While pandemic restrictions prevented visitors from coming to his farm in the Judean Hills, Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel saw an opportunity to create a virtual House of Prayer for All Nations, bringing together people of all religions from 24 different nations to pray and learn together, focusing on the most powerful thing in their lives that they all shared: the Holy Bible. The response has proven to be greater than anything Rabbi Gimpel hoped for and each meeting is, in itself, the realization of prophecy.
Rabbi Gimpel, the husband to Tehilla and father of six, decided four years ago to uproot his family and move him to a remote section of the Judean Desert where it meets the Judean Hills, about 15 minutes drive from the city of Bethlehem. The area is breathtakingly beautiful, overlooking the descent to the Dead Sea. But Rabbi Gimpel was not merely looking for pretty scenery. The are was precisely where King David had wandered while writing most of Psalms while running from King Saul. He had chosen the site in an attempt to turbo-charge his prayer. He established the Arugot Farm with three other environmentally-minded Israelis seeking a similar prayerful existence and moved his family even before the house was built. The fact that Tehilla and the children agreed is testimony to their personal interest in Rabbi Gimpel’s spiritual journey as well.
His dedication to the land of Israel seems to be having a hidden influence on the world as the farm is listed as “Enclave #8” in Trump’s peace plan.
“From our house eastward, there are no more Jewish towns,” Rabbi Gimpel explained to Breaking Israel News. “In that respect, we are the last Jews in Judea.”
From the moment Rabbi Gimpel first visited the location, he felt connected to that particular piece of Israel.
“I first came here about four and a half years ago and the moment I got out of my car, it felt like my soul spun around, did flips in the air, and went straight into the earth,” he said. “That was such a transformative experience that I realized I have to offer it to other people as well, people who are seeking what Israel has to offer for their souls.”
“There is something very magical here. Because of the hills being imbued with David’s spirit, the focus is on prayer.”
Also due to the tangible influence of King David, Rabbi Gimpel knew that the Farm would not be an exclusively Jewish experience.
“Most of King David’s men, like Uria the Hittite, were not Jews,” Rabbi Gimpel said. “They were just righteous men seeking God. I think we are entering into the era when it is time for the Jewish people to open up our book, our doors, and our hearts and prayers, in order to take our place, acting as a Light Unto the Nations.”
Also in the manner of King David, music is an essential aspect of the prayer.
“King David was the first to put prayer and music together. Music is universal,” Rabbi Gimpel said. “In King David’s hills, we uncovered the type of prayer that was destined to be here. We can all sing together. I can argue with Jews for hours. I can argue with Christians for days. But when we open up the Book of Psalms, we can put our arguments aside and join together in singing to God. Prayer has the power to bring the world together and this is precisely what is needed in these days when the world seems ruled by polarized divisiveness and hate-filled riots.”
“That is why the Temple is called a House of Prayer for all nations and not a House of Teaching or Torah for all nations. Prayer can bring the whole world together, more even than the Bible. We all want to be blessed by God and to be close to Him. In a moment of prayer, we can transcend all of our differences. That was the Temple reality.”
After establishing his farm four years ago, Rabbi Gimpel hosted countless groups who all came for the full-immersion experience offered in the unique location. When the pandemic shut down tourism, the guests were no longer able to come to visit. Rather than becoming discouraged, Rabbi Gimpel saw it as an opportunity to enact prophecy. He envisi0oned the prophecy of Zechariah in a modern context.
Thus said the lord of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold—they will take hold of every Yehudi by a corner of his cloak and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that Hashem is with you.” Zechariah 8:23
Rabbi Gimpel admitted to an aspect of the project coming from his impatience for the Final Redemption, but he noted that even this impatience fits into prophecy. He referred to a Jewish concept describing the Third Temple descending from Heaven.
“It is actually descending from heaven, falling directly into our minds and being suspended in our virtual dialogue,” Rabbi Gimpel said. “After we complete these preparations, then will come the time for the material temple top be built.”
The rabbi had a vision of social networking on the internet as threads spreading out from the Holy Land, permitting him, as a Jew in the Judean Hills, to bring the people along. Rabbi Gimpel emphasized that Zechariah specified that the prophecy would be an ish yehudi, a man from Judea.
The group now brings together over 100 people from 23 countries, including anun, a priest,a Muslim, and many who do not define their relationship with God in reference to any particular religion. The group meets online on Sunday evening at 6:00 Israeli time. This is difficult for some since the group spans every time zone. Each session begins and ends in musical prayer, containing a lesson presented by rabbi Gimpel.
“Much of my work is creating a language that speaks to every man, every culture, every religion. Much of the time, we are working towards the same goal; but the language is what separates us. Even within Judaism, some language from one particular sect turns off Jews from another sect. This is even more so when we bring together people from different religions. Even when we are using the same Bible, the language separates us. A lot of my work is explaining the Hebrew, creating a universal Torah language.”
The Land of Israel Fellowship is interactive with questions and answer sessions. More information is available on the website.