This past Summer we said goodbye to Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Boaz Modai and Deputy Ambassador Nurit Modai. Irish Christian Friends of Israel, ICEJ Irish Branch, Lydia Prayer Movement and various churches organised a farewell dinner for them in Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin in July 2015. It was a wonderful evening with 180 people attending. We wanted to say a warm thank you to the Ambassadors for their friendship and encouragement to all of us who love and stand with the Jewish people and their nation. We acknowledged how they have always acted graciously when defending Israel in Ireland throughout their tenure, despite the often hostile reaction. We voiced our appreciation to them for their good grace in visiting Christian groups and churches and rightfully challenging Christians to stand up for truth concerning Israel.
A love offering was taken at the dinner and €1,090 was donated for the Magen David Adom. The MDA provided up to date statistics on the 3 ambulances which the Irish Christian and Jewish communities
funded in 2007. One, based in Rosh Pinah, carried out 7,600 calls to date. Another, based in Shilo, carried out 3,947 calls and the third, based in Tzfat, has made 6,336 calls to date. Each ambulance bears on its side the inscription: “Presented to the People of Israel by the Jewish Communities of Dublin, Belfast and Cork and Irish Christian Friends of Israel.” It was great to see that our 3 Irish funded ambulances are still making a difference in Israel today.
As people who take the Bible seriously we believe that the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has brought the Jewish people back to their land from almost 100 nations in fulfilment of His promises repeated again and again in Scripture, when He made a covenant with Abraham to give “the whole land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8). God repeated this firm promise to Isaac and Jacob.
In the New Testament Rabbi Yeshua prophesied in the book of Luke chapter 21 that the Temple would be destroyed and the Jews dispersed to the nations until a certain time in history – but that Jerusalem one day would co
me back under Jewish control. We saw this promise fulfilled in June 1967 and our prayer is that it will remain so.
The Christian churches in Ireland need to see what God’s Holy Spirit is doing on the earth today. They need to rediscover the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, that Rabbi Yeshua was and is Jewish and that the Bible is a Jewish book. We believe that G-d wants to heal the original schism in the Church, which was between Israel and the gentiles.
I believe that it was prayer and action that made a way for an Israeli Embassy in Ireland in 1996. ICFI campaigned for such an Embassy through the 1980s. A Petition, signed by some 2,000 Christians, was presented in May 1993 to the then Foreign Affairs Minister. So it was a special and proud moment when some 3 years later a group of us stood in the Embassy grounds in Ballsbridge in Jan 1996 with the first Israeli Ambassador to Ireland – Zvi Gabai – and the Israeli flag was officially raised for the first time to the singing of Hatikvah.
These days there is a growing segment in all the Irish Churches, who stand with Israel, who pray, visit and yearn to visit the Land and build friendships with the Jewish people. The Ambassador and Deputy Ambassador have helped to increase this movement within the Churches during their 5 years here.
There have also been other ICFI events in the past year. In Sept 2014 ICFI held a joyful celebration of the Jewish Feast of Succoth in Dun Laoghaire with both Jewish and Christian speakers. In December 2014, a Jewish man from Jerusalem visited and spoke about the Jewish roots of the Christian Faith at church meetings in both North and South of Ireland. He also spoke to seminarians in Maynooth College and met with Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson and Catholic Bishop John McAreavy.
I had the great privilege of participating in a joint Jewish/Christian prayer conference in January on the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. 130 Gentile Christians from 10 European countries took part along with 20 Jews from Israel. There was much repentance and tears and also prayers of thanksgiving for the Jewish State of Israel which came about soon after.
A big highlight for me was being invited to say the Kaddish prayer on behalf of a Jewish friend in Dublin whose relatives had perished in Auschwitz. As I was alone in the gas chamber I was able to sing this beautiful prayer.
It is our prayer that more Christians in Ireland will understand that the nation of Israel is not a political accident of 20th century post war politics but is the fulfilment of some 120 promises in the Scriptures*, that one day G-d would ingather the Jewish people from all the nations to their land – Eretz Israel, to the glory and honour of His great name.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: it is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name… For I will take you out of the nations… and bring you back into your own land. … And I will put my Spirit in you…Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors.” Ezekiel 36:22 – 28
* If you would like a free ICFI booklet containing the 120 promises, please email firstname.lastname@example.org