In its essence, aliyah is the return of the Jewish people to a land from which they were separated some two thousand years ago. Since then, every year, the Passover toast, ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’ has expressed this hope and dream. Ebenezer feels called to help for several reasons...
‘Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you...”
This verse, Genesis 12:1-2a, is one of the first of many in the Bible that indicates God had, and still does have, a special feeling and purpose for the Jewish people. They were intended to receive God’s revelation and be a light to the world. As part of that purpose, they were given a land to call their own. God loved them and assured them that even if they were disobedient and cast into exile, He would eventually bring them back. The prophet, Ezekiel speaking from exile in Babylon, declared God’s intention, “ For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.” (Ezek 36:24).
Isaiah declares God’s call to the Gentiles to help in the return of the Jewish people. Chapter 49 verse 22 of Isaiah says, ‘ Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My standard to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
The Apostle Paul indicates that Gentiles are indebted to the Jewish people, for in his letter to the Romans chapter 15 verse 27 he writes "... if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them in material things. Out of our gratitude for the spiritual blessings received from the Jewish people, the Church should help meet their practical needs."