Israel Update

October 9, 2011 

"He who confesses and forsakes his sins will be treated with mercy." Proverbs 28:13

ISRAEL COMES TO A HALT FOR YOM KIPPUR: Silence fell over Israel at 5 P.M. on Friday, as the Yom Kippur fast began. Air traffic to and from Israel halted from 1 P.M. the same afternoon and did not begin again until 9:30 P.M. on Saturday.  The weather was good for fasters, with comfortable temperatures and less humidity on Saturday than on Friday. A survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2009 found 26% of Israeli Jews who describe themselves as "secular" or "not religious" fast on Yom Kippur while 24% of them have attended prayers at a synagogue.  A number of organizations held mass prayers, intended for people who do not frequent synagogues on a regular basis. In addition to eating and drinking, also forbidden on this day are wearing leather shoes, washing up, make-up and perfumes, and marital relations. One must also appease and ask forgiveness from those he has harmed or insulted over the year. The State of Israel essentially closes down on Yom Kippur, with no public transportation or electronic broadcasts, and practically no open stores or services. The prohibitions notwithstanding, the day is considered a festive day and a day of friendship and love. (Ha’aretz/INN)  “I am the Lord; the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Ex 34:6

TECHNION’S SHECHTMAN BECOMES NATION’S TENTH NOBEL LAUREATE: Israel’s tenth Nobel Prize was awarded last week by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to Prof. Dan Shechtman, a materials science scientist at Haifa’s Technion- Israel Institute of Technology. His discovery in 1982 that atoms in rigid crystals can be packed together in unusual ways led to the development of extremely strong materials from metal surgical tools and razor blades to diesel engines, and as protective coatings and metal alloys. What became known as quasiperiodic or quasicrystals do not rust or become oxidized and have almost no surface friction. (AP)

A CELEBRATION FOR ALL OF SCIENCE: "The celebration is not just for the Technion or for Israel, but for all of science," Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman said at a news conference after being named as the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry. "There are thousands of scientists studying this subject. I believe they see this prize as also their achievement." Shechtman, 70, was awarded the prize for his discovery of patterns in atoms called quasicrystals, a chemical structure that researchers previously thought was impossible. Both President Shimon Peres and PM Benjamin Netanyahu called Shechtman to congratulate him on his award. “You have given the State of Israel a wonderful gift,” Peres said. (Ha’aretz)

BREAKTHROUGH DEVICE HELPS ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS REGAIN COGNITIVE SKILLS: A new electromagnetic stimulation system has been developed in Israel that is changing the course of the degenerative Alzheimer's disease and allowing patients to regain faded cognitive skills. The non-invasive NeuroAD system is the first medical device in the world to receive approval for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, a terminal brain disease affecting about 30 million elderly people worldwide. The researchers’ solution is based on a technology which electromagnetically stimulates areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning, making them receptive to simultaneous tailored cognitive training. Clinical results show measurable cognitive improvement after a few weeks of treatment that is superior to improvements achieved with available drugs. (21C)

IMMIGRANT SCIENTIST REVOLUTIONIZING SOLAR ENERGY FIELD: A scientist who emigrated from the UK and became one of Israel's top solar-power researchers is spearheading efforts to push the country into a new age. Prof. David Faiman, the director of Israel's National Solar Energy Center at Sde Boker, says the government must immediately invest in major solar energy infrastructure projects. Faiman moved to Israel right before the Yom Kippur war and says the subsequent Arab oil boycotts convinced him the country must embrace alternative energy, specifically that drawn from the sun, which he has spent the last decades of his career working to harness. Faiman believes Israel is far from reaching its goal of 10% energy from renewable sources by 2020, and called the recent inauguration of a five megaWatt solar field at Kibbutz Ketura a drop in the bucket compared to the country's swiftly developing energy needs. Faiman has one solution; curved solar panels that minimize the economic and environmental cost of producing solar power, one of the biggest barriers to the field's development. (Ha’aretz)

US SAYS ISRAEL, PA SUPPORT NEW QUARTET APPROACH TO TALKS: The US embassy in Tel Aviv has circulated a statement indicating both Israel and the Palestinians have accepted a Quartet framework for returning to direct talks, though the Palestinians have not yet formally endorsed the idea. Under the proposal, Israel and the Palestinians are supposed to sit down for a preparatory meeting by Oct. 23. Diplomatic officials said there were currently intensive efforts behind the scenes, including during US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's visit to the region to prod the sides back to the table. (J. Post) Intercede for true peace to come to the Middle East through the knowledge of Yeshua and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  May spiritual principalities and powers be openly shamed that oppose G-d and His chosen people - while individuals in every Middle East nation caught up in cycles of violence and hatred come to know the G-d of Israel.

WEST BANK PALESTINIANS SEE HOUSING BOOM: The number of housing units in the Palestinian territory in 2011 is expected to reach 884,385, an increase of about 26% compared to 2007, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said last week. (WAFA-PA)  Pray growth facts taking place in Palestinian territories will be widely publicized and that Israel, in turn, will not be condemned by its need to continue building in its own communities and cities. Any resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and the Jewish state must be free of pressure on Israeli leaders to impose building freezes in their own land.

ACCLAIMED “HOMELAND” BASED ON ISRAELI TV SHOW: US critics banded together to hail Homeland, the Showtime television series, one of the best new shows to hit the television screen. Homeland is the American version of the Israeli hit series, Hatufim. The Wall Street Journal wrote that after the first episode that it would be hard waiting for the next. The Israeli series traced what happens when two soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces return after being held captive by Syria for 17 years. The American version features Claire Danes as a CIA operations officer who follows a US Marine (actor Damien Lewis) whom she suspects has turned into a spy after being held by al-Qaida as a prisoner of war. (21C)

JIGSAW NATION: Israelis are among the world's top jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts. "Everyone does puzzles in Israel," according to Yossi Bar-on, the country's unofficial puzzle guru, "There are some 200 puzzles per 100 people in Israel. That's among the highest in the world per capita." There's something about taking hundreds of pieces and making them into a whole picture that has won over the population. In Israel, adults and children alike are captivated by this pastime. Some 1.2 million puzzles are sold in Israel annually, according to Bar-on, CEO of Puzzleland retail chain. In the US, where the population is 44 times that of Israel's, some three million puzzles are sold yearly according to the Puzzle History website. (21C

Blessings from Israel 

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff 


As international speakers and messengers of the Good News through music, Barry and Batya Segal are at the forefront of what God is doing in the present day nation of Israel. With strong ties in both the nations and Jerusalem, the Segals are weaving the deepest roots of our biblical heritage together with the fresh Spirit-filled worship of today to create their rich harmony of Scripture and song.

The Segals have a vast vision for God's purposes in the nations and to the people of Israel. In fact, their longing to help rebuild Israel both spiritually and physically inspired them to pioneer the non-profit charity organization, Vision for Israel and The Joseph Storehouse. This arm of their ministry focuses on assisting the poor and needy, widows and orphans, and reaching out to the new Jewish immigrants coming into the land of Israel. Vision 's most challenging project to date is "The Joseph StorehouseŽ", humanitarian aid center, located in the hills of Jerusalem. The Joseph Storehouse functions as a channel of blessing to all of Israel, Jewish and Arab, through the gathering and distribution of emergency medical supplies, food, clothing, and other basic life necessities. USA office contact info: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743, Charlotte NC 28241, 866-351-0075. The Segal's web site is


Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.    


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