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Dear Partners and MISHPOCHAH,

     Please be blessed as you read the Taught Word from one of Our Visiting Partners, Jonathan Bernis, Jewish Voice Ministries International !

Taught Word by Visiting Jewish Partner

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.””

Psalm 31:24 NIV

Shalom, my friend.

In Psalm 31, King David proclaims, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Those words are a great encouragement to each one of us who call Jesus our Messiah – no matter what the latest news report says or what’s going on in our world.

A massive explosion shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut just two days ago, on August 4. This devastating explosion has taken the lives of a number of citizens in the port city. Our prayers are with their loved ones, the emergency response teams and all those who are helping with the recovery efforts.

On the coronavirus front, case numbers in this second wave of the pandemic seem to be going in the right direction. The Prime Minister also announced that Israel will soon have mass testing for the virus, which should improve treatment times and decrease transmission rates.

And there is good news and bad news concerning the relations between Israel and Hezbollah. Local leadership in Lebanon is calling for an end to Hezbollah’s hostility and for the Lebanese army to adopt a stance of peace in the region. Unfortunately, the violent behavior has not ceased and the Israeli Navy has reason to believe Hezbollah is preparing to attack oil rigs in an attempt to cripple Israel’s economy and military.

Here is more detailed information about these news events so you can know how best to pray for Israel and the Jewish people.

Big drop in new coronavirus cases, deaths and patients who are seriously ill in latest wave

Over the weekend, Israel’s Health Ministry recorded just 421 new COVID-19 cases. That’s the lowest daily tally in weeks. Most days last week registered around 2,000 new cases per day. Although the percentage of positive results out of all tests was similar to previous days, even slightly higher.

The ministry’s compiled statistics showed that adjusted by the number of those diagnosed, the number of seriously ill patients dropped by 45% between the two waves of the virus. The number of deaths dropped by 80%.

Health officials believe the decrease is due to several factors, including a higher percentage of asymptomatic cases, a caseload that trends younger, at-risk populations being better protected, and better knowledge of effective treatments for those with the virus.

The number of new coronavirus cases has shot up in recent weeks after the country managed the pandemic relatively well in March and April. Israel now has the fifth highest number of new infections per capita in the world, overtaking the U.S.

The Israeli government was set to impose new restrictions, including closing stores and reducing gatherings, in cities with high virus infection rates.

At the same time, discussion is happening regarding stores possibly opening this coming weekend, the airports by mid-August and schools on September 1, according to The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu shares with world leaders that Israel plans to mass test for coronavirus

During a conference call with world leaders last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared that Israel is testing as many as 30,000 people a day for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and that “we will still be able to increase the quantity.”

In addition to Netanyahu, leaders from Austria, Australia, Denmark, Greece and the Czech Republic took part in the call to discuss their responses to the novel coronavirus, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu also shared that Israel is working on an industrial-sized system that can mass test, as well as a new method for rapid detection and isolation.

Growing number of Lebanese leaders speak out against Hezbollah

Lebanon’s top church official, Beshara Al-Rai of the Maronite Church, joined a growing number of Lebanese leaders who think the main culprit behind the country’s declining economy is Hezbollah and its endless wars. This was reported by Al Arabiya English, a leading source of news from the Middle East for English-speaking audiences.

In a visit to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, the church leader called for restoring regional neutrality. This was the policy in place during what Lebanon considered its “golden years” between 1949 and 1969. Al-Rai also said national defense should be the job of the Lebanese Army alone.

A rapidly declining economy convinced Al-Rai, who had been on the fence, to join the increasing number of leaders calling for Hezbollah’s disarmament and Lebanese neutrality.

Top Israeli naval official warns that Hezbollah will try to attack Israel’s gas rigs

Outgoing commander of the Israel Navy’s Haifa base, Brig. Gen. Gil Aginsky warned that Hezbollah wants to attack Israel from the sea and is developing the capabilities to do so in the future.

In an interview with Israel Hayom newspaper, Aginsky talked about the tension on the northern border and the threats Hezbollah has been making. He said the Israeli Navy is prepared to confront the challenges, no matter how serious.

“The challenge we are grappling with is twofold – from the sea, and from under the sea. On the water, we know how to deal with any scenario, including some very complicated ones. When it comes to the underwater sphere, we are in the process of arming ourselves and dealing with a challenge that is unique to us,” Aginsky said.

“They [Hezbollah] intend to prevent us from being here, and if they can execute that intention from the sea, they will. Our job is to prevent that. We are holding onto the northern border fast and covering the entire zone,” Aginsky said.

Let us pray together

As we put our hope in the Lord, please pray with me for:

  • Wisdom for Israel’s government in battling the coronavirus – from bringing the number of cases down to the most effective restrictions while trying to open up the economy
  • The approval and advancement of effective new technologies to help fight the pandemic and save lives, including development of mass testing systems, effective treatments and a vaccine
  • Protection from terrorist groups like Hezbollah and others who seek to harm Israel and the Jewish people
  • The citizens of Beirut as they deal with the aftermath of the massive explosion in their city this week
  • Jewish people to seek their Messiah Jesus and put their hope in the Him

Thank you for your support!!

Thank you for being a faithful supporter of Jewish Voice and for your love for the Jewish people in Israel and around the world. I’m grateful for your partnership.

Let’s go forward with King David’s words from Psalm 31 filling our hearts and minds: “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

To the Jew first and also to the Nations,


Jonathan Bernis

Jewish Voice Ministries International

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