Sunday, 16 September 2018
In this vein, we are convinced that Yeshua's message is not about avoiding conflict or confrontation, but about reaching out to others. To isolate ourselves and live in an individual bubble or even a community bubble is to miss entirely the plan that God has for us as believers. With this in mind, we soberly seek to find God's heart for one another as a family, as a community, as a nation and even God's heart for our enemies.
Recently we got caught in the middle of a neighborhood scandal and intrigue when one neighbor, in the next building, accused another neighbor, in the apartment above us, of stealing her plum tree which she had just bought to plant in her yard. We did our best to be friendly and sympathetic yet truthful, not implicating our upstairs neighbor directly, as we hadn't witnessed the alleged crime. A few days after the initial accusation and full-blown event, police visit and all, we ran into the accusing neighbor in the park. She greeted us with the seasonal "Shana Tova" and then proceeded to tell us that she had decided to forgive the neighbor and drop the accusation. Since the days leading up to Yom Kippur are supposed to be days in which we examine our hearts and actions, she said that she preferred a clean conscience without bitterness towards the neighbor. The neighbor who had stolen the tree, she said, would have to face judgment by God, but not by her.
As for us, we were shocked by this uncommon response of large-heartedness and goodwill, from one Israeli to another. In a "watch out for your own self" kind of society, it is uncommon for people to overlook offense, particularly of that magnitude. We were once again impressed that if a marginally religious, yet certainly God-fearing Israeli would take such a significant step towards her fellow human being, how much more should we, followers of Yeshua reach out to those around us.
This is an excerpt from an Israel's Restoration article by Avi Tekle.