Sunday, 28 May 2017

CBN film, “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem.”

From RRW

Guest Reviewer:
Rav Dov Fischer
We had quite a large group from our shul attend the Tuesday Night special “Yom Yerushalayim” screening of the CBN film, “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem.”  The film was screened here at a local AMC multiplex at a major local outdoor shopping mall, as it was in hundreds of major theaters throughout the United States on Tuesday night, all at 7-9 pm on a one-time basis, coordinated for the 50th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification.

I write to share that it was a wonderful experience, and the feedback has been universally positive.  Very educational, occasionally quite moving, really a wonderful way for people to grasp what Yom Yerushalayim is, how it happened in the backdrop of 1967, and a pretty good mix of historic film footage with dramatic reenactment.  The film focuses on the 55thParatroop Brigade, which liberated the Old City and Har HaBayit.  A really powerful opening scene revisits HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zt"l speaking a month earlier at Merkaz HaRav.  Major historic figures revisited include Mota Gur, Moshe Dayan, Levi Eshkol, Yitzhak Rabin, and HaRav Goren zt”l.

At the end of the two-hour movie, Gordon Robertson, the film’s producer, spoke on film as an epilogue for about ten or fifteen minutes, highlighting a series of p’sukimfrom Tanakh that were germane and, given the occasion, deeply moving and riveting for the balabatim.  (All the kinds of p’sukim that we instantly would suggest and instantly could recite by heart in Hebrew, but that nonetheless were quite riveting for the moment, having just experienced the film experience.) The Pat Robertson Christian Broadcasting Network is humongously supportive of Israel, and strongly supports American recognition of a Jewish-unified Jerusalem with America’s embassy moved to the capital, in the way that Chrsitians of that world-view all hold (cf. Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, etc.) — even more passionately, alas!, than do some of our MOTs.

FYI — I that, amid those Tanakh p’sukim, he also cited two verses from his Bible.  For a split moment, feeling the onus as the rav of a shul who had brought some 50 people for the Judaic religious experience, perceiving thatbalabatim were looking to me for whether we should stay or leave if the thing was going to become Christological, I started inching towards leaving.  But I paused a few more moments, and thankfully I can apprise you all that he stops citing his Bible after only those two verses that were cited not to proselytize but to universalize the Chrsitian position that G-d promised the Land of Israel to the Jews, the Jewish prophets forecast that the Jews would return to Zion, and now the Jews have returned to Jerusalem, and we Americans — “Gentiles,” as he called himself — have to get with the program if we American Gentiles ourselves want G-d’s blessings (per Breishit 12:3).  After the verses and that powerful pro-Israel, Pro-Jerusalem message, his epilogue added its own postscript to include film footage of last December’s vile Security Council vote haplessly denying the Jewish right to Jerusalem.  The audience saw “all in favor” garnering 14 votes.  And then the call for “All Against” met with stone silence and indifference, as the American representative kept her hand down at the instruction of her bosses, the former President and his former Secretary of State.  And then “All Abstaining” — she raised her hand.  The chair then announced that the measure had passed 14 to nothing, with one abstention, and the Security Council room erupted into wild cheering and applause.

The power of the movie, juxtaposed with the power of that scene, and the power of Gordon Robertson’s final closing words that American Chrsitians stand with Israelfor a United Jewish Jerusalem just made the evening as powerful at the end as at the beginning.

I recommend the film for shul groups.

(Just alert them in advance that there will be two verses at the end during the epilogue, a brief blip, so that they need not squirm in their chairs anticipating that more such verses or proselytizing will follow.)

Dov Fischer
Young Israel of Orange County, CA

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