As the death toll in Israel surpasses 700, with over 2,000 injured and more than 100 others taken hostage by Hamas in Saturday's terrorist attacks, a former Israel Defense Forces captain of the Shayetet 13 unit, now psalmist, Yair Levi, says he feels the end of time is near.
Israeli police officers and IDF soldiers have lost their lives fighting Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Israel from Gaza on Oct 7, as Israel celebrated the final day of the Sukkot holiday. Hamas militants ambushed the Erez Crossing and Re’im military base and breached the border fence with explosives and a bulldozer. The militants killed and abducted Israelis in villages and border towns near Gaza, and posted some of the abductions and killings on social media platforms.
Levi, who served in the IDF for eight years and resides in Tel Aviv with his family, told The Christian Post that he believes this war is another sign of what he calls the end of time.
"I think that we are at the end of time. I think that everybody can feel it. Everyone can feel it,” reiterated Levi, a Levite.
"The more we're getting close to the end, the more the devil [is trying] to control, and he's putting his last fight into the ground, into the people, into nations. He's acting through nations, through people,” he stressed.
As Israel battles Hamas, Hezbollah and possibly Iran, Levi expects he could be called up for emergency military reserve duty as the war continues. He also expressed his concerns about the security breach and expects more details to be released in the coming weeks. Several soldiers who served under Levi have been wounded, and one was killed.
Although Levi and his family initially had to evacuate to the shelter in their home, he believes God will protect his family throughout this war.
"First, we need to trust Him, to trust God. This is exactly what He wants from us. It's kind of a test for us: what are we going to choose? Are we going to choose the bad side, the devil, or the good side?” he posited.
"I can tell you this, right now in Israel, there is such a long line for people that want to give blood to the hospital, people that are trying to help the soldiers,” he said.
Levi has also teamed up with Rabbi Tuly Weisz of Israel 365 to host prayer sessions with Israel's allies worldwide. The musician encouraged Americans to share the truth about what's happening in Israel and to be a light in these dark times.
"People from the U.S. [should] find places where they can help in their community to say, 'What can I do better in this last time of redemption? What can I do better with my neighbors, with my family, with my church, with my friends all over the world?' And, of course, in this kind of situation with the people of Israel that are really suffering right now. It's a good opportunity to support and to show love, and it's so appreciated,” he said.
Levi's work as a singer, songwriter and musical producer is gaining notoriety. His music is filled with psalms and has been embraced by Jews and Christians alike. His latest release, a Hebrew remake of Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons,” has gone viral and is even played in some of the most prestigious synagogues throughout the Holy Land.
Three years ago, on the verge of becoming a big breakout star in Israel, God shifted Levi’s course. Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, many of his large-scale events were canceled and a song he penned for his ill grandmother made way for him to sing to both Christians and Jews.
“Because of God, He put me in a position of singing to hundreds of Christians during COVID. Some events with hundreds of thousands of Christians,” Levi told CP.
Though he initially didn't want to sing to people outside of his Orthodox Jewish faith, when he did, his eyes were opened to the bonds between Christians and Jews.
"I didn't want to do it. I asked myself, 'Who are those people that [are raising their hands]? I don't know them. I don't want to get involved in this. I'm an observed Jew.' It was like, ‘Whoa, I don't want to touch it,’” he recalled.
"But then, I understood that I [misunderstood] everything. I didn't know how many people feel such a connection to us and we need to give them our love back and to support them, to help them support us,” he added.
Levi said Christians and Jews “can be best friends and we are best friends, but a lot of Israelis don't know about it. So I took it upon myself, the responsibility, to be a bridge.”
"I felt that my calling from God is to show people in Israel and outside of Israel that we can be good friends, and [it] doesn't have to be just behind the scenes,” he added.
Levi has spent the last several years traveling to the U.S. and other countries to perform and illuminate all the things that Jews and Christians have in common. He encouraged Christians to pray for Israel and to continue being an example of love to all people.
Levi told CP he covets prayers for his family and other Jewish families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones in Hamas' attacks.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic