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Exploring the Importance of Israel in the Bible

Exploring the Importance of Israel in the Bible
Visitors are seen at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, June 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

By Monday, 26 June 2017 03:38 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It is no secret that the Jewish State is constantly misrepresented by the mainstream media. As such, I am proud, excited, and grateful for this inaugural column to provide Newsmax readers with an "Inside Israel" perspective.

By way of introduction, my family moved to Israel six years ago from the United States. I was the rabbi of a synagogue in Columbus, Ohio, and loved the sense of fulfillment my position offered. In addition to pastoring families and offering religious guidance, I had taken over for my grandfather who served the same congregation for close to half a century. For me, the rabbinate wasn’t just a job, but a deeply personal calling.

Each day, I began my routine with a morning bible study where I went page by page through the Scriptures. After years of studying the Torah, a pattern jumped out at me, that for some reason, I had never noticed before: on nearly every page, the Bible speaks about the Land of Israel as the eternal homeland of the Jewish people.

I started underlining, flagging and highlighting all the references to Israel and even typed up all the verses into a spreadsheet. I discussed my "aha" moment with my wife, Abby, and we came to a life-changing conclusion. If we were dedicated to teaching others about the word of God, we would have to lead by example. So in 2011, we moved to Israel in order to raise our children in the land of our forefathers.

One of the verses I had come across was Deuteronomy 11:12, "It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year." After moving halfway across the world from our family, friends, and congregants, I started an email newsletter called "Israel365" to share a daily devotional message about the land with people back home. Friends started forwarding the email and many non-Jews began to subscribe, as well. Today, Israel365 goes out to nearly 300,000 subscribers, 365 days a year.

As an offshoot of Israel365, I hired more writers and editors and started "Breaking Israel News" to provide the "latest news from a biblical perspective," as our tagline states. Thanks to God and to the growing number of pro-Israel Evangelical Christians around the globe, in just a few years since we launched in 2013, Breaking Israel News has become one of Israel’s leading English news sites reaching millions of readers each month.

Additionally, we started an online academy called "Yeshiva for the Nations," so non-Jews can study Bible and other religious topics from scholars in Israel. We are also publishing our very own "The Israel Bible" which is the only Bible dedicated to honoring the Land, the People, and the God of Israel.

As a proudly Orthodox rabbi, I have assumed an unorthodox calling of teaching Christians about the Biblical significance of Israel. I’ve traded in a few hundred beloved Jewish congregants for thousands of digital Christian readers and have enjoyed developing many meaningful relationships with new friends, with whom I learned I had much in common.

It is no secret that Jewish-Christian relations have historically been plagued by hatred and persecution. Yet, I believe that one of the greatest miracles of the past century is the reversal of this cursed trend and the birth of a new spiritual alliance between Jews and Christians standing together on behalf of Israel.

Since I work closely with so many Christians around the world, I know that the news about Israel is usually not reported accurately. This column aims to play a small part in rectifying that situation. "Inside Israel" will provide a first-hand perspective on what life is really like in the Jewish State, and will offer an insider’s account of both the incredible privileges and the difficult challenges of living in the most spiritual but contested place on earth.

Shalom Newsmax readers and welcome to "Inside Israel."

Rabbi Weisz is the director of Israel365, which connects 2 million people to Israel every month. He founded the I365 newsletter, is publisher of Breaking Israel News, and editor of The Israel Bible. He lives with his family in Ramat Beit Shemesh. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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It is no secret that the Jewish State is constantly misrepresented by the mainstream media. As such, I am proud, excited, and grateful for this inaugural column to provide Newsmax readers with an "Inside Israel" perspective.
israel, bible, christianity
Monday, 26 June 2017 03:38 PM
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