The solutions to the problems of our times are not within the reach of political leaders, rather divinity, US pundit Glenn Beck told nearly 3,000 enthusiastic followers in the Caesarea Amphitheater on Sunday night, at the opening event of his four-day Restoring Courage rally.
“I’ve spent the last few years trying to find solutions for what is happening in the world,” he said on the backdrop of the pillars of the grand stage. “While there may not be a political solution, the good news is the God of Abraham ain’t running for office,” he said to loud applause. “Be not afraid, know who he is, know his face, know that he is a God of covenants and miracles. We are leaving the age of man-made miracles of spacecraft, and we are entering the age of the miracles of God.”
The pleasant evening wind carried the gentle fragrance of the adjacent Mediterranean Sea to the audience in the ancient outdoor theater, the dozens of buses that brought them to the northern city lined up impeccably and awaiting their return in the parking lot like Roman legions. The group of nearly 2,000 Christians who flew in especially for Beck’s event, most of them Americans, will attend an event Monday in memory of the Holocaust, with the grand finale of the tour being the Wednesday Restoring Courage event, to take place near the Western Wall.
The Roman ampitheater hosts some of the wildest concerts in Israel, but it rarely sees a crowd as excitable as this one. After all, this was no mere musical act, but the conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck.
“While there may not be a political solution, the good news is the God of Israel ‘aint running for office,” he declared to rapturous applause Sunday.
Don’t worry about trifles like diplomatic processes and peace plans, went his message. After all, the entire world is “reentering the age of miracles of God.”
Beck declared that the Christians gathered there should “not only love Israel but we love the Jewish people as they are.”
The former Fox News talk-show host was joined on stage by the American evangelical icon John Hagee, who, in a twist on Kennedy’s famous “ich bin en Berliner” comment had the crowd chanting “ani yisraeli,” which means: “I am an Israeli.”
The JDF article concludes:
While most of the Israeli rabbinic establishment steered clear of the event, American-born Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Efrat, attended and spoke. He told the crowd that the event was “magnificent” and “transformative,” and praised Beck’s “courage to love us in our otherness.”
The few Israelis in the audience felt it was a shame that more did not attend. “People told me I’m crazy for coming,” said Seth Greenberg, a high-tech manager from Ranana. “A lot of Israelis are afraid to assert themselves and think it will cause us problems, but I think the time that people like the underdog has passed and we need to be proud because the world loves a winner.”
Beck actually spoke relatively little (although he did manage to cry often), giving the floor over instead to his main guests - historian David Barton, Efrat founder Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and author Mike Evans.
All three did pretty much what they were presumably booked for: Barton brought historical gravitas to the words of the Bible; a moist-eyed Evans recounted a traumatic childhood of anti-Semitic taunts from which he was saved by a vision of Christ; and Riskin spoke of Jewish appreciation for the support of the Christian pro-Israel community, and in particular that of Glenn Beck, who, according to Riskin, is a "deeply patriotic American, a true friend of Israel."
"We are not alone," Riskin said. "We are Jews and not Christians; you Christians, nevertheless, have the courage to love us in our otherness.
"We are profoundly grateful for your courage to love us and stand with us," he added.
It all seemed carefully scripted, even down to the screens with lyrics of the Hebrew songs transcribed in English. The determination to stand by Israel and the devotion to the Jewish State was palpable, and oft declared.