used with care.

Archaeology sheds light on the world of the Bible. It provides crucial information for us to understand the past. We should not overstate its possibilities, however. Neither should we use it as a tool to prove or disprove the Bible. But as a tool to enter the world of the Bible, it is invaluable.

Marc Turnage is President/CEO of Biblical Expeditions. He is an authority on ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine as one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker and a gifted teacher. He has been guiding groups to the lands of the Bible—Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy—for over twenty years.

Facebook: @witbuniversity
Podcast: Windows into the Bible Podcast

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Christian Zionists Celebrate Their Spiritual Homeland’s 75th (Diamond) Anniversary

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The recently released book, Every Generation’s Story: 75 Years of American Christian Engagement with Israel, is a banquet of first-person insights and inspiration gleaned from 18 multigenerational Christians. Eighteen stories in 18 different voices reflect the symbolism of the number 18 in Jewish practice: It represents life or luck with regard to donations or gift giving.

Every Generation’s Story is indeed a gift of life (chai). It recognizes modern Israel’s 75th anniversary through the eyes of those who have invested their hearts and activism in their spiritual homeland. God’s words, engraved into their lives through the Old and New Testaments, also serve to assure the Jewish communities in Israel and elsewhere that they are not alone.

Without divulging too much of each uplifting account, I can say that the generational view covering 75 years is intriguing. Many of the 18 stories mention historic moments about and in the land that built their commitments into permanence.

From what is called the “Silent Generation” (born 1925–1945), JoAnn Magnuson recalls her grandmother’s repeated certainty that the Jews would return to their homeland. She vividly remembers the day she came home from school and saw the May 14, 1948, newspaper headline: “State of Israel Declared.” In JoAnn’s pro-Israel career she has led 69 tours to Israel and served on the staffs of five organizations, including Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, and has helped to expand each organization’s influence.

Evangelical biblical scholar Dr. Marvin R. Wilson, professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College, experienced a shocking arrival in Israel on his first trip in 1972. Landing in Tel Aviv’s Lod Airport—now Ben Gurion International Airport—he learned that three Japanese terrorists working for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine had murdered 26 passengers and wounded 80 others just hours before he landed. Walking into the terminal, smelling the disinfectant used to clean up the blood, and seeing the bullet holes in the walls implanted a lifelong motivation in Dr. Wilson. “My entry into the Holy Land remains a powerful reminder of the ubiquitous nature of anti-Semitism and the fact that Jews are not safe in their own country.”

From the Baby Boomer generation, Tim King, now vice president of the University of the Holy Land, was part of the small founding group of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) in 1980. They prayerfully presented a proposal to establish a Christian embassy in Jerusalem and approached Mayor Teddy Kollek, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Rabbi Maurice Jaffe at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue. Forty-three years later, ICEJ oversees a substantial outreach with branches in 90 nations representing many millions of Christians. Through its supporters, ICEJ has paid for and helped 170,000 Jews make Aliyah (immigrate) to their ancestral homeland and has placed portable bomb shelters in vulnerable Israeli towns.   

Born as a member of Generation X, Pastor Dumisani Washington is founder and CEO of Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI). He traveled to Israel in 2012 on a trip for pastors. Leaning against the Western Wall for the first time, he felt compelled during his prayers to create IBSI to help his community understand the importance of Zionism and set the record straight that Israel is not an apartheid nation. He makes his case in his latest book, Zionism and the Black Church.

The 10 stories from Millennials and Generation Z highlight the imperative need for their generations’ advocacy for Israel. Already, their contributions to the pro-Israel movement grow ever more important. Allison Ngo Griffin describes herself as “a thirty-year-old Chinese Vietnamese millennial girl.” Growing up in a Buddhist family, then graduating from college, Allison became a legislative director in the Texas House of Representatives. Beset with a deepening depression, one day in the State Capitol (and alone) she experienced a radical conversion to the Lord. As a new Christian, Allison initially encountered the erroneous teaching of Replacement Theology—that the church has replaced Israel and the Jews. However, on her first trip to Israel in 2019, the Lord “replaced” those wrong concepts with the truth that God’s promises to the Jews and Israel are unbreakable. Allison is now on the staff of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast and ICEJ USA.

Hannah Delamarter is a Generation Z nursing student at Northwest Nazarene University. Her initial understanding of modern Israel developed in college through Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli humanitarian organization. Then in 2021 she joined a trip to Israel sponsored by Christians United For Israel (CUFI). At 20, she was markedly impacted by Israel’s religious freedom and “feeling safe and welcome as a woman.” She is now the president of CUFI’s college student group. She expresses her outlook “not as a temporary love but I will always support and invest in Israel.” She hopes to join the staff of SACH.

The impact and influence of Christian Zionists for the last 75 years is immeasurable, both individually and organizationally. Christian innovations have grown alongside the innovation nation, blessing Israel in magnificent ways. I recommend Every Generation’s Story as a prompt for any believer, from any place and any background, to read this remarkable set of stories. Edited by Dr. Susan Michael, director of ICEJ USA, it is a product of Embassy Publishers, yet another among numerous ICEJ startups. It may be purchased though Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Embassy Publishers.

Every Generation’s Story: 75 Years of American Christian Engagement with Israel is the perfect theme for two upcoming gala dinner events in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 7 followed by a gala in Washington, D.C., on May 17. International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s U.S. branch (ICEJ USA) initiated a celebration in 2018 with a gala dinner hosted at the Museum of the Bible to recognized Israel’s 70th. Four hundred leaders joyfully celebrated the U.S. Embassy’s move back to Israel’s capital in Jerusalem with more than 40 organizations cosponsoring the beautiful event. Fifty organizations are sponsoring the May 2023 galas—among them, CBN Israel. For tickets, click here:

May we give thanks today as Romans 11:17 reminds us that Christians are “grafted in … and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root” (NIV).

Please join with CBN Israel this week in prayer for the Jewish nation and people:

  • Pray giving thanks for this important book and the leaders highlighted.
  • Pray for many to read the book and inspire them to become advocates for Israel in both large and small ways. 
  • Pray that the Jewish community worldwide will accept our sincere friendship.
  • Pray for the numerous fine Christian organizations, their leaders, and staff in their efforts to combat rising Jew hatred worldwide. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her part-time as Outreach Director for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a board member for Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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New Immigrant: Lyuba’s Story

The Russian invasion had begun—and Lyuba was terrified. Living in Ukraine with her husband Michael, she recalled, “When we heard the bombs in the morning, we knew the war had come. We saw how brave our men were as they defended our city.”

At 70 years old, Lyuba felt trapped in her own home. She and Michael hid in their dark, frigid basement to stay alive, and wore as much clothing as possible to keep warm. Ten days later, the couple decided to flee to Israel. Escaping under gunfire, they could only take one suitcase. Crossing into Moldova, they had to stay in a camp, with a dozen people in each room.

Eventually, they were able to land in Israel by way of a rescue flight and settled near Nazareth. Lyuba was relieved to be in a safer place. But how would they survive?

Thankfully, friends like you were there. Through CBN Israel, caring donors gave them food vouchers, appliances, and other essentials. “We were so happy to be received warmly in Israel. Everything we have was donated to us,” Lyuba exclaimed. “We are so thankful for the washing machine, refrigerator, and vouchers to buy groceries. We are grateful for so much support and kindness!”

Your gifts to CBN Israel can provide support and kindness in so many ways to those who are struggling in the Holy Land. You can offer them food, shelter, financial aid, job training, and more. You can be a friend to those with nowhere to turn.

More and more people across Israel desperately need our help. Your support can bring compassionate relief and encouragement to elderly Holocaust survivors, terror victims, single mothers, new immigrants, and others.

Please join us in blessing those in need today!


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Weekly Q&A: What is replacement theology? 

Replacement theology refers to the faulty belief that God replaced Israel as His chosen people with the Church. According to those who hold this view, God’s promises to Israel now belong to the Church, and His plans no longer extend to the Jewish people or Israel. The origins of this belief are ancient. They stem from social and theological forces.

Ancient Judaism attracted non-Jews. Most chose not to identify fully with Judaism, which required a man to undergo the rite of circumcision. So too, the Jewish commandments proved too hard for non-Jews and alienated them from their families and civic identities. Non-Jews attracted to Judaism were called God-fearers (or God-worshippers).

The Jewish followers of Jesus attracted non-Jews as well. The Jewish followers of Jesus decided non-Jews could remain non-Jews, but they had to avoid meat sacrificed to idols, prohibited sexual unions, and bloodshed. Jesus’ community required them to adopt a Jewish morality without fully converting to Judaism. They lived Jewishly without being fully part of the Jewish community. This was Paul’s position as well.

Non-Jews stood on the edge of the synagogue, not fully part of the community. This created an inferiority complex, a sense of being an outsider. Such feelings can produce resentment over time. They can be overcome by the outsiders concluding they represent the true faith. Jews failed, and God rejected them. Their laws were null and a hinderance to salvation. Scattered evidence of this logic appears among non-Jews prior to the rise of Christianity, but with the rise of Christianity, these ideas became more widespread as Christianity showed itself as the true religion and Israel’s replacement.

An apocryphal work known as Fifth Ezra reflects this belief. This work likely dates to the second century A.D. Preserved in Latin, it was originally written in Greek. The author proclaims, “What can I do about you Jacob? You would not listen to me, Judah. I will turn to another nation and give it my name in order that they may keep my decrees. Because you have forsaken me, I will forsake you…I am going to deliver your houses to a coming people who, though they have not heard me, believe; [those] to whom I showed no signs will do what I decreed. They did not see the prophets, yet they will keep in mind their time-honored [admonitions]” (1:24-25, 35-36).

Justin Martyr (about A.D. 100-165) also embraced this belief. In his Dialogue with Trypho a Jew, he interpreted Genesis 9:27 as, “Accordingly, as two peoples were blessed—those from Shem, and those from Japhet—and as the offspring of Shem were decreed first to possess the dwellings of Canaan, and the offspring of Japhet were predicted as in turn receiving the same possessions…so Christ has come calling men to…a living together of all the saints in the same land whose possession He promised, as has already been proven.

Whence men from all parts, whether slave or free, who believe in Christ and know the truth in His and the prophets’ words, know that they will be with Him in that land, there to inherit the things that are eternal and incorruptible” (139:4-5). Justin elsewhere described Gentile Christians as the “true Israel” (Dialogue 11:5; 120:5). The idea emerged quite early within Gentile Christianity that God had rejected the Jews, and their laws were not relevant.

It is critical that Christians understand the dangers of these distorted beliefs. For centuries, sermons and writings espousing replacement theology have planted the seeds of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism. Not only did this lead to widespread discrimination and violence against the Jewish community in much of Western society; it left the door wide open for six million Jews to be murdered in the Holocaust. 

While not all Christian groups accept this theology, it has seen a resurgence in recent years within many Christian circles, and it is absolutely imperative that we oppose and root out this toxic thinking. 

Marc Turnage is President/CEO of Biblical Expeditions. He is an authority on ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine as one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker and a gifted teacher. He has been guiding groups to the lands of the Bible—Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy—for over twenty years.

Facebook: @witbuniversity
Podcast: Windows into the Bible Podcast

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Celebrating the Innovation Nation’s Diamond Anniversary on Independence Day

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Celebrations are taking place across Israel this week, as the world’s only Jewish nation remembers its dramatic beginnings 75 years ago. Based on the Hebrew calendar, Independence Day is the fifth day of Iyar and originally took place on May 14, 1948. 

That day, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, stood up in a simple Tel Aviv art gallery and read the new nation’s Declaration of Independence. As Tel Aviv’s Independence Hall tour guide Isaac Dror recalled, “Ben-Gurion was standing here as the voice of 11 million Jews around the world who had no voice, who had no address and nowhere to go to.”

Ben-Gurion declared “Israel” to be the official name of the modern Jewish state—a national comeback according to Isaiah 66:8 (NIV): “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”

Not only has this nation been birthed; it has exhibited tremendous progress and growth. Such progress can be seen in the strength of Israel’s military—today one of the most powerful in the world—with tremendous advantage over its enemies in technology, training, and know-how. 

The Times of Israel reports that Israel’s population is near 10 million, a 12-fold increase since the nation’s founding, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. And by 2048, Israel’s centenary year, the population is predicted to hit 15.2 million.” 

Israel has enjoyed solid economic growth, too. Reuters reported in February that Israel’s economy grew 6.5 percent in 2022—much stronger than most Western countries, according the Central Bureau of Statistics, which cited the nation’s growth in exports, investment, and consumer spending. In fact, this country—just the size of New Jersey—has the highest concentration of new businesses per capita in the world, earning it the nickname of “Startup Nation.”

Plenty of media are covering Israel’s current chaos: the ongoing demonstrations against the proposed reforms of Israel’s judiciary, the synchronization of proxy attacks by Iran’s Islamic regime on the Jewish homeland, and the reemergence of anti-Semitism—which has burgeoned from benign growths into dangerous melanomas worldwide. 

Nevertheless, today, I am sharing—and rejoicing—over how Israel remains one of “The Best” nations for innovations across sectors of scientific and medical discovery and implementation. You will find information that might help you, your family, or friends. 

First, join me in revisiting some of Israel’s past accomplishments and innovations, a tiny sample indeed! (Check out—an excellent resource.) Motorola in Israel developed the cell phone technology leading to our smartphones. The global leader Watergen is the first to create a machine that makes drinking water from the air—a remarkable machine to witness in action. Our taste buds delight when we visit Israel, as personal proof that this tiny nation maintains the strictest food quality and nutrition standards in the world. 

Environmentalists will appreciate that Israel is the only country that has more trees today than 50 years ago. For such a small country, Israel has absorbed more immigrants than any other country, with Jews from over 100 countries. In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted 22,000 Ethiopian Jews to safety, making it the only country in the world to bring a black population into freedom.

Israel’s innovations are fueled by its high number of scientists and technicians. Ranking third highest in the world for entrepreneurial initiatives, Israel boasts the highest rate globally of women entrepreneurs and those over age 55. 

Several medical innovations include an emergency bandage that enables self-application to wounds and staunches blood flow so successfully that it’s used by armies in the U.S., Germany, Australia, and other countries. Good news for physical therapy comes in the form of an Israeli-created glove-like device that helps restore paralyzed hands and arms. Millions have benefitted from fingertip monitors for sleep disorders and cardiac issues. 

Seeing one product demonstration was an emotional time for thousands of us at an American Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) policy conference. We gasped and kept applauding when a paraplegic walked out on the stage aided by ReWalk, a robotic exoskeleton. It is one of Israel’s most famous inventions. The kibbutz-owned company Netafim invented smart drip and micro-irrigation that is improving crops in 112 countries. 

Switching toward several more recent innovations, Believer Meats, a food technology company, addresses increased concerns about food shortages. As it says on its website, the firm creates cultured meats by growing “animal cells in fermentation tanks into actual meat without harm to animals, and at a fraction of the environmental cost, to transform our planet and secure nutrition for generations to come.”

Israelis also remain focused on water. In Mayu, for example, this startup aims to “fix” existing water by adding minerals—with a swirl. Their first product, Mayu Swirl, is on Amazon. Sports lovers should check out this Artificial Intelligence (AI) ability from an Israeli sports-tech company, WSC Sports. They won an Emmy at the 74th Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards, which curates real-time sports highlights. For children with dyslexia, Singit is an app that uses songs kids like and includes questions to learn vocabulary and meaning. It makes learning a foreign language easier. OrCam invented wearable devices equipped with high quality cameras for the visually impaired, helping them read text and recognize faces. 

This brief tour of Israel’s significant presence in this world is summarized from God’s words in Isaiah 49:6. “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” 

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob always included us non-Jews in His beautiful, redemptive plan first through Jewish scribes as vessels for His Word, and the most profound love the world has ever known through Jesus. However, the millions of lights exemplified among the Jewish people to bless the world are beyond measure. It is my hope that after you have read this small sample, you will look for ways to advocate for Israel amid the Jew hatred raising its evil head, especially everywhere it is ignored. Silence and inaction from Christians will only feed the evil. Together, let us advocate for Israel, our spiritual homeland. 

I am a Christian Zionist who is delighted to extend my appreciation and honor for all Israelis who have died defending Israel—which rebounds in a blessing for me and many millions worldwide fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3: “And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 

Join our CBN Israel team with thanks to God for blessing our world with Israel:

  • Pray with thanks to God for honoring His promises to bring Jewish people back to their homeland. 
  • Pray for Israel military’s vigilance and safety amid intensifying threats. 
  • Pray for the development of workable policies for Israel’s judiciary. 
  • Pray that Christian advocacy for Israel will increase exponentially.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her part-time as Outreach Director for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a board member for Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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New Immigrants: Galina and Tatiana’s Story

They lived on the frontlines. Galina and her elderly mother Tatiana resided in Mariupol, one of the first Ukraine cities bombed by Russia. Working at a supermarket, Galina heard the explosions and froze, saying, “The store was packed with people… there was panic and fear.” 

Galina’s apartment was damaged by rocket fire, so she and her mother took refuge in the basement. When their food ran out, she had to buy stale, moldy bread, so the two had something to eat. Galina admits, “I never prayed so much… I asked God to have mercy on us.” 

Eventually, a rescue bus took them to Moldova. Because they are Jewish, they were grateful to be able to fly to Israel as refugees, and new immigrants. Galina said, “We came with only the clothes on our back… We needed help.” They rented an apartment with money from a government grant—yet still needed appliances and food. And they were alone in a new country. 

But thankfully, friends like you were there. Through CBN Israel, caring donors offered them groceries, and a much-needed stove and washing machine. Galina exclaimed, “In our war-torn Ukraine, I could only dream of fresh bread. But now, I’m in a peaceful place, and you bring me food. I’m extremely grateful to you for helping us… May the Lord repay your generosity!” 

And your generous gift to CBN Israel can be a blessing to many who are fleeing dangerous situations and seeking a safe haven in Israel. You can provide food, housing, essentials, and financial assistance to them—as well as to others in desperate need. 

Your support can extend help and hope to lonely refugees, terror victims, Holocaust survivors, single mothers, and struggling families—giving them vital aid and encouragement. 

Please join us in reaching out with God’s love and compassion!


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Weekly Q&A: When did Jews begin to return to the land of Israel?

The Jewish revolts against Rome (A.D. 66-136) scattered the Jewish community outside the land of Israel. Judaism never lost its connection to the land because the land was part of God’s covenant with Israel. Jewish families recited, “Next year in Jerusalem,” every Passover in the Diaspora (the Jewish community outside of the land of Israel). So, Jerusalem and the Jewish ancestral land remained part of Jewish faith and hope.

The Jewish community did not entirely leave the land of Israel after the Jewish revolts. Jewish communities resided in the land during both the Byzantine and early Muslim periods. However, the Crusaders slaughtered all inhabitants of Jerusalem upon their conquest of the city in 1099 A.D. Jews, eastern Christians, and Muslims were put to the Crusader sword.

The Medieval Jewish Sage, Nachmanides (Ramban), played an instrumental role in reestablishing a Jewish presence in Jerusalem following this period. He immigrated from Spain to Jerusalem in the thirteenth century and settled in Jerusalem on the western hill, where the Jewish Quarter of the Old City presently resides.

Another immigration of Jews occurred in the eighteenth century. These Jews came from North Africa, belonging to the Sephardic or Mizrahi branch of Judaism. They were religious. They settled in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tiberias, and Safed. The ancient land of Israel belonged to the Ottoman Empire at this time and was part of Syro-Palestine.

The Jewishness of these cities made the Jewish populations the greatest of the various people groups inhabiting them. When Europeans began to enter the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century, the censuses they took showed the Jewish population as the largest in these cities. As a result, the Ottomans began resettling Arabs into Syro-Palestine from elsewhere in their empire in the 1850s to 1870s. This way, the Arab populations of these cities would exceed the Jewish populations.

The rise of nationalism in Europe in the nineteenth century impacted European Jewry. Some identified with nationalist sentiments in Europe; others came to express a desire for a Jewish nationhood in their ancestral homeland. This movement became known as Zionism. The growing anti-Semitism in Europe, especially eastern Europe and Russia, and the pogroms in these regions led to the beginnings of Jewish immigration into Ottoman Syro-Palestine at the end of the nineteenth century.

Many of the Jews who came to settle in Syro-Palestine were not religious, nor necessarily motivated by religion. Jewish families, like the Rothschilds, and Jewish agencies, like the Jewish National Fund, provided funding for Jews to acquire land from the Ottomans. These waves of Jewish settlers, which stretched into the early twentieth century, bought agricultural tracks of land.

Though they were not natural farmers, they learned farming establishing schools for farming and farming communities, some of which became the first kibbutzim. The Jews legitimately purchased land from the Ottomans, but this did occasionally lead to the displacement of local Arab farmers. The Ottomans did not care, as long as they were well compensated. But herein lies the beginnings of the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Jewish immigration into their ancestral homeland occurred over centuries. The deep connection of Jews to the land of Israel fueled the hope of millions to return.

Marc Turnage is President/CEO of Biblical Expeditions. He is an authority on ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine as one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker and a gifted teacher. He has been guiding groups to the lands of the Bible—Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy—for over twenty years.

Facebook: @witbuniversity
Podcast: Windows into the Bible Podcast

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“Jew, Jew, Jew”! Six Million Times! A Special Book Given to a Pro-Israel Pastor

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

From sunset to sunset on April 17-18, Israelis marked Holocaust Memorial Day. The customary countrywide alarm sounded, announcing two solemn minutes of silence. Jewish citizens froze in remembrance, stopping everything—including their cars on busy highways and city streets where they got out and stood. 

Fewer than 150,000 Holocaust survivors remain in Israel. Six survivors always light the flames of six torches at the official state ceremony at Israel’s Yad Vashem National Holocaust Memorial. Jewish communities mend the torn tapestry of their history by their sheer will to live, using endurance, innovation, holy festivals, and family to honor those lost—still securing Israel’s safety 8,760 hours each year for the only Jewish country in the world. 

Seventy-eight years have passed since American, British, and Soviet forces liberated surviving Jews in the concentration camps. The worldwide Jewish community has developed countless educational and inspiring ways to remember and honor the men, women, and children who perished—ways that always proclaim the resounding motto, “Never Again.” 

I recently saw a creative idea that gave me fresh insights into such steadfastness. During a weekend with our close friends Rev. Dr. Tony Crisp and his wife Karen in Kingsport, Tennessee, we were their guests at Dr. Crisp’s excellent event, Jesus and the Passover. The next day we visited his office, where I gravitated toward a large book, the biggest I had ever seen. Displayed on an elegant wooden accent table, it opened in the center. I asked, “What is this, Tony?” 

Tony then picked up the heavy book, titled And Every Single One Was Someone. He explained that he had received it, gratefully, as a gift from a Jewish friend and then highlighted facts about the unusual book. “There are 1,250 pages in this book. It has only one word, JEW, written six million times.” He pointed out that “each page is imprinted with the word JEW 4,800 times.” 

In my research, I learned about Phil Chernofsky, the author of this 2013 book. He designed it as a teaching tool for his math and Jewish studies students at a Jewish day school. In a New York Times book review in 2014, Chernofsky described his concept of the stark volume, observing, “That’s how the Nazis viewed their victims: These are not individuals, these are not people, these are just a mass we have to exterminate.” In the foreword, Chernofsky invites readers to step back from the pages to note that it looks like “nothing more than a design.” Then he invites readers to look closely, and focus on one word, JEW, then a column of JEWS, realizing it may represent a family, or a page of JEWS representing a small town. 

His foreword concludes, “They are gone but we remember them.” 

Remembering the Holocaust (Yom HaShoah) is a message not only for Jews. It is for Christians. If we take God’s word seriously in the Old and New Testaments—which emphasize His eternal covenants with the Jews—clearly, we must remember! The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob commissioned us non-Jews to pray not just for the “peace of Jerusalem” but to act. The Jew hatred is no longer appearing in the margins. It has become a panorama of propaganda infecting minds globally. 

Among evangelicals, steadfast pastors are leading the way to oppose this reincarnated evil. They express their advocacy for Israel, the birthplace of our faith, in a broad range of outreaches. It may include tours to Israel, humanitarian aid to Holocaust survivors, teaching, pulpit preaching, speaking up for Israel in world governments, authoring, and funding bomb shelters. Rev. Dr. Tony Crisp is one of them. 

Born into poverty in McMinn County, in Tennessee’s Appalachian Mountains, Tony was an unlikely candidate for Israel advocacy. However, since Dr. Crisp’s profound encounter with Jesus at almost 20, then biblically understanding Israel’s importance, God has vaulted him into relentless advocacy for the last 40 years in pastorates from California to Tennessee. Tony serves as Lead Elder and Teaching Pastor at Remnant Church in Kingsport, Tennessee. His leaders and congregation are fully supportive of him, as he spends as many as four months of travel annually to teach hundreds through his company TLC Holy Land Tours. To date, he has led some 100 tours to Israel. Impacting thousands of lay people and pastors, he proclaims that the Bible is a Jewish book, written by Jews for Jews—and for us. 

Tony’s unforgettable teaching combines a brilliant biblical understanding of Israel’s ancient and modern history with extensive geographical, cultural, and archaeological expertise. He is a walking encyclopedia, a pastor with a servant heart and a sense of humor. His reach has grown internationally with his podcast, “On The Way,” already heard in 130-plus countries.  

In addition to Tony receiving numerous awards, positions, and initiatives, the historically Jewish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) appointed him as one of several Christians to their National Council. He has spoken on AIPAC panels and at AIPAC’s General Sessions, inspiring both Jews and Christians in political advocacy with the United States Congress—making sure lawmakers continue to support Israel’s security aid. He also serves on the board of directors for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem-USA.

One of Tony’s latest and far-reaching roles is his appointment as corporate pastor for 5 Stones Intelligence, an intelligence and protective agency service based on Judeo-Christian principles. The organization engages an expert network that includes former members of the CIA, FBI, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He has already hosted numerous tours to Israel and is now planning additional tours for police officers, special agents, special forces operators, intelligence officers, and security professionals. These specialized tours are filled with biblical studies, tactical training, and intelligence briefings from Israel’s top experts. With the world descending into darkness, their grasp of biblical truths and expanded tools will bless all of us.

I am highlighting Tony’s ministry as an example of other fine pastors who are dedicated to the biblical narrative of God’s eternal plans for His Jewish people and His Holy Land. A strong remnant exists among pastors who I am honored to know. However, the resurgence of Jew hatred and propaganda is a trumpet call for additional pastors and their congregations to lift shields of prayer, biblical teaching, and practical actions. 

Please read what the Palestinian Authority published on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Monday April 17, as translated and reported by Palestinian Media Watch ( “That Jews were trained by the Nazis in concentration camps to kill ‘without feeling anything’ and that the Germans would deliberately free Jews in concentration camps to ‘prepare them’ for combat against Arabs in Palestine.”

After reading the above outrage, I hope you will decide to join Tony and/or other pastors, as well as CBN Israel to spread the facts and pass on God’s Word. 

John 4:22 “Jesus said, ‘You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.’” 

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” 

Romans 11:18 “Do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.” 

Please join CBN Israel in prayer this week for Israel and the Jewish people:

  • Pray for more pastors to proclaim truths about God’s eternal promises to Israel and the Jewish people.
  • Pray asking Jesus in what ways He wants you to advocate for Israel. 
  • Pray asking God to reveal every terror plot against Israel during their current, serious security threats inside and outside their land. 
  • Pray that Christians will actively advocate for Israel and Jewish communities worldwide amid the rise of dangerous anti-Semitism.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her part-time as Outreach Director for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a board member for Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.

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New Immigrant: Tanya’s Story

She was blind, Jewish, and came alone from Russia to Israel in 2018 to become a citizen. Living by herself in the northern city of Karmiel, she depends completely on the government to survive—along with a caretaker, who comes for a few hours. Still, she’s grateful for all she has.

She is comfortable in her neighborhood; with everything she needs nearby. She has even learned to walk those short distances on her own, which, being blind, is a huge accomplishment. 

Recently, Tanya had problems with her teeth, and required dental prosthetics. Sadly, the dental clinic botched the work—leaving her with no teeth and needing dentures urgently. She found another dentist who could do the work, but she couldn’t afford it. Who could help her? 

Thankfully, friends like you were there for her through CBN Israel. Donors provided grant money to cover the cost—and Tanya is thrilled to be eating and smiling again! They also gave her vouchers for food and necessities. Plus, they are connecting her with local partners who can offer her more services, given her blindness, and provide beyond what the government covers. 

In addition, she is thrilled that her son and his family finally immigrated to Israel and moved not far away so they can visit her—and her grandson sometimes comes to help her! 

Because you cared, Tanya is living a fuller life. And your gift to CBN Israel can help so many in need receive groceries, housing, financial aid, and more. With the influx of refugees and colder weather, your support is crucial. You can provide a lifeline to single mothers, Holocaust survivors, refugees, and more. 

Please join with us to make a difference today!


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