The War in Ukraine Reminds Us the Founding of Israel Was Essential

by | May 3, 2022 | Israel, Standing With Israel

Alla Oleshko, an 86-year-old Jewish woman living in Kharkiv, Ukraine, remembers when the bombs began to fall. The Russians were aiming for the TV tower right in front of her house.

“The first time, only the windows of the house blew out. The second time, the front door was demolished by a blast,” Oleshko told us. She lost both of her legs a few years ago, making it difficult to escape to a shelter.

This is not the first time, however, that Oleshko has found herself in the middle of a war. She lived through the terrible siege of Leningrad during World War II and recalls how the Nazis bombed the city. Her father died shortly after fighting on the front lines, and her little brother got hypothermia during their evacuation and died.

“I survived the Holocaust when I was a child, and here again the war came to my door,” Oleshko says.

Sadly, her story is not unique. The team from my organization, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which is currently on the ground in Ukraine, has heard many similar heartbreaking stories from Jews in the country. These stories remind us that many are suffering all over again and are looking for a place of refuge — and are finding it in Israel.

As I write this, Israel is preparing to celebrate its 74th birthday. Yom Ha’Atzmaut — Israel’s Independence Day — begins sundown on May 4 and ends on the evening of May 5. In some ways our celebrations look like those in America on July 4: we gather in parks, enjoy fireworks at night, and grill out (though the fare is usually kebabs instead of hamburgers and hot dogs).

Of course, we reflect on our remarkable history as a modern democracy — in the Middle East, of all places. We reflect on how many paid the highest cost to ensure our freedom (a fact that we recognize just a day prior on Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day). Independence Day in Israel is both a day to celebrate our political achievements and a deeply spiritual day when we reflect on God’s promises and thank Him for His endless mercy.

Many recognized the establishment of the modern state of Israel as an act of God. For millennia the Jewish people yearned to return to their ancestral homeland. So on Independence Day we sing not just our national anthem but also traditional psalms of praise recited on other Jewish holidays. Yom Ha’Atzmaut commemorates biblical history as much as political history — our return from spiritual exile as well as physical exile.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence made it clear that the doors of Israel would always be open to all Jews. The fathers of our nation wrote, “We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream — the redemption of Israel.”

As I watch the events unfolding in Ukraine, I wonder if Israel’s founders knew that their appeal would be repeated over and over again throughout history. And that, time and again, Jews from every corner of the world would respond to it.

I’m proud to say that The Fellowship has been a leader in promoting and funding aliyah (immigration to Israel) for many years — and we’ve been able to do so because of the generosity of Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people and give sacrificially to support them. Right now, with the help of these generous friends, organizations continue to help thousands of Jews make aliyah, fulfilling the vision of the biblical prophets and Israel’s founding fathers.

Alla Oleshko was recently one of those who returned to her biblical homeland. “What’s happening here is like some kind of miracle,” she said shortly before her flight to Tel Aviv. It was in fact the first time she was coming to Israel.

“I survived these two wars — World War II and this war in Ukraine,” she says. “I am happy I am alive. I continue to believe in miracles.”

Israel’s independence is a miracle that’s blessing Jews fleeing Ukraine at this very moment. I’m confident it will continue to be a blessing for people around the world for generations to come. {eoa}

Yael Eckstein is the president and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship). In this role, Eckstein oversees all ministry programs and serves as the organization’s international spokesperson. She can be heard on The Fellowship’s daily radio program airing on 1,300 stations worldwide, and on her podcasts, Nourish Your Biblical Roots and Conversations with Yael. Before her present duties, Yael served as global executive vice president, senior vice president, and director of program development and ministry outreach. Based in Jerusalem, Yael is a published writer, leading international advocate for persecuted religious minorities, and a respected social services professional. As president and CEO of The Fellowship, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of America’s largest religious nonprofit organizations.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]