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December 23, 2016 2:55 am

This Hanukkah, Let’s Celebrate Christian Friends of Israel

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Lighting the menorah. Photo: Wikipedia.

Lighting the menorah. Photo: Wikipedia.

In a rare cosmological event, the first day of Hanukkah lands on Christmas Day this year — something that has happened only four times in the past 100 years.

As a Jew, the timing has me thinking about how far Jews have come in America. Thankfully, American Jews have climbed the ranks of every economic, social and cultural ladder in the United States. The rifts between many Jews and Christians has been healed. And today, more than ever, Israel and the Jewish people enjoy deep and fervent support from many in the American Christian community.

During a season in which we all reflect upon what we are grateful for, we should all be deeply grateful for this support from our Christian friends. Based on their deep faith in the Bible, American Christians have become some of Israel’s most dependable and committed champions.

This support extends beyond the theological into the political. Christians cherish personal freedoms and liberties, and believe these rights to be endowed to all mankind by God. So it is only natural that Christians would support the only nation in the entire Middle East that shares these political values and ideals.

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Christian groups in the United States have organized all kinds of support for Israel and the Jewish people — from political support for Israel in Washington, DC, to fundraising drives to help Israelis recover from the recent wildfires that recently ripped through the country.

Christians also have played a vital role in supporting aliyah for Jews around the world, particularly from the former Soviet Union (FSU).  Israel has received support from friends like Jay Sekulow and the American Center for Law and Justice to Christian United for Israel (CUFI) and Christians Care International, a Christian organization that helps provide a new life to vulnerable Jews in the former Soviet Union.

Not only does Christians Care International help Jews in the FSU make aliyah, they do everything possible to ensure that they will live meaningful and independent lives through vital social services that help impoverished Jews overcome years of neglect and abuse, through a combination of psychotherapy, education, humanitarian aid and love.

The love that many American Christians feel today for Israel and the Jewish people is pure and true, rooted in their own love and faith in God. In a world where global antisemitism is on the rise and Israel faces increasing political and security pressures from around the world, the Jewish people must be thankful for, and encourage, Christian support.

This Hanukkah, we give thanks to the American Christian community.

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