Simchat Torah War – Operation Swords of Iron

 

Donate To War Relief Fund

We are co-laboring with other Messianic Israeli ministries in ongoing war relief efforts to provide housing and other essentials for refugees and evacuees, supplies to soldiers, meals and medical equipment, refurbishing of bomb shelters and much more. Click here to donate. Be sure to indicate “War Relief.”

 

Pray With Us

We are serving as a prayer hub for the Global Esther Fast for Israel. Join us for focused prayer on ZOOM on the first Shabbat of each Gregorian month. Write us at [email protected] for details.

How to pray for Israel during the Israel – Hamas War – November 19, 2023

Prayer Points

12 GENERAL PRAYER POINTS FOR THE SIMCHAT TORAH WAR

  1. God’s Victory and Glory. Pray that God’s purposes in this war be accomplished with the least amount of harm resulting in the greatest amount of good for His ultimate glory. (Psalms 83 and 33:10-12, Joshua 5:14)
  1.  Repentance/Comfort/Salvations. Pray that many Israelis, Gazans and others affected by the war would humbly turn to God and that the true face of Jesus would be revealed to them. (2 Peter 3:9, Psalms 27 and 23, Zechariah 12:10)
  1. Hamas – Iran. Pray that Hamas be neutralized in order to set Palestinians and Israelis free from its evil regime. Pray that God deal mightily with Iran, which controls both Hamas and Hezbollah, according to His will at this time. (Zechariah 9:5-7, Amos 1:6-8, Daniel 2:21, Jeremiah 49:34-35, 37-38, 51:20-24)
  1. Israeli Authorities. Pray for the gift of the fear of the Lord, wisdom, protection and direction for Israeli military and government leaders, especially the emergency war cabinet: PM Netanyahu, Mr. Gantz and Mr. Gallant. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, Proverbs 9:10-11, 21:1, Psalm 91)
  1. Jerusalem. Pray for the peace and protection of Jerusalem and all Israel. (Psalm 122 and 91)
  1. Hostages. Pray for the protection of, great grace upon, and safe return of hostages. (1 Samuel 30:11-19; Psalm 23, Zechariah 9:11-12)
  1. Soldiers. Pray for strength, protection and anointing on our soldiers, security officers, police and first responders, especially the many Messianic soldiers. (Psalm 18 and 91)
  1. Scope.Pray the scope of war be limited, by the power of the Blood of Yeshua, according to His sovereign will, not resulting in a world war out of God’s timing. Pray particularly for US involvement to be led of the Lord. (Daniel 2:21)
  1. Truth. Pray for the exposure of lies versus truth in global media and other venues. (Psalm 144:11)
  1. Demonic Influence. Pray the power of the Blood of Yeshua and Word of Truth over demonic influences of witchcraft, globalism and other supernaturally evil forces operating through Hamas. (Ephesians 6:12, Numbers 23:23, Zechariah 9:13)
  1. Israeli Ekklesia. Pray for strength, peace, protection, unity and anointing on Jewish and Arab Israeli followers of Yeshua to shine as lights, comforting and leading others to Messiah in His love. (Matthew 5:14-16, Revelation 12:11, John 17: 20-23, Psalm 91)
  1. Global Ekklesia. Pray for the global Body of Messiah to stand firm in the love and truth of God’s Word in support of Israel, with His heart for Palestinians and all others involved in the war. (Matthew 5:14-16, Revelation 12:11, Matthew 25:31-40)

 

Why is Israel at War?

Written years ago, Sandra’s books clearly explain why Israel is now at war. Most are available for free download here.

 

War Posts

Copies of our recent newsletters about the war

November 21, 2023 Your Time to Shine and GivingTuesday

Long ago, when the Jewish people returned to Israel after 70 years of exile, God spoke to them through the prophet Zechariah: “Whoever touches you,” He said, “touches the apple of My eye.” (2:8) The Hebrew word here for “touch” did not refer to a gentle or tender pat, but was used in Scripture to refer to a forceful or violent assault. In other words, those who would intentionally harm the Jewish people would, in effect, poke their finger into the center and most sensitive spot of God’s own eye.

What happens to an individual daring to stick his finger into the eye of Almighty God? History shows that person himself suffers a loss of vision. To the extent that person touches the apple of God’s eye, he himself will be spiritually blinded and deceived.

From biblical times to our day, history shows a little anti-Semitism can go a long way to blind an individual, society or nation to truth. This spiritual principle is one reason many people, especially many educated young adults, can no longer discern what is evil and wrong from that which is good and right. For decades, anti-Israel ideology has been strategically fostered on college campuses around the world, including America, to influence future global leaders.

To the extent an individual, society or nation succumbs to a satanic spirit of anti-Semitism, it inevitably invites upon itself, consciously or unconsciously, a spirit of anti-Christ. The two anti-God spiritual forces are inextricably connected.

Isaiah 60:2 speaks of a time toward the end of this age when darkness covers the earth. This anti-God darkness will be marked first by rampant and raging, global hatred of the Jewish people, then by rampant and raging, global hatred of the Jewish Messiah and those who follow Him.

But there is great hope.

In the preceding verse, Isaiah sees the glory of God graciously rising over His people. “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (verse 1) Friends, I believe we are now in just such a time — a time of genuine hope. I see a remnant within the Church rising up in the radiance of Yeshua, pushing back thick darkness in the love and power of the Spirit. That remnant includes many of you.

Many of you have been fasting and praying for Israel. You have reached out to Jewish communities, spoken boldly in your spheres of influence, donated to war relief funds, contacted political leaders, attended rallies in shows of support for Israel and more. Thank you!

What, on the other hand, happens to those who choose to stay silent at such a time as this? The little, one chapter book of Obadiah is packed with revelation addressing the issue. I encourage you to revisit it.

God says through Obadiah: “On the day you stood aloof on the day that strangers carried away [Israel’s] wealth and foreigners entered his gates … you were like one of them.” (verse 11) The Hebrew word translated “stood aloof” refers in this context to standing by, seeing what is happening and doing nothing to help. The point is this: Those who see the plight of the Jews and behave as mere bystanders are, from God’s perspective, not very different from those who actively perpetrate evil against the Jewish people. Quite sobering.

Friends, we encourage you to encourage believers you know to do more than watch the news, listen to absurd, anti-Israel lies propagated by mainstream and social media, and then merely stand by. Encourage other Christians you know to rise up and shine!

Again, we thank God for each of you who has demonstrated support for Israel. We hope this quick glance at Scripture helps equip you to share, in humble but bold love, with other believers who do not yet understand God’s covenant love and passion for His people.

In the past two weeks, your generous donations to our War Fund have helped evacuate Israeli civilians out of harm’s way and provide essential goods for them; supply essential military equipment for soldiers; and pay for emergency trauma counseling for affected families.

This Giving Tuesday, November 28, would you consider an extra donation to Light of Zion? We will dedicate 50 percent of all donations designated Giving Tuesday, now through November 28, to our War Fund, over and above what is designated exclusively to the War Fund.

Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends, and with deep thanksgiving for each of you around the world,

Sandra and Kerry Teplinsky


November 12, 2023

“Help us O God our Savior, for the glory of Your Name;

deliver us and forgive our sins for Your Name’s sake.” (Psalm 79:9)

Dear Friends and Warriors in the Spirit,

As I write and as you read, Israeli ground troops are penetrating deep into Gaza City, the heart of the terror nest of Hamas. Many of the 240-plus hostages are believed to be hidden in tunnels underneath Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the site of Hamas headquarters. Meanwhile, most of the heads of Hamas are safely tucked away in Qatar and other wealthy Arab states. They are multi-billionaires, enjoying untold sums of dollars of “humanitarian aid” donated to “innocent civilians” in Gaza by Western democracies. “O God, we look to, plead for, and stand in faith for the display of Your mercy, justice and righteous love!”

War Relief Fund: What you have done

This week your donations enabled us to purchase essential medical equipment and personal hygiene items (soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.) for hundreds of Israeli soldiers in the field. As you probably know by now, Israel never expected to have to call up so many of its troops all at once. The military, therefore, does not yet have on hand the supplies and equipment to meet all the soldiers’ basic needs at this time. We wholeheartedly thank you for helping.

Unprecedented Global Antisemitism: What you can do

A special multi-national Arab Summit was held last week in Saudi Arabia to try to resolve the Israel-Hamas war. Iran took the lead in concluding the only just solution to the conflict is a Palestinian state “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” This is traditional and not-so-secret code language for the obliteration of Israel as a Jewish state. Brazenly calling for genocide of the Jews, the slogan now echoes in cities and universities across the earth, including the US. Sadly, even some Christians — especially younger generations — now believe the antisemitic lies perpetrated by so-called progressives who are tightly aligned with those who sympathize with Hamas.

Never in history has the world raged against Israel and the Jews as it is now. For many years, some have said the only safe place for Jewish people is in Israel. We have consistently said the time is coming soon (and now is) where there is no safe place in the world for Jews. God Himself is our refuge and defense.

What can and should you do in the face of mounting Israel and Jew hatred? Our long time friend Dr. Michael L. Brown answers the question in this compelling but short read. It is often said that what starts with the Jews does not end with the Jews. In other words, with the spirit of murderous antisemitism unleashed internationally at hellish levels, the spirit of antichrist or anti-Christianity is soon to follow. Will God’s New and Old covenant people stand together to resist?

If you do not personally feel equipped to respond to mounting antisemitism, please read Sandra’s important and timely books, Why Still Care About Israel? and Israel’s Anointing. Both books, published originally by Baker Publishing Group, are freely downloadable on Light of Zion’s Books page. They contain information and inspiration essential for this hour of history.

Meanwhile, a large and peaceful rally in support of Israel is scheduled to take place this Tuesday, November 14, at the Washington DC Mall. It is hoped that at least a million Christians, Jews and others in support of Israel will attend. Many internationals are flying from abroad to participate. Security will be tight. It is not be too late for some of you who live in the area to plan to attend.

Scriptures to Pray and Proclaim This Week

Please see our Israel at War page for ongoing, key prayer points and scriptures concerning the Israel-Hamas war. In addition to the points and verses listed on that page, here are some specific matters this week for which we need your prayer cover, along with sample scriptures.

  1. Divine Intervention and Miracles. Pray that Israeli armed forces receive God-given strategies, protections and miracles as they attempt to rescue innocent civilian hostages and in the process, cripple Hamas. It should be noted that in a very real sense, Hamas has held the entire civilian population of Gaza hostage to its satanic reign of terror. “I will go before you…I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, that you may know I am the Lord.” (Isaiah 45:2-3)
  1. Empowerment, protection and glory to God. Pray Psalm 18 in its entirety. This is a very appropriate passage to proclaim in the Spirit over the armies of Israel. Pray that the many boobytraps Hamas has put in place to kill Israeli troops navigating the streets and underground tunnels will be ineffective or backfire. “Let your enemies fall into the pit they have dug. Let their feet be caught in the net they have hidden.” (from Psalm 9:15) “Free me from the trap that is set for me, for You are my refuge.” (Psalm 31:4)
  1. Covenant Fulfillment. Proclaim from Ezekiel 37:4-10 the covenant-based revival and empowerment of Israel’s armies by the Spirit of God.
  1. Freedom for Gaza. Prayerfully proclaim that “Gaza will lose her king,” referring not only to Hamas, but to any demonic principalities over that region. (Zechariah 9:5) Historically, Gaza has never had a righteous governance for any sustainable period of time. It was allotted to the tribe of Judah, which never fully conquered it. (Joshua 15:1-4,12; Judges 1:18-19) In modern times, Gaza fell from Egyptian rule to Israeli control in 1967. In 2005, due to international pressure for a Palestinian state, Israel gave the territory over to the Arabs occupying it. In return, Israel received a deadly barrage of rockets and missiles that continues to this day.
  1. Battle for Truth: Lies and distortions about Israel, Gaza and the Jewish people have flooded social and even some mainstream media. These lies and distortions, some of which are devilishly bizarre, negatively influence global leaders at all levels of human society. “May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, ‘We will triumph with our tongue; we own our lives—who is our master’? ‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the Lord. I will protect them from those who malign them’.” (Psalm 12:3-4, Nehemiah 6:8)
  1. Israeli Believers in Jesus. Prayerfully proclaim Psalm 27 in its entirety and John 17: 20-21 for unity.
  1. For Hostages. Prayerfully proclaim Psalms 23, 28 and 79:11-13 over the 240-plus hostages. It is worth taking a few minutes to look at the photos on this page of the faces of the known hostages. Many are defenseless babies, children or elderly seniors who never imagined they would be cruelly kidnapped, tortured and imprisoned long term. You can pray over each individual and then sign an attached petition for their release. Signing a petition may not seem highly impacting, but decent people in positions of influence who care about public opinion do take such things into account.

In Closing

As you so generously give to the War Relief fund, we ask you to kindly remember that we continue to rely on your financial support to remain in Israel. Rents are extremely high in Jerusalem, where we have been called to live and serve. Thank you for standing with us for Zion’s sake and the sake of our coming and beloved, Bridegroom-King Yeshua.

In His Shalom,

Sandra and Kerry Teplinsky


November 5, 2023

Dear Friends,

Once again we thank you for your ongoing prayers and support during this difficult time. With nearly every report of developments in the war, our hearts flood with emotion — including deep gratitude for you, our brothers and sisters in the nations, and for your many expressions of love.

We now have a web page with general information on the war, including prayer points, entitled “Israel at War.” You can access the page here. Among other things, it contains links to free downloads of Sandra’s books about Israel, all of which help answer the questions, “Why is Israel at war?” and “How should Christians respond?” Please forward this letter to other Christians who may be asking these questions, especially young people who do not know Israel’s history or who have not studied the Scriptures about Israel.

HOW YOU ARE PROVIDING WAR RELIEF

We are amazed at your generosity! Your donations have helped provide temporary hotel rooms for refugees, meals, groceries, clothes, blankets, a generator, refurbishment of a bomb shelter, medical aid and armored bulletproof vests as we pool resources with other Israeli ministries. You may donate to the War Relief Fund from our War Relief page above, or from our Donate page.

TOMORROW IS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR ISRAEL!

Two days ago a large group of Israeli rabbis and government leaders, along with Christian leaders in the nations, issued a formal call for an International Day of Prayer for Israel to take place tomorrow: Monday, November 6. The Light of Zion family gathered yesterday for an intense 2 hour prayer meeting on ZOOM and we are not able to host another call tomorrow. We do encourage you, however, to connect with at least one other believer and pray in agreement and solidarity for Israel tomorrow.

WHAT IS GOD DOING IN THE SIMCHAT TORAH WAR? 5 Purpose Points

God’s ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are not ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9) We may never understand everything He is doing in this war—or in this life. But we can discern from His Word at least 5 general principles that reflect His character, His prophetic promises and His dealings with humankind. These principles give us insight into some of what He is doing today in the Simchat Torah War. From that, we can see at least 5 general purpose points.

Bear in mind that God often uses Israel as a prophetic picture of what He is doing or about to do in the Church. So as you read, consider how these principles might apply today in your life, too. Prayer points follow.

  1. God is drawing Israel to Himself, humbling her in love and holiness. He is exposing sin and revealing the true face and heart of Yeshua for the forgiveness of sin. In the Israeli Body, He is purifying and preparing Jewish and Arab believers for a first fruits harvest. He is unifying us in love as one new humanity, a warrior bride.
  1. God is judging nations and people groups, beginning with Hamas. He wants to set Gazans free from the grip of Hamas so they might know and worship Him. In the process, He is exposing previously hidden evils and some of the deep, dark deceptions that have come on the earth.

Meanwhile, the Matthew 25 principle concerning the judgment of sheep and goats is unfolding. God wants us to align biblically with Israel in the face of rapidly and murderously escalating anti-Semitism. This does not mean we do not extend compassionate care to genuinely innocent Palestinians caught in the crosshairs of this tragic war. However, to be genuinely pro-Palestinian is in reality to be decidedly anti-Hamas.

  1. God is dealing with the stronghold of Islam, centered in Iran, the national sponsor of Hamas. Iran, like other nations, will not be totally transformed until after Jesus returns, as it will likely be an active aggressor in the apocalyptic war described in Ezekiel 38-39. We can not know for sure at this time if the Simchat Torah War will culminate in that war. Meanwhile, God wants to set multitudes of Muslims free from the devilish grip of Islam to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
  1. God wants to regather Jews living in the diaspora to Israel in aliyah. As global antisemitism increases due to the war, aliyah (emigration or return to Israel) will increase after the war, especially from North America.
  1. God wants to glorify Himself in and through His global ekklesia. He is calling His international warrior bride to arise and shine, aligning biblically in support of the Jewish people, summoning their own nations to do the same and purifying herself for His return.

12 PRAYER POINTS FOR THE SIMCHAT TORAH WAR

  1. God’s Victory and Glory.Pray His purposes in this war be accomplished with the least amount of harm resulting in the greatest amount of good for His ultimate glory. (Psalm 83, 33:10-12; Joshua 5:14)
  1. Repentance/Comfort/Salvations.Pray that many Israelis, Gazans and others affected by the war would humbly turn to God and that the true face of Jesus would be revealed to them. (2 Peter 3:9; Psalms 27 and 23, 34:18; Isaiah 34:1; Zechariah 12:10)
  1. Hamas – Iran.Pray that God Hamas be neutralized in order to set Palestinians and Israelis free from its evil regime. Pray that God deal mightily with Iran, which controls both Hamas and Hezbollah, according to His will at this time. (Zechariah 9:5-7; Amos 1:6-8; Daniel 2:21; Jeremiah 49:34-35, 37-38)
  1. Israeli Authorities. Pray for the gift of the fear of the Lord, wisdom, protection and direction for Israeli military and government leaders, especially the emergency war cabinet: PM Netanyahu, Mr. Gantz and Mr. Gallant. (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Proverbs 9:10-11, 21:1; Psalm 91)
  1. Jerusalem. Pray for the peace and protection of Jerusalem and all Israel. (Psalms 122 and 91)
  1. Hostages. Pray for the protection of, great grace upon, and safe return of hostages and comfort for their loved ones. (1 Samuel 30:11-19; Zechariah 9: 11-12; Psalms 91 and 23, 34:18; Isaiah 63:9)
  1. Soldiers. Pray for strength, protection and anointing on our soldiers, security officers, police and first responders, especially the many Messianic soldiers. (Psalms 18 and 91)
  1. Scope. Pray that the scope of war be limited by the power of the Blood of Yeshua according to His sovereign will, not causing a world war out of His timing. (Daniel 2:21)
  1. Truth. Pray for the exposure of lies versus truth in global media and other venues. (Psalm 144:11)
  1. Demonic Influence. Pray the power of the Blood of Yeshua and Word of Truth over demonic influences of witchcraft, globalism and other supernaturally evil forces. (Ephesians 6:12; Numbers 23:23; Zechariah 9:13)
  1. Israeli Ekklesia. Pray for strength, peace, protection and anointing on Jewish and Arab Israeli followers of Yeshua to shine as lights, comforting and leading others to Messiah in His love. (Matthew 5:14-16; Revelation 12:11; Psalm 91)
  1. Global Ekklesia. Pray for the global Body of Messiah to stand firm in the love and truth of God’s Word in support of Israel, with His heart for Palestinians and all others involved in the war. (Matthew 5:14-16; Revelation 12:11; Matthew 25:31-40)

 

Calendar Item: Our next ZOOM Prayer for Israel will be Saturday, December 2 at 5 pm Israel time. We look forward to meeting with you then.

Meanwhile, the Lord bless and keep you,

Sandra and Kerry Teplinsky


 

October 20, 2023

Dear Light of Zion Family,

I love You, O Lord my strength. … I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise … With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. … He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (Psalm 18:1, 3, 29, 34)

During this critical time we are encouraged by King David’s words above, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Although David spoke mainly of on-the-ground battle in Psalm 18, we can apply the principles he expressed to the spiritual battles we are called to fight as followers of Yeshua in times of war. Be blessed and uplifted by these verses as you stand with us here in Israel.

HOW YOU HAVE AIDED WAR VICTIMS

Your generous donations are being used this week to relocate war refugees and to purchase meals, along with other essential supplies, for soldiers and displaced civilians.

We are partnering with other Israeli ministries of high integrity to pool resources. It is a situation of “all hands on deck” in both the Body of Messiah and general public. Relief efforts will be ongoing, so there is no cutoff date at this time for your donations, all of which are fully tax deductible in the US.

To help us help Israel, please CLICK HERE and type “War Relief” in the designation box.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing with Yeshua’s brothers and sisters in this hour of need. May God see your kindness and reward you. “‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’.”(Matthew 25:37-40)

A PERSONAL NOTE ABOUT PRAYER POINTS

For many years our main ministry focus has been mobilizing and leading intercessory prayer for Israel. So you might be wondering why we have not emailed many specific prayer points or scheduled additional international ZOOM prayer since the war began. The reason is, as we shared last month, God has clearly shown us that I (Sandra) am to take a sabbatical during the year 5784.

When the war began, we prayed earnestly about the timing of that sabbatical. (“Did we hear correctly from You?” we asked over and again.) We consulted and prayed with Light of Zion’s spiritual advisors and our Israeli pastoral team. They unanimously confirmed that we must be faithful to God’s call to us personally for a time of sabbath rest. While our hearts are to jump into full intercessory gear and organize even greater efforts for practical aid, 1 Samuel 15:22 says “obedience is better than sacrifice.” We are choosing obedience.

We will continue holding a monthly ZOOM prayer gathering for Israel on the first Shabbat of each Gregorian month. We will continue raising funds for war victims and soldiers. We will also send occasional email updates and prayer points. But mostly, we will allow the Lord to restore and prepare us for the lengthy season of war that looms ahead. So while a sabbatical at this time may seem counterintuitive, we know God’s thoughts are higher than ours and His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:9) We are choosing to trust His thoughts and ways, not ours.

Meanwhile, if you would like to pray along with us now, here are a few video excerpts of us helping to lead prayer in Jerusalem:

Welcome the King of Glory Convocation” in Jerusalem, October 12, 2023

Worship and prayer watches in Jerusalem at Succat Hallel, October 2023, during which Sandra and Kerry pray several times https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4H_56uK9Zs&t=16s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FocS1tUSDc&t=1447s

Recent prayer points by our friend Rick Ridings, founder of Succat Hallel

Intercessors for Israel posts detailed prayer points every Friday. (We can not agree with some of their theology but they are good and faithful servants whose prayer points are generally beneficial.)

RECOMMENDED WAR UPDATES

All Israel News is a news service operated by American Israeli believer Joel Rosenberg. Although we do not always agree with some of the writers’ conspiracy leanings or eschatology, most articles are usually quite good. You can subscribe to their daily emails.

Daily Alert is a digest of important Israeli news, prepared for the leaders of Jewish organizations around the world, by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. They take time and effort to discern fact from fiction. You can subscribe to their daily emails. They are not Messianic.

Israel Realtime War Updates – Defense & Security in English operates 6 days a week by former Israeli military officers on the social media text message platform called Telegram. They are not Messianic and usually do not state their news sources but can be very helpful for up to the minute prayer points.

Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post are secular news services reporting in English from Israel. They are both centrist and usually avoid rumor mongering but can be a bit sensational. Haaretz is a leftist Israeli news service in English with globalist leanings. We include it here for those interested to learn more about the non-conservative agenda for the sake of prayer.

Shabbat Shalom,

Sandra and Kerry Teplinsky


October 16, 2023

“The sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; He will march in the storms of the south and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones … The Lord their God will save His people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock.” (Zechariah 9:14-16)

Dear Friends of Yeshua, Israel and Light of Zion,

Each of your emails, texts and other messages have blessed us greatly these past several days. We are so thankful for your continued support. We also apologize for not being able to answer you individually at this time as fully as we would like. We trust you understand.

As I write you now from our safe room / bomb shelter, dear Israeli Messianic friends of ours are sitting on a commercial jet in Tel Aviv, waiting to fly to a safe location overseas.They just sent me a text that rockets are now being fired at Ben-Gurion Airport and asked for immediate prayer. Such is the new normal here in Israel.

News reports are readily available for you from many sources, some of which are actually accurate. I will not take time to repeat what you likely already know, other than to say at the moment, it appears Israel is making good progress in severely weakening Hamas. At the same time, global consternation toward Israel is rising because Hamas has intertwined itself intentionally with the civilian population, brutally forcing innocent Gazans to serve as human shields in various, sinister ways.

God wants to set the good people of Gaza free. The temporary humanitarian crisis which will result may be a tragic necessity, the unavoidable collateral damage in a war launched by Gaza’s own oppressors.

Meanwhile, one wild card is Hezbollah, firmly entrenched in Lebanon and Syria, under Iran’s command. If Hezbollah / Iran (perhaps I should say, Hezbiran) intensifies its involvement militarily, the Simchat Torah War will turn into an existential war for Israel. Apart from Hezbollah, since yesterday, Iran has directly threatened Israel in several cryptic, public messages. Pray that God will contain and restrain this war with Hamas, not allowing it to erupt into a premature regional conflagration or World War III.

The main purpose of this letter is to let you know we have designated a War Relief Fund accessible to you on our web site. Kerry and I have been investigating what we can do besides pray, and with what other Israeli ministries we can co-labor, to provide aid and comfort to refugees, soldiers, the wounded, and other victims of war.

We plan to work with larger Israeli organizations, but many of their plans and final decisions are still in process. The needs are seemingly endless: military equipment, protective gear, food, clothing, housing, medical equipment and medical care, spiritual comfort and more. We are committed to donating 100 percent of every contribution we receive in our War Relief Fund as quickly as possible to help meet these needs. All donations are fully tax deductible in the US. To help us help Israel, please CLICK HERE and type “War Relief” in the designation box.

We will let you know how your funds are or will be spent when there is greater clarity from the larger ministries with which we are working. Please understand the fog of war is not limited to the physical battlefield, but affects every sector of life right now. Larger organizations can have broad impact but sometimes move a bit slower.

Meanwhile, we thank each of you who has sent a special financial offering to Light of Zion’s general fund in the past week, as we ourselves are facing additional expenses due to the war.

Lastly, we cannot end this letter without expressing our deep down, wholehearted gratitude for your prayers for us personally. God has graced us with peace that surpasses natural understanding as a result of your prayers. Please do not cease to daily lift us up at this time, that we might stay in peace, surrender to His leadership and discern how best to bless Israel.

About our friends waiting for departure from Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, their flight eventually took off and they made it safely to Eastern Europe.Thanks be to God.

In His Shalom,

Sandra Teplinsky


October 10-11, 2023

O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. (Psalm 3)

Dear Friends,

This is Kerry Teplinsky writing from Jerusalem. After sharing some personal thoughts with you on the current war, Sandra will share her heart at the end of this letter. We ask you to understand this letter is being written “raw”, rather hastily, and in the fog of war.

We are deeply grateful for those of you who have reached out to us during this difficult season and for lifting up Israel in prayer. We are in our apartment, which has a bomb shelter, and physically safe as we write. As you know, the majority of death and devastation has taken place in towns and cities near Gaza. There is no need for me to rehash what has already been widely reported in the news about this tragedy.

We have lived in the Jerusalem area for over 10 years, and this is the first time we have ever heard air raid sirens that required us to enter our “safe room”. It can be unnerving to hear the siren, herd our cats into the shelter with us, and then wait for the booms that we hope are intercepted missiles rather than bombs hitting their target. Yesterday one such missile landed slightly southwest of us, causing injury and damage.

The streets around us, normally teeming with cars, are eerily quiet and the grocery shelves are largely empty. We do not know for how long this will continue.

Ben Gurion airport is operating at about 10% capacity with a great many foreign carriers cancelling flights. Many Israelis are leaving to stay with families abroad. Many tourists cannot yet find a way to go home.

Large international events that have been planned for many months are being cancelled or greatly modified. We are supposed to be part of some of those events. The government is preventing groups of more than 50 to gather together indoors, and groups larger than 10 from gathering outdoors. A funeral for a long time and well known Christian leader in Israel had to be restricted to his immediate family because of this prohibition yesterday.

Our daughter Tasha is dutifully serving in her role as pediatric oncology nurse at Hadassah Hospital.

I will attempt to write down random ideas that come in times of prayer or reflection, and share some with you.

I clearly understand better than ever what PTSD is like. During the evening last night there was a rainstorm, and Sandra woke me to say she heard bombs without the warning sirens having alerted us. It was actually thunder. I am guessing that it will be a long time before certain noises go unnoticed as in the past.

Many want to cast stones at the government of Israel, the IDF, the Mossad, President Biden, globalists or others for this tragedy. In my opinion, this is not the time for that. I believe the principal goals of the nation should be for the return of the captives, securing of the borders, and then destruction of Hamas to the extent possible without ravaging the civilian population of Gaza. Sadly, I do not know how many of those goals are achievable.

The nation proudly relied on the IDF for its national security, and was clearly let down. Even the most God fearing of us were guilty to varying degrees of that. Knowing that God is our refuge and strength, we still spend hours praying for the army to save and deliver.

Typically, Israelis have thought that the invincibility of the IDF meant that they had no need for a savior. I believe that now, more than ever before, many are realizing their need to be physically saved. My heart cry for Israelis is that Jesus, who stands at the door and knocks, will find open doors into their hearts.

Many here in the Messianic Body are focused on the horrors of the past few days, and the days or months ahead. I am not. I am focused as best I can be on glorifying God, proclaiming His promises for the nation and for us as individuals, and surrendered to recognizing that I do not understand all that I once thought I might. After all, these horrific events were allowed at this time. Is it because of national sin? What nation does not sin?

Messianic Jews surrendered to Jesus were among some of the first soldiers who died on Saturday. For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. (Eccl 3:1) Therefore, there must be a purpose here. If it is a national purpose, it is very sad that so many were called to pay a price for it. May God minister to the families from His storehouse of mercies. May He reveal that purpose, and may that purpose find fulfillment in the life of the nation and its individuals.

The face of true evil has been revealed for all the world to see. Now is the time for the face of Yeshua to be reflected in and through the Body that the contrast would be so evident that many would be drawn to Him.

It is not lost on me that this attack occurred on “the last and great day of the feast” (John 7:37-39). The feast, Sukkot or Tabernacles, is a feast to commemorate our frailty apart from God. We live in booths to remind ourselves of His provision in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. The booths are meant to be flimsy, so as to show our dependence on Him. What a powerful reminder this attack was on that day that our protection and trust must be in Him, not the strength of man.

I apologize for rambling. Sleep deprivation clouds the mind. My purposes were to let you know we are well physically, and like the rest of the nation, so well expressed by the apostle Paul :

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (NKJV)

I shudder to think where we would be had not millions of intercessors been raised up in May over 21 days. Please continue to pray for Israel, and for Sandra, Tasha, and I.

Hoping to be able to send good news soon,

Kerry Teplinsky

 

A Personal Note from Sandra

Shalom to each of you from a place where shalom exists only in the hearts of those who intimately know the Gift of God, the Prince of Shalom. But perhaps that is true everywhere.

I wholeheartedly thank each of you who has prayed for us, taken a moment to email or text us, or reached out in any other way. Your love and support has helped keep me going through this perplexing time. Friends here with whom I have in the past been very close no longer live in Israel, so your long distance friendship has been a blessing beyond what you can imagine.

Until today, I have been so overcome by grief, heartbreak, sorrow and to be transparent, worry, that I could not gather my thoughts coherently. As we shared in a recent newsletter, 5784 was to be for me a personal sabbatical, partly to recover from physical and spiritual exhaustion following decades of pioneering ministry. The goal was to focus on Yeshua, intentionally seeking His joy for renewed strength and turning back to my first love. I looked to Him for a season of rest, restoration and preparation for the years ahead. Right now, we don’t know for sure how or if that can or should still happen. The looming issue and reality is currently not about a sabbatical.

Some believers around us who say they are in perfect peace simply do not look much at the unfolding of circumstances. When biblical promises of protection are met with reports of innocent Jewish women, children and elderly getting beheaded, maimed, raped and otherwise horrifically tortured, it seems some believers will not let such realities sink into their hearts or minds. And so their faith, they say, remains strong and intact.

This approach I (and many others) have not been able to take. However, I do find I must now limit my reading of the news and nonstop alerts from Israel’s equivalent of US Homeland Security in order to fix my thoughts and gaze on Yeshua. While I cannot not feel the sufferings taking place around me, some of which are eerily reminiscent of the Holocaust, I know I must release each war victim into Yeshua’s loving hands, trusting Him with their suffering and believing for His comfort to them.

Because we are not fluent in Hebrew, and because most Israelis who are not fighting in the military are staying home (schools and many places of business are closed), Kerry and I find all we can really do to help at this time is pray and encourage other believers here. In the near future we hope to raise funds for some of the most needy victims of war.

Daily we lead, co-lead or participate in prayer meetings in real space in different venues in Jerusalem or on Zoom. We repent and cry out on behalf of our people. We declare God’s promises in His Word based on His immutably good character. We petition Him for specifics as the Spirit leads – and He has given us some unusual specifics these past few days. We offer the sacrifice of praise and exalt Yeshua over the war, for He is the Captain of Heaven’s Armies.

Many prophetic voices in Israel are publishing their perspectives or dreams or words on the war. I prayerfully consider what they say, as well as what I personally hear from the Spirit. But in the end, this war is about God gaining glory in Israel and the nations and Satan doing all he can to steal, kill and destroy God’s purposes, people and glory. It is about warfare and labor pains preceding Yeshua’s return. Our evil enemy (Satan and his minions inspiring Hamas) will ultimately lose this war. Meanwhile, how will we each respond?

Given the above, my personal focus in prayer, at least for now, is fourfold. There are many specifics for which I pray, but these are the main four points:

  1. To prayerfully proclaim that God’s purposes be swiftly accomplished in the war and that He work good from evil. Mercy and miracles!
  2. To declare and release in prayer the power of the Blood of Yeshua to limit and achieve victory – as He defines it — in this war and in every dimension (time, ground territory, spiritual realms, etc). No regional conflagration or World War III at this time! Mercy and miracles!
  3. To praise and worship Yeshua, declaring His name and sovereignty over the people and land as a banner. Mercy and miracles!
  4. To battle for personal peace and intimacy with God. His heart is big enough to both mourn and rejoice simultaneously. I want to be one with whom He can and will freely share His heart in this so-called “Simchat Torah War.” I want to see the Body of Messiah in Israel do the same and shine as lights in a very dark time.

King Solomon wrote there is a time to mourn and a time to rejoice. But Yeshua exists apart from time, and so to the extent we are in Him, we do, too. Along with this truth, let us also remember that because Yeshua is the Word, Simchat Torah (meaning “Rejoicing in Torah”) is about rejoicing not in happy circumstances, but in Him. With each passing day, I am increasingly aware that His joy (not our own) is our strength.

Thank you for praying that Kerry and I will have His joyful strength for this battle and will discern how He leads us personally to fight in it. We are praying the same for you.

With faith, hope and love,

Sandra