It has been five months since the Hamas attack of October 7 – one of the darkest days in the history of modern Israel and one of the longest wars we’ve had to fight.

During these five months, clouds have gathered over our nation: clouds of uncertainty, mourning, and despair for Israelis personally, as well dark clouds over both the domestic political and international landscape. For five months our usual “Ma nish’ma?” (how is it going) has only one answer: “Just like all Israel.”

For decades Israel has been priding herself on being the only democracy in the Middle East, a start-up nation, filled with innovation and breakthroughs in technology, science, medicine. For many this dream was crushed at 6:29am on Shabbat of Simkhat Torah – the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles when we celebrate the Word of God given by Moses to the Israelites thousands of years ago.

Israel’s small piece of land is surrounded by enemies on all sides except the Mediterranean Sea. When thousands of Hamas terrorists poured into Israel on October 7, their hope was that all fronts would join them in this attack. It was God’s mercy that kept our other enemies from joining the attack on that day. However, since then, they have been engaging in increasing attacks against Israel as a show of support to Hamas: in the north, Hezbollah, the terrorist organization funded by Iran, has joined with barrages of mortars and rockets from Lebanon and Syria.

If that was not enough, Judea and Samaria in the East have also been brewing with hundreds of attempted terror attacks, many of them successful. For now, Israeli Arabs, who make up about 20% of the Israeli population, have kept the peace, and we are hoping it stays that way.


The ground operation in the Gaza Strip continues, although it has slowed down significantly due to several factors:

  • IDF troops are now in the southern part of the Strip – the area to which over 1.2 million Gazans fled from the northern and middle zones as our troops were progressing in their fight with terrorists. This requires different operational tactics and presents challenges of keeping Gazan civilians safe. Unlike the bias reports of world media, Israel does not target civilians and always looks for ways to protect them from Hamas—our real enemy in this war.
  • One hundred and thirty-four hostages are still held by Hamas, and the issue has created a controversy among Israelis whether they should be returned by negotiations and concessions or by military operation. Our government, for now, is advancing the military option while trying to reach an agreement with Hamas to return as many as possible alive.
  • The unprecedented world support we’ve had on October 7 has now evolved into enormous pressure for a cease-fire, with threats of defunding, sanctions, embargo, etc. Israel faces a huge dilemma, understanding that the only way Hamas can be disarmed and dismantled is through a military ground operation.

Even though the IDF has been drawing down the number of forces in the Gaza Strip, the fighting continues, Hamas continues to launch rockets into Israel from time to time, and we continue to lose soldiers in battle. Yet, there’s a feeling of stagnation, and no one can really tell what is going to happen next.


We can’t really call what has been going on in the north a war. Rather, Hezbollah has been testing boundaries, firing into Israel on a daily basis. Israel, on her part, has  been reacting to these attacks by destroying the rocket launch sites while also taking advantage of opportunities to precise-target Hamas and Hezbollah VIP’s in Lebanon and Syria.

Ultimately, Israel’s  goal is to expel Hezbollah from the demilitarized zone in Lebanon established by UN Security Council resolution 1701 in August of 2006. This resolution was broken by Hezbollah not even a month after it came into effect, and, until now, Israel unfortunately tolerated the situation with Hezbollah digging underground attack tunnels and establishing terror bases along the border.

In the light of the October 7th attack, no Israeli citizen from the northern border communities is willing to live with a deadly terrorist organization at their back door. Just a week and a half after the October 7th attack, Israel evacuated over 120,000 of its citizens from the northern border communities. The expectation is that either that there will be a negotiated Hezbollah withdrawal from the demilitarized zone (a nearly impossible scenario) or Israel will have to attack in order force Hezbollah away from the border and out of the demilitarized zone. Israelis are preparing for the more likely scenario–an all out war with Hezbollah, one of the most powerful terrorist organizations in the Middle East.


Hezbollah is much more powerful than Hamas: in addition to its geographical advantage (higher ground), Hezbollah has over 120,000 missiles, advanced technology and sophisticated weaponry, including precision missiles that can reach any part of Israel. Hamas’ October attack mimics precisely the plan Hezbollah wants to execute against Israel when an opportunity presents itself, and such an attack is only a matter of time. With the horrors of October 7th still lingering in our minds, everyone is expecting the IDF to make sure such an attack from Hezbollah does not happen. None of the evacuated citizens will return to their homes until they know it is safe.

For now, both sides are exercising a certain measure of self-control, but everyone knows that an all-out war with Hezbollah in the next several months is a very real possibility. In the event of such a war, all of Israel would be covered by a powerful barrage of missiles that would challenge our iron dome system and precision weapons which would target strategic infrastructure. This means that we would all find ourselves for perhaps weeks on end living in our bomb shelters, very possibly without electricity and water. Already many Israelis have starting storing bottled water and food provisions and are even buying emergency generators.


During the last five months, I keep thinking with sadness of all the people who do not know the Lord and don’t have Him to lean on. After all, spiritual battles are raging around us, whether we are aware of it or not, and they affect everyone. At Tiferet Yeshua, we understand that this war is only a physical symptom of the heavenly realm where real war is happening until God’s ultimate victory over Satan and his forces.

Until that time, God’s Word exhorts all of us to understand the signs of the times (the physical manifestations of the advancing spiritual war) and to stand in the gap for Israel in prayer. In fact, the prophet Isaiah exhorts “all who call on the name of the LORD” to pray for Israel night and day and to give Him no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isa. 62:7).

Standing with Israel these days is not a popular thing to do. The issue of Israel is dividing families, friends, co-workers, even nations. Most likely it will become more uncomfortable and even dangerous to stand with Israel in the future. Yet, while Israel is not perfect in any way, this is the one nation on earth whose existence is a living witness of God’s faithfulness to His Word. And Israel is stage upon which the culminating end-time battle will play out before the coming of Messiah Yeshua: it is every believers vested interest to know, care about and pray for what happens here! 

God’s Word tells us that:

  • God has chosen Israel (Deuteronomy 7:6)
  • God has given the land of the modern state of Israel (and more!) to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as an everlasting inheritance (Genesis 12:7, Genesis 15:18, Ezekiel 37:21)
  • God will not forsake Israel and His calling to Israel is irrevocable (Genesis 17:7-8, Ezekiel 11:17, Isaiah 11:12, Jeremiah 30:3, Ezekiel 39:25-29)
  • God will fight for Israel against all nations who will come against her in battle (Jeremiah 30:7, Joel 3:2, Zechariah 14)
  • God will never again uproot Israel from this land (Amos 9:14-15)
  • God will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse it (Genesis 12:3)
  • God will judge nations according to their treatment of Israel (Matthew 25)
  • God will save Israel physically and spiritually (Ezekiel 37, Romans 11:26)
  • Israel’s salvation will mean life from the dead to the world (Romans 11:15)

With these things in mind, we invite you to pray daily for Israel, for both physical and spiritual deliverance. Believers in Israel and the nations are all part of one body of Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua prayed for this unity, and right now we need you, our brothers and sisters in the nations, to help us stand in the midst of this storm.

You can get specific prayer points in the prayer guide we recently shared.

by Katy Sorsher Smith




The Breaking Point

For me personally, the first year of covid restrictions and quarantine that we went through in Israel was a very trying time. However, the week of Passover was especially difficult. My husband and I usually host a large Passover meal for our extended family (I love to cook, especially the Tunisian and Moroccan dishes I grew up with). This year, however, because of the quarantine restrictions, I decided to cook Passover meals to bring to my elderly in-laws who live nearby, for another family member in a difficult situation, and for another elderly lady from our congregation.

As Passover drew near, we were in our third week of total quarantine, and my family and I were starting to feel the effects. I suddenly found that I couldn’t sleep at night, and my exhaustion during the day made it all the more difficult to deal with the challenging situation, not to mention all the extra work I had taken on for the holiday.

As part of the team at Tiferet Yeshua, I have a calling to be there for others: one of my daily activities, even more so now, is to call our congregation members, pray with those who need encouraging, and coordinate with our team to help those who are in immediate need. I didn’t realize it at the time, but trying to be there for everyone, including my immediate and extended family, I was reaching a breaking point.

I was sharing with a sister in the Lord about the difficult time I had been having during quarantine. At one point she said to me, “Olga, even though you’re exhausted, do you realize that you have been witnessing to people right and left?”

It hadn’t occurred to me as something out of the ordinary, but actually it was! I had told her how a family member who had always been antagonistic to the gospel was suddenly open to hear about Yeshua and was even willing to take home some literature to read about the Messiah in prophetic scripture. This family member has been completely broken through the corona crisis because his wife fell into clinical depression during the quarantine and had to be hospitalized. I also had an opportunity to share with one of my neighbors who spent time in a Yeshiva (a Jewish religious school) as a young man. Now, because of this crazy situation we all find ourselves in, he is suddenly seeking and open to hear about Yeshua.

A Prophetic Dream from 20 Years Ago

When we first went into quarantine, the Lord had put on my heart a powerful dream that He gave me almost twenty years ago when I was a brand new believer—a time when I was still immature in the faith and living in compromise in many ways. However, it is amazing to me that despite our weakness and immaturity (think of Peter the disciple), the Lord will still give us deep and amazing revelations!

In the dream, I was dressed in the clothes of Moses, and I held his staff in my hand. I was walking the streets crying out to those around me, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand!” The sky overhead was dark and foreboding, and I saw an explosion far away to the north, like something happening somewhere else that I knew would come to Israel too. As I walked the streets, crying out to those around me, I could see that my words were going into the hearts of many, and God was touching them. There were others who did not receive my words, and I could see their hearts harden and turn away from God.


Olga singing blessings during Passover Seder 2016


While I was sharing with my friend about my experiences during the corona quarantine, I realized that this dream the Lord gave me from so many years ago is for now! I may feel tired and broken at the moment, but God is using me to witness to those around me who are open to the gospel like never before. And it’s not just me: during Tiferet Yeshua’s congregational Zoom meeting, Tiferet Yeshua elder David Trubeck shared how secular friends of his from the military who were never open to the gospel have suddenly started asking him questions about his faith. Elder Moti Cohen and others who witness to the poor and needy have been seeing unprecedented hunger and openness for the gospel. Other outreach ministries in Israel have been experiencing the same thing.

Pray for the Harvest

At the beginning of the quarantine, Pastor Gil shared with all of us that he felt that the Lord would use this crisis to turn the hearts of many unbelievers to seek Him, and that is exactly what is happening. Would you stand with us during this time to pray that the Lord would bring in the harvest here in Israel? There is such resistance to the gospel here—Israelis have so many hurdles to get over to be open to the gospel—and we need your prayers! God is moving, and our prayer is that what is happening here in Israel through the corona crisis will happen all around the world.

by Olga Gez