I read it through the Grapevine

Much thought, prayer and hard work goes into every book HaGefen Publishing produces. The reason for this is that the needs we are addressing are enormous while our resources are very limited. At the same time, it is our job to find the right balance between publishing books that Israelis need and the ones they may want. Not only that but we also need wisdom to know how to strike the right balance with the books that we publish for various sectors of society. We publish books for children and teenagers but also for adults, including pastors and elders, as well as lay people. Finally, we also need to find the right balance between publishing evangelistic books for non-believers and books for the body of Messiah in the land. All of these factors, plus the finances needed for each project, bring us to our knees to seek wisdom from above.

As I am writing these words, another important book is being printed. It is The Last Jew of Rotterdam, written by Ernest Cassutto. This book tells the story of the Jews in Holland during the Second World War and the amazing way in which the Lord provided for their safety while many others were murdered.

Today in Israel there are fewer than 200,000 Holocaust survivors. Those who remain are getting old and many are very fragile. Whilst they survived the most horrible acts in the history of mankind, many of them are finding it hard to survive in their current poverty stricken conditions. A large percentage of them are being supported by various government agencies but it is still not enough. Thankfully there are a few ministries reaching out to them who are able to help both materially and also spiritually. For example, the Grace and Truth congregation has been reaching out to a group of these folk who live very close to the Gaza strip. In addition to their many challenges, they also suffer from missiles being launched from Gaza. Since 2001, more than 10,000 missiles have been launched toward Sederot.* 

It was in light of these people and a few other factors that we decided to publish this book, which was originally published in English by Jews for Jesus. They kindly provided us with the copyright free of charge and Mrs. Elizabeth Cassutto, Ernest’s widow, provided much of the funding for the project. Unfortunately, it was while we were in the middle of the translation of the book that Ernest was called to glory. Mrs. Cassutto continued with the project as she wanted to see the last wish of her husband become a reality. We sent a sample copy of the book over to the USA for Ernest’s memorial service, which was held in mid-October.

Our prayer is that this book will provide some hope for the remaining Holocaust

survivors. We also pray that it will help answer the often asked question: ‘Where was God when the Nazis killed and murdered our people in cold blood?’ The answer, of course, is exactly the same place he was when he allowed his only begotten Son to be hung on a tree for the salvation of many. He died not only that we could live but also so that we could understand something of the depravity of man and the amazing grace of God.

Please join us in praying that this book will be a useful tool in the hands of the living God and that he will glorify himself by changing the lives of many through its publication, particularly those who have lived through the darkest days in the history of modern mankind.

Once again, thanks for your prayers and your support of our work as we bring the gospel to all sectors of Israeli society. 

* I purposely used a non-Israeli website for an unbiased number.

This article first appeared in the Winter Herald 2013

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