This article was first published on the Shavei Tzion website here April 15th 2018.
The week of Passover has come and gone. We gathered in our homes to celebrate and commemorate God's victory over our enemies. The Bible commands us to remove all yeast from our homes and lives. For one week we are to live the way our ancestors lived when God released them from the bondage of Egypt (Exodus 12). He brought the people out of Egypt quickly, with no time to prepare or even let the dough and yeast rise. The sacrificial lamb that spared the lives of the first-born children is symbolic of Yeshua (Jesus) sacrificing Himself for us to be spared in the judgement and to receive eternal life with him.
Here at Shavei Tzion, the weeks before Passover were full of assisting others to prepare for the holiday. It was a blessing to be able to make these people's holiday a little sweeter and easier.
Netzer Hagalil (Branch of the Galilee), our Nazareth congregation, reached out to local Holocaust survivors, providing them with food baskets for the Passover holiday. Here at Shavei Tzion (Return to Zion) we provided those same baskets to new immigrants as well.
During Passover schools are closed for vacation. Since many parents were still at work regardless of the school holiday, we put together a three-day camp with the help of our music school, Keshet Tslilim (Rainbow of Sounds). The music school, along with volunteers from our youth group, spent three days with 30 children - both from our congregation as well as children of new immigrants in the area. During these days the children participated in a variety of activities: art classes, media, theater, learning about Passover and times of worship.
On the last evening, the children had a talent show which they performed in front of their parents. The parents were so pleased and blessed by the evening and the camp, that they are already asking when the next camp will be held.
Israel is a melting pot of Jews who have immigrated here from all over the world. Each of them brings their own culture, but not all of them are familiar with the Jewish biblical holidays. So we invited around 40 new immigrants and children to a dinner about Passover. Some were immigrants we had assisted over the past week with food baskets and aid for the holiday. Others were regular immigrants that come weekly for various forms of assistance (such as translating documents between Hebrew and Russian, cultural enrichment or just to have someone to talk to).
During the dinner we taught them about Passover and its symbolic connections with the Messiah. They had many questions about Passover and about our faith as believers in Messiah.
As we wrapped up another blessed holiday we were also pleased to reopen our humanitarian supply warehouse, which provides clothing, blankets and other amenities for the needy in our area.
Passover Exodus Compared with Later Return to Israel ("aliya")
"'... the days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when it will no longer be said, "As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt," but it will be said, "As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them." For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors'" (Jeremiah 16:14-15).
The promise of the return of the Israelites to the Land of Israel is being fulfilled in our day. It is such a blessing to both witness this and also be a part of their restoration physically and spiritually.
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There have been comments to this article ...
4:27pm 10May18, Lynda Strutt: In Canada there us a brand of women's clothing called Aliya. I have several garments. Interesting it means 'return.'