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Early Roots of the Return to Zion: 12th to 19th Centuries: At the beginning of the second millennium, small groups of Jews began to return to the land of Israel. By the end of the 12th century many were immigrating.
    By the 15th century four major Jewish communities were established: Jerusalem, Safed, Gaza and Hebron and 1517 the Ottoman Turks defeated the country and opened it up for Jewish refugees to immigrate.
    Napoleon Bonaparte published a proclamation (1799) that “Rightful Heirs of Palestine . . . remain its master . . . against all comers”.
    In 1810 Jews were purchasing agricultural land and the land was flourishing under their work. In 1812, a devastating plague broke out in Safed, forcing many Jews to leave to Jerusalem, among them Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Shklov. The refugees succeeded in renewing the Ashkenazi presence in Jerusalem after nearly 100 years of banishment by the local Arabs.
    The first Hebrew printing press in 246 years opened in Safed 1797-1874 and the first book published was a prayer book followed by the Book of Leviticus. In 1834 the first Jewish farm in Israel in modern times was established. In 1837 an earthquake in Safed destroyed much and 5000 people were killed.

Three Palestinian Tunnels Destroyed by Israeli Military: Israel’s military has destroyed another three tunnels used by Palestinians loyal to Yasir Arafat to smuggle weapons, explosives and suicide bombers from Egypt – also smuggling in Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles in the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of Christians Take Part in Pro-Israel Jerusalem March: Residents and business owners alike stood in admiration of 4,000 Christian supporters of Israel attending their annual Feast of the Tabernacles march, interspersed with thousands of Israelis. The Christian Embassy executive director noted that “This year’s group of Christians are coming from all around the world to demonstrate their sincere love and concern for Israel”, bringing joy and encouragement to Jerusalem, a nation under fire.

Shofar Sounds In Saddam’s Palace: More than 100 Jewish members of the US Forces stationed in Iraq attended the High Holiday services at one of the palaces of Saddam Hussein in Bagdad, on Rosh Hashanah. As the echo of the shofar resounded off a 25 foot ceiling, as well as the marble, gold, and fancy chairs, it was rather magnificent, said the senior rabbinic chaplain. Many Jewish servicemen say they encounter all kinds of hostilities from Iraqis after revealing themselves as Jews who have put their lives on the line to free Iraq.

Ohio Prepares for Palestinian Conference: The national student conference of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement has been moved from New Jersey’s Rutgers University to Ohio State University in November, after Rutgers cancelled that conference when organizers missed a paperwork deadline.

Reviving Jewish Life in Germany? For nearly a thousand years Germany has been a graveyard for Ashkenazic Jews. When Hitler wiped out nearly all of Germany’s proud Jewish communities, it seemed at the end of WWII that Judaism in Deutschland had flickered out. In 2003 the “new” Germany is experiencing a revival but they are not the offspring of Holocaust survivors returning but a growing number of Russian Jewish immigrants. The “new” German Jews have no background in Judaism and little interest in immigrating to Israel. The German media plays up the “revival” of Jewish life to somehow erase its murderous past. According to reports from inside Germany and Jewish organizations, neo-Nazism is on the rise again not only in Germany, but across the entire European Union.

Israel To Buy Turkish Water: Israel has agreed to buy 530 million cubic feet of water each year from Turkey for the next 20 years. The two countries still have to decide how to transport the water. Negotiations on the deal have been underway for years.

Australian Synagogue Defaced: In Melbourne, Australia, for the third time, the Bentleigh Progressive Synagogue was defaced. The graffiti appeared on the second day of Rosh Hashanah holiday. The Synagogue has been a target for three years.

Commission Denies Papon Pension: The French government denied a government pension to Maurice Papon, who served as Cabinet minister in post war France, and was senior Vichy official in southern France during WWII. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity for his role in deporting 1,500 Jews to Auschwitz.


Signs in the Sun, Moon & Stars: The London Daily Telegraph reports that astronomers have worked out there are 70 thousand million million – or seven followed by 22 zeros – stars visible through telescopes. Without a telescope it is only possible to see about 5,000 stars from the darkest places of the earth and just 100 in the middle of a large city. By measuring the brightness of each galaxy they could estimate how many stars it contained. (Read Psalm 19:1-3 and Psalm 8:3,4).


Iran: One of the oldest in the Diaspora, the Jewish community in Iran dates back to the 6th century B.C.E. until the invasion of Arab Muslims in 642 C.E. which terminated the independence of Persia (Iran), and Islam was made the state religion. As Iran switched from religious to secular leaders and back again, the fate of Jews varied. In the late 19th century Jews were persecuted and whole communities were forced to convert or face imprisonment, and many emigrated to the land of Israel. The Islamic revolution (1979) forced tens of thousands more Jews to flee, leaving behind thousands of years of culture and vast amounts of property and wealth. The World Jewish Congress works to protect Jews left in Arab nations like Iran.


Anti-Semitism is Growing Around the World: Natan Sharansky, Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs in Jerusalem said, “Over the last few years, anti-Semitism has reached heights not seen since the Holocaust. Jews have been assaulted, cemeteries have been desecrated and synagogues have been torched.”

Israeli Scientists Develop Low-Calorie Watermelon: Israeli scientists at Hebrew University have developed a low-calorie watermelon with a lot less sugar. Average watermelon contains 54 calories (4 oz) and the new variety has 20% to 40% fewer calories. To create the diet melon researchers isolated the three types of sugars – sucrose, glucose and fructose, and developed one whose sugar content is mainly fructose. The natural wild melons growing in the Sinai Desert and North Africa are very bitter and they cultivated them to make them sweet.

Light Up a Camel? Israel is lighting up its camels to stop fatal collisions with vehicles by sticking phosphorescent strips on the bodies of the camels to serve as warning lights for drivers to prevent car crashes.

Israeli Welfare Payments Cut up to 30%: Welfare payments to the unemployed and low-income earners in Israel have been cut 30%. Factoring in child benefit cuts, single parents will lose more than a third of their National Insurance Institute (NII) benefits.

Miracle on the Mediterranean: Israel is a 4,000 year old nation that came back to life after 1900 years of occupation, all in fulfillment of biblical prophecy showing God is faithful to keep His Word. So, what positive and wonderful things do we know about the modern State of Israel?

  • Israel has the highest ration of university degrees to the population of the world.

  • Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin.

  • Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees ranking third in the industrial world after USA and Holland.

  • In 1991 during the Gulf War, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra played a concert wearing gas masks as scud missiles fired by Saddam Hussein fell on Tel Aviv.

  • Israel has developed a computerized system of medication thus removing human error. Every year in US hospitals 7000 die from treatment error.

  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola which has its largest development center in Israel.

  • Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

  • Israel’s Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.

Many, many more could be listed here. The information here was compiled by Robert Merlin.

Stress Syndrome in Israeli Children: 42% of Israeli children suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of terrorist attacks. Small children may suffer greater damage from terrorism when they become parents. School psychologists are employed one to every 2,000 children.

Philistine Ekron Yields Important Finds: Ekron (west of Jerusalem) was a city inhabited by the Philistines (the Sea Peoples) and was not conquered by the Israelites in the early stages, but was held by the Israelites in the time of Samuel (I Sam 7:14) but after the defeat of Goliath, the Philistines fled (I Sam 17:52). According to II Kings 1:2, there was a temple to Baal-Zebub there. There is now conclusive proof that the site called Tel Miqne is authentic. The Temple complex contains a large inscription dedicated to the goddess Ptgyh by Ikausu, son of Padi who are also mentioned in 7th century BC Assyrian sources as kings of Ekron.

Anti-Semitic Text Books in New York Schools: Text books used in New York City’s Islamic schools grades 3-6 contain passages concerning Jews and Christians which say Jews and Christians lead decadent and immoral lives that lying, alcohol, nudity, pre-marital sex, etc., etc. are accepted in their churches and synagogues. New York City has 15 private Islamic schools registered with the state, with 3,000 to 4,000 students enrolled.


 Gwen Hamlin continues as editor of this JPM. Bible Light headquarters and Chris Josephson have moved to (P O Box 1814) Mason City, Iowa 50402. Phone 641-845-2777. Terry Distin and his wife, Toni, continue to work with us from Ottawa, Kansas. Thanks for your prayers.


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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Psalm 122:6