The Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM) sponsored an entertaining, enlightening and well-attended 70th anniversary celebration for Israel in Jerusalem on Thursday night.
Popular believing Israeli artists Joshua Aaron and Birgitta Veksler entertained and led praise at The Pavilion in Jerusalem’s center city. The theme, of course, was the modern miracle of Israel’s restoration.
Reuven Doron began the evening with a live voice-over of a video depicting the historic struggle of the Jewish people’s return to their land.
“Only yesterday, at this very hour, this country was in mourning,” Doron began, referring to Memorial Day which precedes Independence Day observations. “We were remembering the loss of our sons and daughters we sent into battle…remembering the sacrifices of our own fathers and mothers, uncles and grandparents, remembering the age-old struggles of our people… Many of those who survived…boarded ships of hope to return to the land of our fathers, the only land God promised us.”
Arieh Bar David, a former paratrooper and veteran of both the 1967 Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur Wars in Israel, shared a moving personal account of his confrontation in 1967 with Arab troops near the Suez Canal.
Arieh impulsively chose to save an Arab soldier’s life by giving him all the water that remained in his canteen. Shortly after, in a twist of fate that seemed to defy coincidence, that same soldier saved Bar David’s life.
“This is real independence: freedom from fear,” the Israeli veteran told the audience. “Love and pray for your enemies.”
The spirit of the evening seemed best summed up during worship as Aaron, Veksler and the musicians performed David Danced. As attendees rose to their feet to dance and sing, a woman who walked with the aid of a cane and had needed assistance to take her seat, struggled to stand when the music began. A young girl beside her, upon noticing her difficulty, reached out and helped her rise from her seat and, holding hands, they praised God together.
At the close of the service, Doron performed the Aaronic Blessing.