16 Menachem Av 5771
Glenn Beck could not have chosen a more fitting place for his kick-off event on 8/21. Let me remind you what we are talking about. Glenn Beck is presenting three major events next week in Israel. The first one will be held on Sunday, August 21st and in his own words, "we are making that a Christian event. ...I mean other faiths will be there, but it is a Christian event." He said: "This is a real Christian event, so it might make some people uncomfortable because it is the only event that is uber-Christian. But get your churches involved...."
And he's having it in Caesarea at the ancient Roman amphitheater. The city that was renamed for Caesar Augustus and served as the home of the Roman governors during the period of Roman rule over Eretz Yisrael. It was also designated the capital during the Christian Byzantine era.
According to Virtual Israel Experience, the population during Roman rule was evenly divided between Jews and Gentiles. This often led to disputes. In fact, the Great Revolt against Rome started in Caesarea from one such "dispute" and it was also the place where Rabbi Akiva was executed:
The Great Revolt of 66-70 CE started in Caesarea when the Jewish and Syrian communities began fighting over a pagan ceremony conducted on Shabbat near the entrance of a synagogue. The Romans ignored the Jewish protests of this provocation and violence soon spread throughout the country. When the Romans finally quelled the revolt, and razed Jerusalem, Caesarea became the capital of Palestine, a status it maintained until the Roman Empire was Christianized by the Emperor Constantine in 325 CE.
Caesarea was also the site where the Romans tortured and executed Rabbi Akiva following the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE.
Caesarea is an important site in Christian history. It was the place where Pontius Pilate governed during the time of Jesus. This was where Simon Peter converted the Roman, Cornelius, the first non-Jew to believe in Jesus. Paul was also imprisoned for two years in Caesarea. During the 3rd century, Caesarea was a center of Christian learning. In the 4th century, the site converted to Christianity and became a major center of the Christian Roman Empire.
...In 1101, the Crusaders captured the city under the leadership of Baldwin I, only to lose it in 1187 to Saladin. Under the Crusader rule, the Jewish community of Caesaria dwindled until in 1170 only 20 Jews remained.
Obviously, Glenn Beck knows his history and has chosen this site for its religious significance, just as he chose the Jerusalem site.
"One [event] is specifically designed for Christians on Sunday night. Hundreds of churches in the US will be viewing. It's a kick-off event to get the Christian community in America to wake up and start standing up for Israel. ...Glenn Beck will be joined by Pastor John Hagee, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, esteemed historian David Barton, and other religious leaders in a program at the extraordinary Roman amphitheater in Caesarea, Israel. With the stories of Ruth and Esther at its foundation, the event will inspire its audiences to display loyalty, courage and love as they stand up for Israel and the Jewish people. Scheduled to perform is Grammy nominated Vernessa Mitchell, who will be joined by Israeli singers and musicians to enhance this powerful event."
Wouldn't you think that self-respecting, God-fearing Jews would get as far away from something like that as they possibly could? Yeah, you would. I guess that means that the Jews who are planning to attend are neither self-respecting nor God-fearing. I'd say that's a pretty good bet.
Btw, if you happen to be one of them, you might be interested to know that there are free buses all ready to bring you from Efrat, Ariel and Karnei Shomron. Efrat's chief rabbi will be a guest of honor. Ariel's mayor pretty much turned the city over to Christians years ago. And Karnei Shomron is home to one of the most diligent workers on behalf of interfaith activity in Israel. So, I'm not surprised. But, I am appalled and sickened and saddened by it all. I won't be anywhere near any of these events when they occur and I advise anyone else to do likewise. Maybe, if Hashem is feeling particularly merciful toward His faithful children, He will make an earthquake and a tsunami that night, just for Glenn and his guests.