In an interview on Tuesday, Efrat mayor Oded Revivi spoke with Israel365’s Rabbi Tuly Weisz on the topic of annexation and it’s demographic, economic and spiritual implications. Efrat is a Jewish Israeli town adjacent to Bethlehem in Israel’s Judean region.
And although Trump’s Deal of the Century has been heavily criticized by many settler leaders for enabling a potential Palestinian state, Revivi claims to take a more practical approach saying that Israel should take what it can get now while the Jewish state still has a friend in the White House.
During the interview Revivi explained the history of the Biblical town of Efrat and its connection to the Messiah. He noted that the town of Efrat is mentioned in two places in the Bible. The first time is when “Rachel gives birth to Benjamin and she passes away and is buried on the way to Efrat.”
And as sad as Rachel’s death is, Revivi adds that the “happier story” is the book of Ruth. “And we are just before the festival of Shavuot (Weeks). And during the festival of Shavuot we read the book of Ruth” he said. Recalling the story of Ruth, Revivi notes that they fall in love and end up in the fields of Bethlehem.
The Efrat mayor then explains how the story is one of two widows and how “one of them – Ruth, sticks with her mother-in-law and they end up in the city of Bethlehem.” He then continues to the part where Ruth falls in love with Boaz. Revivi notes that they “play around in the outskirts of the fields of Bethlehem.”
Revivi notes how the book ends with a “promise of Ruth being prosperous in Efrat, which is where we are…and the fact that we believe that out of that love story, King David will be born and the Messiah will be born.”
Connecting that phenomenon to modern times, Revivi explains how current islands of coexistence in Judea and Samaria can usher in the Messiah saying: “The reason it’s relevant to today is because if we can create a relationship where playing outside with people who might be strangers – Ruth was a stranger when she came to Bethlehem. She was part of a group of people to whom the people of Israel weren’t allowed to get married to. And yet she is promised that the Messiah will be born from her. That is an incredible concept. When we live today in Efrat, bordering the city of Bethlehem and we see that between us and Bethlehem there is no barrier, that’s where we need to give opportunities to any peace plan whether we like the whole framework or not.”
“But as a religious Jew, who prays three times a day for peace, we need to give it a chance” he concluded.
When asked if Trump’s peace plan was a step towards the Messiah, Revivi expressed hope saying “Please God.”