By Christine Darg
The Jewish people use an annual occasion to mourn the massive tragedies and assaults they have endured on the 9th of Av on the Hebrew calendar, often done in the name of Christian churches. This year a delegation of Christian leaders in Israel observed the solemn remembrance by a declaration of repentance in Israel’s parliament.
The leaders of Israel-related Christian ministries presented a document to the Israeli Knesset today that recorded repentance for the many catastrophes and atrocities that the Jewish people remember on the 9th of Av–atrocities that were too often perpetrated by elements from within Christendom.
This year the 9thof Av on the Gregorian calendar falls on July 22. The purpose of the initiative is for Christians to meditate on past grievances and to ask the Almighty to repair breaches. There is great power in repentance and reconciliation!
Yuli Edelstein, Speaker of the Knesset, received us in his chamber and said that as Christians we had chosen “the more difficult path”—the path of helping to bring about reconciliation between Jews and Christians.
The initiative of Christian repentance was spearheaded by Bob O’Dell, co-founder of Root Source, an organization that specializes in Hebrew Roots Bible studies, and was coordinated by Donna Jollay, Director of Christian Relations at Israel365.
Donna Jollay said today, “I am so incredibly humbled and blessed to be asked by Gidon Ariel and Bob O’Dell of Root Source to lead the small delegation of Christians to present the declaration of repentance to the Speaker of the Israeli government, for the numerous and continuous horrific acts that Christians have done to the Jewish people for the last 2,000 years – this is a huge act of confession and identificational repentance for our spiritual ancestors following God’s instruction in Leviticus 26:40-42 You can read about more this here: https://mailchi.mp/ccf46fdcaeff/comfortcomfortmypeople. Then next weekend we will join again with the Jewish people in one of their happiest times, Tu B’Av, to say the “Shema Yisrael” together with them which means “Hear O’Israel” from Deuteronomy 6 with Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries. Thanking HaShem/The LORD for all of this!”
In my remarks today to Mr. Edelstein representing the Jerusalem Channel, I said,
“The greatest scandal of our time is that many in the institutional churches are fighting and boycotting Israel, and they don’t understand that God favors the restoration of his people at this time.
“We are here to proclaim that the tide has turned, the holy remnant in the Church represented here today repents for the atrocities done to our elder brothers, and to our patriarchs in the faith.
“Mr. Speaker, I especially purpose to be in Israel every year at this time to watch the God of Israel fulfil Zechariah 8:19, which declares that the fasting day of Tisha B’Av [9th of Av] will turn from mourning, to gladness and joy.
“Furthermore, the prophet Zechariah said that God will be a wall of fire around Israel during these very difficult days, and that he will be your glory in the midst of Jerusalem. It is our privilege and honor to watch all of this come to pass and to pray it into being.”
Mr. Edelstein said, “I’m sure these prophecies will come to pass but in the meantime we don’t sit on our hands, we have a lot of work to do.”
This annual three-week period of pressure called in Judaism, the “Dire Straits” leading up to the 9thof Av, remembers the day of catastrophes in the history of Judaism, when both the Jewish Temples were destroyed, pogroms and the Holocaust began. Bob O’Dell said to Christians worldwide, “Don’t forget to spend time with THE LIST [of atrocities that occurred] on the 9th of Av, July 22.” If you wish to be part of this initiative and to receive the list of atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people within Christendom in the past, click below.
Among leaders in attendance today were Merv and Merla Watson, International Christian Embassy; Sharon Saunders, Christian Friends of Israel; Pastor David Decker, Covenant Alliances; Tommy Waller, HaYovel; and Christian broadcasters Martin and Nathalie Blackham.
“It was a wonderful and historic privilege for all of us who had the amazing joy and honor to be there,” said Pastor Decker. “May the Lord continue to pour out among us the soothing and healing balm of repentance and reconciliation!”
Devra Ariel, from the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, made this prophetic comment:
“I would like to add my humble appreciation for all of you and all your good works at bringing together Yaakov and Edom, as Rabbi Glick said. We truly live in inspiring and uplifting times and I am honored to play my part in it all, and blessed in knowing each and every one of you. As the verse in Psalms (84:8) says:יֵלְכוּ מֵחַיִל אֶל חָיִל יֵרָאֶה אֶל אֱלֹהִים בְּצִיּוֹן.They advance from strength to strength; each one will appear before G-d in Zion (Artscroll translation)”
“We the undersigned recognize the long and horrific history of antisemitic atrocities committed against Jews in the name of Christ. We repent for these actions, pray to God to continue turning the hearts of Christians to true love for His Chosen People, and submit this declaration to the representative of Israel and the Jewish People.”