AL HA’ ASH
Last night as Shabbat was coming to a close, Elana and I joined Cecilia and Ehud and a group of their friends. We just met them a few hours after we landed on Friday night. Their son and his unit will soon go to Gaza. We went to their army base and set up a massive AL HA’ ASH (barbecue) in the parking lot. I've never seen something come together so quick in my life. Israelis are experts at barbecue! The goal was to encourage the troops and build up their morale, and I can tell you they were super grateful.
The way AL HA’ ASH works is that you start with one type of meat and then move on to the next. You go from chicken wings to chicken breasts to liver and then margiz (a spicy version, kosher sausage), and you always end with steak!
In just a few minutes, we are going to the grocery store with Cecelia to buy chad pa’ami (I honestly can't remember how to say this in English… let me go check the dictionary… disposable – grocery items you might take on a long trek into the woods…or into war) items such as Ziploc bags, coffee cups, paper towels and anything else the soldiers might need (such as coffee, coffee, and more coffee, canned tuna, and other food items that they can easily carry with them). I told her that we have great supporters and would pay for everything!
Update on the Bulletproof Vests
I just spoke to Michaela, the woman in the video whose son’s unit needed bulletproof vests. I hate to say, but while we have the best fighting force in the world, the administration is al ha panin (not good!). The spokesman for the army told the country that every soldier would have what he or she needs. Fortunately, an officer told her not to believe it. And she turned to us.
“I never dreamed I would have to find equipment for my son to fight.” She told me she had not slept in days. The vests arrived last night in Israel. We should be able to but them today or tomorrow. We hoped to deliver them to the troops ourselves, but they have already moved next to the Gaza border. “I want to thank you and your supporters. You have no idea how much this means to me, giving me peace, just knowing my son will have a vest.”
They also need special knives to go with the vest. I told her to send me the budget, and we will cover it.
[I keep hearing booms in the distance. Hamas launched several rockets in the last few minutes. Most of the booms are the Iron Dome intercepting the rockets.]
The pressure is intensifying on Prime Minister Netanyahu. Someone must've advised him, and he must have agreed, that it would be good to address the nation on Erev Shabbat (Friday night). Not since 1994 has a prime minister made a nationwide speech on Friday evening. Erev Shabbat is sacred in Israel.
“It has been a long-established tradition that the government does not make big announcements on the Sabbath in Israel, leading some Israelis to expect a substantive announcement from Netanyahu.”
Everyone gathered around their TVs, expecting to hear some significant news. That could be the only reason for a Friday night speech as “it sends a message to the people that something urgent has happened and he must talk now.” Maybe hostages were released? Maybe the ground invasion is beginning?
Times of Israel’s Tal Schnieder said he spoke “for two minutes and said absolutely nothing…” The following day he was hammered in the newspapers claiming that he was seeking to deflect criticism.
Netanyahu also announced that he visited one of the communities most affected. But he was only there for a few minutes, took no questions from reporters, and there was no one there—the survivors have been evacuated. It was not “breaking news.”
Opposition leader Yair Lapid was quick to respond on Twitter (X):
“It is not acceptable for the prime minister of Israel to send an entire country into a whirlwind of panic while waiting for his statement on Friday night during a time of emergency and then not say anything new — not about the families of the abductees, nor about the northern front, nor about evacuation [of residents from areas deemed in potential danger].”
People may tire of hearing me say this, but Netanyahu has not been the statesman he once was for several years. It's very hard to focus on governing when you are under indictment and on trial for corruption. It reminds me, sadly, of Saul after the Lord left him. :-(
Netta Epstein was with his girlfriend on Saturday morning when terrorists began to attack. Netta had a reputation of being a leader in his community even at a young age. He participated last year in the March to Jerusalem, were people from the communities that border Gaza campaigned for the government to give them more protection—protection that never came. While Netta and Eran called for help, the Hamas operatives made their way through the apartment and threw a grenade into the room.
"He instantly jumped up and threw himself on top of the grenade, shielding his loved one with his own body. They had already begun discussing a future together, including marriage. Eran is now here with us, we share our grief and comfort each other in our mutual embrace. Netta is a true hero."
We need your help!
Every day, new needs arise. We're in it for the long-haul. God has given us grace to be here in the south. We don't want to be stupid, and ask you to pray for our protection. This is a special opportunity to show Israelis how much believers love them—and how much Yeshua loves them. We are committed to providing funds for our soldiers and others whose lives have been broken because of this demonic assault.
Elana and I are so grateful for you, that you love Israel, that you want to help. I've heard from so many of you. And so many of you have been so generous. There's no way to thank you other than to simply say thank you. We love you!