Contact: David Nekrutman, CJCUC
NEW YORK, March 3, 2015 /Christian Newswire
/ -- The State of Israel will be celebrating its Independence Day this year on April 23rd and, through the "Day to Praise" initiative, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin invites Christians from around the world to join in celebration and solidarity with the Jewish community by reciting Psalms 113-118. These psalms have historically been invoked in times of collective redemptive acts for the Jewish people including the biblical feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles as well as rabbinic holidays such as Hanukkah. "A year after the establishment of the State of Israel, the Chief Rabbinate decided that the miracle of Jewish sovereignty warrants us to express our gratitude to God through these psalms, known as the Hallel (Praise)," remarked Rabbi Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel, and Founder of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).
Recognizing the importance of Christian support for the People and State of Israel, Rabbi Riskin opened the first Orthodox Jewish center in the world to engage in religious dialogue with the Christian community for the sole purpose in building a positive communicative platform for mutual understanding. Since 2008, tens of thousands of people have visited the center. "Last year, during the Feast of Tabernacles, Rabbi Riskin and I invited the local Christian community in Israel along with some key Jewish members to celebrate the holiday through a Hallel service," said David Nekrutman, CJCUC's Executive Director. He added that "the event was such a success it became the inspiration to launch the global Day to Praise initiative."
Nekrutman describes the Day to Praise as an opportunity to see Israel from the point of view of celebration as oppose to crisis. "It is easy to get caught up in the headlines and find the different ways to defend the State of Israel on the PR front," Nekrutman commented, "but we cannot lose sight of the greater miracle – our appreciation to God for having a State of Israel in our lifetime. On Israel's Independence Day we have the opportunity, Jew and Christian, to thank the Almighty that Zion is being restored."
Rabbi Riskin will lead a Hallel service in a Jerusalem synagogue on April 23rd, inviting the local Christian community to celebrate Israel's Independence Day. The event will be live-streamed. He also has set up a tour to Israel from April 18-26th entitled "Isaiah 66:8 – the Birth of a Nation," which will focus on the pioneering spirit of Israel. "We realize that not everyone can join us in Israel, but it is important to commit to reciting Psalms 113-118 on this day," stated Riskin. "I look forward to Christians letting me know they are praying these psalms by visiting our website, www.daytopraise.com
, and filling out the Psalms Commitment registration form."