Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Watchmen Wednesday - Helping those in Need

This morning my dear husband reminded to write a check for someone in Israel whom we had decided to help. As I was preparing to write today's post, I felt that helping the needy of Israel is definitely a worthy subject, and would be perfect for Watchmen Wednesday. I know that many times "praying for the peace of Jerusalem" is touted as being the command of the Lord, and it is, but it also says that, "Faith without actions is dead."

Recently, I read through the book of Acts. The thing that continually jumped off the page was the fact that Shaul* (Paul) constantly talked about the congregations giving to help the poor in Jerusalem. In fact, in Acts 21:12-14 he tells his co-laborers that he is ready to die in Jerusalem. What was his purpose for such a journey? In Acts 24:17 Shaul tells Felix that his reason for coming to the city was to "bring [his] people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. " Also see Romans 15:26 and 1 Corinthians 16:3, et. al.
Altogether, it seems from these writings that Shaul instituted a giving for the poor in Jerusalem as something that every congregation needed to do. This was not a new idea, however. God instituted remembering the needing from the very beginning, in the Torah. Today, there are numerous reputable organizations, like this one and this one, to which you can donate money, clothing, and other supplies to go to the needy in Israel.

This is also a perfect time to talk about this as we near the festival of Purim (see the book of Esther). During this time, people send gift baskets to one another and gifts to the poor (see Esther 9:20-22, particularly). There is even an organization that will prepare your gift basket and deliver it to an Israeli soldier or a family in one of the recently attacked cities near Gaza.

During this time of continued strife in Israel, I think it important that we not forget our brothers in sisters who live in The Land. We must put "feet on our faith" and continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Sometimes I forget to do this because it's not always right in front of my face, but it's so important. I read a report that said that one in three children in Jerusalem go to bed hungry on any given night. So far I know of a few organizations that help, but I was wondering if you had any ideas of how we can help those in need in Israel? I have even thought about sending some of the products that I get for free at CVS to Israel. Do you have any ideas or comments about this? Anything we can do to help would be appreciated! Shalom!

*The man referred to as Paul in English, also had a Hebrew name "Shaul." He used these names interchangeably throughout his life, just as I also have an English name and a Hebrew name. I prefer to use his Hebrew name simply because I believe it refers more to who he was. This is not saying that to call him by his English name (or Greek name) would be wrong! Just my preference...
*The above picture was taken at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv last summer.


navon said...

Jennifer; Do you know of someone that I could help in Eretz Yisorel

wendymom said...

Wow, I'd like to donate goods to Israel-I'm sure some of our beauty and grooming/bath items would be appreciated. And thanks for the Purim basket idea-I'm thinking of a dear family with teen girls that would probably love Pantene and razors and the like. Thanks for getting the mind rollin'....

Rose said...

Rescue Israel/Ohel Avraham is a ministry we support. Their web site is, well it is what it is, but I know the man who started it, and he truly has a heart for HaShem's people. The executive director in Israel is Israeli and everyone who works with it in the land is living in the land. 360-923-0532

Operation Mobilization also has people in Israel. We've had the opportunity to meet a kind family there, Bill and Vered Rogers. I'm sure there are many more, or you can donate in general, but if you are interested in specific people... They have 2 little boys and another just on the way. Bill just recieved his citizenship and Vered is a native Israeli.