Celebrating 100 years since the liberation of Beersheba
The Nachalat Yeshua congregation in Beersheba is hosting an evening of praise and worship on Monday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a battle that prepared the way for the return of the Jewish people to Israel.
The remarkable Battle of Beersheba was fought on Oct. 31, 1917 during World War I and culminated in an extraordinary charge by the 4th Australian Light Horse brigade to liberate Beersheba from occupation by Turkish troops. The battle, part of a wider offensive involving the significant efforts of British and New Zealand troops as well, paved the way for Britain to take control of Palestine from the Ottoman Empire. This, in turn, paved the way for the State of Israel to be born in 1948.
“The return of the Jewish people to Israel was foretold by the prophet Isaiah,” Howard Bass, leader of Nachalat Yeshua, told KNI. “Isaiah said God would ‘raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth (Isaiah 11:12).’ I believe the liberation of Beersheba was an intervention of God in history that was to contribute to His purpose in regathering the Jewish people to the Promised Land.”
The Battle of Beersheba took place on the same day the British Cabinet authorized the Balfour Declaration, which would announce Britain was in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
“I think it is extraordinary that these two events took place on the same day, at such a distance from each other,” Bass reflected. “I believe the return of the Jews to the Promised Land after 2,000 years is a miracle through which God is drawing attention to Himself.”
“There has been tremendous opposition to the Jewish return, even among Christians and Jews, but this is something God is doing and He is going to fulfill all His purposes,” Bass added.
Bass explained that, in accordance with His word, God did not just drop the Jews back on to the land, but rather has worked through the Gentiles to bring about the ingathering.
“In regards to the Battle of Beersheba, we want to express our appreciation for the sacrifice of the soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and Britain and give thanks to God for what He has done,” he said.
Australian believer Ruth Webber, of the Tabernacle of David ministry, has helped organize Monday evening’s event. Webber told KNI that being in the land to take part in the Battle of Beersheba centennial celebrations, was especially meaningful to her.
“My uncle served in the 4th Light Horse Brigade, was injured in the Sinai and evacuated some 18 months before the charge,” Webber said.
“On a spiritual level our ministry has, through worship and intercession, been involved in warfare for Israel and Australia for some 20 years,” she continued. “Australia has stood firm with Israel in the past and we ‘spiritual ANZACS’ (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) intend to keep it that way — even by standing against the political clamoring to do otherwise.”
Bass said he is looking forward to worshipping and praising God with believers from around Israel and the world.
“We greatly encourage the believers who live in the land to come and join us,” he said. “We are expecting many Aussies and Kiwis, among others to be with us as well.”
The gather will be held at the Old House Beersheba congregation meeting hall on Monday evening starting at 7 p.m. For further information contact Bass at: [email protected]
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Karen Faulkner is a British Israeli citizen. She has a Master's degree in Human Rights & Transitional Justice from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.