“‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD,
“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills,
and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.” — Amos 9:13-14
The Torah portion for this week is a double reading, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, from Leviticus 16:1—20:27. Acharei Mot means death, and Kedoshim means holy. The Haftorah is from Amos 9:7–15.
This week’s Haftorah is one of the most inspiring prophecies about the end times. The prophet says, “The days are coming . . . New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.”
Friends, I want to tell you that these days are not coming; they are here!
I have tasted wine from new wineries in the land of Israel. It seems that new wineries spring up every year! I have walked the land and seen the vineyards and orchards gracing our hills and valleys. I have witnessed top-notch farms growing first-class produce that is exported throughout the world. I have been to ancient cities rebuilt in our times, cities such as Jerusalem and Shiloh. I have personally accompanied thousands of Jews on their flights to Israel and I continue to witness God’s people coming home. The days that the prophet Amos spoke about have already begun.
I want to share with you the words of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an address to the U.S. Congress several years ago. He said, “I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.”
Earlier in the Haftorah reading, Amos described the exile. God said, “I will shake the people of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve” (Amos 9:9). However, those days are coming to an end. Netanyahu continued and said, “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.”
According to the Jewish tradition, the world is 5,775 years old. That means that almost six millennia have passed to come to this very time, and we are privileged to have been chosen by God Almighty to be alive during this amazing time. These are the days of which the Bible speaks, the days that people have anticipated for thousands of years.
Won’t you join The Fellowship in supporting Israel and her people, and in helping fulfill prophecy?
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President