Standing with Israel in the Wake of Pittsburgh
By JONATHAN FELDSTEIN

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Columnist Jonathan Feldstein

In the wake of the horrific anti-Semitic massacre in a Pittsburgh synagogue, I received numerous emails and messages from Christian friends (as well as seeing many more posted publicly) offering prayers, support, and solidarity with the Jewish people.  In most cases I know that the sentiments are meant for the Jewish people on the whole, but that I am a visible contact through which to extend support as an Israeli, and because of my years of serving as a bridge between Jews and Christians.

 

I also know that this outpouring of love and support for the Jewish people specifically from Christians is unique in this generation. Had these communication means existed 100, 200, or more years ago, similar massacres of Jews would not only have not garnered much sympathy from Christians, but would have more likely than not been supported by “the church.”

Despite the fact that it’s not uncommon to see overt unconditional love and support from Christians today, not only do I appreciate that, but I also don’t take that for granted.

One of the more public displays of this in which I have had the opportunity to participate is the Jerusalem March, a festive parade throughout the streets of Jerusalem. This annual event, as part of the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles, is the cornerstone of the pilgrimage of several thousand Christians from across the world to celebrate the biblical Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in Jerusalem and among Israelis. They bring unconditional love, endless smiles, fervent prayer, and support from the nations that’s affirming and invaluable.

I have attended the Jerusalem March and the Feast of Tabernacles for many years.  Its always something I look forward to.  The fact that along the route of the parade many thousand of Israelis gather to return smiles and share in the festivities, I am clearly not alone.

The tangible love and support are not lost on many Israelis, and appreciated beyond words.  It is one of the single largest tourist events annually, if not altogether.

It’s remarkable that thousands of people from places as far away as Fiji, Samoa, Brazil, Micronesia and other distant parts of the world, requiring a day or more of travel each way, save up and spend their hard-earned money to participate.  The total financial blessing to, and investment in, Israel of $18-20 million is the sum of thousands of people sharing their heart and opening their wallet for Israel. Through this, they provide abundant blessing to Israel. But as any Christian who has been to Israel knows, they are blessed in return many times over.

In addition to watching the parade, I have had the unique privilege of marching in the parade as well.  Dear friends from New Mexico invited me to walk with them a few years ago.  Other than an added special opportunity to be with my friends, I got to experience the walk throughout Jerusalem through the eyes of the participants.  To walk Jerusalem’s streets with thousands of others was life changing and eye opening. I didn’t get to see all the colors of the wardrobes of people from the nations, but I did get to see the smiles of the Israeli spectators cheering and waving through the entire route of the parade.

Having both perspectives rounds out the experience and has given me the vision of how important this standing with Israel is.

In the wake of Pittsburgh, many friends have asked, “what can I do for Israel?” First and foremost, I always tell people to pray for us.  Show solidarity in any way possible.  And come stand with us, literally.

Come visit.  That’s a must.  And, this year there’s a new way to stand (and run) with Israel, one that can even be free.  The timing and opportunity are perfect as participants don’t need to save for a year.

Watching, and being part of, several thousand people walking together through Jerusalem to stand with and celebrate Israel is truly awesome. Even more awesome is seeing tens of thousands doing the same.

For almost as long as the Jerusalem March has been going on, each year tens of thousands gather to run through the streets of Jerusalem in a full or half marathon, or 10K and 5K races.  35,000 participants in 2018 (along with tens of thousands of other spectators) make this annual pilgrimage, perhaps second only to the traditional gathering of an estimated 120,000 who participate in the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall.

While not the same spiritually as the three annual biblical pilgrimage festivals, certainly since the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem has not seen annual pilgrimages in this quantity.

Combining the religious pilgrimage of the Jerusalem March and the athletics and volume of the run, this year, Run for Zion is providing a unique opportunity especially for Christians to patriciate by running in the Land where Jesus walked.  Run for Zion provides a unique and practical way for Christians to show support and, literally, stand with Israel.

Other than a full travel package including hotel, touring, meals, registration in the race, special events and more, Run for Zion is also giving participants the opportunity to be part of blessing Israel by setting up a crowd funding page to recruit sponsors and people who, will be able to bless Israel long distance.

Enter To Win A Free Trip To Israel! Sign Up at http://www.RunForZionMarathon.com

Participants will support important needs such as: Aliyah – the prophetic ingathering of exiles, provide critical medical services, enhance security for Israeli communities near dangerous borders, embrace Holocaust survivors in the last years of their lives, nourish hungry Israeli families, care for Christians living among Arab communities throughout the Land, provide social welfare for young men and women who protect the people and the Land, invest in orphans and at risk children to ensure their bright future, and bless Jerusalem and its residents.

Uniquely, as God promises to bless those who bless Israel, the best part of the program is that Run for Zion is offering major subsidies in the form of tangible financial blessings that can reduce the cost to participate if not make the trip entirely FREE.  Additional incentives are being offered to ministries a that partner with Run for Zion to recruit their own team of runners.

After the Pittsburgh massacre, if you’re looking for a meaningful way to stand with Israel, in Israel, and don’t want to break the bank, Run for Zion has the formula.

If you’re not a runner, don’t worry.  Participants are invited to walk if they prefer, and some who just want to be part of the experience are joining to stand alongside Israel, literally, as well.

Whether you’re a runner or not, athletic or a couch potato, you can show your support by standing with Israel through Run for Zion.  Come, Run for Zion and bless Israel with every step.

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Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He writes a regular column for Standing With Israel at charismanews.com and other prominent Websites. He can be reached at firstpersonisrael@gmail.com. 

Jonathan FeldsteinStanding with Israel in the Wake of Pittsburgh
By JONATHAN FELDSTEIN

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