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Worthy News Brief - July 16, 2013

%%First Name%%, will we learn from history?

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Last night began Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar year. Some of you may know that a lot of bad things have happened to the Jewish people on this date, the first of which was when the spies returned with an evil report of Canaan, the Promised Land, recounted in Numbers 13 and 14. Both the first and the second Temple were destroyed on this exact date, hundreds of years apart. The Crusades began on this day in 1095. The Jews were expelled out of England on this day in 1290, and again were expelled from Spain and Portugal on Tisha B'Av in 1492. And there are many more examples of this infamous day in Jewish history!

The number "nine" is sometimes associated with "judgment" or "fruit" in scripture. Not taking this too far, yet we may still see repeated expressions of the Lord's judgment through this recurring historical pattern. Moses warned, especially in Deuteronomy, of the terrible things which would happen to the Jewish people throughout history were they to abandon the Lord, worship false gods, and forsake His covenants. And He often used idolatrous nations who hated or were jealous of Israel, to bring judgment upon their disobedience, though they often went way too far and angered the Lord bringing His judgment against them as well.

But God's judgments are almost always tempered with His mercy and grace, for one constant purpose -- and that is to bring people back to Himself! We see this in our own lives and in the history of nations throughout the world. But as the saying goes, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". And we have a powerful example of this in Tisha B'Av. Israel's idolatry brought God's judgment upon her. And as the Jewish people around the world are fasting in preparation for the observance of this "day of judgment", we may remind ourselves of our own past failures which we don't want to repeat!

%%First Name%%, will we remember and learn from these past failures? We are not doomed to a fate of failure. If repentance is sincere and deep, we can avoid the judgments and consequences of past sins, and learn from history. If we seek the Lord to expose the roots of failure in our lives, and pray with faith for healing and deep repentance, trusting Him for the power to overcome the sinful nature...we really can avoid a pattern of judgment. Let's spend the time with Him now... so we don't need to return to Him through the terrible shame and sorrow of "Tisha B'Av."

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Negev Desert, Israel

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Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Egypt crisis: police and protestors clash again in Cairo - UK Telegraph
The MENA state news agency said at least 22 people were injured in the violence, which began just after 9pm on Monday and lasted into the early hours of Tuesday.

British House of Lords gives final approval to gay marriage - UPI
Same-sex marriage in England advanced Monday, passing a third reading in the House of Lords.

Russia, China block U.N. condemnation of Iran missile tests - Reuters
A U.N. Security Council committee is split over whether Iran's missile tests last year violated U.N. sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Australia's U.N. envoy said on Monday.

Assad's forces advance into rebel-held district of Damascus - Reuters
Syrian troops backed by tanks and artillery moved into a rebel-held district of Damascus on Monday, stepping up efforts to drive opposition fighters from the capital and build on battlefield gains elsewhere in the country, a rebel commander said.

How European courts are dismantling sanctions on Iran - Reuters
In the years-long campaign to tie a web of sanctions around Iran and stall its nuclear program, the European Union may just have met its biggest obstacle: its own law courts.

Arabs ready anti-Israeli resolution over nukes - Ynet News
After a two-year hiatus, Arab nations are relaunching efforts to single out Israel for criticism at a major international conference this fall by preparing a resolution suggesting that the Jewish state is threatening Middle East peace by its refusal to acknowledge that it has nuclear arms and put them under UN purview.

2 years after nuclear disaster, Japan spawns freaky fruits and veggies - MSN
It might be wise to steer clear of vegetables from Japan's Fukushima area for, oh, say a few hundred years. A Korean website assembled this image collection of produce from towns and villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. And they are NOT pretty pictures.

Edward Snowden 'trapped in Russia by US', says Vladimir Putin - UK Telegraph
Vladimir Putin accused the United States of trapping intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden in Russia yesterday [MON] and "spooking" other countries who wanted to give him refuge.

In Syria, infighting between al-Qaida groups and mainstream rebels undermining revolt - Washington Post
On Syria's front lines, al-Qaida fighters and more mainstream Syrian rebels have turned against each other in a power struggle that has undermined the effort to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Muslim Extremists Force Jews From Temple Mount - Arutz Sheva
Hundreds of Jews came to the Temple Mount Monday in honor of Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of the two Jewish Temples by the Babylonian and Roman empires respectively.

Report: Israel made sure no Russians in Latkia -- then attacked - Ynet News
Even after US sources affirmed that Israel was the one behind the bombing of the Yakhont missile stockpile in Latkia, Syria, the whole story behind the attack on the anti-ship cruise missiles remains murky.

John Bolton: Israel should have attacked Iran 'yesterday' - Jerusalem Post
"Israel should have attacked Iran yesterday -- every day that goes by puts Israel in greater danger, every day Iran makes more progress," John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Monday.

Report: Hamas can once again produce rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv - Jerusalem Post
Hamas has succeeded in regaining some of its capabilities which Israel wiped out in last year's Operation Pillar of Defense and has rockets capable of targeting the Gush Dan region of central Israel in which Tel Aviv is located, Army Radio reported on Monday.

Israel scratching its head after US officials (again) leak Syria strike - Times of Israel
In the wake of Israeli media reports about "anger" in Jerusalem over American leaks to CNN and The New York Times regarding an alleged Israeli attack in Syria this month, official sources clarified to The Times of Israel Monday that "there is no anger toward the administration."

US outraged after Israel backs out of terror suit - Ynet News
Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren was called back to Israel to take part in an emergency meeting convened this weekend by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu so that Oren could pass on messages sent by the US administration and Congress in the wake of tensions between the two countries.


Inside the United States
Senators fail in final attempt to avoid 'nuclear option' - Washington Times
Last-minute negotiations failed to break through the Senate's impasse on nominees, leaving Democrats prepared to ignite the "nuclear option" Tuesday and use a shortcut to change the chamber's filibuster rules, allowing them to push easily through President Obama's appointments.

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans - Fox News
For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.

Feds admit improper scrutiny of candidate, donor tax records, Justice declines to prosecute - Washington Times
The Treasury Department has admitted for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

NBC'S Sharpton Plans Protests in 100 Cities - Breitbart
During MSNBC's 11 am hour, above a chyron that read, "More Marches, Protests Planned in Coming Days, Weeks," MSNBC anchor Al Sharpton said that he and his National Action Network are "mobilizing" protests in 100 cities.

'Justice For Trayvon' Rally Shuts Down Major Newark Intersection - CBS News
Two overlapping rallies protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin have shut down one of Newark's busiest intersections.

Witness claims youths yelled 'this is for Trayvon' in beating - Baltimore Sun
Baltimore police say they are investigating a witness account that a group of black youths beat a Hispanic man near Patterson Park Sunday while saying, "This is for Trayvon."

Zimmerman's Parents in Hiding from 'Enormous Amount of Death Threats' - ABC News
George Zimmerman immediately went back into hiding after being acquitted of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, his parents told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview with ABC News, adding that they haven't seen him since he left the courthouse.

Churches Fear Lawsuits over Gay Weddings - Fox News
Joe Carr believes a day is fast approaching when pastors will be charged with hate crimes for preaching that homosexuality is a sin and churches will face lawsuits for refusing to host same-sex weddings.

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