This is a community that has a long and terrible history of persecution. The worst of which was by far the Holocaust. According to The National WWII Museum "The Holocaust in Ukraine represents the first phase of the Holocaust in which an estimated 1.5 million Jews were shot to death at close range in ravines, open fields, and forests. Based on present-day borders, one in every four Jewish victims of the Holocaust was murdered in Ukraine."
Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine the Jewish community was once again growing. Population estimates range but according to Jewish Policy Research the core Jewish population of Ukraine was estimated to be 56,000 and those that qualify for Israeli citizenship under the Israeli Law of Return stands at an estimated 200,000.
According to the World Jewish Congress Ukraine's Jewish population is the fourth largest in Europe. And incredibly the struggles that Russia is having is allowing many to get out. And Israel's alliyah machinery is kicking into high gear. The following is from the Jewish Tablet magazine:
"There are 10 Jewish Agency emissaries at the different border crossings from Ukraine into Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova, trying to get the buses through after their journeys from the burning cities. The agency has rented 2,100 hotel rooms in those four countries to put people up as they transit to the airport."
The Jewish agency themselves have said that they "provided close to 300 buses so far to rescue Jews from Ukraine to bring them across the borders." On top of that they have set up medical stations at the borders also to care for the injured.
Amira Ahronoviz , the CEO and Director General of the Jewish Agency in Israel says they have teams working 24/7. "They are working on the ground... to literally save the lives, save the lives of thousands of our brothers and sisters, Jews who are fleeing out of Ukraine, under fire from the war zone to six different border stations and facilities that we have formed in order to help them save their lives."
Further to the thousands of Jews who continue to make their journey back to Israel from Ukraine are those coming from Russia and Belarus. In total the numbers vary but there are certainly over 15,000 and thousands more in the pipeline.
Israel Hayom reported that over the passover hotels across the country prepared Passover meals on the Friday night for all the new immigrants.
In light of scripture this is very exciting as more and more Jews are coming home fulfilling the prophecies.
Isaiah 11:11,12 - “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
Truly the words of the prophets are coming to pass. May this bring us confidence that what has been written is truth, and what is yet to be fulfilled most certainly will be.
And to be clear, what we are witnessing is the ground work being laid for the Kingdom of God as that kingdom is the restored Kingdom of Israel. (Luke 1: 31-33; Acts 1:6). For how could a Kingdom of Israel rise again without a Jewish population!
May the King of the Jews soon return to take his rightful place.
Come again next week for another edition of the Bible in the News.