This week Rosh HaShana, happy 5771!

Rosh HaShana is a festival celebrating Jewish New Year and gives us 2 1/2 days off work, hooray!

I went to a Messianic congregation (a synagogue with Jews that believe in Jesus)  with some friends.  The service is in Hebrew, so I didn’t understand much as I know about 15-20 words but its nice to see the Shofar being blown and join in with the worship (well hum along at least 🙂 )  and chat to some of regular people there.

The next day, on the way out to town, I decided to do some fruit picking.  Grabbing some Pomegranates.  There is some in a row of trees between the two lanes of traffic in a main road near my house.   These ones in a outskirts of a car park near the Zion Hotel.

The fruits I got were nothing special, they were quite small and not that sweet.  There were some bigger, more red pomegranates on the other bushes but most of them were rotten.

I think all the pomegranates I see in the UK for sale in say, Tesco are all imported from from Israel and cost about 1.50 each.

Near the abandoned railway station there is a path that goes between roads, its marked up Bible Hill.

At the top of the hill looking back onto the abandoned station, there are some ruins of a house there.   There is a couple of houses, one of them as lots of junk outside including this wrecked car which looks like an early 1980s Alfa Romeo.  Strange place to find it, as I don’t think a working car could easily get up this steep hill.

I went to the Kotel with my friend Donald from Scotland as its his last day before he goes home.   We took a shortcut through the Damascus gate, as it then around 8pm, its incredibly quiet around the old city as it is both Jewish New Year and also the end of Muslim festival of Ramadan.  From the picture you can see the strings of lights here for Ramadan, not many places are open and its quiet.

The Kotel (Western Wall) is fairly busy as well there.

Lastly, this poster seen in the Arab quarter was quite interesting on the way home.   Issa is Arabic for Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew)  I think its quite common and doesn’t have much significance to most Arabs though.

Christians praying for Arabs during Ramadan

This week its Ramadan, an important fast for Moslems.   Looking out of my kitchen window I see across our big Arab neighbourhood, and there are animated Christmas style flashing lights in the distance, the house nearest to me has a bright blue star and crescent.

My friend Aaron sent me this, so I thought it deserves a mention in the blogosphere.

Greetings!

As most of you know, the Moslem feast of Ramadan began last night. During this month long festival, according to Wikipedia;

“Moslems refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn until sunset. Fasting is intended to teach Moslems about patience, humility, and spirituality. It is a time for Moslems to fast for the sake of Allah and to offer more prayer than usual.

During Ramadan, Moslems ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.

Moslems believe Ramadan to be the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.”

All well and good.

What this wikipedia article does not talk about and what I wouldn’t expect it to talk about is that this month is widely loathed by Moslems who see it as a tremendous hassle.

The rate of car accidents, work accidents, and other problems related to people fainting or having trouble staying awake skyrockets in the Moslem world during this month, especially in places where there is great heat, as there is this summer.

Ramadan is also a traditional time when terrorist activity against Israel, the US and other “infidel” countries increases, because traditionally it was a time when Moslems felt they would have great strength to attack their enemies and/or the enemies of Allah.

So we need to be praying for two things.

One, we need to be praying for the Moslems themselves, for their physical safety and well being during this time when they are observing a religious festival most of them don’t know the source of, and that God, who loves them and sent His Son to die for them, will have mercy on them and grace for their physical health and safety.

Two, we need to be praying that God will protect all us “infidels” from the terrorist intentions of those Moslems who take it upon themselves to show their devotion to Allah by attempting to slaughter Allah’s enemies (which is, by the Qu’ran’s own definition, anyone who is not a Moslem.)

But there is a third thing we should also be praying for, and that is this.

A little known fact about Ramadan is that during this time of fasting and (in many cases sincerely) seeking God, many Moslems come to faith in Jesus Christ. It happens every year, and it is a fast growing phenomenon. Often times it happens through them having a spontaneous vision of Jesus, or even in a dream.

So that’s something to be praying for as well, especially if you have Moslem neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.

Below is a link to a very interesting editorial in today’s Toronto Sun newspaper. It is written by a Moslem about the Palestinian Moslems, and is a very educational couple of pages. I encourage you all to read it and pass this link on to your friends.

http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/salim_mansur/2010/08/06/14944096.html

God Bless you all.