Inside Israel – The Voice of the Bride and the Bridegroom

“Hi!” and welcome to another Sunday look inside Israel. Today J of Jerusalem takes us to a Jewish wedding with her and He is beautifully displayed there. I hope you are as blessed as I was!
God bless you as you pray today for J and Israel, and as you remember 9/11. Now here’s J . . .

Greetings in The Name of Yeshua, dear brothers and sisters. May The Lord be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed!

As you know, demonstrations, uprisings and revolutions are sweeping across the middle east, and we here have been experiencing our share of protests focusing almost exclusively on our, increasingly unbearably high cost of living. The character of the nation was expressed so well this past Shabat when the government announced that they would increase bus and rail service to the three main cities where a ‘million man protest rally’ was called to begin after shabat ended. Are we the only country that has a protest and the government provides more transportation to accommodate the protestors? J

“You shall know them by their fruit.” Yeshua said. Yes, our character speaks so clearly of the condition of our heart.

I was a guest at a wedding this past Friday, the character of which spoke volumes concerning the young couple and their families, and, for me, since it displayed a taste of heaven, I thought that I would share it with you.

Perhaps many of you have been to Jewish weddings, and even Messianic Jewish weddings. I know that I have described several. This wedding was small by Israeli standards, and I was most blessed to be invited. I arranged my work schedule so that I could attend. It was on a moshav (small rural farming village) outside of ‘Beit Shemesh’ in the hills of Binyamin (Benjamin) and Yehuda (Judah), where David slew Goliath. Today it is a beautiful and peaceful area. The first day of school was on the 1st of Sept. and traditionally, the Friday following the first day of school is one of the busiest for my husband’s hair salon/barber shop, so, since he was unable to accompany me, our older daughter and baby Grandson came. We entered the peaceful moshav and followed the hand written signs to the wedding site. When we first moved here, those signs amused me. I used to see signs all over saying things like “bar mitzvah shel Yair” (Yair’s bar mitzvah) or ‘hatona shel Orli vey Baruch’ (wedding of Orli and Baruch). Coming from the states where street signs in cities are rather regulated, it was fun to see kids running around the city with chairs, sometimes balloons, tying party directions to traffic lights in the middle of town. I came to realize that this is common practice.

We followed the signs to a beautiful vineyard on top of a tall hill. Under the grape arbors, the tables were set up on thatched rugs and there was an area for the ‘huppa’ (or ‘chuppa’ or ‘hupah’, transliteration into English letters is a challenge with most words and is subjective and NOT a ‘science’!) overlooking the hills of Yehuda and Binyamin. The scene was most peaceful and the only sounds heard were either ours or those of nature. The’ huppa’ is a canopy of sorts, traditionally just material (sometimes a prayer shawl, or ‘talit’) attached to 4 poles which are held over the bride and groom by 4 close male friends or relatives. The symbolism of the huppa is multifaceted and beautiful. It touches on the tent of Avraham and Sarah, it speaks of the home that the new couple will make, so fragile and small compared to all of God’s vast creation, it speaks of HIS covering over their heads…and it is small enough to be ‘private’; this is an intimate relationship being sealed in heaven.

This particular couple was very special to me (and many others) as I have loved the young woman since almost the first week of our arrival in the land, when she was just 12, the age of our younger daughter, who was her friend. I watched and prayed as she was seen with a young man who ‘did not yet’ know The Lord. I have watched for seven years. And I rejoiced with our whole kehila (fellowship) when this young man gave his life to The Lord perhaps just short of a year ago. Integrity colored their relationship with beauty as the young girl would not compromise by a relationship with an non believer, and the young man would not come to Him simply to win the woman he loved…it had to be real. And as the believers prayed for 7 years, it is indeed real, this relationship with The Lord! What a beautiful thing to behold is holiness! What a building of character. Glorious fruit!

As beautiful as these things are, they are not unique. I’m sure many of you can share a similar victorious story of young people putting God first, how glorious! But with a Jewish family, there was an immediate reaction, and the young man’s Mother (his estranged Father had died) refused to attend a ‘Messianic wedding’…up until the very last moment. As we gathered none of us knew if she would be there or not. Much prayer went up for her, and finally, there she was, with other family members. Our Pastor who performed the wedding is also the only believer in his own family…yet they attended. The only believers at the wedding were friends, a few members of the kehila and several others. We wondered if there would be anger and a nasty response…it was indeed threatened. Much prayer was offered.

With such grace our Pastor welcomed everyone: ‘I know that most of you have never been to a Messianic wedding, and this is a Messianic wedding and we are not ashamed of The Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach. And we are gathered together to BLESS the Bride and Groom, whom we all love. Please join in to bless them together and partake for their joy’, his gracious words were so gentle that it was as if The Holy Spirit placed a ‘huppa’ over ALL of us. My daughter had taken the Baby to an area where the children could play. She told me that she was the only believer in that area…all of the young couples with her were those who had never been exposed to The Lord. She told me that at that moment they all sat up and gave the ceremony rapt attention. We are believing for FRUIT for the kingdom!

The message that was given to the young couple spoke deeply to my heart as well. The wedding was (of course) in Hebrew and he spoke about the word for ‘love’…ahava. He said that this word is so overused these days and it has to do with the warm ‘feeling’ that is so often called ‘love’…but there is another word that goes deeper: yedidut. This beautiful word, multifaceted as a diamond, has it’s root in ‘together’ and ‘one-ness’…in the same way that God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit is One…Yedid… yedidut… he spoke of the deep importance of being true friend for each other… and I realized that this is what has spoken to me so deeply about my Pastor’s relationship with his wife. They exhibit so beautifully this relationship to the kehila in their own marriage.

Just like a ‘Christian wedding ceremony’, so it is with a Jewish wedding. There IS no ‘typical’ Jewish wedding. There is much leeway for personal taste and choice. This one was simply characterized by such great, deep joy and blessing. The hora was danced, the songs were sung, and the sense of having delighted The Heart of The Father was with us.

I know that I did not do this subject justice, I am simply too tired to continue, but I so wanted to share a bit of the joy with you…the joy of the character of God… in a vineyard in the hills surrounding Jerusalem!

God bless you dear, faithful, brothers and sisters. Lovingly, your sis here.

ani b’derek

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