Engagements in the desert

Part two of my Israel trip 15-22 October 2023

In this blog I want to tell about the other week I spent in Israel in October 2023, when I accompanied Iris Bouwman (prophetic missionary from Papua) to the Arava, to assist with some unfinished matters from her latest stay in the moshav Hatzeva in 2016.

Iris at Hatzeva

Sunday 15 October 2023

At the end of the morning it was time to check out of the Jerusalem Gate hotel. Time to also say goodbye to a Swiss couple (who would also participate in TJCII) and an American couple, where he had learned to speak Dutch while working for an international company in Brabant, where one of his daughters still lives.

Fortunately, the apartment where Iris Bouwman stayed was not far and easily accessible by light rail and on foot via the Mahane Yehuda market and the narrow alleys and courtyards of Nachlaot. It was then that Iris came up with the proposal if I could reserve a car so that I could drive with me as a driver to the houses in the Arava, where she could not return at the time. Soon I found the well-known car rental company Sixt online. Looking for this business premises with its garage, I passed the museum of Gush Katif, which I paid a short visit, to see if anything had changed, after a previous visit in 2014. Gush Katif stands in front of the site in Gaza, where many religious Jews were forcibly dragged away by Israel’s own police in 2005. Here you can get a brief impression of this gripping drama.

We then did some shopping at the neighboring supermarket and I took a walk myself in the neighborhood of Nachlaot, looking for a place where I was a guest before, but this time I didn’t knock on the door, when I had found it by touch.

Monday 16 October

For this morning I had made an appointment at Aroma Mamilla with Koen, a local Dutch celebrity, while enjoying a delicious cappuccino in the warm sun, with a beautiful view of the city west of the Wall. See my earlier blog about him.

He immediately told me that he had just helped Jan Willem van der Hoeven to move from Anatat to Mata. He told me he was sad, because of a message of Todd Bennett, who in his opinion had taken a wrong path by following the so-called Essene and Karaite calendar. This Tod always used to find a way to bump into him somewhere in the Old City, when he had a new release from the Walk in The Light series with him:

Walk in the Light Series
Walk in the Light Series

When I told about the WTKOG conference, Koen confessed that he has had some disappointing experiences with ‘Messianic’ leaders and congregations, especially where this was not always accompanied by Messianic behavior. Behavior like that of religious Zionists or pioneers, such as Nati Rom, who has shown him how he took care of a widow with a child, by taking her in marriage. Like Boaz without whom David would not have been born. But also about how he was with him to sit ‘yeshive’ for 7 days after the death of his son-in-law. He is particularly troubled by leaders who use Jerusalem as a kind of decorum; how they stage a platform to make a name for themselves as “apostles.” He is also apprehensive about their establishment of relations with ecumenical partners with their catholic version of the eucharist. Naturally, we also came to talk about international politics, and the role that President Joe Biden (a former Skull & Bones member) is playing with a politics of divide and conquer [like a Machiavelli].

It suddenly occurred to me that Koen would also know where the shop of Moses William Shapira [1830-1884] – a former prominent antiquities dealer – was located, whom I wrote about in my blog about the Moses Scroll. Unfortunately, he didn’t know, but then we went to ask this antique dealer who was known to him. Unfortunately he didn’t know either. However, he was visibly proud of the many negatives brought to life.


Back home, I used the internet to find out more about that location. As it turned out, I wasn’t the first to ask that question. In 2012, in search of the shop of Moses Wilhelm Shapira, the leading figure of the 19th-century archaeological riddle, Shlomo Guil came[1] up with the following designation:

  1. Shapira had an antiquities business in the Old City about 1871
Street in Old City of in Jerusalem in 1927

2. The store was located on Christian Street in Jerusalem

3. The store had display cases and an imposing entrance overlooking Christian Street.

4. The back of the shop overlooked “Bathsheba’s Pool” or “Hezekiah’s Pool” as it is known today.

5. At the back of the shop stood a modest Moucharaby, described as a “hanging cage”.

6. The store had arches at the back.

7. The house had a small neglected garden.

8. When turning down David Street to Christian Street, Shapira’s sign could be seen.

9. In the garden there were two arches overlooking the pool of Hezekiah.

10. There were two large copulas on the roof of the building.

Figure 3 1: Christ Church; 2. The LJS House of Industry and Book Depôt; 3. Shapira’s shop (location of Shapira’s shop following Guil Citation2012; Allegro Citation1965, 18). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00310328.2022.2050075

Koen responded with: This is approximately the Damascus brocade shop where we were where you bought the scarf today. It’s on the same side but a little further away. An Armenian customer in my laundry used to have a shoe repair shop there.

Tuesday 17 October

After testing the Citroën automatic transmission at the Sixt Garage, it was quite a tour to get from there to route 55, due to all kinds of diversions and unexpected one-way roads. With our guide Mickey bar Neder (70) we drove to Gush Etzion Heritage Center and Oz VeGa’on Nature Preserve along the highway that is an extension of the Path of the Patriarchs and not far from Ephrat and the place where David was anointed for the first time by the prophet Samuel. Later, they would also be anointed twice: first as king of Judah in Hebron and later of all Israel in Jerusalem.

Gush Etzion or Etzion Block is a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judean Mountains, immediately south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The core group includes four Jewish agricultural villages that were founded in 1943-1947 and destroyed by the Arab Legion before the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War during the Kfar Etzion massacre. With the armistice lines of 1949, the area remained outside Israel. These settlements were rebuilt after the Six-Day War of 1967, along with new communities that expanded the area of the Etzion Bloc. As of 2011, Gush Etzion consisted of 22 settlements with a population of 70,000.

The saga of the Kfar Etzion massacre

One of the four main original settlements of Gush Etzion.

The Kfar Etzion massacre refers to a massacre of Jews that took place after a two-day battle in which Jewish residents of the kibbutz and the Haganah militia defended Kfar Etzion against a combined force of the Arab Legion and local Arab men on May 13, 1948, the day before Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Of the 127 Haganah fighters and Jewish kibbutzniks who died defending the settlement, Martin Gilbert states that fifteen were killed in the surrender. For the controversy about the true facts and the desire to avenge the Deir Yassin massacre and the destruction of one of their Arab villages a few months earlier, and its aftermath, such as the resettlement of Jews from the Etzion bloc that was evacuated in 1948 after this massacre see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kfar_Etzion_massacre

This was also the place where 3 youths Gil-Ad, Ayal and Naftali were kidnapped in the summer of 2014 and were found dead, which led to a new war (Protective Edge) with Hamas in Gaza. To commemorate their lives, a Park is being established on that spot thanks to Yehudit Katzover and Nadia Mater of Women in Green, the founders of The Sovereignty Movement. They has taken action and achieved success over the past decade, in inculcating the topic of sovereignty into diplomatic and political discourse in Israel and beyond with their mission to continue the historic claim of the people of Israel to its land – sovereignty: “Sovereignty with strength and confidence in the justice of our cause,  without concessions or any connection to plans leading to the creation of an Arab terror state in the heart of our country.”  

Wednesday 18 October

Kiryat Arba, the City of the Four [2] near Hebron is named after a place in the land of Canaan, which is mentioned in the Torah (Genesis 23:2)[3]. Kiryat Arba is located 1005 meters above sea level, making it the highest of all settlements.

According to the 1997 Hebron Protocol, H1 is under the control of Palestine, H2 came under provisional control of Israel. In 1997, Israel was forced to hand over the city to the Palestinians as part of the Oslo Accords. This transfer is recorded in the Note for the Record, the Hebron protocol. [3]
As with other areas in the West Bank under the full civilian and military control of the Palestinian Authority – which make up 18% of the territory – Israeli citizens are legally prohibited from entering the remaining 80% of Hebron, known as H1. Conversely, Palestinians cannot enter Kiryat Arba or the Jewish enclave in Hebron without permission.

Tell Hebron is the hill where David received his second anointing and became king over the tribe of Judah. Seven years later, after conquering the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, he was anointed king over all Israel: of all twelve tribes. The first anointing was in Bethlehem when the prophet Samuel of Ephrathah finally discovered David among all the sons of Jesse as the sought-after successor to King Saul (1 Samuel 16:1-13).

In addition to the Machpelah, there are also the tombs of Otniel Ben Kenaz (the  first Judge of Israel), of General Avner Ben Ner (a confidant of Kings Saul  and David) and of Ruth and Jesse (the great-grandmother and father of King David, respectively). There are also remnants of King David’s palace. The current building above the cave of Machpelah dates back to the time of Herod the Great.

This reservist who was talking with Iris was at this special location at his own request.

Welcome at Beit Hadassa

When we came for a closed door of this museum, we we welcomed by Noam Arnon and his wife and offered coffee. He said he was a historian with a Ph.D. on the relationship between Hebron and Jerusalem.

Beit Hadassah in Hebron
Beit Hadassah in Hebron

The first floor of the Beit Haddassah building was built in 1893 with donations from Jews from North Africa as the first medical clinic in Hebron. The building was used for charitable purposes and as an infirmary, known as Chesed Abraham. In 1911, a new floor was added to the building, financed by donations from Jews from India and Baghdad. Later, a medical care center was opened by a charitable organization. Both Jews and Arabs received medical treatment in this institution without payment. These houses were attacked by Arabs during the 1929 uprising.

The rabbis, the pharmacist and their families were tortured and murdered during the uprising. The medical center in Beit Haddassah was destroyed. The British police stood aside and did nothing to protect the Jews in the city. After the riots, the British government expelled the surviving Jews from Hebron.

Hebron 4000 years
Hebron 4000 years

His doctoral dissertation proves that there is much more to this ancient site than meets the eye: https://www.jns.org/secrets-of-the-cave-of-the-patriarchs-exposed/

Later I found hidden in my own library a brochure about 4000 years of Hebron. Written by none other than this same Noam Aron!

On the internet I found a website where he can take you on a special tour through Hebron: https://hebronfund.org/9th-of-av-tour-of-hebron-with-noam-arnon/?print=print For more special historical information see: http://en.hebron.org.il/history/topic/4

Visit to Paula Leitner at Fountain of Tears in Arad

On our way to our guest address in the Arava we also had the opportunity to visit Fountain of Tears in Arad (for me a 2nd time), where we were welcomed by none other than the Dutch volunteer Paula Leitner. For me she is also the daughter of René and Ans Leitner, the national regional coordinator of Toward Jerusalem Council II. This very week, their summit was also supposed to take place in Jerusalem, but it was unfortunately canceled due to the war with Hamas. On this webpage you can read more about her path to TJCII: https://www.tjcii.nl/mijn-weg-naar-tjcii/. Be sure to check out the four episodes of their documentary series about the One New Man: https://www.tjcii.nl/video/

Paula Leitner at Fountain of Tears
Paula Leitner at Fountain of Tears
On the way to moshav Idan (and Hanna and Naom Gottfeld)
Dumela Guesthouse

Once we arrived at this moshav, it took a while before we also saw a sign with the name ‘Dumela African Hospitality‘. Hanna is of South African descent and caretaker of a number of cottages for guests. He is a real sabra and owner of estate with date palms. Moshav Idan was founded in 1980 by immigrants from Canada, the United States, and South Africa, who had organized in 1976. It takes its name from the nearby Idan stream, which in turn was named after the Arabic name for the stream, Wadi al-Aidan.


When asked about the books Iris had left behind, Hanna came with a box with a striking number of books by Bodie and Brock Thoene [4]

Bodie and Brock Thoene

Rosemary von Trapp (February 8, 1929 – May 13, 2022)

In the conversations, I also overheard something about Rosemary from Trapp.
I had never heard that the eldest daughter of the Austrian captain Georg von Trapp and Maria von Trapp (from the Sound of Music) did missionary work in Papua New Guinea for five years, together with her older half-sister Maria Franziska, the second eldest of the seven. She was the half-sister of the children portrayed in the film. The family fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and settled in the U.S. state of Vermont in the early 1940s, where they opened a ski lodge in Stowe. In fact, she also volunteered in the isolated community of Ir Ovot in northern Arava and stayed there past her allotted visa date. Her hobbies included knitting, teaching others to sing, enjoying her cats who “brought her great joy,” and indulging in “the occasional beer,” one of her obituaries says.[5]

“This place calms me down,” she says in an interview with a soft, childlike smile. “I first came here in 2001, and since then I’ve split my year in two: six months here and six months in America. But this is where I feel closest to God.”

When asked what is in the wilderness that she doesn’t find in Jerusalem, she says: “When you pray, God listens to you. The desert is the backdrop of the Bible, and when I talk to God, I think of the Bible. about Abraham and Jesus, and in this setting it all becomes more real to me. I love the desert. There are no fences around the community here. It’s just here in the middle of the desert. I am now reading a book that says: that in our childhood, walls are built in our souls, and that we must knock down these walls in order to achieve freedom. That’s what I believe in. This is where I break down the walls. In the wilderness I am free.”

Thursday 19 October

The purpose of this day was to visit the caretaker of the two houses near Hatzeva, where Janny and Iris had lived until 2016 for an unfinished conversation. Those houses were no longer as beautiful as they were back then, but they were still in use again.

Underneath the dust we could find a sign with the text: Gate of Departure

Gate of Departure

During the conversation it was already clear that the invasion of Hamas also left its mark there, because of all kinds of reservists who had been called up at the expense of daily business that came to a standstill.

Prophetic act at border with Jordan near Bozra

One of Iris’ missions was to go back to the border with Jordan, right behind the moshav Idan, where, despite the barbed wire, the outlines of a road leading to Bozra can still be seen in the sand. Iris lived (with interruptions) in the ancient city of David from 2003 to 2011. The Father then said, “I have shown you My love for the place that I have chosen for My name. Now I want to meet you in the desert. The place where I speak (Midbar – medaber). His heart and desire is to make “aliyah” himself and return to Jerusalem, the place where He will provide peace. He has already done that through the sacrifice of Yeshua, but His return will bring salvation to the earth, for when His judgments are upon the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). But first, there will be another meeting in the wilderness, which will lead to the moment when He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives.

The words ‘Sha’ar Sur’ on this sign stand for the gate of departure and more than a departure, it means “turn away”, as in “Depart, depart, do not touch the unclean thing, you who carry the holy vessels of the Lord…. (Isa. 52:11). It was a gate that led to the temple (2 Kings 11:6) and is even called the Foundation Gate in 2 Chronicles 23:5  . And here’s a reminder to go back to His foundations and confess that we’ve laid our own foundations instead. Then this “gate” can become the gate of departure and lead us to the Temple.

Those shoes symbolize the action of throwing them at Edom, about which Isaiah 63:1 says: “Who is this One that comes out of Edom in bright red garments from Bozra, Who is glorious in His garment, Who goes forth in His great power?” Bozra means “sheepfold” in Hebrew. If you know that and read Micah 2:12-13, those words will take on a deeper meaning: I will surely gather you, Jacob, completely. I will certainly gather the remnant of Israel. I will gather it together  like sheep of Bozra, like a flock in the middle of its pasture. It will be buzzing with people. The Breaker marches in front of them. They’ll break through, go through the gate, and go out through it. Their King goes before them, the LORD leads the way.

Sha'ar Sur
Sha’ar Sur

Peace route along border of Jordania

Between the moshav Idan and moshav Hatzeva there is a service road, called the Peace Road. The Jewish National Fund paved the Peace Route along the Israeli-Jordan border, for the benefit of the residents of central Arava, following the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty.

Friday 20 October
Biblical Tamar Park – Jewel of the Arava

The purpose of this day was to visit Ir Orvot, an archaeological site with a very long and special history and now called Biblical Tamar Park.

Ir Ovot and Blossoming Rose

Ir Ovot was a religious agricultural cooperative (kibbutz) from 1967 until the mid-1980s, and still refers to a small group of unincorporated houses in the Arava. It is located within the boundaries of the Tamar Regional Council[6]

Through her contact and meeting with a certain Koen in the city of David, she had heard about the story of Simha Pearmutter (1934-1999) who started a Judeo-Christian community there, dedicated to rediscovering the Biblical Tamar as it once was.

Thanks to his efforts and the timely help of another visionary, Dr. DeWayne Coxon,[7] along with countless volunteers, their dream came true: “The wilderness and this lonely place will make them happy; and the wilderness shall rejoice and blossom like a rose” (Isaiah 35:1). 

In 1982, you and his wife, Lexie, traveled to Israel because he had been thinking about an idea to build a greenhouse in Israel since I led a group of professional engineers, interested in solar energy, to Israel in 1979. We had heard of Simha Pearlmutter in the Arava near Kibbutz Ir Ovot in southern Israel and I wanted to meet him. We didn’t connect at the time because I thought we were going to build a greenhouse in Tel Aviv. In 1983, me and my son, Rob, flew to Israel to research how Jordan College students could study in Israel for a semester.Later in 1983, BREF committee, (Blossoming Rose Environmental Fund) was established,  a private Christian organization with a mission to contribute to the development of a historical understanding of the Land of Israel. Of all the historical sites of ancient Israel, Tamar is  the most underrated city in the south.
When this Christian group  began in 1984 and were  welcomed by Pearlmutter and gave the necessary permission, houses were built at the top of the count of what was Kibbutz Ir Ovot (the town of Ovot in the Arava in southern Israel), which was then best known as Fortress Hazeva.[8] They also started with the foundation of the greenhouse at the foot of a hill near the kibbutz office.

As we laid the foundation, prepared our food, and plodded on, we were introduced to the Pearlmutter family. They shared stories about life in the desert and how they ended up in the old Israeli army base at Ir Ovot. They bombarded Simha with questions and found out that they had serious financial needs, some unpaid utility bills, and not enough food on the table. At that time, the community in Ir Ovot numbered eight people: Simha, his wife Rachel and their two sons, Ari and Dari, their parents, Harry and Rose, and two others who were not related, Peter and Yehuda.

They completed the foundation and hired Bedouin masons who completed the greenhouse. Two botanists tested the effectiveness of the greenhouse for growing vegetables. They had built the greenhouse as an experiment to help poor families grow food in the desert, and they grew tomatoes and vegetables to bless the survival of the Pearlmutter family. Seed, fertilizer, and water cost more money than they had, and besides, planting and harvesting in the Arava was hot and hard work. Just keeping students busy, putting food on the table, and keeping the facilities clean required the most waking hours from the volunteer community.

During the first five years at Kibbutz Ir Ovot, from 1984 to 1989, when they worked in agriculture, archaeology, greening and repairing buildings, problems arose. Wayne had many discussions with Simha during those years about the differences between practices in Judaism and Christianity. As Christians, they wanted to help Israel in any way they could, but they considered themselves to be the Gentiles of Isaiah 61:4-5, who helped Israel but did not become converts. They had a keen interest in learning from and helping the Jewish people, but they had not anticipated the problems that were arising.

In those early days, they agreed to move the synagogue of Simha, which the pioneers had installed in one of the buildings in the 1960s, from what they called the Lower Village to the British building on top of the count. This later became the only British-era building that still represented that period, after the archaeologists completed several excavations over the years.

But after the inspiration of that experience, they encountered the need to keep too many unfamiliar customs. As an ultra-Orthodox Jew, Simha wore black clothing, a high black hat, tzitzit and ringlets. He didn’t work with us in the fields, because he said his clothes would get dirty and that because they were black, they would attract the sun.

There was a curtain in the synagogue separating the women from the men, which was neither comfortable nor acceptable to both the men and the women, but it was the kosher food laws that caused deeper problems. We did not abide by the dietary laws at Ir Ovot because, as pagans, the rules of keeping Kosher were far too difficult, while we worked at breakneck speeds to achieve Simhas and our goals.

These are some quotes I selected from four emails, in which Wayne shared four chapters from his book An Old Story Lives Again, which he started in 2020. For the full content, click here.

In 1992, Dr. De Wayne Coxon published his book Living Prophecies – a crumbling wall between Christians & Jews, with Forewords by Rev. Harald Bredesen; James Wilch and Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.

The fundamental history of Christianity can only be found in its Hebrew roots,” he said. “Without Israel, we have no historical basis for our Christianity. Without Israel, we have no intelligent understanding of what God is going to use Christians for in the world. Our role (at Blossoming Rose) is to be in the desert to prepare a place for the traveling stranger.”[9]

With the permission of the Central Council of Arava, Blossoming Rose began plantings that would later inspire a more complete ‘Garden of the Ages’, identified in their Five-Year Plan (2020-2024). In 2019, his son Rob Coxen succeeded him as president.

Simha Pearlmutter (1934–1999)

In 1967, Simha Pearlmutter (born into a Jewish family in Miami, Florida) had already founded a small Orthodox community there. He and his family and disciples later became Messianic Jews, who believed in the imminent coming of the Messiah, and for that reason had settled in Israel.

After his remarkable surrender and joy in acknowledging Yeshua, he said, “How can I do anything for You?” Then he heard Yeshua reply, “I have cleansed you for My Father in heaven, please make Me clean for My people now.” “I will,” Rabbi Pearlmutter promised, “but I need Your help if I want to get You out of this prison that You’re bound in, out of this paganism that’s holding You back, out of the Diaspora and into the synagogue, into Your soil.” Rabbi Pearlmutter went on to explain that four years later, in 1966, he and his family packed up and moved to Jerusalem. They stayed there for a year. Then the Lord sent Rabbi Pearlmutter into the wilderness, where he was to cry out, “Prepare the way of the LORD!”

Simha was a deeply religious man with extraordinary vision. Soon, after divine intervention, he established a kibbutz dedicated to rediscovering the biblical Tamar as it once was. Thanks to his efforts and the timely help of another visionary, Dr. DeWayne Coxon, along with countless volunteers, the prophecy and dream is now coming into view. As the Bible says, and as archaeology continually proves, “The wilderness and this lonely place will make them happy; and the wilderness shall rejoice and blossom like a rose” (Isaiah 35:1).

In 1987, Jewish Orthodox Simha Pearlmutter published his book, In the Tents of Shem, a Messianic Jewish Manifesto to the Post-Holocaust Church, in which he wrote about his faith, Jesus’ role in Israel’s restoration and the end of days. In time, they came to believe that the Messiah would first arrive from Mount Edom, which is opposite Ir Ovot!

This book is also essentially about God’s purpose for Ephraim: the importance of Japheth (the nations) to come and live in the tents of Shem. As a Jew, Simcha was actually far ahead of his time, when he wanted to open his “tent” in Tamar to believers from the nations. This book has been translated by Koos Bouterse, and I was allowed by his widow to make it available via this link.

In 2022, a historical video A Voice Crying  in the Wilderness appeared on the internet about the 30th anniversary of Simcha Pearlmutter, made in 1992:.

There he testifies of his miraculous surrender to Yeshua in 1962 (without the help of Christians or missionaries). He went in search of the personality of the Messiah for himself. Simcha’s testimony is that, without reading the New Testament, he came to the conclusion that the Messiah is Yeshua. He was not interested in Christianity. As one News24 journalist said in his article “A Well Kept Secret“: “Why does he have to learn from the pagans about things they seldom even understand? Yeshua never took a stand against the Jewish faith. He lived and taught the Tanakh, but exposed those who said they did but didn’t.”

He discovered that the Orthodox Jewish world, especially the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world, the rabbinic world, knows the secret of Yeshua. They know him! They know His name! They know He’s the Messiah. They know that He is the only bridge between the Jewish nation and God. They know that since the Temple is no longer there – because God’s presence no longer inhabits the Holy House – and since the third Holy House does not yet exist, every Jew who keeps the commandments knows that he must look to the Messiah.

According to Rabbi Pearlmutter, first-century rabbis wrote the name of Jesus (Yeshua) and His atoning healing acts in Israel’s Orthodox Jewish Daily Prayer Book and especially the Rosh Hashanah Prayer Book. (Something we can also listen to with Rabbi Itzhak Shapira, who made a special Makhzor for Rosh Hashanah in the end times, with the subtitle:  100 gates 100 shofarot).

“We find these prayers,” said Pearlmutter, “between the first set of shofar sounds and the second set of sounds.” According to Rabbi Pearlmutter, the English translation of the prayer reads: “May it be the wish for You that the blowing of the Toshvat that we sound will be woven into the fabric of heaven by the hand of Takiel – one of the angelic hosts – as the name You received by the hand of Elijah,  in remembrance, and Yeshoah (spelled yod, shin, vav, ayin), Sar Ha Panim, the Prince of the Faces of YHVH ELOHIM. Blessed are You, the possessor of the universe.

I then found a  wonderful article from 2019 at Time of Reckoning Ministry entitled: REVEALING YESHUA SAR HAPANIM SECRETLY GUARDED BY THE RABBIS with a further explanation and confirmation of this!

The rabbi went on to say, “The prayer, after the blowing of the third set of shofar sounds, tells us what the function of Yeshua is. It says that the name Yeshua should ascend before Your throne of glory, that His name would recommend good for us and atone for all our sins. In other words, the moment the shofars blow, the name of Yeshua is invoked to atone for all our sins.”

Rabbi Pearlmutter then assured his interviewer that although he had given her only one example, there are dozens of similar examples in the Orthodox Jewish Prayer Book. These prayers were not laid there by pagan Christians, but by Orthodox Jewish rabbis some two thousand years ago. “And they remain in our prayer books for our good,” he said, “so that we can call on Yeshua’s name.

It is claimed that Rabbi Yitshak Kaduri left the same message to his followers. When he died in January 2006, between 200,000 and 300,000 people attended his funeral 24 hours later, so he must have touched the lives of many.

Simha Pearlmutter concludes that interview with, “If I had to sum up my life, I can do it by telling you that there must be a voice calling in the wilderness. The voice must say: ‘nachamu nachamu, ami’ (‘comfort yourselves, comfort yourselves, my people’), a voice that can comfort 2,000 years of wanderings and persecution and death and destruction, and that comes about above all in what we know: in what we call in Jewish terminology the ‘Roman captivity’, the exile of the kingdom of Rome.”

Rabbi Simcha Pearlmutter died in December 1999. Thanks to Christine Egbert, we can listen to an interview with him that he gave in the early nineties. The result of an article with an mp3 recording that she found on the internet: https://vineyardjc.com/interview-with-the-late-rabbi-simcha-pearlmutter/.
Seven of his teachings can be read online on this website: http://www.biblesearchers.com/yahshua/rabbipearlmutterprint.shtml

I have tried to interpret the positive story about Simha above. However, there is also a dark shadow hanging over the community in Ir Ovot, which he (and his son Dani) led. For that story I refer to my next blog.

Biblical Tamar Park

In 2014, Blossoming Rose was appointed steward of the biblical Tamar Park, after raising support for the archaeological excavations and working closely with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Tamar is located in the Zin desert, in the Arava Valley (below sea level) on the eastern side of the Negev desert. It is located on the ancient Spice Route, about 65 km south of the Dead Sea on the road to Eilat. It is clear from the biblical story of Genesis that the city existed in the days of Abraham. We also know that the people of Israel, led by Moses, set up camp at Obot, probably because of the abundant water in the oasis’ springs.

The excavations have shown that King Solomon rebuilt the city. Jewish pottery has been found as well as a seal of the ancient southern kingdom of Judah.. “And Solomon built Gezer and the lower Beth-horon. And Baalath and Tadmor in the  desert in the land. (1 Kings: 9:17-18)’.  “And the south side runs from Tamar to the waters of Meriboth Kadesh to the stream [which] falls into the Great Sea; this is the south side. (Ezekiel: 47:19)”. 

Some 400 years later, the Jews, who lived in Tamar, built a large altar to pagan gods. During the great revival under King Josiah, the idols and this altar were destroyed (2 Chronicles 34 & 35). The altar and pagan incense burners were discovered when the ruins were excavated. Ruins were also found from the second century of a Roman fortress, which was probably destroyed by an earthquake 2000 years ago. After that, Tamar has lain in ruins under the desert sands, until the recent excavations.

The prophets have proclaimed that the old ruins will be rebuilt: “For the LORD comforts Zion, He comforts all its ruins; He makes her wilderness like Eden, and her wilderness like the garden of the Lord; gladness and joy will be found there, song of praise and the sound of song.” Even if the earth falls apart like an ancient garment and its inhabitants die, the salvation that God brings will remain forever (Isa. 51:3-8).

In 2017, archaeologists discovered  gates of Solomon’s desert fortress,  described in the book of 1 Kings 13, during a five-day excavation in the biblical Tamar Park in southern Israel, that were likely the gates of Solomon’s desert fortress. Participants in the excavation believe the new discovery provides evidence for the biblical account of Judean control of Tamar.
“The Bible says that Solomon built a fortress in the wilderness. The archaeologists are sure that they have found all the features of Solomon’s Gate – all the features of the fortified city. They believe that this was a fortress built by Solomon. Paul Lagno, Bible student and participant in the excavation,” told Breaking Israel News. “The archaeological evidence is consistent with 1 Kings 9:19, which says that Solomon built Tamar in the wilderness. In addition, the pagan altars destroyed by King Josiah, as described in 1 Kings 13:3, were also found just outside the gates.”

Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini, an archaeologist employed by the Israel Antiquities Authority, said  the gates were the earliest fortifications at the biblical excavation site of Tamar, likely dating back to the First Temple period. For an interview with her, click here.The centerpiece is three fortresses from the 10th to the 8th centuries BC, and the remains of a small shrine. It also houses the ruins of impressive Roman baths and a Roman castle from the 3rd century AD, and ruins from other periods, such as the Hellenistic and early Islamic eras. A British Mandate-era police station and a modern military bunker preserve more recent history, when the area was captured by the Golani Brigade during the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli War.

Later, this was also found to be the biblical Tamar, as first recorded in Genesis 14:7 and in many other places in the Bible. Ezekiel 47-48 confirmed that this ancient pile of ruined walls and streets would be the Tamar that would become Israel’s southern frontier city in the future days of the Messianic era.

In this video, Dr. DeWayne Coxon explains the different time periods: The Story of Biblical Tamar Park: https://vimeo.com/869167655?fbclid=IwAR11RmclL3ylEBTirnllFIquUxFx4mSj4Wg2CSJl3DkknewiILxXGdwteS4

Figure 4 Exihibits of Biblical Tamar Park with overview and the successive historicistic periods of biblical history.

Via  this link  you can also read about it in a pdf of Blossoming Rose and via this link about this off-beaten-track.

A group of more than 60 Christians from the U.S., who are serious about God’s plan for Messianic unity between Christians and Jews, flew to Israel in October 2009 to work with their hands, rebuild the old walls and dig even deeper into Israel’s history. In that year, DeWayne was succeeded by his son.

This Biblical Tamar is located next to Ein Hatzeva (with a population of 50 inhabitants). Ein Hatzeva is a city located in the Aravah (an extreme desert, where only about one centimeter of rain falls per year. The landmass of this desert is huge (a whopping 17 percent of Israel’s total landmass) yet sparsely populated (about 7,000 people or 0.00077% of the population). Yet the region is an agricultural powerhouse (for example, 85% of Israeli peppers are grown here) thanks to Israeli high-tech farming methods and state-of-the-art greenhouses.
As a bonus, it’s home to Israel’s oldest tree, and there’s also a crocodile farm!

How can people survive in an area where there is almost no rainfall? Until recently, this town was an oasis with a large freshwater spring (which can no longer be seen because the water in the surrounding towns is constantly channeled for agricultural use). Strategically, Tamar sat at the crossroads of two major routes. One of them (route 227 today) connected the Kingdom of Edom (who were potential invaders) and Israel’s Negev desert with important coastal cities such as Gaza. The other guarded the route (today’s Highway 90) from the north and center to the biblical Etzion-Geber and its sister city of Elath (modern Eilat), which was an important port for trade (see 1 Kings 10:22) and a naval base (see 1 Kings 9:26).

Dr. James Tabor and Ross K. Nicholls

To my great surprise, Iris mentioned the name Dr. James Tabor[10], whom she had also met there. I didn’t know what I was hearing, since I’ve been following this man for a long time and even have a blog about him planned. I know that in addition to being an emeritus professor of Christian origins and ancient Judaism, he is also an archaeologist, had I not directly associated him with the Biblical Tamar Park and certainly not with Iris. But just this year he led  a tour in March  , which ended at this special location and from where he gives a lyrical report in a separate video. I also read that he, along  with Ross K. Nicholls and members of Grace Bible Church, worked closely with the staff of Blossoming Rose to  design a unique trip to Israel[11], combining 5 days of touring with 3 days of free work in the biblical Tamar Park. The scriptures take on a new meaning as you explore the land that God calls His own (Leviticus 25:23)—a land that His eyes are always on (Deuteronomy 11:12).

Johny and Gisèle Noer

Iris also met Johny Noer from Denmark and his secretary Maria (a German) for the first time in 2003  . A special woman who followed Johny and his convoy everywhere through Europe, to Israel, which they had to leave in 2014 and left for Greece and are now back in Denmark. The report of journalist and evangelist Johny Noer on how he and his wife and their 16 children started a pilgrim convoy to Jerusalem in 1977, as well as the experiences with the convoy during the journey over e.g. England, France and in 1989 also in Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The family lived in a caravan and traveled in caravans with other Christians. They brought with them a large tent, which they erected in fields along European highways, and although the caravan could be mistaken for a traveling circus, it was not the circus but Christian revival meetings that were held in the tent of 400 men.

Gisèle Noer has written a book herself, which tells about the eventful life of the couple with a group of 16 children (four children with his deceased first wife and 12 children with his second wife). The title “Perlen der Morgenröte” refers to a verse from the Bible (Psalm 110:3) and describes the dewdrops that, untouched by human hands, glisten every morning in the sands of the Zin desert in southern Israel. The Noer family settled there.

From 2002 to 2014, he lived in a camp next to Ir Orvot in the Negev desert. Together with his Hebrew-speaking sons and daughters – led by Benjamin and Lee – he regularly took part in survival trips with Jewish and Arab teenagers. It happened for half a dozen years in the “terrible desert of Zin” under the banner “Desert Peace Expeditions” from where he participates in peace work among vulnerable youth from Israel, the West Bank, Lebanon, Denmark and the rest of Europe. At each of the camps, there are about 50 participants; a work of reconciliation in which the participants must work together to survive. They called it “desert therapy” – something happens when young people don’t have access to data, the internet, cell phones and TV. They do things together, set up tents, cook, and go to meetings in the evenings. A visible result is a desert path, which is also marked along the national road with the sign ‘Peace Route’.

The camp is located next to King Solomon’s ancient desert fortress, which Johny Noer expects to play a central role in Jesus’ return.

In mid-October 2012, the Israeli public prosecutor decided that Johnny Noer, his wife, their son and his family must leave Israel by January 15 at the latest. The reason for the eviction is that they do not have a legal residence permit and do not have permission to live where they live. In November 2013, it was again ruled that the area of the Negev Desert had to be evacuated on the grounds that Johny Noer never had official Israeli permission to settle in the said area of the Negev Desert.
After a two-year trial, the then 77-year-old Danish pastor had to leave Israel in 2014. For the sequel, how he came to faith, the books he wrote and more, I have written a separate blog.

Cynthia Hillson

When Iris and I had just arrived at this seemingly deserted place, a car approached us, curious who we were. When the driver got out and looked at Iris, there was a very surprising facial recognition of this Cynthia Hillson, a well-known friend of Iris’ when she lived there in nearby Hatseva. At the time, she helped her with the dances of the Bride.

I discovered on a visitingcard that there is a very interesting person hiding behind her. Cynthia Hillson turns out to be a nationally recognized expert on strategic grocery shopping and feeding your family well in terms of nutrition. She describes herself as Apothecarey Cynthia Hillson, author, speaker and global wellness specialist and as owner of Precious Oils Essential Oil Blends est. 1991.

Cynthia Hillson is a nationally recognized expert on strategic grocery shopping and feeding your family well nutritionally.

In 1989, Cynthia began making herbal creations using fresh and dried herbs, her new-found love for pure essential oils. She sold potpourri and tussie mussies, fresh herbs, infused oils and vinegar, and a variety of herb and salad dressing mixes at a local Wisconsin farmer’s market. She also sold freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls made from wheat that she ground fresh.

Precious Oils Up On the Hill® is the ministry that Cynthia began in 1991 after a three-day encounter with the Holy Spirit, where she was instructed to “anoint the nations” and “prepare the Bride.”

Since 1992, Cynthia has been sharing her grocery planning strategies, time- and money-saving tips when cooking, with a down-to-earth approach to how she provided her family with eight great-tasting and nutritious meals on a budget.

I discovered that she has a number of interesting websites, including:

Pharmacist Mama is Cynthia Hillson’s teaching ministry, where she shares her love of the plants of the Bible through workshops, books, and products. She believes that the ancient secrets of the plants mentioned in the Bible, and our modern use of them, hand in hand, are not only astounding, but also important in the times we live. The oils of the Bible were infused or administered oils. Distillation wasn’t discovered until around the 11th century, and even at the time, it was a rough process, unlike our current modern distillation process.

She has the following Mission Statement on her Fragrant Bride website: Teaching Plants of the Bible Through Scripture, History, Ancient Secrets, and Customs (including Folklore and Legends); Hebrew and Jewish understanding of the manners and practices of the Bible. Pharmacist Mama Cynthia’s mission involves sharing her love of plants, especially from Israel, which you can experience with her fragrant botanical trips to Israel. She studied in the library of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, in 2014. She is always excited to share some facts about plants that she has gathered during this study period. One of my passions is for the ancient world. She has discovered “secrets” of ancient healers such as Moses Maimonides, Pliny the Elder, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and Dioscorides.

She is also the author of multiple books, from feeding your family nutritionally on a budget to the plants of the Bible, including:

On these webpages you can read a summary of Esther’s Days of Purification https://preciousoils.wordpress.com/category/esthers-days-of-purification/  

That book brought her to Tamar in March 2014 to write ‘in a quiet place’. Since then, she has been working as a volunteer in BlossomingRose for many weeks every year. She cooks for the tour and working groups that stay in this very special place.

The sequel to her Esther book was titled “The Healing Rose: The Rest of the Story of Queen Esther’s Purification“. You can read her introduction here: https://preciousoils.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/the-healing-rose-the-rest-of-the-story-of-esthers-purification/

On http://www.precious-oils.com/  and http://www.cynthiahillson.com/the-plants-of-the-bible-intro.html you can read a more extensive autobiography and update of her.
She also appears to be active on her Facebook recently: https://www.facebook.com/PreciousOilsCynthiaHillson

Further exploration

When I was able to take a closer look at the park after our conversation with Cynthia, I recognized the place where I stayed in a kind of barracks during my ‘not just a trip’ in 2017. New was a recently sponsored shelter to shelter from the sun, where we also met a group of soldiers not much later. Also new to me was a reconstructed ‘Tent of Abraham’ and a construction in which a model of the Tabernacle could be seen.

I also had recognition at the canteen and the outdoor courtyard with cushions around a fireplace.

The British Flag still hangs in this former police post. On top of the remains of an old quarry, we saw the British flag flying from an office, which must have served as a lookout post in British times and is now a kind of museum and contains portraits of all the important protagonists from the beginning of Zionism (Herzl) to the declaration of independence of the State of Israel (Ben Gurion).

  • Eliezer ben Yehuda 1858-1922
  • David Wolffsohn 1856-1914
  • William Hechler 1845-1931
  • Theodor Herzl 1860-1904
  • Alfred Dreyfus 1859-1935
  • Chaim Weizmann 1874-1952
  • Harry S. Truman 1884-1972
  • David Horowitz 1903-2002
  • Order Wingate 1903-1944
  • ARthur Balfour 1848-1930
  • Edmund Allenby 1861-1936

We also discovered a bunker and bomb shelter, where I saw portraits of all Israeli presidents and bounties and those of the founders of this park deep underground.

Pomegranate tree

Finally, it was special to find the pomegranate tree, which they had planted together with Darick and Kate, the managers of Biblical Tamar Park. She had grown, but she was far from fully grown.

In honor of the birth of their daughter Chava, we planted a pomegranate tree. Chava (Eve) is a statue of the first woman to take the fruit from the tree. Years ago, the Lord spoke to her through a dream in which she saw herself with a fruit in her hand, which she handed to Yeshua, who hung the fruit back on the tree. The Lord then spoke and said, as the first woman took the fruit of the tree, I will use you to bring the fruit back to the tree. They

could not then comprehend how actually He was going to use it in His plan of the restoration of all things. As a picture of that, she had to plant a pomegranate tree in the place of His return. Little Chava has become an image of the “last Chava” to emerge, the mystery of the bride, who will be reunited with the last Adam.

The pomegranate, according to the Jews, has 613 seeds, which refer to the 613 laws in the Torah, but the “blood” that flows from the fruit when it is broken open reminds us of Yeshua, who took the punishment for our transgressions. He is therefore the only one who can bring the fruit back to the tree. Cynthia Hillson wrote a special blog about this on November 18, 2020: Ruby Res Treasure, about Ancient Secrets and Modern Uses of Pomegranate.

The so-called “Chava tree” has become a symbol of hope for recovery for us, also for Tamar and all of Israel. Actually, this tree is also on the site of Yeshua’s return, near Bosra, whence He who is able to save will come (Isaiah 34:1-8 & 63:1-6), and at the way of the Redeemed Ones, which will lead to Jerusalem, where His feet will be on the Mount of Olives. (Isaiah 35:8-10).

Back in the moshav Idan, we were invited to join our Jewish/Christian host family for their Sabbath meal with their two sons and daughter.

Noam and Hanna Gottfeld
Noam and Hanna Gottfeld

Saturday 21 October

On this day we drove along the beautiful and fascinating route along the Dead Sea back to Jerusalem. Then you will also pass the beautiful resort of Ein Bokek. Later I read that many evacuees along the Gaza Strip were also housed there. Although the park at Ein-Gedi was also closed, we still made a stop there for a cup of coffee.

Once back in the Old City and dropping Iris off in the narrow street of Ir David, I walked through the Old City expecting to bump into Paul somewhere. What was also the case: again near the coffee corner at Christ Church!
That afternoon I received a message from ElAl that my flight in the early morning had been postponed for half a day. The advantage of that was that I could still spend a whole night on a couch at the compound in Ir David (behind the museum).

Sunday 22 October

To avoid having to pay an extra day for our rental car, the trick was to drop it off at the Car Rental at Ben Gurion airport before 9.00 am. And that without navigation (due to lack of an internet connection). I studied the route on Google Maps very well in advance, but was not quite sure if I would recognize and follow that route for a certain part. And indeed, after leaving early, I managed to find my way to the North beyond the walls of the Old City in the East. But unfortunately I couldn’t find any signs to the highway to Tel Aviv. So I went to a gas station to inquire. For a moment I had the idea that I had lost my way again, until I finally saw the redeeming sign of a driveway to Tel Aviv! The handling at the Car Rental went smoothly. The shuttle to the airport was already waiting for me and took me right away. It turned out that I was a few hours early to be able to check in. Fortunately, I had just enough cash for a coffee and I was able to take the time to browse through the English book titles at Steimatsky.

To my utter surprise, I received a message from Paul that he had been able to book a ticket on the same ELAl flight and that he could easily come by train. I had gone to all that trouble with that rental car before that. Unbelievable.

Halfway through my flight I got into a conversation with my fellow passenger, a certain Jonathan from Tel Aviv, who, when asked about his destination, admitted that he had to “flee” from the “war zone” for a while and was on his way to a friend in Germany. If I had a hopeful message for him… With my attempt at an answer, the rest of the flight was filled! Afterwards I saw another young American woman, who was sitting by the window and was on her way to Belgium, and confessed that she had followed part of our conversation, that I must be a good teacher.

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350176569_In_Search_of_the_Shop_of_Moses_Wilhelm_Shapira_the_Leading_Figure_of_the_19TH_Century_Archaeological_Enigma

[2] According to the Bible commentator Rashi, Kiryat Arba (“City of Arba”) means either the city (kirya) Arba, the giant who had three sons, or the city of the four giants: Anak (the son of Arba) and his three sons—Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai—who are described in Numbers 13:22 as the sons of a “giant”: “On their way through the Negev they (Joshua and Caleb) came to Hebron where [they] saw Aiman,  Sheshai and Talmi, descendants of the Giant (ha-anak)…”

[3] In the Hebron Protocol, the Palestinians commit themselves to combating terrorism, preventing violence, cooperating in the field of security, preventing incitement and enemy propaganda, systematically combating terrorist organisations and their infrastructure, arresting, prosecuting and punishing terrorists.

[4] For an overview of their book series, see https://www.boekbeschrijvingen.nl/thoene-bodiebrock/thoene.html and their background https://www.gideonboeken.nl/auteurs/bodie-en-brock-thoene

[5] https://people.com/celebrity/maria-von-trapp-dies/

[6] https://www.israelandyou.com/hatzevah-fortress/

[7] Coxon, a Free Methodist minister with a doctorate in social science, ventured to the area in the early 1980s as president of now-defunct Jordan College to explore renewable energy sources. He and volunteers stuck around to support a farming operation at the site, and later was asked by Israeli authorities to drum up money for an archaeology dig.

[8] https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/culture/1680429333-private-christian-company-runs-israeli-biblical-site

[9] https://bibleinterp.arizona.edu/excavations/Biblical_Tamar_Park

[10] Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2022, where he taught for thirty-three years.

[11] This one in October 2022 is no exception: https://blossomingrose.org/wp-content/uploads/Tabor-Nichols-itinerary-2022.pdf

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