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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: Hatikva
By Crista Darr
05/10/06


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Blown by the breath of God, they are scattered to the ends of the earth. They wander, desolate and forsaken, cast out like an unfaithful wife. The land itself seems to heave against their presence, tossing them with tempests of exiles, pogroms, and Inquisition.

The intense flames of Jewish persecution kindle the deepest yearnings for Zion. As their father Abraham hoped against hope, so do they. The greeting, “Next year, Jerusalem!” is proclaimed from every corner of the globe.

The Jewish soul soars, rising above tremendous odds and the worst of hostilities. The people of the Book celebrate their heritage, keeping alive the memories of David and the glories of Israel. Out of the ashes of exile, the ancient language of the prophets is resurrected.

Satan wages war against them.

Holocaust paints its black scar on the face of humanity. The extent of this atrocity is unfathomable. It is difficult to imagine the scope of six million murders – a number with the potential to wipe out the population of our largest cities. It is said that the death of one is a tragedy, but the death of a million is only a statistic. Six million cherished souls: husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters – all murdered. Only a remnant remains, sustained by the promise of the Almighty to bring his children home.

On the eve of Shabbat, May 14, 1948, the sufferings of God’s chosen people, travailing with the birth pangs of holocaust, give birth to a nation – their beloved Israel. Immediately, the shout to every Jew echoes across the globe, “Come home!”

“Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?”
(Isaiah 60:8 – KJV)


With his spiritual eyes, the prophet Isaiah saw them coming. Some return like clouds, pushed by the strong winds of persecution, affliction, and holocaust. Others, with longing hearts, return like homesick doves to the land of their forefathers. They come by the millions, filling the sky on their journey home.

Seven surrounding Arab nations welcome the Jewish state with a declaration of war, the bombing of Tel Aviv, and the boast to “cast Israel into the sea.” Outnumbered 100 to 1, and with inadequate military equipment, the Israeli victory cannot be explained apart from miracles.

The violence toward the Jewish state is escalating around the world. The nations ignore the promise to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse.” (Genesis 12:3a - NASB)

In this Promised Land, persecution and hatred continue to fight against hope, yet hope prevails, fixing its eyes on the eastern sky. There can be no peace without the Prince of Peace. When Messiah returns like a dove on the cloud, all terror and sorrow will flee away. Israel’s enemies will be destroyed and no weapon formed against her will prosper. He will establish Zion in righteousness and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. There will be singing and rejoicing in that day and forevermore. He has promised, and in His promises, we have our hope.


“So long as still within the inmost heart a Jewish spirit sings,
so long as the eye looks eastward, gazing toward Zion, our hope is not lost
– that hope of two millennia, to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Hatikvah – “The Hope” (Israeli National Anthem)



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This article has been read 1284 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor05/11/06
Wonderful writing! I love the way you pulled out the line, "Satan wages war against them." Your description of the magnitude of the Holocaust was powerful and I love the image of the doves and clouds. Very well done.

Amy Michelle Wiley 05/11/06
This was well-written. Great article!
Jessica Schmit05/12/06
Wow, I am so glad my entry didn't come before or after this one. Your writing is astounding. Absolutly incredible. Masterful in fact!
Purity Snowe05/12/06
Exccellent writing, so polished and smooth and powerful. Very good!
Maxx .05/12/06
This is soooooo polished that I could see my reflection in the monitor! Obviously a highly skilled writer. And the message was spot on. What a telling for this likely winner!
Birdie Courtright05/13/06
Very powerful and poignant. Beautifully crafted, and wonderfully thought provoking.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/14/06
You clearly showed the plight of the Jew. Excellent writing both in the message and in the polish.
Pat Guy 05/15/06
This lifted my heart high to the heavens, rejoicing in each word! Wow! What a blessing! Wow! What a joy! You outdid yourself on this one! ;)
Dara Sorensen05/15/06
Awesome! You can feel the hope of the sons and daughters of Abraham in every word. Great job; has to be a winner this week!
Cassie Memmer05/17/06
Beautiful! May God grant Israel peace.
Val Clark05/17/06
Ah, now I know why I didn't comment when I read this before the hinting started. It's because I struggle with separating the theology/content from the writing! Having said that, Crista, you have created a compelling article where each paragraph builds beautifully upon its predecessor, driving the reader along to the culmination. Form and function in untiy! Well done!
Val Clark05/17/06
Ah, now I know why I didn't comment when I read this before the hinting started. It's because I struggle with separating the theology/content from the writing! Having said that, Crista, you have created a compelling article where each paragraph builds beautifully upon its predecessor, driving the reader along to the culmination. Form and function in untiy! Well done!
Val Clark05/17/06
Ah, now I know why I didn't comment when I read this before the hinting started. It's because I struggle with separating the theology/content from the writing! Having said that, Crista, you have created a compelling article where each paragraph builds beautifully upon its predecessor, driving the reader along to the culmination. Form and function in untiy! Well done!
Val Clark05/17/06
Ah, now I know why I didn't comment when I read this before the hinting started. It's because I struggle with separating the theology/content from the writing! Having said that, Crista, you have created a compelling article where each paragraph builds beautifully upon its predecessor, driving the reader along to the culmination. Form and function in untiy! Well done!
Val Clark05/17/06
..... er wonder how that happened?
Beth Muehlhausen05/22/06
LOL Val, guess you had lots to say, huh?!! :-)

This gave me chills, literally, all the way through.
Sherry Wendling05/28/06
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This piece is built with the grace, beauty, and soaring majesty of Solomon's temple. Surely you have been to the Land of Promise? I went three times, all back in the 80's. Also sat through all nine hours of the movie "Shoah." You just can't look at a newspaper through secular glasses again. Magnificent!