Inside Israel – Shabat

Hello dear readers!
Thank you for coming by for another look inside Israel through the eyes and faith of J of Jerusalem. Today J shares about a very interesting meeting and conversation in the check out line!
God bless you and yours, as you pray, praise and worship Him!

It is almost sundown. Shabat will be announced by the ‘shabat horn’ blown through out the country shortly and the quiet that dignifies shabat is already settling around us. May HIS Peace fill each one of you, and may HIS Peace be known throughout this nation … even now…even this shabat, Lord, reveal Yourself!

HIS Peace; what a GIFT that is!

Neta approached me earlier today while I stood on the check out line at the store. “I can only buy these at the sale price if I spend 70 shekels, and it looks as if you will be spending that much. Would it be ok if I put my items in your basket and give you the 26 shekels?” This is common practice at the market, so of course I told her yes. She was a slim religious woman of Yemenite background, with piercing eyes.

“Would you happen to know of an apartment for rent around here?” she asked. “I’m 36 and STILL single.” She continued, rolling her eyes…obviously not happy to still be single.

“No. Apartments are a real problem.” I told her that I also rent and had just gone to Bituach Leumi (our National Insurance) this week to see if there was any way I could possibly work one day less a week, as I am so tired and I am past 65.

“I see I will have to work until the end just to pay the rent” I told her.

There was a mess at the checkouts and we were told that ‘this would take awhile’…It looked as if we would be together longer then we had expected so I asked what she did… if she was a student or working. That opened the door for a VERY interesting conversation!

Neta used to be a psychology student, but had become religious (this is called ‘ba’al h’troova’…or ‘repentant one’) and joined the ultra religious ‘Hassidim’… her particular group follows the teachings of the, now deceased, Menacham Shneerson, the Lubavicha Rabbi. If you have visited here (or NY City for that matter) you likely saw posters of an elderly man with a white beard and a black hat… his hand raised in what might be a wave, or an attitude of giving a blessing. He was believed by so many to be King Messiah! When he died in June of 1994 and did not raise from the dead, many explanations were given, the most common that I have heard is that his ‘incarnation’ lives on and is always among us. He was, apparently, a very wise man who shared much wisdom from the scriptures. His followers are very charismatic and enthusiastic; Neta was one of them.

She began sharing with me the wonders of following this ‘messiah’ and I asked her if she reads, also, the ‘Tenach’ (Old Testament books of the law and history) and the ‘Ne’vi’im (Prophets).

“Oh yes!” she answered. “It is so important that we read constantly or else we will not recognize Messiah when He comes!”

Good answer…I agreed. “Yes. It is written in the Psalms ‘In HIS Light we see Light’.”

She agreed and lit up with joy.

“I, too, believe and love Messiah, but I do not follow your Rabbi. I am a Messianic Jew.”

She looked at me with disbelief. “What do you mean?! Are you a follower of Jesus??” she looked stunned.

“Yes.” I answered, with new strength: “He IS The Messiah and He has come and will come again.” To my surprise she smiled and asked me if I were Jewish from a line of Jews. (as opposed to a convert) “Yes. As far back as we can go” I answered. “Then it is okay” she said, “for you will keep reading and you will find the error of your way as more Light comes in.”

I smiled back “Or, perhaps, YOU will find Him Whom your heart seeks, because He said ‘Seek and you SHALL find’.” She beamed…I beamed back. This was a SURPRISING check out line conversation!

“You should be a sheliach! “ (‘sent one’… this is the Hebrew word used in scriptures translated as ‘apostle’, but in modern terminology it would be a person sent on a mission – I don’t write the full word…ending in ‘ary’ on email as it is a key word to trace) she said to me. “I don’t think I would be accepted!” I laughed. “Oh! But you WOULD! You seek Light! You would be a WONDERFUL sheliach!”

The line began to move and our discussion ended…but not without some soul searching on my part. I DO believe that I planted some seeds and that she will be the one to ‘find’… but ‘sheliach’…’sent one’… ‘one sent on a mission’… yes…I am this… (you are too) and what kind of job am I doing for my Master? She was so diligent and full of passion, although I don’t think many would have been ‘won’ to her Rabbi… but where is MY passion?

I have found that I face a number of questions. No…NOT concerning Messiah!… but concerning my fatigue… concerning my lack of full fluency in language…concerning my seeming inability. “Lord? YOU sent me, and I long to be faithful! Teach me from this meeting.” So I want to commit to pray for Neta and also to be lead in the path that He has for me.

I sense that it (my path) is changing. As part of my daily devotions I was reading Psalm 71 this morning. I was praying about v 16 “I will go in the strength of The Lord. I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.” As I looked at the original Hebrew, I was struck by the meanings of the words which are translated: “I shall come (and confront my enemies) with the mighty deeds of The Lord Elohim.” As opposed to our English translation ‘the strength of The Lord’ (don’t be too impressed by my knowledge… I was aided by an interlinear translation!)

Have I had a wrong understanding of the ‘strength of The Lord’? I have been expecting Him to infuse my weak physical body with His strength, but I began to see that His strength is already with me… in His mighty Wow! This was a new focus for me… recount…and walk in (as if it were a physical path) His mighty deeds! That brought to mind the scripture (Rev 12:11 I think) “And they overcame him by The Blood of The Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and loving not their lives unto the death.”

Now, before you say ‘I don’t follow you, and now I KNOW you have gone over the edge’, I will confess to you that I still see this ‘through a glass darkly’…but I am excited by it! I see that there is a place of strength available for me beyond the understanding that I have had…and that is SO GOOD TO KNOW! If any of you have understanding to share with me, PLEASE do so!

On to another topic: I shared recently about our ‘cottage cheese’ war here. I told you how ‘our revolution’ was taking a different tone then those going on in neighboring countries and we were asked to refuse to buy cottage until the price went down. It worked, and the price dropped (for now)!

Meanwhile, our doctors are striking for really necessary changes in the national health system that haven’t been addressed since the 70s and need to be.

This boosted some ‘action’ concerning a GLARING, actually alarming need; the cost of housing. Our last administration (Olmert) allowed for a huge increase in the building of exclusive, shockingly expensive apartments that were priced for overseas investors rather then locals. Combined with that was the spiraling cost of rents and purchase apartments, even the middle class has been priced out of apartments. This week saw tent cities springing up all around the country as the dissatisfaction grows louder. Since most of us love our country, almost no one wants to destabilize the government so these actions are interesting for me to see…they lack to bitterness and hatred of what we are seeing in countries nearby, but simply are addressing real needs. Whereas Israel is said to have an excellent economy, this has to do with investment and larger issues and is not filtering down to the people. So we are experiencing our ‘social changes’ here as well as in neighboring countries. But as I said, no one wants to destabilize the country.

Rockets have been falling steadily on our south again, coming from Gaza and our borders are far from quiet. Relations with Egypt have grown very bad since their ‘revolution’ and our gas supply (an agreement signed with Mubarak) has been stopped 4 times due to the pipeline being bombed in the Sinai by Egyptian Moslem groups who want to see the ‘peace’ with Israel overturned. Israelis are vigilant and want to see justice without putting ourselves in further jeopardy.

Again, thank you so much for your prayers for our family and for our people and nation.
God BLESS you and keep you in the center of His heart! Lovingly, your sis

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8 Comments

  1. Very provocative commentary. I cannot imagine.

  2. Thanks, Deb

    Interesting to see how life lived for Him looks from the other side of the globe …

    Much to chew on (as always) … much to pray about!!

    I cannot imagine either…

    Blessings,
    ann

  3. Like a whole other world. 🙂 Thank you, Tammy, for reading and commenting! God bless you and yours!

  4. Yes, I agree! I just use her initial to keep her as safe as I can. There are some there that do not like hearing that their Messiah has come and is coming again.
    God bless you, Ann full of grace, as you chew and pray! 🙂

  5. I have come to see that relying upon His strength when I am weak does not mean I will become strong. But, yes, J, as you say, even in death (the ultimate weakness) He is our strength. The word of our testimony reaches further than anything we could do in our bodies. “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” But, how will they know if we do not speak…or write. Thank you for writing.

    And, thank you, Deb, for sharing.

    ♥ Michelle

  6. “to die* is gain”

    sheesh!

  7. I fixed it! How I wish as a commenter that I had an edit button! 🙂
    thank you and love!

  8. Thank you, Michelle! Great insight and verses to go with this! I’m sending you on to J . . .she will be so blessded!
    love and prayers!


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