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Two stories among thousands at the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles

Gitte Macbeth returned to Israel this year after an absence of 26 years, serving as a delegate from Denmark to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s (ICEJ) Feast of Tabernacles.

“I want to get closer to God,” Macbeth told KNI at the Feast’s first plenary session on Oct. 8 at the Pais Arena. “And I want to bless Israel.”

While we spoke, Gitte held and sometimes waved a small flag of Denmark, a white Scandinavian cross upon a solid red field, an emblem believed to have originated during the age of the Crusades and flown as a “war flag” alongside the imperial banner of the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th century.

The Jewish people have come a long way in the eyes of some Christians. Banners bearing the same Nordic Cross now born on the national flags of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden were prominently on display at the 2017 Feast, waving in support of Israel. Similar emblems were almost certainly on the scene in 1096 at Speyer, Worms and Mainz in Germany, once prominent Jewish communities within the medieval Holy Roman Empire in which thousands of Jews were murdered as part of the Rhineland massacres.

As most are aware, that massacre was not a singular event in Europe. Per a Washington Post article by Michael Wise, in 1421 at Vienna, three times the administrative seat of the Holy Roman Empire between the 15th and 18th centuries, central Europe’s largest medieval synagogue was razed “during a state-sanctioned pogrom that culminated when more than 200 Jews were burned at the stake along the banks of the Danube.”

A native of Denmark and, according to her, a member of the only family in Denmark bearing the surname of the fictional Scottish general made famous by William Shakespeare, Macbeth has always loved Israel, a love she derived from reading the scriptures.

“I feel at home here,” she told KNI. “There is such a feeling of peace. I want to come back again and I want to bring my husband.”

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Donna Jollay
Donna Jollay

Donna Jollay is the director of Christian Relations for Israel 365, an online presence directed by Rabbi Naphtali “Tuly” Weisz which provides “the latest headlines from a Biblical perspective…[and promotes]…the Biblical significance and physical beauty of the Land of Israel each and every day.”

Jollay, a Christian Zionist, is also the cofounder, with Rabbi Weisz, of Yeshiva for the Nations, an online academy offering “authentic Torah classes designed for non-Jews.”

The 2017 Feast of Tabernacles was Jollay’s first ICEJ event. Although she came to the Pais Arena as a vendor, not a delegate, she, like Gitte Macbeth, professes a profound love for Israel. Jollay tended the Israel 365 booth on opening day working side-by-side an orthodox Jewish woman from Beit Shemesh, demonstrating levels of cooperation and acceptance between Christian and Jew that would likely stun many Jews who have experienced anti-Semitism or associate all Christians with the medieval Catholic Church.

“A dividing line has been drawn in the world and that line is Israel,” Jollay said. “It is a line,” she agreed, “that no one will be able to straddle.”

When asked how she acquired her love for Israel, Jollay spoke of a personal tragedy  experienced 20 years earlier.

“My heart could not be healed,” she said, “so Yeshua replaced my heart with his, and his is a Jewish heart.”


Links of interest:

Christian Pilgrims Stand with Israel (Chris Mitchell, CBN)

ICEJ Kicks off Feast of Tabernacles Celebration

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Cliff Keller lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife, Marcia after making Aliyah in the spring of 2011 from the United States. He has recently published a three-novel series, historical biblical fiction the theme of which is The Modern Restoration of Israel, based on the life and times of the prophets Elijah, Hosea and Daniel. Cliff also blogs at Standing by the Gate and has a writing website goodStories.

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