Holding On to Faith and Hope Amid a Global Mental Health Crisis

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Most of us are aware of the mounting mental health crisis in our country and across the globe. We see it first-personwhether in our families, among our friends, in workplaces or churches. Research conducted in various international collaborations affirms what we already know. It shows that our world is facing unprecedented manifestations of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress.

A 2023 Harvard study claims that half of the world will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes our nation as being in a “catastrophic” mental health crisis. The irrational Jew hatred promoted and enacted by Iran and its proxiesHamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthisis a perfect example of another kind of illness with minds and hearts twisted and distorted with hate doing the unthinkable. The mental and emotional state the terrorists exhibited to carry out the brutal assaults and atrocities against Israeli families and communities on October 7th is unimaginable yet true.

Our Israeli and Jewish friends are the prime targets of hatred and hostility. They valiantly endure traumatic stress and other anxieties. Last weekend the bold, well-designed, and complex rescue of four hostages generated desperately needed waves of joy for Israelis. The people of Israel also honored a hero:counter-terrorism officer Arnon Zmora, 36, a top cop in the Border Police’s magnificent Yamam unit. After leading the charge in a rescue firefight, hours later the married father of two children succumbed to his wounds. Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu named the outstanding rescues of four hostages in the fallen policeman’s honor: the Zmora Operation. 

With swirling lawlessness, challenging mental health issues, and disturbing news filling the global atmosphere, how do we cope? Holding on to faith and hope can be a simple daily reading out loud from King David’s ancient hymnbook of Psalms. King David was no stranger to depression, anxiety, loneliness, grief, and fear.

Other news surrounds us—good news. God is at work, and we must make it a point to recognize this truth. We are assured in Psalm 34:18, “The LORD close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Several of the most promising public efforts in modern times from two Christian leaders is generating landmark events that draw Gen Zers and all ages together in hope. God is raising up Sean Feucht and Nick Hall for the next generation amid the passing of Christian statesmen like Billy Graham and Pat Robertson, who bequeathed the world with huge legacies of spiritual hope and humanitarian aid.

Feucht, a 43-year-old author, artist, and activist, is the founder of global worship and prayer movements across six continents and more than 250 cities. Burn 24-7 (Light A Candle) is a missions and compassion movement spreading humanitarian love to some of the darkest, most isolated places on earth. Let Us Worship is well known since the arrival of COVID-19, when Feucht and a praise team stood on the Golden Gate Bridge singing and praying for our country during the pandemic. Since then, the outdoor worship movement across America has shown up with praise music through Kingdom to the Capitol in states across the USA. The singer’s Let Us Worship albums often hit number one on Apple Music. The world’s hunger for hope is evident.  

Due to the outbreak of Jew hatred on college campuses all over the U.S., in April 2024 Feucht arrived at the gates of Columbia University in a “United for Israel March.” Leaders Eric Metaxas, Russell Johnson, and Luke Moon joined in. Feucht compared the current anti-Semitic demonstrations to the 1930s Nazis and proclaimed, “We are coming to bring the light; we’re coming to say we’re going to join with our Jewish brothers and sisters.” Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Jews and Christians came together at Columbia’s gate. 

Another rising leader is 42-year-old Nick Hall, who founded Pulse Evangelism on his North Dakota State University campus in 2006. Early on, he served as part of the student advisory team for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Later,he attended a BGEA event at The Cove launched by the U.S. Lausanne Committee. Approximately 300 evangelists attended. Hall, now a board member on the National Association of Evangelicals, was mentored in part through the BGEA. He recognizes the Billy Graham and Luis Palau teams for his training. “I’ve MC’d events for both teams and traveled with both organizations around the world.” He credits their mentorship with really “launching Pulse.” 

Hall’s career has grown into prayerful and active excellence with a solid set of board members who together are unveiling initiatives that appeal to Gen Zers in person and through social media. In his book, Reset, Hall writes, “Jesus says, ‘Come to me dirty, and I’ll clean you up. Come broken, and I’ll reassemble the parts. Come desperate, and I’ll replace pain with joy. Come to me with all your questions, all your confusion, all your fear. I can reset your purity, your self-image, your faith. Come.’” Last Sunday morning, the evangelist appeared on Fox News. Watching this clip is a source of hope [watch here]!

One of Pulse’s most outstanding initiatives is Pulse 100, a training program that equips Gen Zers as evangelists in an immersive 10-month program. In April, my husband and I were invited as guests to a Founder’s Weekend in Florida and left with a deep excitement for this next generation. Two of their Gen Zers evangelists spoke, and we were mesmerized by their authenticity and inspiring words. Another Pulse initiative is Anthem of Grace, which was broadcast on Good Friday (March 29, 2024), impacting over 300 million peoplewith 2 million saying yes to Jesus. Anthem of Grace will continue.

Sean Feucht and Nick Hall are single-minded in their particular styles in an era of world history where praise, prayers, worship, evangelism, compassion, hearts for Israel, and solid biblical teaching are present and prolific. One day, for believers in our Jewish Jesus, our mental health will reach perfection in God’s Presence with no more sorrows or stresses.  

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join us in prayer,recalling Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Points:

Pray for Sean Feucht, Nick Hall, and their families for wisdom and strength.
Pray for Israel, a nation beset with deep anxieties, for more hostage rescues.
Pray for Israel Defense Forces and Jewish civilians nationwide who are reconnecting with their faith.

Pray for Christians to remain Israel’s committed friends in prayer and aid.


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

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Feeding Hungry People in Wartime

When Hamas invaded southern Israel last October, thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes and farms—leaving behind unharvested crops and triggering a chain reaction of food scarcity and price hikes. 

Many throughout the country feared that a dire situation was on the horizon for needy Israelis.

But thanks to compassionate friends like you, CBN Israel linked arms with Leket Israel, the nation’s top food bank, and sponsored two trucks (and drivers) that delivered 1.6 million pounds of rescued fresh fruit and vegetables along with 30,000 hot meals to people suffering from food insecurity during this time of war.

CBN Israel shares Leket’s mission: to rescue nutritious produce and collect hot meals that would otherwise be discarded—and redistribute them to those in need. Partnering with some 200 nonprofits, this helps ensure that thousands of people receive healthy food daily.

One nonprofit organization that receives hot meals each weekday thanks to the support of caring CBN Israel donors is Ort Beit Haarva. This vocational school in Jerusalem trains students from low-income families.

“For most of our students, the lunch they receive is the only hot meal they eat that day,” said Ilanit, the school’s social services coordinator. “Their parents aren’t able to provide for them … and that’s why it’s so important for them to receive it here at school.”

Odelle, one of the students, said she is encouraged knowing a meal is waiting for her. “I’m able to focus better on my studies because food is something that nourishes you and helps you keep going,” she said.

Thanks to kindhearted donors, other meals are distributed to a soup kitchen, a high school, and a home for the elderly.

Your gifts to CBN Israel can give hope and aid to so many in need who feel alone. You can offer them food, housing, financial help, and more.

Please consider a special gift today to bless those in need throughout the Holy Land!


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Shavuot (Pentecost): The Festival of Weeks

By Julie Stahl

God commanded the Jewish people to come up to Jerusalem three times a year. One of those occasions is for Shavuot.

“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed” (Deuteronomy 16:16).

And in Exodus 34:22 we read, “You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.”

The New Testament records that Jews were gathered in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost.

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

What’s the connection between God giving the Law to Moses and pouring out His Holy Spirit? Both are celebrated on the biblical Feast of Weeks or Shavuot, known in the New Testament as Pentecost. 

This year, the two holidays are celebrated a month apart. About seven times every 19 years, a second lunar month of Adar is added to the Jewish calendar to keep the year more or less in sync with the solar calendar—much the same way a day is added to February every four years. That’s why this year, Pentecost was in May and Shavuot is in June.

Fifty days (about seven weeks) after Passover, the Jewish people celebrate Shavuot (“weeks” in Hebrew), also known as the Feast or Festival of Weeks. In the same way, Christians celebrate Pentecost (“50 days” in Greek).

Many Jewish people stay up all night on Shavuot to study the Scriptures. Before dawn, those in Jerusalem head to the Western Wall on foot where they pray and bless God. The Ten Commandments are read, and in many communities, the book of Ruth is also read.

According to Jewish tradition, it was on Shavuot that God called Moses up to Mount Sinai and gave him the Law—the two tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written, as well as the entire Torah.

“There are so many beautiful parallels that take place for Shavuot,” said Boaz Michael, founder of First Fruits of Zion. “Imagine Mount Sinai with the mountains above it, the covenant given to the people of Israel. This reminds us of a chuppah (canopy) over a bride and a groom. It tells us that God is making a covenant with His bride, Israel. There’s a marriage that takes place.”

Michael told CBN News: “Shavuot is a celebration of the giving of the commandments, but more than that—we’ve been redeemed from Egypt. We’ve wandered through the wilderness. We’ve come to Mount Sinai, and we enter into an intimate relationship with God through the giving of His commandments and then the covenant that He gives to us, the Torah, at Mount Sinai.”

He further explained, “That links us to Acts 1:8, where tells His disciples to take His message to Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to all the ends of the earth.”

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel full-time for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN—first as a graduate student in Journalism at Regent University; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. She is also an integral part of CBN News’ award-winning show, Jerusalem Dateline, a weekly news program providing a biblical and prophetic perspective to what is happening in Israel and the Middle East.

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Weekly Devotional: Gleanings

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 23:22 NKJV).

Farming in the ancient world was incredibly difficult. A farmer had to plow his field—most often with oxen—then sow the seed into the broken-up earth. He then prayed for rain, because if the rains didn’t come within about a week, the seed he had sowed would be useless and would not produce a crop. After the rains he waited, letting his crop grow.

Then came the time to harvest. Having toiled in his field under the scorching sun, sowing seed in the hope of a growing crop, he received the reward for his hard labor, prayers, and patience. And then he was told to leave the edges of his fields unharvested and not to pick up whatever fell during the harvest. These—the edges of his field and the gleanings—belonged to the poor and foreigners. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

The field belonged to him, and so did its crops. Yet God required that Israelite farmers leave the edges and the gleanings for the poor and foreigners.

We know that ancient Israelite farmers did exactly as God commanded. The story of Ruth and Naomi demonstrates this. Naomi instructed Ruth to gather the gleanings, which she was permitted to do and did.

Biblical spirituality assumes that we care about the well-being of those around us. One of the fascinating things about the law God gave Israel was that in very practical, everyday activities, God called upon the Israelites to demonstrate their obedience to Him.

He concludes the law of the gleanings with the statement: “I am the Lord your God.” You mean we demonstrate God’s lordship in how we care for the poor and the foreigner in our midst? Yes!

We show our relationship to God in how we treat others, especially those who are less fortunate and are outcast within our society. God blessed the work of the farmer by sending rain in its season so the crops would grow. In response, the farmer left portions of his field and harvest to those who had no claim to it.  

Do we look at those in our culture who have no claim to what is ours and say, “God has blessed me, so what I have I share with you?” We proclaim God’s lordship in our generosity to others, especially the poor and foreigners.


Father, today I choose to follow, obey, and pursue You, the source of all life. Please bring the freshness and newness of Your life-giving water into the dry places of my heart for Your glory. Amen.

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Who’s the Next Target of the Islamic Regime?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The world’s only Jewish state is fighting for survival against an Islamic Regime that is also targeting the United States of America. Our citizenry and government would do well to remain vigilant—not only among Bible believers on behalf of Israel and its existential war—but because Israel is the USA’s irreplaceable intelligence partner. In casting a wide net across the globe, the Regime has quietly established formidable operations in the Western Hemisphere—notably, in Latin America.

Seven years ago, I wrote about a Cuban threat to the U.S. as one of the Islamic Regime’s goals: to establish a “Little Iran” 90 miles from Florida. In my high school in 1962, we practiced ducking under our desks during the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Soviet Union threatened our country. Although Cuba and Iran have cooperated with us on various levels since 1960, when the Shia Islamic Regime took over Iran in 1979 it energized its cooperative agreements in opposition to the United States, which it called the “Great Satan.”

Prior to his death last month in a helicopter crash, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, made a point a year ago—June 2023—to visit not only Cuba but also Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Each of those nations is run by an authoritarian leader. A 2023 report from the Interamerican Institute for Democracy reveals that “the dictatorial consortium in the Americas is led by Cuba and includes Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.” Raisi chose well—and the results of his tour paint a worrisome picture. (Incidentally, China and Russia are also active in our hemisphere, with Iran 7,000 miles away in a 15-hour flight.)

Bolivia, no longer in a diplomatic relationship with Israel, has requested Iranian drones and welcomed more than 700 military members from Iran’s Quds Force. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro wants to increase flights between Iran and Venezuela and has signed 25 agreements, including oil, petrochemicals, and other trade efforts they anticipate increasing from $3 billion to $20 billion in the years ahead.

The Nicaraguan/Iran ties have not been as high volume. However, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada attended Iran’s International Conference on Palestine in December 2023, attended by political and religious heavyweights, as well as media figures and scholars from over 50 countries. President Raisi spoke, accusing the U.S. of being the “first and biggest violator of democracy in the world,” which of course is the Islamic Regime’s own goal. The colossal lies of the world’s largest terror-sponsoring country are uttered by a regime that has not one ounce of compassion for Gazans. Instead, it is fully supportive of its Middle Eastern proxies—the terror trio of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

Raisi appeared on Telesur, a Venezuelan TV channel, which outlined his perspective. “In the past, Latin America was considered to be the backyard of the Americans, but over time, each of the Latin American countries regained their independence.” Proud of the 1979 regime’s rule, Raisi claims that “harmony” has increased between people in Iran and Latin America “who have the same spirit and follow the same ideals.” His statement is like a red flag of warning for the United States.

In this historic era where personal and world events seem overwhelming, as believers we must proactively stand on the rock of our faith, the birthplace of Christianity. Psalm 46:1-3 assures us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

This brings me to our southern border chaos. The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security released transcribed interviews with border patrol testimony from December 2023. One of the most concerning facts revealed by Committee Chair Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), is the following: “The number of individuals apprehended illegally crossing the Southwest border and found to be on the terrorist watchlist has increased 2,500 percent from Fiscal Years 2017-2020 to Fiscal Year 2023. And those are only who we’ve caught.” Under Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection sources report that over 1.7 million illegals are known gotaways—a number that could possibly be 20 percent higher.

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments about Homeland Security Committee’s annual worldwide threats provide added evidence about our enemies’ s infiltration through our Southwest border. When asked if the FBI can guarantee that known or suspected terrorists, including any from Hamas or other tour groups, are not amongst the reported gotaways, Wray responded, “The group of people that you’re talking about are a source of great concern for us. That’s why we are aggressively using all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces.” He also indicated that the threats coming from the other side of the border are affecting every state.

Like the people of Iran—once a vibrant nation and friend of Israel before the Islamic Regime took over—Venezuela’s people under two dictatorships have endured terrible economic conditions that forced its innocent citizens to flee to neighboring countries and to the U.S. However, it is impossible to determine who among Venezuelans are covert Iranian Regime operatives. In September 2023, Venezuelans comprised the largest number of illegals—54,833 crossing the U.S. southern border, outpacing Mexicans. The totals since 2014, under Venezuela’s dictatorships, represent the largest displacement ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

More alarming, the Federation for American Immigration Reform reports that “Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, designated as a terrorist group by the U.S., has a network operating in 11 different states.”

On her recent trip to Israel Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reminded us: “Iran has said the easiest way to get into America is through the southern border.”

Amid paragraph after paragraph filled with darkness, we must meet the realities of evil with prayers and actions to shed God’s Light by helping each other standing on the Bible’s certainties. Our CBN Israel team invites you to join us this week remembering Psalm 119:105 NIV—“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for U.S. citizens who live along the southern border and encounter many traumas.
  • Pray for the U.S. Border Patrol and its ability to freely enforce our border laws.
  • Pray for the U.S. government to utilize every available resource to root out known or suspected terrorists who have gained legal or illegal entry into the country.
  • Pray for Israel’s leaders facing global pressures to abandon total victory over Hamas.

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

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Yom Yerushalayim: Israel’s Jerusalem Day

By Julie Stahl

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7 NKJV).

For centuries, the Jewish people had been in exile. For a generation, they had been without access to their ancestral city. Yet for six unforgettable days in early June 1967, surrounded by enemies, Israel stood alone and changed history forever.

By 1967, Israel had already fought two major wars, and in May of that year, Arab nations joined together with a stated goal to wipe Israel off the map. Less than 20 years after the birth of the modern Jewish nation, Israel was on the verge of extinction.

Israel, along with Jewish people around the world, thought they were facing another Holocaust. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, they had turned parks into potential graveyards and dug mass graves. But God had other plans.

After only six days (June 5-10, 1967), Israel had tripled in size—beating the combined armies of Syria, Egypt, and Jordan to win the Golan Heights, the Sinai Desert, and biblical Judea and Samaria. Perhaps the pinnacle of their success was reuniting the city of Jerusalem under Israeli-Jewish sovereignty for the first time in nearly 2,000 years.

It was on the third day of the war that Moshe Kempenski, an Orthodox Jewish author and Jerusalem shop owner, said he realized that he wasn’t just reading and studying the Bible, but he had actually experienced the fulfillment of prophecy. A Canadian teenager at the time, Kempenski said he knew on that day he would one day become a Jerusalemite.

“When I fully began to realize the significance of being here and my child playing in a Jerusalem park 30 years later, I recall wondering if my son, Yoni, was one of the children that Zechariah saw in his vision,” says Kempenski.

Kempenski is referencing the passage in Zechariah where God promises, “Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play” (Zechariah 8:4-5 NLT).

During all those years of exile, the Jewish people always ended their holiday prayers with “Next Year in Jerusalem!” The Holy City, though far away and unattainable to most for all those years, was still in their hearts and minds.

So, when Commander Motta Gur uttered those famous words, “the Temple Mount is in our hands” (Har HaBayit B’Yadeinu), Jewish people around the world knew something miraculous had happened.

But despite Israel’s clear win in a war it hadn’t asked for, the international community never recognized Israeli sovereignty over united Jerusalem. After the war, Israel returned religious authority over the beloved Temple Mount to Jordan, who still manages it.

To this day, only Muslims are permitted to pray on the site where two Jewish Temples once stood in biblical times.

In 1980, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed the Jerusalem Law, which stated that all of Jerusalem (including the eastern part) was Israel’s united capital. Thirteen countries removed their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem after the UN passed a resolution declaring Israel’s law null and void. (Costa Rica and El Salvador moved their embassies back to Jerusalem in 1984 and then returned to Tel Aviv in 2006.)

In December 2017, in a historic move, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and on May 14, 2018—70 years after U.S. President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel—Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Guatemala moved its Embassy to Jerusalem shortly thereafter.

Jerusalem Day is celebrated in the city with a giant parade of Israeli flags that winds through downtown Jerusalem and ends at the Western Wall.

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel full-time for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN—first as a graduate student in Journalism at Regent University; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. She is also an integral part of CBN News’ award-winning show, Jerusalem Dateline, a weekly news program providing a biblical and prophetic perspective to what is happening in Israel and the Middle East.

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Victim of Terrorism: Marina’s Story

Marina found herself nearly paralyzed by fear. She and her son lived in Ashkelon, Israel, just 14 miles from the border with Gaza, when terrorists infiltrated their community on October 7.

In her 45 years, Marina had never experienced that level of trauma—the constant trembling and being sick to her stomach. “You don’t understand what’s happening to you,” she said. “I was drowning emotionally.” Feeling she had nowhere to turn, she cried out in desperation, “God, please help me!”

Then friends like you helped answer her prayer through CBN Israel! Caring donors evacuated Marina and her son to safety at a hotel in Eilat, far from the war zone. They provided nutritious meals, clothing, essentials, and trauma counseling for her and other evacuees—giving them the much-needed assurance that they are not alone.

Marina was effusive in expressing her gratitude. “God works through people, and those people were sent to me.” She continued, “To everyone who helped me and my son—and vulnerable people like us—thank you so much for your kindness, your support, and your help. … You took those people by the hand and guided us to safety.”

And your gifts to CBN Israel can bring hope and healing to others who are hurting—including Holocaust survivors, single mothers, and refugees.

As the war rages on, your generous support can provide groceries, housing, financial aid, and essentials to those struggling to survive in the Holy Land—while broadcasting in-depth news reports from Jerusalem.

Please join us in blessing Israel’s people at this crucial time!


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Biblical Israel: Shrine of the Book

By Marc Turnage

The discovery at Qumran of the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 required a suitable place to house them. The American Jewish architects Armand Bartos and Frederic Kiesler were tasked with designing a home for the scrolls at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. On April 20, 1965, the Shrine of the Book was dedicated. 

This landmark of modern architecture incorporated elements of the story of the scrolls as well as the community responsible for them to create a special building that symbolized a sanctuary. The architecture of the building seeks to convey the spiritual meanings of light and darkness and rebirth. The Shrine of the Book sits on the campus of the Israel Museum, which is next to Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, key government offices, and the Jewish National Library at the Hebrew University’s Giv’at Ram campus. Its location among institutions of government, history, art, and learning, give it a national importance. Moreover, it acknowledges the Bible and ancient Judaism and their importance to the State of Israel. 

The buildings architecture incorporates several features that seek to tell the story of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The unique white dome of the Shrine of the Book embodies the lid of the jars in which the first scrolls were found. Opposite the whited dome, under which is housed the Dead Sea Scrolls, stands a black wall. The contrast, white and black, symbolize light and darkness two themes that play prominently within the sectarian scrolls of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

One must walk through the black wall to make your way to where the scrolls are housed under the white dome, passing through a tunnel that looks like a cave, but also symbolizes a birthing canal. The idea being that one passes from darkness to light in an act of rebirth. Cases line the walls of this tunnel with scroll fragments and other artifacts discovered at the site of Qumran, which sits on the northwest corner of the Dead Sea. This display seeks to convey daily life at Qumran. 

Passing through the tunnel, one enters underneath the white dome. At the center of the hall, in a case built to represent the handle of the rod used for rolling and unrolling a Torah scroll while one reads, sits a facsimile of the Isaiah Scroll. This scroll, found in Cave 1 at Qumran, contains the complete book of Isaiah. The manuscript of this scroll was written around 100 B.C. In cases around the room are portions of actual Dead Sea Scrolls, the Community Rule, Thanksgiving Hymns, Habakkuk Commentary, and Isaiah from Cave 1, and the Temple Scroll from Cave 11. 

Below the display of the Isaiah Scroll is a lower level that houses a display of the Aleppo Codex. The Aleppo Codex was originally written in Tiberias, Israel in the 10th century A.D. The Aleppo Codex is the Old Testament-Hebrew Bible in book form. Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it provided the earliest Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Its text contains traditions of pronunciation, spelling, punctuation, and cantillation handed down within the Jewish community and formalized in the codex by scholars known as “Masoretes.” The Aleppo Codex traveled from Tiberias to Egypt, and then later to Aleppo, Syria. It was smuggled into Israel in the 1950s. 

The Dead Sea Scrolls provide the single most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century. They offer an unparalleled window into the world of ancient Judaism, as well as the history and transmission of the Hebrew Bible-Old Testament.

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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Weekly Devotional: Slow to Anger in a World of Tempers

“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29 NRSV).

We live in a world full of tempers. On our streets, in our homes, and on our social media, people tend to express their temper often and loudly. Anger seems to simmer under the surface of our society, and it’s destructive.

The admonition of Proverbs has a timeless relevance: “A hasty temper exalts folly,” yet the one who is slow to anger shows understanding. Proverbs does not say, don’t have a temper or don’t ever get angry. Rather, it instructs us not to have a hasty temper.

As humans, we get angry. God even gets angry in the Bible. We have tempers. Our response in the moment of emotion causes us to move from understanding to folly.

Paul notes in Galatians that self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit (5:23). One who is slow to anger controls him or herself. Such a person stands out increasingly in the volatile and emotionally driven world in which we live.

Emotions tend to focus us on the passion of the moment; but self-control takes a long-term view of a situation. Our freedom of expression, especially in moments of anger, rarely brings about anything constructive. In fact, it often causes more harm than good.

But when we exercise self-control and are slow to anger, we find opportunity to build instead of tear down; we display understanding and wisdom instead of foolishness.

And, ultimately, we show that God’s Spirit works in us, by the fruit our lives produce. In other words, we testify to God before a watching world.

A world full of tempers cares little for our Gospel proclamations when we show our tempers just as hasty and volatile as its own. A person with great understanding is a rare commodity in our world, and such a one enables people to glimpse God.


Father, may Your Spirit bear fruit in my life, enabling me to exercise self-control at being slow to anger. Amen.

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Helping the Poor in a City Still Under Rocket Fire

By Nicole Jansezian

Though routine has returned to some cities and communities in Israel, residents of other cities such as Ashkelon are living in a warped sense of reality where rockets are still launched in their direction and the sounds of war in Gaza pulsate through the city on a daily basis.

“The city is far from experiencing any sense of normalcy. Seven months into the war, they are still the target of unrelenting rocket attacks from Gaza,” said Alice Mizrahi, head of CBN Israel’s Victims of Terror department. “Plus, they hear all the bombings in Gaza as well.” 

More than 1,000 rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon on and immediately following October 7, with over 180 direct hits.

The city was partially evacuated after October 7, but since then, most residents who initially fled have returned despite the ongoing threats. The seaside city is a few miles north of the Gaza Strip and was the most fired upon place in Israel on and since October 7.

“In Sderot (which had traditionally been the most attacked city in the south and is closer to Gaza), they added bomb shelters, but the people in Ashkelon are living without them so people had nowhere to go but to hide in their stairwell and pray for a miracle,” explained Alice.

Of its approximately 130,000 residents, many are immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, and many are elderly who are living in poverty and struggling with food insecurity.

That’s why CBN Israel linked arms with local partners to help make sure families could put food on the table during this difficult and uncertain time. CBN Israel and its ministry partners delivered food packages and grocery vouchers to hundreds of families who live below the poverty line. 

“These vulnerable and needy families in Ashkelon are incredibly grateful for the kindness and support from CBN Israel donors. Thanks to caring friends like you, they have nutritious food to feed their children and families,” Alice said.

Please continue to pray for the nation and people of Israel during this challenging time of war. Let’s pray for an end to the conflict, for the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza, and for the opportunity to rebuild the cities and communities devastated by the October 7 attacks.

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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