“We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both firm and steady – a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain.”

Hebrews 6:19 TLV

As we prepare for Yom Kippur, the annual Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish year, we can focus on how repentance and forgiveness usher in a renewed relationship with God. That is our hope – and an anchor of the soul.

Yom Kippur is a time of fasting, Sabbath rest, repentance and prayer. Will you join me in continued prayer for Israel?

While we are still rejoicing about the historic peace agreements signed at the White House last week and hope and pray for more to come, Israel’s coronavirus cases are spiking and several hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.

I’ve included news stories below to provide you with more information. Thank you for continuing to stand with and pray for Israel and her people.

Israel surpasses U.S. in coronavirus cases per capita

According to Israeli TV station N12, Israel has surpassed the U.S. in coronavirus patients per capita. There were 20,562 per one million people infected with COVID-19 in Israel on September 21, compared to 20,475 per one million people in the U.S.

Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate put out a report on Monday stating that since early September, the rate of the spread of coronavirus is increasing by 5% daily, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The call for the three-week lockdown that began last Friday was influenced by the rapid increase in infection. According to i24 News, Israel led the global infection rate per capita in early September.

Coronavirus cases spiking in Israel, hospitals filling up

On Monday, as Israel hit a record high of 51,503 registered active COVID-19 infections, Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the military to prepare to set up a field hospital for coronavirus cases.

Hospitals across the country are overflowing. At least two major hospitals announced they will no longer accept COVID-19 cases due to overload. Four other major hospitals have topped 100% capacity in their coronavirus wards.

Many health experts don’t expect the current nationwide lockdown to flatten the curve, according to The Times of Israel.

Gantz also ordered the military to start plans for an exit strategy to the lockdown, including the possible need for further reinforcements by the police should the lockdown become more severe.

In addition, the Israel Defense Forces will send hundreds of additional soldiers to work as coronavirus contact tracers in the coming days.

Israel’s coronavirus czar orders hospitals to open new COVID-19 wards

“Our situation is very grave,” said Professor Ronni Gamzu, Israel’s appointed coronavirus project manager. Gamzu said he fears that at current rates, Israel will see some 600 deaths per month – 20 a day, according to The Times of Israel.

Citing that the number of serious cases could soon hit 800, he ordered hospitals to add new coronavirus wards and noted there would be some reduction in elective medical procedures. “We’re in an emergency,” Gamzu warned.

Lockdown largely respected over holiday weekend

Based on the evidence of the first two days of the lockdown, Gamzu said most Israelis were complying. The country’s roads were generally empty as Israel marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

However there were reports of police needing to disband some gatherings. This included hundreds of worshippers at a synagogue in Haifa on both Friday and Saturday.

Saudi Arabia could join nations normalizing ties with Israel

In an interview aired last Wednesday, Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, indicated that Saudi Arabia could normalize ties with Israel. This would follow the historic peace agreements signed by the foreign ministers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain at the White House last week.

But Cohen refused to comment on whether he had met with the rulers of the Arab kingdom. Cohen has been cited as a key figure in the U.S.-sponsored Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain. It’s been reported that in recent years Cohen has traveled to Gulf states on numerous secretive journeys to build closer clandestine ties with Arab nations, according to The Times of Israel.

Regional concerns over Iran’s “imperialist” aspirations played a key role in the Gulf nations’ decisions to break with decades of Arab policy not to recognize the Jewish State so long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, Cohen said.

“You must build a system of mutual trust between us and them… trust, that we are here for them and they are here for us, together against all these threats,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump have both said several more countries could be in line to establish open relations in the near future.

Russia says no Mideast peace without solving Palestinian problem

Two days after Israel’s historic peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain were signed, Russia’s foreign ministry released a statement noting this “progress.” But also saying it would be a “mistake” to think lasting peace in the Middle East could be secured without resolving the Israeli-Palestinan conflict, according to YNet News.

Moscow urged regional and global players to “ramp up coordinated efforts” to solve the issue. The foreign ministry said, “Russia is ready for such joint work,” including in the framework of the diplomatic Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators as well as in close coordination with the Arab League. The Quartet is made up of the United Nations, the U.S., the European Union and Russia.

On the day the peace agreements were signed, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said that peace in the Middle East could only be obtained by an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. But, as Believers, we know that the true answer to peace in the Middle East will only come through Jesus.

Consider a generous gift

Thank you for praying with us for Israel and the Jewish people. You can also show your support with a financial gift.

Your generous gift will meet urgent needs for the most vulnerable Jewish populations in Israel – who are suffering even more because of the pandemic. You’ll help come alongside elderly men and women, recent immigrants, widows, orphans and others who are struggling with even basic necessities.

Your support today will also be used to reach the “Lost Tribes of Israel” scattered around the world with humanitarian aid, clean water and medical, dental and eye care.

Meeting physical needs opens the door to share the love and hope of Yeshua (Jesus) with Jewish people, bringing spiritual healing to hurting hearts.

Your gift will also help engage the Church concerning Israel and the Jewish people through our publications, social media presence, the new A Jew and a Gentile Discuss podcast, leadership training and more.

Let us pray together

Please pray with me for:

  • Israeli citizens to hold to the lockdown regulations and for coronavirus cases to decrease

  • Hospitals in Israel to be able to provide treatment for all who need it
  • Additional Arab countries to seek peace with Israel, just as the UAE and Bahrain have done
  • Jewish people to recognize this Yom Kippur that Yeshua (Jesus) became our complete atonement

On Yom Kippur, beginning Sunday at sunset, may the love of Jesus surround you as you reflect on the fact that He became our complete atonement and He is our hope, the anchor for our soul.

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