Inside Israel – A Jerusalem Story

Hello everyone and a very happy new year to you! Today, I have an earlier e-mail from J of Jerusalem to share. You will love reading how God orchestrates in His one of a kind way. Thank you for coming by and praying today, for Israel, Jerusalem and our sister in Christ, “J”!

Some things seem truly unique to Jerusalem…just as things are unique to each place (isn’t God wonderful to give us each that piece of His fingerprint!). But since I am here and you aren’t, I love being able to share these sometimes curious events with you.

This one is a word picture of sorts, because you really do have to ‘picture this’!

One of the patients at the doctor’s office where I work, Tzvi, is a rather gruff man from Australia. He can have quite a ‘mouth’ on him! Eventually our conversations led him to meet my husband and become a customer of his at his barber shop. They enjoyed one another.

Last time Tzvi was at the doctor’s, he invited my husband and I to ‘his concert’. I was a bit surprised and told him that we would be interested, questioning what it was about. It turns out that he is a tenor opera singer and that the choir was performing a ‘Rossini Mass’ at ‘The Church of The Messiah’ (Christ Church) in the Old City. Usually things like this would be at one of the traditional Catholic churches, so I was quite surprised. I was ALSO surprised by the fact that my husband ACCEPTED the invitation as his first outing since his accident on the 25th of Oct. He said he just HAD to see Tzvi singing opera! I was taking account of the strange picture forming in front of me: a Jewish Israel foul mouthed builder singing a mass in a Protestant Church … and my HUSBAND attending. This was BOUND to be interesting and I made it a matter of prayer to see what God had in store.

Meanwhile, the murder of the hiker took place…and she was a volunteer at Christ Church. The memorial was scheduled for today. The stage was set.

Since my husband is still on crutches, last night we took a taxi to the Old City. My husband and I have not been ‘out’ like this in YEARS! I was excited. I was curious to see who would be attending such a performance. There was not a kippa (yarmulke, small ‘hat’ worn by religious Jews) in the bunch…and the only language heard was Hebrew. So this was to be a secular Israeli audience…in a Protestant church attending a mass the day before a particularly solemn memorial, just before Christmas …and here we are in the midst. What ARE You up to, Lord? I picked up the libretto and found that it was in Latin and Hebrew. Thankfully, I could read the Hebrew and was blessed to see that it was the life of Yeshua, from his birth, anointing, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and eternal reign…similar to ‘The Messiah’. The words were wonderful! Alive and full of life…all worship and praise and proclaiming His Lordship! As is the custom of Christ Church, there were piles of new testaments in Hebrew in the back of the church for the taking and I was thrilled to see many people taking them. The ancient church itself is very special and cameras were flashing all around as people pointed out much scripture in carved in wood, glass and stone, all in Hebrew around the church. Yes, they were classical music and art buffs, but they were being touched!

I found myself seated next to a younger-then-I woman who came from Ukraine some 20 years ago. There she had studied opera, but hasn’t sung in years. I could see it was something she had loved. We hit it off quite well and she soon told me how much she liked me and we began to share more deeply. I asked about her family and she stopped shyly and said ‘I feel you would understand. It is my 24 year old son and I now. He is in the army. He trains dogs. It is good for him.’ She was quiet. Then sharing from so deep within she said; ‘My son…he was 8…was killed in a terror attack…he and my Mother…his Grandmother. That was 8 years ago.’ I remembered the attack well! I had still have the newspaper photos of those killed during the intifada…these two faces came immediately to mind. They had been at a shopping mall together…Grandma and Grandson. She continued; ‘I am now dead inside. There is nothing…no joy…no life.’ Her eyes looked deeply into me. I began to share how the words that were in this libretto pointed to The One Who had changed my life and filled me with Life when I was ready to die. She listened deeply. Our hearts touched. Just then, the head of the choir came out to share a word about the death of Christine, the woman who had been killed, and to thank the Pastor for allowing the use of the church at this sensitive time…and to offer all of our condolences. There was a moment of silence and then the opera began.

The performance went on for two hours. My husband had become quite uncomfortable in his wooden chair so we left as soon as it was over, but not before my seat mate and I promised to be in touch with one another. Although her name has slipped my mind, I would like to ask you to pray for her salvation, and her surviving sons. He knows her name and I will share it when she calls.

The moon was full when my husband and I went out to look for a taxi home. He was NOT impressed by opera, although it did impress him that Tzvi was doing such things…and Tzvi was touched that we came. The moon was full and extremely bright on this, yet another cloudless night, and we spoke what we had just witnessed; a secular Israeli group in a Spirit filled church picking up new testaments, listening to words of worship…and I wondered how many veils were being rent…or BEGAN to be rent. And then there was my seat mate…so needy and in so much pain…sitting beside me…freely I have received…that I might freely give!

Life in Jerusalem is NEVER dull! May each of you be wonderfully blessed! Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek


  1. I like coming here and reading all your pieces, especially these humanistic pieces…somehow I feel we would enjoy meeting, in any setting…



  2. Oh Chef E, I wish we all could meet up with “J”. I’ll pass on your warm thoughts to her. 🙂

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