2020

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Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

‘I the Lord…visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.’ –Exodus: 10 Commandments. ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain… or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ -2 Chronicles 7:13-14.

IN 1620- exactly four hundred years ago- the Puritans arrived on the shoreline of the New World of America. That is four biblical generations past. There they planted a new ethic, a new vision of life arising from the Bible. Through many trials and tribulations that vision has become the United States of America, the freest and most blessed and prosperous of nations to appear in human history.

In that short span of time human knowledge has increased exponentially, and the technological ability to transmit it expanded to near the speed of lightning. Along with that vast knowledge has come a sense among many of the elite of the world’s intelligentsia that human wisdom is about to reach its zenith, conquering the heavens and closing the gaps of all ignorance, even replacing the antiquated idea or need for the old God and His constraints. That same intelligentsia has tossed aside the Bible of those first Pilgrims as mere myth equal to all other holy writ and fable and, ignoring the Biblical admonitions, opened the flood gates to every form of perversion as healthy and normal, completely changing the face of Western civilization.

Then into the brewing cauldron of human hubris and self-assuredness appears a virtually invisible enemy, visible only with the most powerful microscope, which in a very short time paralyzes nations, crippling economies and bringing humanity to a grinding halt, baffling the brightest. Chaos and fear have seized the populations of our planet. It is my hope and prayer that this rapidly spreading plague, arriving for the time of the Passover of 2020 with all its implications, will not bring about its full destructive potential, but will in mercy dissipate, and leave behind a humbled and wisened and warned humanity, realizing that ‘the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.’

‘I sent Moses and Aaron, I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.’

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.