Sunday, July 31, 2016

On the way to Ukraine!

   Leslye and I are leading a team of twenty-two (sixteen from Beth Hallel in Birmingham, AL and six from Toronto from Congregation City of David) on 9/11/16 to Odessa, Ukraine for the semi-annual IAMCS leadership conference for Central and Eastern Europe. At the end of our time in Odessa we will visit Auschwitz in Poland. We will be ministering in Odessa to Holocaust survivors, orphans and drug and alcohol addicted persons and leaders and members of the twenty IAMCS congregations in Ukraine. Please keep this outreach in prayer for the six flights and connections of the trip and train travel to Auschwitz from Warsaw, baggage transfers, the health and safety of the twenty-two members of the team, all the details of our hotels and local transportation, our times of ministry and sharing, unity of the team and for angelic protection and the anointing of the Holy Spirit for our final preparations and the trip which runs from 9/11/16 through 9/19/16. Two members of the team will remain in Europe for a longer period of time so continue to lift them up through 10/4/16. If you would like to contribute to our outreach and the congregations in Ukraine, you can send a check payable to Beth Hallel. Our address is Beth Hallel, 2230 Sumpter St., Birmingham, AL 35226, USA. Please include a note that your tax deductible gift is for the Odessa trip. Love and Shalom, David & Leslye

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What do you think of this?

What if there was a country that had on its passport that it was good for all countries except Israel? Could that be possible? Yes it is if your from Malaysia. Here's what I just received from a friend visiting there. The thing speaks for itself. Shalom. David Schneier


Monday, May 9, 2016

Someone made a wrong turn

Sometimes you come across the unusual when driving around the South. Here's a shot from Pensacola Beach on Mother's day. Shalom, David Schneier



The sign says it all

So we were heading to spend Mother's day in Pensacola and we came upon a seafood restaurant off of I-65. It had a sign on the wall that said it all. What do you think? Shalom. David Schneier


Monday, April 11, 2016

Just got back from Ukraine


    Back in the USA from 10 days in Ukraine and France. My first entry about the trip comes from the first thing I saw as I passed through passport control. There was a little handout in front of the guys who were checking passports and stamping visas. It seemed necessary by those in charge to warn us not to try to bribe those in passport control and customs as we entered Ukraine. For me it was sad to realize the level of corruption that still exists there. We cannot imagine that such a flyer would be at passport control as we re-enter the US. Please pray that the Ukrainian people will be delivered from the oppression of criminality in every area of life. Shalom. David Schneier

Thursday, March 24, 2016







 


Just a request for prayer as we (myself and Jeff Friedlander) travel to Paris and Ukraine this Saturday through April 5th. We will be part of an IAMCS leadership conference in Nikolaiv, Ukraine. We expect Messianic leaders from all over Ukraine and Crimea to be there.

   With the recent events in Belgium, the threats of further terrorism by ISIS and the civil war in Ukraine (including random but infrequent bombings in Odessa), we need prayer cover and wisdom for our time in Europe. We'll have a lot to share about the trip on this blog and YouTube so follow us at www.closeupsfromfaraway.blogspot.com.      Shalom. David Schneier

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A toast to Hitler in Ukraine

This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 12/27/15. It's hard to believe that a member of the Parliament of Ukraine could be so brazen in his blame of the Jewish people for Stalin's murder of millions of Ukrainians by a forced famine. Shalom. David Schneier
 
Ukrainian legislator toasts Adolf Hitler
By SAM SOKOL
Sun, 27 Dec 2015, 05:51 AM
Photo by: screenshot
A video of a Ukrainian opposition lawmaker saluting Adolf Hitler made its way online this weekend, only days after his country’s president apologized for Ukrainian collaborators’ role in the Holocaust during a state visit to Israel.

In the video, Artyom Vitko, the former commander of the government backed Luhansk-1 Battalion and now a member of Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party, can be seen sitting in the back of a car wearing camouflage fatigues and singing along to a song by a Russian neo-Nazi band extolling the virtues of the Nazi dictator.

“Adolf Hitler, together with us, Adolf Hitler, in each of us, and an eagle with iron wings will help us at the right time,” Vitko sang, saluting the camera with his water bottle as the car’s sound system blared “Heil Hitler.” Vitko’s pro-Nazi sentiments emerged immediately on the heels of party leader Lyashko’s denunciation of President Petro Poroshenko for his recent apologizing for Ukrainian complicity in the Holocaust.

Speaking before the Knesset last week, Poroshenko said “we must remember the negative events in history, in which collaborators helped the Nazis with the Final Solution. “When Ukraine was established [as an independent state in 1991], we asked for forgiveness, and I am doing it now, in the Knesset, before the children and grandchildren of the victims of the Holocaust... I am doing it before all citizens of Israel,” he added.

Lyashko lashed out at the president on Facebook on Thursday. “This kind of humiliation of Ukrainians has not been recorded in our history yet. During a visit to Israel, President Poroshenko apologized for the ‘Ukrainian participation in the Holocaust,’” Lyashko posted.

“This is exactly [the] situation if we would accuse Georgians and Jews in the Holodomor, appealing to the atrocities of Dzhugashvili, Beria, Kaganovich, etc,” he said, referring to a massive famine, and those responsible for it, that resulted from the forced collectivization of farms in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. The Holodomor, as it is known in Ukraine, killed millions and is seen by many in that country as a genocide on par with the Holocaust.

“The Knesset has not recognized the Holodomor as the genocide of the Ukrainian people. That is a goal for Ukrainian authorities visiting the Holy Land rather than belittling Ukrainians [and] proclaiming inferiority of his people on the international level,” Lyashko added.

Poroshenko’s comments were laudable and he “acted correctly and courageously when he spoke in the Knesset about the Holocaust the Jewish people endured on Ukrainian soil,” Colette Avital, chairwoman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post. “Even though we are not surprised by the comments of the radical leader, Oleh Lyashko, we are nonetheless shocked by the kind of strange and irrelevant comparisons he brings up and by his negation historical facts.

By now even leaders like Mr. Lyashko should understand that the tragedy which befell the Jewish people in Europe in general, in Ukraine in particular, should be condemned by all, including by him.” “I would say that this is the reason Poroshenko is president and not Lyashko. Lyashko is a populist only saying what he thinks people want to hear,” said Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich.

The Jewish community, Bleich said, disagrees with the populist politician’s definition of humiliation, seeing disgrace as when “one cannot face up to history.” “Pride is to look back, and learn from mistakes. No one accused the Ukrainian people of causing or creating the Holocaust. However, the fact is that there were Ukrainians who participated in the murder and persecution of Jews. They are worthy of condemnation.”

“The sight of a member of the Ukrainian parliament singing a song praising Hitler, underscores the extremely deep problem in today’s Ukrainian democracy regarding the ongoing efforts in that country (and elsewhere throughout post-Communist Eastern Europe, especially in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Hungary) to rewrite the narrative of World War II and the Holocaust,” said Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“The fact that the Ukrainian authorities honor groups which actively participated in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust and glorify their leaders sends a message that delegitimizes the accurate historical narrative, and paves the way for disgusting scenes like this one. The Ukrainian leadership should not feign surprise or astonishment, they’re the ones at least partially responsible.”

Earlier this year Ukraine’s parliament has extended official recognition to a nationalist militia that collaborated with the Germans during World War II. However, many Ukrainian Jews have appeared rather sanguine, explaining that they believe that such moves are more likely the result of a need to build up a national ethos and raise up heroes during a time of conflict rather than a celebration of such figures’ anti-Semitic attitudes.

Despite that, such moves have been widely panned by Jewish organizations worried about the long term effects of the glorification of anti-Semites. Asked about the decision to honor such groups, Poroshenko told the Post that the government was paying tribute to those who fought for national independence. “Let’s not try to find the black cat in the black room, especially if there is nothing there,” he said.