The Dutch chapter of Christians for Israel has invested just over $30,000 to make a 36-feet-tall Star of David topped with a menorah – the nine-candle symbol of the Jewish holiday of Hannukah – which it claims will be Europe's largest menorah, to show solidarity with the Jewish community in what they believe to be the End Times.
Christians for Israel established the menorah "to show to the Jewish community in Israel and worldwide that they have friends who are praying for the restoration of Israel," Sara Van Oordt, the organization's head of communication & activities, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. She also added that current events are signs in scripture "that the Messiah will soon come – that Jesus will come again."
"For two thousand years, there hasn't been the state of Israel, and now everything is coming to fulfillment," Van Oordt added. "I really believe that this is one of the signs of the End Times."
Regardless of how soon Jesus may come back, the Christians for Israel spokeswoman said her organization's purpose is to teach Christians about God's promises to Israel. "Start reading your Bible and you will come to understand God made a covenant with the Jewish people, He has a very special relationship with them," Van Oordt explained. She said it is the duty of Christians to help Jews.
The menorah will be presented on the eve of Hannukah, on Nov. 27, and will be placed near Christians for Israel's offices in Nijkerk. Van Oordt credited the chief rabbi of the Netherlands, Binyomin Jacobs, for the idea. "He proposed to us because we have a good relationship with the Jewish community in Holland," she explained.
Van Oordt acknowledged that many in Holland apply God's scriptural promises to Israel to their private lives as members of the Christian church, but she emphasized that "you shouldn't forget what the original message was – to the chosen people of Israel." While the personal application "is also true," it isn't the only message. For more information, Van Oordt encouraged people to visit the Christians for Israel website, at c4israel.org.
"Most of our members are going to tell you, if they're not citing Genesis 12:3, they will tell you we have a debt of gratitude to the Jewish people," David Brog, executive director for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), told CP. He noted that "every word in the Bible, Hebrew and New Testaments, was written by Jews."
Brog acknowledged the "messianic significance to the state of Israel," but emphasized that Van Oordt's motive lies in her support for the Jewish people.
"In a time when Jews are being attacked on the streets of Europe once again, it's a beautiful gesture," the CUFI spokesman noted. Brog also explained the causes behind the increasing hostility in Europe toward Jews.
"Militant Islam is a force behind the attacks on Jews in Israel and in Europe," the CUFI spokesman said. He also accused the same source for the persecution of Christian communities in the Middle East, which have suffered stunning attacks in Pakistan, Egypt, and Syria specifically. But Brog also quickly clarified that these attacks are not inspired by the religion of Islam itself.
"I think the number one victim of militant Islam tends to be Muslims, but Christians and Jews are also paying the price in blood weekly if not daily," Brog declared.
"Holland has a long, long record of support for Israel," David Sedaca, a Jewish believer in Jesus and vice president of Chosen People Ministries, told CP on Tuesday. "The Dutch people have always had a love for the Jewish people," so he did not find it a surprise that what may be the largest menorah in Europe would be erected in Holland.
"I think it's great, especially in light of the rising anti-Semitism in Europe," Sedaca added. "If the Arabs or Palestinians or Muslims don't like it, that's their problem – I'm Jewish, so I like it."
Sedaca also said the establishment of the state of Israel is a sign of the End Times. "We believe the Messiah is coming – some Christians believe he is coming back, Orthodox Jews believe he is coming for the first time," the Messianic Jew explained.
Sedaca also quoted Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who perished in the Holocaust "because of his love for Israel." The Messianic Jew said "if you want to prove the existence of God, look no further than the Jewish people," who survived and thrived through slavery in Egypt, exile in Babylon, persecution in the Middle East and Europe, and such horrors in the 20th century.
"We applaud the building of the menorah, we applaud the display of unity, we applaud the focus on what Jews and Christians share, especially in Europe," CUFI's Brog concluded.