Still Small Voice – August 6th, 9th of Av 2022

Shalom Shalom Dear Friends:

For He does not afflict willingly from His heart

Or grieve the children of men.

To trample and crush under His feet

All the prisoners of the land,

To deprive a man of justice

In the presence of the Most High,

 To defraud a man in his lawsuit –

The Lord does not approve these things,

Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass?

Unless the Lord has authorized and commanded it?

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High?

That both adversity (misfortune) and good proceed?

Lamentations 3:33-38.

When was the last time you opened the Book of Lamentations?

In Hebrew it is simply: Ek! Just like it sounds.

Can you hear Jeremiah’s expression of incredulousness? It is read on this day as the saddest in the Jewish calendar. It is Tisha b’Av, the 6th of August 2022. The 9th of Av (in English) has heralded many disasters experienced by the Jewish people, AND let me add the entire world as well. What affects the Jews, or the Russian, or the Taiwanese affects us. It is a sad day of tears, fasting and prayer. It is NOT a bad thing to remember what was, and work for a better future.

A Look at History:

Tisha b’Av, this year is August 6th. It is the collective day of mourning in the Jewish calendar for 2022. Some of the tragic events of history are:

  • God decreed that the generation of Israelites who left Egypt would never realize their dream of the Promised Land.  Only Joshua and Caleb of that generation entered it. The old generation had no faith even tho they lived by the faithful Hand of God. Their children inherited the promise.
  • Solomon’s Temple, the crown jewel of Jerusalem stood for nearly 400 years. It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BCE.
  • Herod’s Temple, where Jesus sat on the porch, teaching and healing was destroyed by Titus and the Romans in 70 C.E. at this time.
  • Hadrian, Emperor of Rome, Ruler of Jerusalem 136 C.E. built a heathen temple making Jerusalem a pagan city. No Jews were permitted entrance.
  • William the Conqueror invited Jews to settle in England in the late 11th Century. They became an essential part of the English economy as skilled doctors, goldsmiths and poets. Jews were permitted to loan money and provide loans for many in the royal court. But, as always, they were expendable and often exploited by kings in dire need of money.
  • Why the expulsion of the Jews from England on this auspicious date in 1290? Jews were under the protection of the crown, giving them the title of ‘servant of the king.’ The religion at that time was Catholicism. There was no knowledge of or access to the  holy scriptures. Superstitions flourished as did anti-Semitism. By the mid 12th century in England and across Europe, this hatred of the ‘other’ was fueled by the ‘blood libel’. It is a hoax, a fabricated allegation that Jews stole Christian children and used their blood for magical rituals. Hostility grew linked to the crusades which began in 1096 when so-called Christians tried to reclaim the Holy Land. Indiscriminately Jews and Muslims were slaughtered by Crusaders. 

Truth to be told, it was financial pressures that pushed King Henry lll (1216-72) to take large sums of money from the Jewish community.

Jews were seen as troublemakers, greedy, (of course). In Parliament (it had to be made legal) Jews got the blame for the debts of English knights from the 1260’s onward. In 1275 Edward I decreed that Jews could no longer loan money. Badges (in the shape of stone tables -10 Commandments) had to be worn on the outward clothing of all Jews. It didn’t start with Hitler …  it started in jolly old England. The King bartered away the souls of the Jews to pay his debts. With Parliament’s permission, in return for an Edict of Expulsion, signed by King Edward 1 in 1290, Parliament granted him a tax of English Pounds 116,000, the largest single tax of the Middle Ages. He got their money and got rid of them at the same time. History repeats itself.

Jews did not return to England until the 1650’s when they were invited to resettle by Oliver Cromwell.

History has a very strange way of repeating itself. 

The nations today are in trouble. Again war looms large, economies are unsure, hundreds of thousands have lost their livelihood we hear of a cold and hungry winter on the horizon. Leaders have always used Jew-hatred to their own advantage. It begins with misinformation – lies. 

  • In Spain in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella decreed this to be the official date for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. 300,000 Jews began to leave Spain on that date. At the sometime Columbus set out on his first voyage of discovery on the day after Tisha B’Av (He delayed his sailing by one day, funded by Jews.) A new world was discovered, Jews fled to it.

“Are you saying the Hebrew calendar affects our world today?”

“Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.”

Not so fast. Is it not astounding that on this very day over many centuries, human history has been turned upside down? What about in our lifetime?

  • W.W.1 began on July 28th 1914 (Tisha b’Av) introducing machine guns and mustard gas, with deadly consequences. Russia, Europe, N.A., Africa, The Ottoman Empire and the Middle East were involved. An estimated 40 million civilian and military lives were lost. Two of Jay’s grandfathers fought in this war and were damaged by mustard gas.
  • W.W.11 began on September 1, 1939. It left 3% of the global population dead … 70 million souls. Jay’s father fell in this war, my Dad served along with 3 of our uncles. This mysterious date the 9th of Av still speaks.

Greed and Hatred = A Toxic Mix

In Hebrew we say; Sinat Hinam, unwarranted hatred. And yes, this scenario is alive and well in our world today. Before the Russian-Ukraine War, Russia’s foreign minister typically used anti-Semitic slurs. He accused Ukrainians of being Nazis, and said, Hitler was partly Jewish. Hatred is fueled by disgust. The mind and heart become blinded with the urge to destroy. 

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

The following PROPHECY was given by Zvi Jabotinsky to the Jews of Poland BEFORE all hell broke out. Hitler invaded on September 1st 1939.  “For three years that I have been calling on you, Jews of Poland, the glory of world Jewry, with an appeal. I have been ceaselessly warning you that the catastrophe is coming closer. My hair has turned white and I have aged in these years, because my heart is bleeding, for you, dear brothers and sisters. You do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spurt out the fire of destruction. I see a terrifying sight. The time is short in which one can still be saved. I know: you do not see, because you are bothered and rushing about with everyday worries … Listen to my remarks at the twelfth hour. For God’s sake: may each one save his life while there is still time. And time is short.

I want to say one more thing to you on this day of the Ninth of Av: Those who will succeed to escape from the catastrophe will merit a moment of great Jewish joy — the rebirth and rise of a Jewish State. I do not know if I will earn that. My son, yes! I believe in this just as I am sure that tomorrow morning the sun will shine once again. I believe in this with total faith.” 

Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Prophecy, Warsaw, Tisha B’Av, 1938  for the Jews of Warsaw. He was a Zionist, orator and writer. He was a soldier and founded the Jewish Legion in WW1. He believed that salvation for Jews – both on a personal level and as a national entity lay only in the land of Israel. He died of a heart attack at the age of 60 in 1940 and in 1965 his remains were buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. He was a true prophet who died of a broken heart.

To be led by the Spirit of the Living God takes guts and courage!

Daring to obey the Still Small Voice has profound consequences whether we listen and obey or not!  I am convinced that obedience to this Voice has sculpted our lives from the beginning.  “For this God is our God forever and ever: 

He will be our guide even unto death”

Psalm 48:14

We all understand, the nations are in a very tenuous state of affairs. Let us not be weary in well doing. Our God loves to hear our voices raised in faith!  He always come to us. But, remember: He does not go where He is not wanted. It is the same for an individual or a nation. Our choices will result in life or death. It is just that drastic. Choose LIFE that you may live!

Let us test and examine our ways,  And let us return to the LORD. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [in prayer] Toward God in heaven.

Lamentations 3:40, 41

Blessings from Meridel Rawlings.