Do Not Be Afraid to Be a Jew

Colorful hands around a Star of David

I was in a dress shop a year ago in Jaffa. I was talking to the owner of the store and remarked how built-up Jaffa was. I remembered a time when it was streets lined with garage type doors on dilapidated buildings. Now it has a thriving marketplace with rejuvenated buildings and delightful shops and cafes and is a joy to walk through...

Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned;  the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you. I will give up Egypt to set you free; I will give up Ethiopia and Seba. I will give up whole nations to save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor. Do not be afraid—I am with you! (Isaiah 43:1-5, LB)


Be strong, be bold; for you will cause this people to inherit the land I swore to their fathers I would give them. Joshua 1:6 CJB. Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted because Adonai your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

...Unlike the Palestinian territory where there is not ONE Jew, Jaffa has a large population of Arabs intertwined with Jewish people. Israel has Arab communities throughout the country, and we normally live well with each other.

Of course, there are exceptions to that, i.e. bus bombings, a Jewish neighbor of ours in our neighborhood in Jerusalem was stabbed while riding his bike home through an Arab neighborhood, an American woman who worked in my women’s ministry was surrounded by a group of Arabs and sexually assaulted (she was on her way to my flat and totally broke down after recounting the incident), and of course Guy Cooperman, who was nearly blown in half while deterring a bomb from the Hollywood Café in Netanya. The 14-year-old daughter of an American family in Haifa was killed in a bus bombing on her way to school. Oh, and an Israeli friend of my daughter who was on a hike with an American Christian tourist when they were brutally attacked by two Palestinians killing the tourist girl and leaving *our Israeli friend for dead. My goodness, these are just a handful of incidents – there are so many more that the West does not hear about (that the media doesn’t share).

Back to Jaffa. I asked the owner of the dress shop if she was fearful of a possible uprising? She told me: “Everyday”. On 9/11, Toi was in ulpan (Hebrew school) in Tel Aviv. Upon hearing of the attacks in New York, the ulpan closed. Toi took a bus to Bat Yam to see what was occurring in the States. The bus passes through Jaffa. On the way home, as the bus passed through Jaffa, the streets were shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians. They had cardboard images of the towers with planes sticking out of them. They had effigies of George Bush hanging from trees. They were throwing rocks at the bus. Toi wanted off the bus since it was under attack, but the bus driver said no and protecting them both he sped through and out of Jaffa, not making any stops.

Today, we in America are under attacks by our own countrymen. I have heard other Jews in our own area say they were afraid for people to find out that they are Jewish. Synagogues have patrols of police for protection. Even walking to our car from Micha’s memorial, there was police protection in front the Messianic Synagogue.

It is no secret that we are looked down upon, in spite of the fact that God chose a Jewish girl to bare His only begotten son of salvation to the world (gentiles included!). Toi was spat at by Muslim men in Paris, when wearing a Hebrew University sweatshirt. We have had church members using antisemitic remarks like “Jew down the price”. When the Hamas murdered the 1,300 innocent Israelis (including 31 American), and kidnapped approximately 240, we all said that it would only be a matter of time before we (the Jewish people) were blamed for the massacre. It is already happening.

For how can I bear to see the disaster that will overcome my people? How can I endure seeing the extermination of my kinsmen? (Esther 8:6, CJB)

What can you do as a believer?

Write letters or send cards to synagogue telling them that you are praying for Israel and stand with them.

Encourage your children (college aged and younger) to not believe the anti-Israel rhetoric.

If you see a Jewish person at the store (you would know them by their star of David), tell them that you are praying for Israel.

Do not be a part of antisemitic remarks, even the jokes hurt.


“Let you light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify your God in Heaven”. Matthew 5:16KJV

Do not be naïve about the media’s report.

Read your Bible, see God’s truth behind the Land.

Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position precisely for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 CJB

Love from my heart,


Nancy Cohen is the Director of Women's Ministries at Apple of His Eye

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